How Far Should A Dealer Go...

omm

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...to provide a decent set-up before selling a guitar?
Should it be just a general going-over, or a thorough top-to-bottom inspection?
 

cmjohnson

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In my opinion, a basic setup should be performed on every guitar as it arrives from the distributor or factory. At least check them. Neck properly adjusted, action height is reasonable, plays without fretting out or buzzing. Nut slot heights set correctly, and string spacing checked. It should be a good playing instrument that won't discourage a new player or make an experienced player unhappy.

A basic setup shouldn't take 15 minutes if you don't have to make a new nut or dress the frets.

Fortunately, these days, most guitars arrive fairly well set up from the factory. It's NOT like how things were when I first learned setups, back in the mid 80s. Back then you could expect that any low priced and many mid priced guitars would arrive in nearly unplayable condition. Oh, the Martin D-28s and D-45s would be well nigh perfect, of course, but those were always premium priced premium guitars anyway. For what they cost you'd demand nothing less.
 
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ehb

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Perfect setup in subjective. Everybody has their own preference.

Preferences are all over the map...

I play light so my action on my guitars and basses are low. Just the way I was taught by my late bog bro that played bass for close to fifty years....

A bud of mine lets only me touch his basses... He is an incredible bassist. He transcribes and practices jazz sax solo sheet music for bass for kicks...He played one of mine in the shop and loved and hated my bass. Said it played so easy he almost could not play it. He started bringing me his basses to work on....

"Set it up they way yours is and then raise it to the point you start not liking it and it'll be perfect for me..." He prefers a bit of fighting back...

Just make sure they play well.... They can then be tweaked for the player.... Everybody ain't Carlton so a guitar set up for silky ain't for everybody.... Played with a blues player and his Telecaster was one of the worst playing guitars I've ever held in my hands to be a Telecaster.... High action fat strings.... He plays with his fingers.... No pick... He can't play my guitars at all....and I can't play his.....
 

LtDave32

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...to provide a decent set-up before selling a guitar?
Should it be just a general going-over, or a thorough top-to-bottom inspection?
Guitar stores are notorious for setting string action high to mask fret issues . One should ask for the action to be lowered and then play it before you lay one dollar down.

That being said, every guitar can benefit from a fret level, re-crown and polish. That which plays "so-so" will play like a dream.

I make sure of this on every guitar that leaves the shop. I want my people to be thrilled with it .

Not so much at big guitar stores. They don't care, can't be bothered, or have plenty of volume turnover without spending that extra effort.
 

omm

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Not so much at big guitar stores. They don't care, can't be bothered, or have plenty of volume turnover without spending that extra effort.
Yes, and I'm surprised Wildwood Guitars fits this description, for all the recommendations here on the forum.
Received a LP the other day that was definitely not tweaked at all - horrible buzz at one of the frets - checked it, and it's low.
How could they not notice this?
(And to think I was getting ready to buy a Rickenbacker 360/12 from them - perish the thought!)
 

LtDave32

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Yes, and I'm surprised Wildwood Guitars fits this description, for all the recommendations here on the forum.
Received a LP the other day that was definitely not tweaked at all - horrible buzz at one of the frets - checked it, and it's low.
How could they not notice this?
(And to think I was getting ready to buy a Rickenbacker 360/12 from them - perish the thought!)
I'm kind of surprised at that from Wildwood. Not too long ago, I had a 58 burst reissue in my shop that was Wildwood spec'd,. Super light weight, period correct thin binding with "half nibs", the works. Owner is a fellow mod here, @VictorB. It was in for a FB replacement to Brazilian.

I have to say that on the original FB, the frets and fret work were top-notch. Original FB was dry and streaky, but that's not Wildwood's issue.

They are supposed to be a "better" outfit known for the good stuff. IMO, anything that leaves WW should be right. No issues.
 

CB91710

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...to provide a decent set-up before selling a guitar?
Should it be just a general going-over, or a thorough top-to-bottom inspection?
We talking about 1975 or 2021?
1975, nothing went on the wall until it was suitable for a legit rock star to walk in, buy it, and take it straight to the stage.
If I owned a music store, that is what I would be doing.
I would also be driven out of business by the big-box stores that charge an extra $55 to tweak the action and tune it up.
 

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