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How much do you pay for a setup?


TRBboy
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[quote name='6v6' timestamp='1374835916' post='2153793']
If you're expecting any fretwork (fret-dress/polish etc) I'd be very wary of anything under about £50, as it probably means it'll be a rush-job and not very good.

I've always paid about £50 for a full setup and fret-dress, and if the frets are OK I just do it myself, as others have said it's really not that hard other than fretwork.
[/quote]

Or they could be offering a fellow musician a great deal?! ;)

That's why we do!

I've had people in our workshop who paid an arm and a leg for work on their bass that was shoddy at best! it's not the amount you pay, it's the man / woman you pay it to that makes the difference! There is nothing worse than being over charged for rather average work! :)

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1374817559' post='2153514']
I've seen the Bass Gallery charge someone £30. So it's not "London Weighting" all over London.


Playsomething in Bishops Stortford do it for a bargain sum of £100 with strings thrown in! Bargain!

By the way, their guy is crap too.
[/quote]

Hi there,

Just read this. I actually work in the shop that carried out this setup.

Just for the record, the music shop in Bishops Stortford where I work, is now an independent music store called De Rosa Music. We are no longer part of Playsomething.

I feel I should set the record straight regarding the bass setup fee. Was it actually £100 as I've checked through our records and there is ONE bass that we charged £100 to fully setup & restring. This was from July 2011?

That cost is higher than we would normally expect, however if you break down the costs, a set of strings is roughly £25, a full setup £55 then add on VAT as a retailer, and a small element of profit. As a company we only use fully qualified engineers for all our repairs (guitars or otherwise) and in all cases we provide a quote in advance which the customer will have accepted in advance.

We never pressuarise anyone into accepting repairs that they cannot afford, and we never proceed without the customers say so.

I Hope this explains why a bill may be £100 in some cases. Typically a standard bass setup would be a lot less than £100, so I hope that clears up that price issue.

Although this setup may have been two years ago, if any customer is unhappy with our service, we would encourage them to come back and talk to us about any problems they may have (even 2 years later!)

As a local music shop, myself & my team aim to support our local community so if there's anything that you need, please call De Rosa Music in Bishops Stortford on 01279 465155.

Cheers,
Jamie! :)

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Hi Jamie and all readers,

As Jamie has raised this issue I feel it's probably not right to simply describe the set-up as "crap". So here's some more information to be fair to the shop.

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]The bass was an Ibanez EBS600, No real problems but a slight buzz at the 9th fret on the E string. I was a noob and didn't know what the problem was. So I took it into the Bishops Stortford shop and was simply told, it needs a setup, £75 please. I agreed and left it there. I got a phone call later suggesting a new set of strings; £25 more or the set up would be a waste of time.[/color][/font]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]2 weeks later it was ready for collection. I got it home and found [/font][/color][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]the intonation was out and there were far more buzzes on all strings, right up to the 5th fret. Nice low action but not good. I took it back and was told to take it to their Ware shop to discuss it. I went to Ware, 10 miles away. They agreed it was unusually poor set up, but their guy is amazing so this was a freak situation.[/color][/font]

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]After another 2 weeks it was ready, but again I should go to Ware to collect it. It was ok-ish, but the action was amazingly high. Being a vertigo sufferer, I then took to watching vids on you tube I did a better job myself. I now build basses for myself and do my own set ups and re-build the electrics, so I wont have a problem now. [/color][/font] :)

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]If I can help further do let me know. [/font][/color]

Kind offer Jamie, but if you're a separate business now, I don't expect you at [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]De Rosa Music to fork out a refund. At the time Playsomething in Ware just told me I was too fussy and to go away.[/font][/color]

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]With respect to only using qualified engineers; That's nice. But a qualified slap-dash guy is worse than a good enthusiastic amateur.[/color][/font]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I now [/font][/color][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]go to Gig Gear in Harlow for all my needs and can't speak highly enough of their service.[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Cheers[/font][/color]
[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Richard[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]PS if anyone in the area wants a set up I do a great job! :D[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Edit: yes June 2011 is about right. But memories of bad service are long.[/font][/color]

Edited by Grangur
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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1374922930' post='2154803']
Hi Jamie and all readers,

As Jamie has raised this issue I feel it's probably not right to simply describe the set-up as "crap". So here's some more information to be fair to the shop.

