RMS Guitar Repair - FAQ's

What do you charge for a setup ?
A Standard set-up will cost $ 50.00 (plus cost of strings). The truss rod will be adjusted for correct relief and the string height will be adjusted at the bridge. In addition, the nut will be properly cut to achieve the best possible action. Intonation will also be checked and adjusted. New strings will be installed at this time, plus a full evaluation. If you have a tremolo-equipped guitar, we can discuss options to improve tuning stability (especially if you don't use it much). Note: If you like super low action, a fret dress may be necessary.
What size frets do you recommend for a re-fret ?
I prefer jumbo frets because I like to bend a lot and I like the fact that they can be dressed a few times. If you are strictly a chord player, vintage size frets might be perfect for you, but they can only be dressed (maybe) once. If you want the best of both worlds, medium-jumbo frets seems to please most people.
I want my Strat to have more power and sustain in the bridge position and I don't want to modify the body or pickguard. What pickups do you recommend ?
I am a huge Lace Sensor fan and I always recommend them. Eric Clapton used them for many years (still does ?), so does Jeff Beck and many others. Typically, Strat pickups read 5 -7 K; a Lace (Red) Sensor will read 14 K+ ! More power and sustain, no noise. Seymour Duncan also makes great pickups, but you can't go wrong with Lace in your Strat.
What string gauge do the pro's use ? What do you recommend ?
I have read MANY articles on this and will mention a couple of extremes.
On the heavy side, SRV used / tried .018 - .074 ( tuned a ½ step down ). If you're not SRV, this is going to rip your fingers apart, also bend Kluson tuners, put a lot of stress on the truss rod, etc. ! If you're not recording an album at Abbey Road Studios, you can probably sacrifice some tone for playability.
On the light side, Eric Clapton uses .009 - .042's, which works great for him. I have never heard anyone say Eric Clapton is lacking in the tone department!
I'd say that .010 -.046's will make most people happy; also your fingers and guitar will thank you.
My guitar won't stay in tune - what's up ?
Many things can cause your guitar to go "out of tune". For instance:
-- Old or cheap strings ( pay the extra buck, you'll be glad you did! ) D'Addario makes great strings.
-- Tuners that are old and worn out, or cheap.
-- The nut may be cut improperly, pinching the string, causing trouble. These are a few problems that can cause tuning problems.
-- Sometimes, a combination of the above-listed factors join forces to make a real tuning mess.
I will be happy to inspect your guitar and tell you what it would need to solve the problem.
My frets seem to be uneven. How do you fix these ?
You may need only a basic fret dressing to get the guitar where you want it to be. If several frets are badly worn, those might need to be replaced. If a majority of frets are badly worn, the guitar might require a complete re-fret.
I'm a lefty. Are you able to work on my guitar ?
Yes, most definitely. I've worked on a number of left-handed guitars over the years.
What would you charge to fix __________ ? ( insert your guitar problem here )
I can give you a precise quote after I inspect the instrument. If it's not possible to come in, a sharp and clear photograph of the problem or damage, might suffice. Please note that even a detailed summary over the phone or e-mail, is no substitute for an up-close, detailed inspection. At that point, we can also discuss repair options - there may be more than one way to correct the problem.

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