Tech Talk: A Blog About Guitar Repair

Tech Talk: A Blog About Guitar Repair

Our mission is to use this space to answer common questions about guitar maintenance, modifications, and repairs in a clear and detailed manner. These articles are not intended as a step-by-step guide to servicing your own instrument. However, it is our sincere hope that you will find value in the information provided.

Checkout Our Most Recent Articles

Installing a Pre-slotted String Nut

A Pre-slotted string nut is one that has been manufactured so that the bulk of preliminary shaping and slotting has been done. This shortcuts some of the early steps that are required when hand-cuting a nut from a blank.

The benefit of these products is clear; They are a time saver for our busy shop and are more cost effective for our clients. We carry a variety that have been designed to fit popular instruments from brands like Fender, Gibson, Taylor, and Martin.

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Electrosocket Modern Telecaster Jack Plate

The Electrosocket screw-in style jack plate offers an improvement on the side mounted style of jack plate that is popular on Fender Telecaster style electric guitars. The purpose of a jack plate is to hold the guitar’s output jack stable so that it can support the guitar cable. When compared to the traditional design, the Electrosocket is better able to handle the stresses of cable insertion and removal, eliminating a common cause of crackling / intermittent signal to your guitar amp.

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Acoustic Guitar Neck Resets – Martin Mortise and Tenon

A mortise and tenon joint is a centuries old method for connecting two pieces of wood. The “mortise” is a hole or recess cut into a part which is designed to receive a corresponding projection referred to as the “tenon” on another component so as to join the two pieces together.

The Martin Guitar Company has been using this style of joint to secure the neck onto the body of their student and player grade model instruments for decades.

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erik

String Nut – Dress and Profile

Though simple in appearance, the string nut serves a critical function for the instrument. Whether hand made or prefabricated, it is crucial that it be properly installed, and dressed.

Due to the demands of a production schedule, in our experience, most factory made guitars arrive with a nut that has had a cursory dressing and slotting at best. This sometimes leads players to seek a replacement when often a bit of fine tuning, through a service that we call a “dress and profile”, is all that is needed to get the nut working as it should.

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erik

Restringing an Electric Guitar

Strings are perhaps the single most important part of a guitar; Every other part of the instrument is designed to support or enhance the vibration produced by a picked or plucked string. A good set of strings is the first step in maintaining the best sound from your instrument.

Put another way, the guitar string is not unlike fuel to a car; Without them the guitar doesn’t go, they are consumed by the process, and they require regular replacement! As such, basic restringing is a necessary skill that we strongly encourage guitar players to learn how to do for themselves.

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erik

Guitar Strap Lock Installation

Whether playing seated or standing, a guitar strap is a helpful tool for keeping your instrument in a comfortable playing position. Typically attached to two points on the guitars body called “strap buttons”, when new, a guitar strap may be so tightly fit as to be difficult to get on and off of the instrument’s standard strap buttons. Overtime the strap becomes broken in and as the material of the strap brakes down the straps attachment points may eventually become dangerously loose. If the strap fails the guitar may fall to the floor.

The addition of strap locks provide a convenient way to securely install and remove your instruments strap. Though fairly easy to install, it is worth taking a few moments to look at the most popular styles and discuss the proper way to attach them.

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erik

Stripped and Broken Screws on Guitars

Solid body electric guitars typically use a variety of wood screws to secure the different components such as tuning machines, strap buttons, bridges, and pickguards to the body. The use of common wood screws provides a quick and secure method for installation and the eventual removal of the hardware when required. Though typically reliable, factors such as incorrect installation and storage, or heavy use, can lead to the need for maintenance and repair.

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erik

Electric Guitar Pickup Replacement

Pickup replacements are a popular way for guitarists to personalize their instruments. Swapping out the stock pickups in an inexpensive guitar is often a huge tonal improvement no matter what model of replacement you chose.

While pickup installation may seem as simple as removing and replacing a few wires, there is more to a clean, reliable, installation than meets the eye. Specialized tools and ample experience are required to achieve a dependable outcome.

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erik

Acoustic Guitar Neck Resets – Hybrid Neck Joints

Oftentimes, action adjustments can be made via the instrument’s truss rod and saddle. This process is commonly called a setup. However, proper setup is only possible within a limited range. If the geometry of the instrument is not within certain specs, proper setup will not be possible. Given the substantial demands placed upon it, it is not surprising that, sooner or later, even the finest instruments will require a more substantial overhaul. Often, this will involve a neck reset. A neck reset is the process of readjusting the angle at which the neck is joined to the body.

Traditionally, an acoustic guitar neck is attached to the body using a glued joint called a “dovetail”. While strong and reliable, these types of joints require a substantial effort to separate and reassemble once required. As a result, neck resets on dovetail style neck joints require an experienced hand and carry a considerable price tag. Since most acoustic guitars will require a neck reset at least once over their lifespan, many manufacturers have sought to redesign their neck joints in a variety of ways with the goal of making assembly and neck resets less labor intensive and more cost efficient to perform.

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