RMS Guitar Repair - FAQ's

What do you charge for a setup ?
Please see setup and rates pages for full details.
Setup basics:
  • 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 filed or raised for best possible action. Intonation will also be checked and adjusted.
  • The fretboard will be conditioned.
  • New strings will be installed, plus a full evaluation.
  • If you have a tremolo-equipped guitar (and you do not use it much), we can discuss options to improve tuning stability.

Note: If you like super low action, a fret dress may be necessary.
What size frets do you recommend for a re-fret ?
Many guitarists like jumbo frets, which facilitate string bending. Jumbo frets can be dressed a few times, as well.
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 seem to please most.
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 ?
Many players like Lace Sensor pickups in their Fenders. Eric Clapton used them for many years, also Jeff Beck and many others.
Typically, Strat pickups read 5 -7 K; a Lace (Red) Sensor will read 14 K+. More power and sustain, less noise.
Seymour Duncan also makes great pickups. There are many quality brands and options to choose from.
What string gauge do the pros use ? What do you recommend ?

  • For electric guitars: Typically, .009 -.042 for Fender and .010 -.046 for Gibson. Most guitarists ask for these gauges at setup.
    Eric Clapton, EVH, etc., use(d) .009 -.042. I have never heard anyone say EVH was lacking tone.

  • For acoustic guitars: .011-.052 (even .010-.047) is a comfortable gauge.
    ( .012 and .013 are heavy strings and will cause issues. )

  • For bass guitars: .045 -.105 is very popular. This gauge is used most of the time.

String pull is a powerful force which bows necks, pulls tops, lifts bridges, etc. Please look at the string gauge numbers above. Plenty of tone in these gauges. The lighter the better, in most cases. Your hands and guitars will thank you.
My guitar will not stay in tune, what is causing this issue ?
Many things can cause your guitar to go out of tune. For instance:
  • Old or cheap strings. Rough string winding around the tuner post. D'Addario makes great strings.
  • Tuners that are old, worn or inexpensive.
  • The nut may be cut improperly, causing trouble.
  • Tremolo / bridge issues.
  • Sometimes, a combination of the above factors combine to cause tuning issues.

I would be happy to inspect your guitar and we can discuss options to solve the problem.
My frets seem to be worn (showing divots); can this be repaired ?
You may only need a fret dressing.
If several frets are very worn, those may need to be replaced (partial).
If a majority of frets are worn, the guitar may require a complete refret.
Please send an email if you have other questions.
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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