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]The bass was an Ibanez EBS600, No real problems but a slight buzz at the 9th fret on the E string. I was a noob and didn't know what the problem was. So I took it into the Bishops Stortford shop and was simply told, it needs a setup, £75 please. I agreed and left it there. I got a phone call later suggesting a new set of strings; £25 more or the set up would be a waste of time.[/color][/font]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]2 weeks later it was ready for collection. I got it home and found [/font][/color][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]the intonation was out and there were far more buzzes on all strings, right up to the 5th fret. Nice low action but not good. I took it back and was told to take it to their Ware shop to discuss it. I went to Ware, 10 miles away. They agreed it was unusually poor set up, but their guy is amazing so this was a freak situation.[/color][/font]

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]After another 2 weeks it was ready, but again I should go to Ware to collect it. It was ok-ish, but the action was amazingly high. Being a vertigo sufferer, I then took to watching vids on you tube I did a better job myself. I now build basses for myself and do my own set ups and re-build the electrics, so I wont have a problem now. [/color][/font] :)

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]If I can help further do let me know. [/font][/color]

Kind offer Jamie, but if you're a separate business now, I don't expect you at [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]De Rosa Music to fork out a refund. At the time Playsomething in Ware just told me I was too fussy and to go away.[/font][/color]

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]With respect to only using qualified engineers; That's nice. But a qualified slap-dash guy is worse than a good enthusiastic amateur.[/color][/font]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I now [/font][/color][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]go to Gig Gear in Harlow for all my needs and can't speak highly enough of their service.[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Cheers[/font][/color]
[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Richard[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]PS if anyone in the area wants a set up I do a great job! :D[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Edit: yes June 2011 is about right. But memories of bad service are long.[/font][/color]
[/quote]

That would be a very basic set up then?

Do you level frets etc,cut nut slots with the CORRECT files,what relief do you aim for,for say a 71/4" rad neck?

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Yes, what was ordered was a really basic set up and they messed even that up.

I didn't ask them to level frets etc, it didn't need it the bass was hardly used.

To answer your other questions, I'd set the relief to .35 on a 7.25 neck.
I wouldn't file the nut slots. On a bass if they're uneven i'd probably change the nut..

If you're looking to sort out uneven frets. I'd recommend you take it to the Bass Gallery. Martin's a great guy. He'll give you good service from my experience.

Edited by Grangur
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[quote name='nosbig' timestamp='1374936508' post='2154973']
Well, to be fair, a lot of new guitars frets do need sorting so what you say isnt really valid?
[/quote]
Maybe, but I'm not talking about a lot of instruments. I'm talking about this one.

[quote name='nosbig' timestamp='1374936606' post='2154976']
Ps didnt K11 say it was a Full set up you had?
[/quote]
This one may have been taken in to do "the full works" but it didn't need it. So the one that got "taken in" was me.
And it doesn't matter what you can try to score points over. This set up was a mess and it's THIS set up we're discussing.

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I'm [u][i]very f[/i][/u]ussy about my setups , as , I suspect , are many other folks on here . That is why I have learnt to do my own through years of trial and error and learning how to do things the best way . I have had setups done by techs who were the very best in the business , and even though they did a good job , the results didn't suit me as well as my own adjustments . By setup I mean the basic adjustment of a perfectly - functioning bass , though ; things like fret dressing and nut work comes under the category of repair rather than setup , in my book .

Edited by Dingus
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[quote name='jamie_k11' timestamp='1374928135' post='2154862']
Hi Richard,

Thank you for the full explanation. Next time your passing call in, I'd love to meet you and hope De Rosa Music becomes the store that would would chose to use on a regular basis. Have a nice weekend.

Many thanks,
Jamie
[/quote]
Thank you Jamie for a professional response.
Terry, regretfully seems un-aware of the old saying, "you won't ever win an argument with a customer". With his responses I guess he's your tech.

I'm in the market for 2 new sets of strings and an Ashdown amp. Yet with Terry's responses do you think I'll be back?

Sorry guys, but "when in a hole; stop digging".


Hey Dingus!! +1

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Jon Shuker charged me £70 for a full setup on my GB including

Dressing of the frets
New brass threaded countersunk holes for the electronics compartment.
Change of strings (I supplied) and
A full rewire of a series/parallel switch which coincidently Bernie at GB was going to charge for a full electronic overhaul.. For the sum of..

Well let's just say it had 3 digits and it started with a number greater than 3 but less that 5

Jon put the electrical problems I was having (due to my in house electronics guru Kagan the Bengal cat) right after 2 other guitar techs said it couldn't be done.

