We love these jobs rolling through our shop! Custom inlay done on this lefty SG in Mother of Pearl and reconstituded stone. Band logo across the fingerboard? Done!
It is truly awful seeing a nice guitar being botched by an unexperienced luthier. This one had a bad misfortune of being refretted, and as you can see, it's fingerboard got really badly chipped due to reckless fret removal. We were given the honor of redoing the work and setting it straight, which included a full refret and filling in the pits and masking them the best we could. While we (and our client) are happy with the result, we were baffled that this beautiful Gibson had left anybody's shop in that condition. Ba careful folks, choose your luthier wisely!
Sometimes you might just want to upgrade your guitar's looks. Give it a little face lift, so to speak. One of our customers decided that the crappy, plastic inlay dots have to go. We set him up with real abalone dots, which gave the fingerboard a nice looking shimmer and shine! Since abalone is a natural material, every piece is unique and has it's own character and color.
Usually, if someone wants custom inlays on the fingerboard, we need to remove the frets, but to replace simple dots like this does not require that extra step, so it doesn't break the bank either! A fun way to bejewel your guitar, we think. We also have other materials available- check with us and make your guitar special!
Here's another example in mother of pearl- simple yet elegant!
This Martin ukulele is getting a Fishman pickup installed, check out the procedure!
Fishman pickups are one of our favorites- they are easy to install, sound great, the procedure only alters the instrument in minimal ways, and after it's installed, you can barely tell that it's even there. It does not change the original sound of the instrument The Fishman Matrix is an active pickup, which is what gives it that hot, rich tone, and requires a 9V battery. The battery gets attached to the neck block inside the instrument, and is nicely hidden from view.
The pickup strip goes right under the saddle, and it's where it actually picks up the vibrations of the strings and sends an electronic signal to the amp. A hole in the end block is reamed out to fit the jack. This step is the biggest alteration of the guitar required to host this pickup but as you can see, not very significant.
The volume and tone controls are attached inside the sound hole, but away from view as well. It's a nifty solution- the player can easily find them and adjust them with their finger without even looking, but it's hard to tell that the instrument even has a pickup! Battery gets put into place, and if you keep your guitar unplugged in between playing, it can last you for a year and a half, depending on how much you play, so there's no need for constant battery replacements. We keep these pickups in stock, so come get yours anytime!
One of our customers had problems staying in tune on both of her Gibsons with a tune-o-matic style bridge. Here is what we suggested:
1. Replace the saddles! The sharp metal points of the saddles tend to bite into the strings and don't let them slide freely when the tension changes.
2. Same can happen with the nut slots, especially when the nut is made out of plastic, or the slots are not wide enough. Even though you perfectly tune your guitar, once you strum hard or bend a string, tension can get released and knock your string out of tune.
We recommended installing String Savers- replacement saddles made out of graphite. Graphite is commonly placed in the nut slots to aid string friction, so it only makes sense to put it on your bridge saddles too. They are especially good for people with the notorious corrosive sweat issue, that tends to ruin the hardware on their guitars.
New bone nut is also installed to ensure minimal wear and problems and the guitar is set to go! Very important additional tip: always stretch your strings and tune UP rather than DOWN in pitch. Even if you have some problems with strings sticking, it will help you to stay in tune.
Do you own a Gibson guitar? Do you know what it's weakest point is? Let us show you a very common repair that we do here at the shop. The way that Gibson guitars are constructed- with a tilt back headstock, and no reinforcing volute in the back of the neck- makes them very susceptible for breaks. The wood gets really thin right between the nut slot and the truss rod channel, and if you rock too hard, or your case isn't up to par and your roadie tosses it in the van, or your Gibson experiences any other kind of shock (airplane ride?), this is usually the first thing to give. Fortunately, in most cases, this is not a complicated repair.
Something that we can't stress enough: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIX IT YOURSELF. Not even with the help of your uncle that has glue in his garage... You only get one chance to do this right, and if you don't have lots of experience doing this stuff, you might make your guitar unfixable. Once there is glue in the crack, there is no chance to remove it and redo it.
Owner of this guitar came in with little hope. The neck was cracked in several places, and the more cracks, the harder it is to put together. They were also really long, following the grain of the wood.
The neck had to be properly prepped- any debris and slivers that were in the way of the pieces closing back together had to be removed. Then, with the help of lots of clamps, the pieces got glued back together and left to dry over night. The customer didn't want to spend money on going all out with the "perfect" finish job, especially since he just wanted to be sure that the repair would be effective first. Playability was the outmost concern. The back of neck got cleaned up and sanded smooth, and a thin coat of lacquer was applied to preserve the exposed wood and to make it feel consistent with the rest of the neck. It got a full set up and although you can see the scars, it is revived and functioning great!
Cracks in your acoustic guitar body can be devastating. They can be caused by impact or simply by exposure to drought, which causes the wood to shrink and crack. Fortunately, most of them are an easy fix, and if you're lucky, they can be made to be very close to invisible. The biggest trick is to get it right the first time- once there is glue in the crack, you will not be able to remove it in case you feel like doing it over!
This crack was nice enough to split pretty "cleanly" and it is easy to fix. To do that, we first have to make sure that the wood isn't dried out and there isn't a gap between the two sides that need to be glued together. If so, the guitar will need to be humidified first.
The crack gets filled with glue and three cleats are made to be placed along the break in between the braces on the inside of the top. We glue them in place with help of rare earth magnets. The next day the crack is almost invisible- you only see it cause you know it's there!