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Thread: Lost faith in my local guitar repair place

  1. #1
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    Lost faith in my local guitar repair place

    I happened to be at a music store, ordering something for my kid, for HS Graduation and stopped in the repair place across the way to ask about replacing the slipped pick guard on my D-55. The guy is talkative and we had a little bit of a lengthy conversation about guitars, and Guild guitars and Martin and a few other things. His lack of understanding that Guilds did NOT stop being made in the US years back, ( I think he is thinking of when the GAD Series started ) and what their quality is like, ( He thought a 2008 Guild D-55 was no longer made here and might have inferior wood from Asia ) and that the NS guitars I have, being made in Asia would not hold up very long, and I would stop liking them in a year. When I veered into what Taylor, he spoke as if they didn't sell anywhere near as many guitars as Martin. ( Um... they sell MORE ) and when I mentioned the new V bracing they were trying, he said everyone was just trying to do what Martin has already done. Oh, and Guild has a problem with their neck blocks shrinking and Gibson and Martin had that figured out years ago. Oh, and no need to humidify a guitar, if it has quality wood. It would settle in and might need a taller saddle, but it will be fine. Like all those old Martins.

    He told me to bring in my D-55 for him to take a look at. I said, " Sure. I will. " and left. I don't think I'll be back. Why would I let someone work on it, if they don't know the facts about the brand and seem to have a real obvious bias ?

    Now, I have to find someone else. Or learn to fix my own stuff.
    1974 Ovation Legend
    Walden G2070
    G&L Legacy Tribute
    1984 Ovation 1758 12 string
    2010 Guild F47R
    2013 Guild NS X175-B
    1998 Guild Starfire IV
    2008 Prototype D55
    2016 Guild NS X175 Sunburst

  2. #2
    "no need to humidify a guitar if it has quality wood"

    yeah, quality plywood covered in thick polyurethane...needs no humidity. i guess thats what he meant

  3. #3
    The more you learn about a product the more frustrating your retail experiences will be.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    That's one of my problems here in Vegas. I have a difficult time finding people who can do quality work and you KNOW there are tons of musicians in this town. I talked to the Cowtown Guitars guy that's on Pawn Stars occasionally. He was very unhelpful about even a tuner replacement!! He motioned to his rack of jobs pending and said, "Right, take a number!"

    Excuse me? And so I learned to change my own tuners and learned about Grover's warranty on them and decided that although he's a "legit luthier" that I'm more invested in my guitar than he is and so began my journey into home repairs. Of course Don building two guitars during that time helped a lot but..... I still think my D65S needs a decent setup and I wish there was someone I trusted to do the job. There are people here that have an AMAZING reputation, but then you read the reviews where that particular person never touched the guitar and it got messed it up. This is the ONLY time EVER that I'm sad I don't live near Dave Jacobs in Florida. Honestly, I don't wanna ship cross country and ..... who you gonna call????
    Tom in Vegas

    Use the good china. Life itself is the special occasion.

    Guild D65s, 1994
    Guild DV72, 1994
    Taylor GC8, 2011
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    Washburn EA-20 "Festival Series", 1995

  5. #5
    It's quite sad, but guitar repairmen seem to spread almost as much baloney about instruments as salespeople! I'm amazed by what they think they know, but don't know. Therefore, I haven't used one since the '70s, and only purchase an instrument needing repairs if I'm confident I can do it myself.

    If the day does come where I feel the work is beyond me, the luthier's reputation will need to be stellar, and I'll need to see a portfolio of his or her work. I wouldn't want a second-rate doctor to work on my body, and I don't want a second-rate guitar guy to work on my instruments!
    > Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40nt / '76 G-37bld / '92 D-6nt-hg / '94 JF-30nt / '97 Starfire III / '14 Savoy A-150b
    > Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES-125T / '66 Epi Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100xt / '02 J-45 RW / '02 SG / '09 ES-339 / '10 ES-330L / '11 ES-335 P90s / '12 ES-330 VOS / '12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG-2 / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15 / '15 J-50
    > Epis: '00 AIUSA Sheraton / '05 McCartney Texan / '09 Elitist Casino
    > Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom RW D

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bobouz View Post
    It's quite sad, but guitar repairmen seem to spread almost as much baloney about instruments as salespeople! I'm amazed by what they think they know, but don't know. Therefore, I haven't used one since the '70s, and only purchase an instrument needing repairs if I'm confident I can do it myself.

    If the day does come where I feel the work is beyond me, the luthier's reputation will need to be stellar, and I'll need to see a portfolio of his or her work. I wouldn't want a second-rate doctor to work on my body, and I don't want a second-rate guitar guy to work on my instruments!
    Well said
    1962 Epiphone Century Cherry Hollow Body Arch Top E422T
    1969 D40 Hoboken label AJ 2940 but Westerly made
    1984 Guild D46
    1993 Guild DV52 NT
    2000 Guild JF65 6 String

  7. #7
    The local guys always have a ego, I do a lot a work myself and for big needs there there are great stella luthers who are true stars with no ego!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    I routinely come across people who do not know as much about a brand or technology as I do. When they are trying to sell me something it is a concern but if the conversation is just casual and not directly related to the task at hand, the ignorance does no harm. In the case of guitar repair the chances are pretty good than little to no brand specific knowledge is required for most repairs on a guitar, regardless of brand. So in my case this guy's obvious pro-Martin bias and Guild ignorance would not stop me from giving him the job.

    BUT....

    As a repair tech for any wooden instrument I expect him to understand the proper care and his comment about humidity is flat out wrong. If he can't get that right I don't want to find out what else he believes about the care of guitars that is also wrong. I'm going somewhere else.

    I note the analogy to automobile repair. You have brand specific dealers who repair the brand they sell, independent shops who specialize in a collection of brands, shops that will try and fix anything and shade tree mechanics. All of them can do an oil change. But not all of them could, for example, replace a deployed air bag. And there are some people who will pay more for service from a dealer, who presumably knows more about the particular car than anyone else, whether or not that knowledge is actually needed for the task at hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by davismanLV View Post
    That's one of my problems here in Vegas. I have a difficult time finding people who can do quality work and you KNOW there are tons of musicians in this town. I talked to the Cowtown Guitars guy that's on Pawn Stars occasionally. He was very unhelpful about even a tuner replacement!! He motioned to his rack of jobs pending and said, "Right, take a number!"

    Excuse me? And so I learned to change my own tuners and learned about Grover's warranty on them and decided that although he's a "legit luthier" that I'm more invested in my guitar than he is and so began my journey into home repairs. Of course Don building two guitars during that time helped a lot but..... I still think my D65S needs a decent setup and I wish there was someone I trusted to do the job. There are people here that have an AMAZING reputation, but then you read the reviews where that particular person never touched the guitar and it got messed it up. This is the ONLY time EVER that I'm sad I don't live near Dave Jacobs in Florida. Honestly, I don't wanna ship cross country and ..... who you gonna call????
    Tom, thanks for the compliment. I have to tell you, however, that you probably should credit Tom Jacobs rather than me. I work at his shop but he's the craftsman.
    Dave


    1989 D25 - 2000 JF65 - 2013 DD6-RCE
    '96 Taylor 555 - ''07 Martin D-18VE - '10 Jacobs Jagcaster - '13 Martin 000-28EC - 13 G&L Tribute JB2 - '17 Jacobs Strat
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  10. #10
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    Fortunately I live close enough to Elderly Instruments that I utilize their repair shop when I need work done.
    "The air's as still as the throttle on a funeral train." John Prine

    '76 D-25M
    '99 DV-52ABHG
    '98 DeArmond Starfire Special
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