I asked Google Bard to write a short essay on choosing a luthier. Mostly because I am tired and lazy.
Choosing a luthier is an important decision for any musician. A good luthier can repair and maintain your instruments, and can also build you a custom instrument if you desire. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a luthier:
Experience: A luthier with experience will be able to diagnose and repair problems with your instruments quickly and efficiently. They will also be able to build you a custom instrument that meets your specific needs.
Skill: A skilled luthier will be able to work with a variety of materials and techniques to create beautiful and functional instruments. They will also be able to repair damage to your instruments without compromising their sound or playability.
Communication: A good luthier will be able to communicate with you effectively about your needs and expectations. They will also be able to answer any questions you have about their work.
Once you have found a few potential luthiers, it is a good idea to visit their shops and meet with them in person. This will give you a chance to see their work firsthand and to get a feel for their personality and work ethic. It is also important to get references from other musicians who have used their services.
Choosing a luthier is an important decision, but it does not have to be a difficult one. By following these tips, you can find a luthier who can meet your needs and help you keep your instruments in top condition.
Here are some additional tips for choosing a luthier:
Ask around: Talk to other musicians you know and ask them who they use for repairs and custom builds.
Check online reviews: There are many websites where you can read reviews of luthiers in your area.
Visit the luthier’s shop: Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s important to visit the luthier’s shop and see their work firsthand.
Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask the luthier questions about their experience, skills, and work ethic.
Get a quote: Be sure to get a quote from the luthier before you commit to any work.
Choosing a luthier is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. By following these tips, you can find a luthier who can meet your needs and help you keep your instruments in top condition.
I may have found a luthier to work on my two old guitars. He’s taking new customers and does full refrets, and his prices are a lot lower than the one estimate I have. The downside is that he’s in Rockport, so it’s a serious drive.
In honor of this news, I asked Google Bard to write a short blog post about refretting an electric guitar. Here it the response:
Refretting an Electric Guitar
Refretting an electric guitar is a process of replacing the frets on the fingerboard. Fret wear is a natural process that occurs over time as the strings are played. As the frets wear, they can become uneven, which can cause buzzing and other problems. Refretting can improve the playability and sound of your guitar, and it can also extend the life of the instrument.
There are a few different ways to refret an electric guitar. The most common method is to use a fret saw to remove the old frets and then to install new frets using a fret press. This process requires specialized tools and skills, and it is best to have it done by a professional luthier.
If you are a skilled DIYer, you can refret your own guitar. There are a number of resources available online and in libraries that can teach you how to do it. However, it is important to note that refretting is a complex process, and it is easy to make mistakes. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is best to have it done by a professional.
Here are some of the benefits of refretting an electric guitar:
Improved playability: New frets are smooth and even, which makes it easier to play your guitar.
Improved sound: New frets can improve the sound of your guitar by reducing buzzing and other problems.
Extended life: Refretting can extend the life of your guitar by preventing further fret wear.
If you are considering refretting your electric guitar, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to decide whether you want to do it yourself or have it done by a professional. Second, you need to choose the right type of frets. There are a number of different types of frets available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Finally, you need to budget for the cost of refretting. The cost of refretting can vary depending on the type of guitar, the materials used, and the labor costs in your area.
If you are serious about improving the playability and sound of your electric guitar, refretting is a great option. By following the tips above, you can choose the right method for you and get the best results possible.
I Googled “luthiers near Boston” and this was one of the things that came up. 40 or so Luthiers to research. I didn’t count the Guitar Centers. They’ve let me down once.
I also may have just sent a message to Gibson’s repairs department. Wiring, frets, and a nut. What would that cost me? They also offer a service that they call “total restoration.” I’m going to be honest here and say that I drooled a little when I read that. I also asked what that entails.
I’m not doing any of this until COVID-19 is dealt with. I’m likely not doing any of it even then, but we’re in quarantine so why not fantasize a little?
After all the 335 fuss yesterday I took a second to Google Luthiers near Boston to see if I could find someone to work on my ES 335 (after the COVID-19 mess is over, of course). I found a few that might be worth talking to. I just need to figure out what I want them to do.
I know some of the wiring is failing. Asking to have the wiring checked and have anything that is fixable fixed and anything that isn’t fixable replaced is the minimum. But if I am going through this process, should I have anything else done? The nut could probably handle being replaced. The frets are not just worn, but are worn pretty unevenly. My Les Paul is the same way. I am terrified by the thought of a refret, but maybe I could have it done on this guitar as a test case before having it done on the Les Paul. Then there’s the electronics themselves. If they are going to pop everything out, should I just have them put new pots in across the board?
I took these questions to the repair desk at a Guitar Center a couple of years ago, and the tech there told me to ship the Guitar to Memphis and have Gibson do it for me (did he say Memphis or Nashville? I don’t remember). He didn’t want to touch it. All he was willing to do was blast some compressed air through the electronics to clean any dirty connections. After that discussion I saw a video on youtube where a tech was working on the wiring of a 335 and he actually unglued the top of the body to get at the electronics. Well screw that, I thought. That’s about the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen happen to a guitar. That was like watching torture porn. It was just awful.
Today as I was looking at a price list from a Luthier in Boston I couldn’t help but notice there were no separate price lists for semi-hollow and hollow guitars. What did that mean? Did it maybe mean that the video I watched was, oh I don’t know, overkill? Or maybe (fingers crossed) just plain wrong?
Off to youtube I went.
Working on the wiring is a lot simpler than I was lead to believe. Thank you, god Clapton. For a guy like me who doesn’t have the “fix it” or “electrician” genes in his DNA, it was still pretty terrifying. It makes me think that it might not be as awful as I thought it would be though. Maybe there would be enough money for a refret after all.