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#2815314 - 11/13/16 07:27 AM Do you have a maintenance & repair budget?
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
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Loc: Inside the Beltway
As much as we like to talk about our dream Guitars, or ultimate rigs in here, for me, the real dream would be having a maintenance and repair budget, so I never had to worry about taking one of my Guitars in for a major tune-up, so to speak.

I have a tool box dedicated to Guitar maintenance, with spare parts included, a shelf of cleaning supplies, a drawer full of string sets, and a good deal of experience maintaining my own instruments, but there are jobs well beyond my skill level - re-fretting would be one of those, or getting a neck re-set - where it would be nice to have the work done, without worrying about the expense. Even now, I see where I'll save money for some piece of gear, but I haven't really set any aside for emergency care.

Slight aside: This is one answer to the question of how many Guitars do you need. Having a spare means you can keep playing while an old favorite is being worked on; part of why I have two nearly identical SG's.

Anyone out there have a repair budget, or a repair plan, beyond "Oh, crap!"? I'd like to hear about it, if you do.
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#2815319 - 11/13/16 07:37 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
I have a place I recommend at a mom and pop with very good techs that make repairs and they are very reasonable on their charges, while doing excellent work...that's my plan. I can change strings, clean, set intonation on electrics, and make minor repairs. But, I like taking my guitars in for an initial set up when needed for $50 bucks or so which includes minor repairs. $80 bucks for fret jobs. Major repairs, neck adjustments, etc., I leave to the techs. I like to keep the budget under a hundred bucks. +1 on always having a spare to play while one is in the shop! cool
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#2815332 - 11/13/16 08:10 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9161
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Right about now I'm in the "Oh, Crap!" category. But since I don't NEED a spare for any reason, then I'd guide my repair budget on the "cheaper than replacing it" category.
Whitefang
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#2815359 - 11/13/16 10:27 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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Count me in the "Oh crap!" plan.
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#2815362 - 11/13/16 10:44 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Scott Fraser]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 1999
Loc: PA
I used to set up my instruments every time the seasons changed, but as my collection grew this became very expensive. I now have my 5 instruments set up twice a year. So, my annual maintenance budget is around $500 per annum
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#2815379 - 11/13/16 01:02 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Fred_C]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 4211
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
I have 4 guitars now down from 7 a few years ago. I sold the ones that had value, my 60's Les Paul Custom, my Philip Petillo custom made, and my Ovation Legend. I also sold and re-bought for the same price, my 2002 Gibson Faded SG (Which I put up on Craigslist for $1200 every week. It is a collectors item because it has the ebony fingerboard with half moon inlays, and is absolutely the very best neck of any guitar I have ever owned). But it is for sale if I can get a price very near that.

I do all of the work needed on my guitars, so I have no "maintenance budget" I care for them very well, I keep them in their hard shell cases, unless they are in my hands.
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#2815396 - 11/13/16 03:15 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: desertbluesman]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
+1 on keeping them in the case when they are not in your hands... thu

I do admit to having one guitar out of so many that I have lost count, that has never been in a case and it's always close by on a stand in my music room. It's my old '72 Fender acoustic beach and camping guitar. It is the most banged up guitar that I own, but it still plays pretty good...I call it my Willie Nelson LOL! cool


Edited by Larryz (11/13/16 03:20 PM)
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#2815504 - 11/14/16 12:28 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 10570
Loc: St. Louis, MO
This is something I haven't thought of, but is a really good idea - you know you're going to have expenses, may as well plan for them!

I play keys, bass, guitar, and sax, so each has its own concerns. I would break it down this way:

1) Consumables - strings, reeds, gaff tape, batteries. Stuff you know you're going to go through at a fairly predictable rate
2) Routine maintenance - setups, sax pad and cork replacement and adjustments, bad cord replacement.
3) Non-Routine Maintenance - jack/switch/pot replacement, Tube Replacement
4) Unexpected Repairs - complete failures, keys DOA needing replacement, body/neck damage, pedal/amp failures, etc.

In the past, when I was busier and paid better, I dealt with #4 by having a back up rig. If there was a catastrophic failure, I could go to my backup and buy myself some time to get another duplicate rig. These days I just keep my fingers crossed!
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2815508 - 11/14/16 01:28 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: J. Dan]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 12182
As a general rule I try to spend no more than 25% of my gross annual music receipts on gear in one years time. I broke the rule when I bought a new Korg workstation a while back. But that was a long term purchase that I needed too effective pull off a Pop music gig so in my mind I am amortizing the cost over the life of that band.

