Sloan Guitar Works
Services
Serving Monticello, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Delphi, Kokomo and all of North Central Indiana
Call: 888-664-2879 for electric and acoustic guitar repair, modification, customization, and parts.
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Get Ready for Fall Gigging
Get Your Guitar Ready for Fall - Fall means time to get your guitar all tuned up after a good hard summer of gigging. The change in weather means changes in your guitar setup sometimes too. Bring it by for a checkup and make sure it's ready for another season.

Things That Go Wrong
First, let me say, the following items aren't just limited to guitars that have been played for a while, brand new guitars off the shelf often have less than optimal setups too.
Fret wear - you start to get little divits, or indentations in the frets under the strings, usually on the first 5 frets more than others. You may not notice it because it happens slowly but you'll begin to experience string buzz & poor tuning. The action just keeps getting worse as you try to adjust these divits out..... but you can't. You need to either have a few frets replaced or level out all the frets.
Neck Bow - Guitars are wooden. They react to changes in climate, and around here that happens 4 times a year. Again, the typical problem as a result will be string buzz or action changes that make your guitar harder to play.
Nut and Saddle Wear - Nut and saddle material start to wear grooves where the strings exert their downward pressure. Bending strings and just tuning your guitar make the strings slide backwards and forwards cutting the string slots deeper and deeper over time. At some point you need to have a new nut or saddle (for an acoustic) installed to get things back in position. Also, if you change string size your nut will need to either be replaced or recut or your strings will either lie too loosely in the slots or to tightly and not fit the slot causing your action to be higher and creating major tuning problems.
Loose Frets - Neck and fingerboards start to dry out with time and frets that once were good and tight may start to pull away from the fretboard. Of course this will cause problems again such as the usual tuning, buzzing, and intonation, but you may also get a string caught under a fret edge as well.This isn't unusual to find on brand new guitars as well.
Sharp Fret Edges - Got a new guitar? Run your finger tips up the side of the neck and feel the fret edges.... Are they rough with a sharp edge? Most are. This can be not only just plain irritating, it can also cause problems with strings catching and breaking. They should instead be round and smooth. That is how a good a quality guitar should always feel. It proves that the manufacturer cares about quality and spends the little bit of extra time to make a comfortable quality instrument.
Poor Action - Are you comfortable playing your guitar? Does it feel like your hands get tired while playing? New players often just blame themselves for not becoming better players after working hard at it for months, but lots of times - and I do mean LOTS OF TIMES, the problem is the guitar.So many guitars are just poorly set up. It is absolutely astonishing to me how many guitars come straight out of the factory with a totally crappy set up. Expensive guitars, cheap guitars.... it doesn't matter, you will find them everywhere.
Too many guitarist give up learning how to play just because their guitars take all the fun out of it. And new guitarists tend to buy cheap guitars which just compounds the problem. So take your guitar to a good luthier - more than likely they can be made to play much much better and easier....... It's so much more fun to play a well set up guitar. It's worth the small cost of having a professional do it right.
Intonation Problems - Most guitarists know that saddle placement is critical in getting your guitar to be intonated correctly - in other words, it plays in tune at every fret position all the way up the neck, but another issue affects it as well, the height of the string over the first fret. If the nut is not slotted to the correct and lowest depth possible two things will happen, 1) it will be much more difficult to play, and 2) when you press the string down you will be increasing the tension so much that it will take your guitar out of tune. You will notice it more when playing chords in the 1st through 5th fret area, and less at the 12th fret. So, you may have perfect intonation at the 12th fret but everything in between, eh, not so good. Your G string will be incredibly awful sounding....... ever noticed that???? I'll bet you have. The G is notorious for never sounding like it's really in tune.

Sloan Guitar Works is not like the repair shop at your favorite music store. I work directly with you to make sure we both understand what needs to be changed or repaired. My one and only business is repairing, modifying, customizing, and building guitars. I take pride in making your guitar better when it leaves my shop than it was when it came in! I take the time to find out what your playing style is, the genre you normally play, and your budget. You and I will decide together what will work best after taking these things into consideration.


The following is a partial list of the services offered at Sloan Guitar Works. The prices for services shown are of course approximate, but if your guitar is in average condition and there are no unusual issues these prices will be accurate.


Not all services are listed, so be sure to give me a call for estimates on services you don't see here. Also, please keep in mind that each situation is different. The prices listed are general estimates and sometimes may be less or more depending on the particular instrument.  There will be no surprises though. You and I will discuss in detail your wishes and if there are additional costs we will discuss in advance.

Setups – What’s included? I do 6 different setups…. And combination's of each. It just depends on what works best for your guitar. I like to take some time to sit down, discuss your playing style, genre you play most, and your budget.  When I am finished working on your guitar we will play and listen and make sure it's set up the way you like it before you leave.


The basic setup - consists of truss rod adjustment, check for, and fix, high or loose frets, make sure the nut is slotted correctly, bridge is set correctly, intonate, and polish.$65.00

Fall Special Pricing $55.00

 

Extensive Setup – All of the usual stuff you get with the basic PLUS I level all frets using state of the art tools and gauges, adjust nut slot depth, crown, polish, and smooth fret ends, . PLUS – create fall off on the last 12 frets so your action can be as low as possible without string buzz. Our goal will be to get the strings as close to the fretboard as possible and where you like them!