But Jon does have a degree in electronics.. So I guess that helped lol

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[quote name='CHRISDABASS' timestamp='1374904515' post='2154577']
Or they could be offering a fellow musician a great deal?! ;)

That's why we do!

I've had people in our workshop who paid an arm and a leg for work on their bass that was shoddy at best! it's not the amount you pay, it's the man / woman you pay it to that makes the difference! There is nothing worse than being over charged for rather average work! :)
[/quote]

Well "mates rates" which seems to be what you're implying is fine, but the OP's question seemed to be more about standard/realistic prices for a decent setup from an established/experienced tech or luthier, but I fully agree paying over the odds for average work sucks. Paying too little and getting below-average work is just as bad tho IMHO:

If the setup includes a full fret-dress/re-crown/polish and a really thorough clean and setup of the instrument, I know the work involved is at least an hour, probably more if the frets are really worn. So if you're routinely paying a lot less than about £50 for this, then one or more of the following is probably true (ignoring mates rates):

- The tech is inexperienced, therefore cheap, job may be shoddy
- The tech is experienced but rushed the job to keep the price down, job may be shoddy
- They are not covering their costs (won't be around next year when you need another setup)

Ultimately if you can offer a really good fret-dress/setup for less then great, but IME most places (which stay in business) charge a realistic amount which covers their costs, not to say all of them do a great job, so I guess going on recommendation is the only way to be sure.

Edit: spelling

Edited by 6v6
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Maybe some charge less where the tech is stationed IN a shop and a bargain basic-set-up is a carrot to get punters to come to the shop.

There must be loads of bass players who buy books and stuff online and if they're happy with their gear, why go to a shop?

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Without the correct tools or knowledge I can get mine how I like them.

But when I take them to the luthier I use, who does the job properly, well it`s night & day syndrome. Almost like putting your car in for a service/tune-up, it just feels better all over.

I think with this though, it helps to actually know how you want the bass set up in the first place. A luthier isn`t a mind reader. Without me telling them that I`m a hard-hitter, so very low action and pickup height near the strings not being helpful, well they won`t know. So establish what you want from them, then tell them, then the job can be judged on whether it`s good or not.

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Kind of irrelevant now, but in the op I was meaning just get polish, not stoning/dressing/crowning, etc. I did also mean for a quality job, regardless of price.

As an aside, when I used to do setups for people, I would always ask the customer what they didn't like about the current setup, and how they wanted the end result to be. If you don't know what you're trying to achieve, how do you know what you're supposed to be doing, right?! I would also say when they came to collect it that if they weren't happy with the results or wanted it tweaking a bit, to let me know and I'd sort it out for them.

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1374922930' post='2154803']
[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]The bass was an Ibanez EBS600, No real problems but a slight buzz at the 9th fret on the E string. I was a noob and didn't know what the problem was. So I took it into the Bishops Stortford shop and was simply told, it needs a setup, £75 please. I agreed and left it there. I got a phone call later suggesting a new set of strings; £25 more or the set up would be a waste of time.[/color][/font][/quote]

[font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][size="3"][color="#000000"]Is it normal to be told you [/color][/size][i][color=#222222][size=2]have[/size][/color][/i][size="3"][color="#000000"] to buy new strings when getting a set up? This was the last couple of times I had a bass set up, even though I told the tech that I didn't want them, and that I preferred my fat, old strings. This was in more than one shop, so I assumed it was standard practice, if a bit unusual because I always believed the bass should be set up to the owner's requirements. That's why I do my own set ups now, although I might have to get someone else to take a look at the truss on my P Bass.[/color][/size][/font][size="3"][color="#000000"][font="Times New Roman"][color=#222222][font=Arial][size=2][/size][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size]

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[size=4][quote name='Jono Bolton' timestamp='1375182951' post='2157654'][/size]
[font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][size=3][color=#000000]Is it normal to be told you [/color][/size][i][size=2]have[/size][/i][size=3][color=#000000] to buy new strings when getting a set up? This was the last couple of times I had a bass set up, even though I told the tech that I didn't want them, and that I preferred my fat, old strings. This was in more than one shop, so I assumed it was standard practice, if a bit unusual because I always believed the bass should be set up to the owner's requirements. That's why I do my own set ups now, although I might have to get someone else to take a look at the truss on my P Bass.[/color][/size][/font]
[/quote]
[size=3]Yes, it's funny how when I want my old bass from home to have a set-up it's imperative for it to have new strings. Yet if I buy a bass from the shop and they do a set-up for me when I buy it, the old strings are perfectly good for a few more months.

Funny that...[/size]

Edited by Grangur
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