Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Exotic Visitor…

It's not often we get one of these in the shop: a Fender Select Telecaster!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Notes from the bench…

We're asked a few times a week about guitar setup and adjustments, so here are some notes on the subject:

* First time setup: This includes assessing the instrument's overall action (height of the strings from the frets), any factory adjustments that have gone out of spec since being shipped, and any seasonal/environmental concerns. Our goal is to get your guitar 'in the zone' of overall decent playability so that you're less concerned with it's performance and more with yours.

* Maintenance: Like many things, instruments are subjected to the rigors of their environment which includes wear and tear from playing, weather conditions, which in winter includes a significant drop in humidity.Taylor guitars has an excellent support page covering a plethora of guitar 'issues' which can be found here: . Scroll down to 'Symptoms of a Dry Guitar' to read more about this issue. When you bring your guitar in for follow up service, we'll address the areas that most often need minor tweaking like the truss-rod (a rod embedded inside the neck that keeps it straight), tightening tuning machines (they vibrate loose over time, believe it or not), fret ends that might be sticking out and the odd fret that might've popped up. On electrics, we make sure the plug-in jack is tight as these often spin when loose and compromise your output signal. Neck bolts are checked and tightened if needed on bolt-on electric guitars.

* Modifications: This is a subject related to maintenence but merits some focus here. What we see most often at the bench is that a customer desires to change the gauge of their strings to attain a variety of results such as dropped-tunings or increased tone and volume which can be attained with heavier gauge strings. Going to lighter strings for say, a new player, especially children, or for someone with a medical issue involving the hands is also something that we consider a 'customization' of the guitar from original, 'standard' setup. On electric guitars with highly sensative tremolo (whammy bar trem, etc.) bridges such as the classic Floyd Rose found on many 'heavy metal' guitars, we've found that these units will almost always fall out of their original settings when different string gauges are used causing action, intonation, and overall playability issues if not corrected.

* The burning question: cost?: This is challenging to answer on many levels but we can say with reasonable certainty that about 90% of all walk-in repairs are dealt with for less than $65. One recent case involved a much beloved Yamaha acoustic from the early 1980's. The owner hadn't played for about two decades leaving the guitar in 'hospitable' storage (ie; not in a damp basement or hot & cold attic) and brought it in for 'resurrection'. Luckily, the guitar responded well to adjustments and was made to play exceptionally well. The cost of extensive setup, restringing and overall conditioning was around $75, on the low side of the guitars market value. In these instances one should carefully inspect the guitar for any issues, or bring it in for us to look it over free of charge, and research the market value as well. In most cases you'll be spending less than half of a modestly priced guitar's value adjusting and renewing it's function. In the case of highly valuable instruments, it's a matter of deciding between function and restoration. Is this a family heirloom, an investment, or a 'working classic'?

We hope this didn't get to verbose for you and helped clarify some of what we do here at Wakefield Music Co.? Since we love playing guitars and basses as much as servicing them, you'll agree it's best not to neglect one of your closest friends!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

C O L D !!!

We've been warming up the deals this week so stop in and spot some of our mid-winter reductions on select instruments with bright orange tags! ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Kentucky Mandolins in this week-all solid wood at a reasonable price!

Monday, February 4, 2013

If you're feeling nostalgic about past victories, check out our Super Bowl display of all the half-time artists from 1994 to 2013!