$95.00 

Fall Pricing $85

 

Extensive Setup and Nut Replacement – All of the above AND a new nut of your choice!

$130.00

Fall Pricing $120

 

Tremolo System, Basic Setup with non-locking nut – You get all of the basic setup work plus I will set up the Tremolo to work like a Tremolo should! This is assuming the nut does not need replaced.

$85.00

Fall Price $70

 

Tremolo System and Extensive Setup – Extensive set up (see above), and professional Tremolo system setup.

$110.00

 

Tremolo System, Extensive Setup, and Nut Replacement – Most of the time I suggest if you have a tremolo go with this. You get an extensive setup with Fall Away, leveled frets re-crowned and polished, fret ends smoothed and buffed, PLUS a brand new slippery nut of your choice and professionally set up Tremolo. 

$130.00

 

Floyd’s: I charge basically the same prices for work on guitars equipped with Floyd Tremolo systems. Obviously we won’t replace your nut, but there are certain adjustments I can make with the locking nut that may be able to improve the guitar’s action and playability so the services available to you would be either a Tremolo System & Basic Setup, or Tremolo System & Extensive Setup


Re-Fretting - Most total re-fret jobs for unbound necks will fall in the $210 range. A bound neck will run about $230.

A total re-fret job includes an extensive set up with nut replacement.


Single fret replacement is $10 per fret, however in most cases it will be necessary to do a set up that could possibly include replacing the nut. Your new fret will be taller, of course, because the old frets have been worn down, so your nut slots will probably be too low, meaning the Nut will need to be replaced. When doing partial re-fret work of at least 6 frets, I will do an extensive set up with nut replacement, if you wish, for a reduced price of $80.


Refinish Work - I can refinish a guitar that has been sanded with paint removed for anywhere from $250 to $350. Metallic paint usually falls in the $300 to $350 range. I use only nitrocellulose lacquer for the best in stringed instrument finish and tone. Removing most finishes will cost about $60 generally. Why buy a new guitar when you can customize the one you have and make it one of a kind.

A word about Nut Replacement

Why would you want to replace the nut? Sometimes you don’t need to. Maybe the string slots simply need to be re-cut. Why re-cut? The slots need to be cut width-wise exactly to the size of the strings you are using otherwise keeping your guitar in tune will be impossible. Your strings will get wedged in the nut slot and not slide forward and backward when you tighten the strings or bend notes. This is really a problem if you use a whammy bar!

 

 

Tone is affected by the Nut Material. Bone, Ivory, Micarta, Graph Tech’s Tusq, are just a few of the common materials used to build a nut. They all have different properties you need to consider depending on the result you wish to achieve. Is it sustain you are looking for or more treble? More bass? A smooth working Tremolo?

 

So as you can see there are lots of factors to consider, and that make estimating repair costs difficult as well. Here are some ball park figures:

 

Nut replacement only - $30

 


At Sloan Guitar Works, I specialize in setting up non-locking nut Tremolo systems so you can dive bomb till your heart is content and not go out of tune. Using a slippery nut, cut and slotted correctly, and proper tremolo spring adjustment you can come back in tune as well as any locking nut system without the hassle of a locking nut. If only Hendrix’s guitar tech had known how, we wouldn’t have to listen to so many live recording of his out of tune guitar! He also had issues created by a vintage six-point tremolo. Modern two point systems simply work better. With my setup you will be able to push and pull your tremolo. Some techs simply lock the tremolo so that you can only push down so the not drops but you can pull up to raise the note. That's just taking the easy way out. If you want to get the most out of your whammy bar let me set it up for you. You'll be able to push and pull and always come back in tune.

It's important to remember a Tremolo system is moving mechanical parts and your strings have to move freely or you will go out of tune every time you use it. I'll show you how to maintain and lubricate parts so it works well and stays in tune.

More about Tremolo systems: Not all tremolo systems are equal. A Floyd Rose "licensed" tremolo is not always the same as the true Floyd. I have had some serious issues with licensed Floyd's. Some are made of cheap metal that is soft and does not hold up well. So be careful when purchasing a guitar with a locking nut tremolo. They may play well for a while, but I believe in guitars that are made to last a lifetime. They may cost a little more but they are worth it. HOWEVER, if you buy a guitar with the cheap Floyd, play it till it starts to have problems and the meantime put away a couple bucks a week for a replacement. There are excellent aftermarket systems that blow away most standard stock equipment! When you get ready to change it out, give me a call. Really, don't try to do it yourself or you could be dealing with years of headaches until you get it right.
 
What to look for in a trem system? Go with the "Big Block"! The more massive the block in your trem, the better the sustain, the highs, the lows, and stability.
I can help you find a trem that matches your style and budget. More on trems in a future blog on my blog site. In the meantime, just give me a call and we can discuss your preferences.
Refretting, crack repair, pot replacement, neck re-set, tuner replacement, neck replacement, saddle replacement and repair, electrical problem diagnosis - prices to be posted soon. Please call if you need quotes now.
Call toll free 888-664-2879