I try to treat music like a business.


Edited by CEB (11/14/16 01:28 PM)

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#2815558 - 11/14/16 11:20 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: CEB]
Dannyalcatraz Online   content
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Registered: 07/28/04
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Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I'm an "Oh Crap!"-er with lots of guitars. No real duplicates, though.
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#2815620 - 11/15/16 09:36 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
I just blew my budget on a luthier tool ($27 bucks) that's coming in the mail from Amazon...it's a tool that holds the jack in place so you can tighten the nut without twisting/breaking any wiring which voids the warranty. It also avoids having to take anything apart. Works on guitars, amps and pedals. My Epi 175 jack is coming loose again. It's been about a year or less that I had it tightened up by a tech at GC for free. I just don't want to travel a half hour each way and can do the job myself if I get the proper tool. I will let you guys know more about the new tool after I test it out, if it works well. If not, I'll let you know that too LOL! cool
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#2815726 - 11/16/16 04:26 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9161
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Sure. Let us know straight off.

My FIRST thought was, if it's still under warranty, why do it yourself at ALL?
Whitefang
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#2815763 - 11/16/16 07:51 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
My mom and pop store techs stopped doing warranty work on Gibson/Epiphone as they had trouble getting paid. GC does honor the warranty repairs on Gibson/Epiphone, so that's where I have to go and it's a little further down the road. It was funny though when I called to bring the guitar in and the GC tech said "just bring her in and I'll fix it for free...it's such a simple fix that it's not worth doing the warranty paperwork!" Anyway the input jack plug works loose over time and I can save gas and travel time doing the fix myself. Many people have to pay to have their guitars fixed after they twist the wires or break the solder joint by not anchoring the jack on the ES-175 (and similar guitars) before trying to tighten it. Once the DIY'ers mangle it up, they can't get the repair covered under the warranty. Best advice is to take it in if you don't have the tools.

You can spread forceps inside the jack and hold it in place while tightening, but I'm going to try a new tool that will do the job...it's getting good reviews. cool


Edited by Larryz (11/16/16 07:52 AM)
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#2815770 - 11/16/16 08:16 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 4211
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
Originally Posted By: Larryz
I just blew my budget on a luthier tool ($27 bucks) that's coming in the mail from Amazon...it's a tool that holds the jack in place so you can tighten the nut without twisting/breaking any wiring which voids the warranty. It also avoids having to take anything apart. Works on guitars, amps and pedals. My Epi 175 jack is coming loose again. It's been about a year or less that I had it tightened up by a tech at GC for free. I just don't want to travel a half hour each way and can do the job myself if I get the proper tool. I will let you guys know more about the new tool after I test it out, if it works well. If not, I'll let you know that too LOL! cool


Put some thread locker (Loctite) on the threads when you tighten the nut, the kind that can be loosened when needed.
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#2816237 - 11/19/16 10:57 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: desertbluesman]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
Thanks DBM...I was jamming with a buddy yesterday and he made the same suggestion about using Loctite (when I brought up my reoccurring nightmare LOL!). I have also been considering Loctite, but I was a little worried about trying to defeat the Loctite without banging/scratching things up if I ever need to get the nut back off some day...your suggestion on the kind that can be loosened is a good one! thu
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#2816246 - 11/19/16 11:37 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9161
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I think it's the same LOCTITE stuff they used for similar applications in the plant I worked. Don't know just WHAT it was called, but it WAS by Loctite. Good stuff!
Whitefang
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#2816277 - 11/19/16 02:58 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: whitefang]
Bottom End Offline
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Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 2235
Loc: VA
think there are three different grades of Loc-Tite, blue, yellow, and red. The red is practically permanent, the yellow is hold tightly, generally against vibration, but will break loose if a wrench and some force is applied. The blue holds fast, but is easier to break looss with tools.
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#2816329 - 11/20/16 03:55 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Winston Psmith]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 7844
Loc: Japan
My main electric was bought at a shop on `music street` near Tokyo-I found out that, basically minor adjustments and repairs are free of charge-forever.

I have an acoustic made in Phillipines that I`ve been using as a workshop for adjusting neck relief. It has problems including a major crack in the body, but plays and sounds fine when the relief is adjusted. I wish all my guitars were that easy,I can have it stageworthy in an hour.

Some of my other guitars-forget it. I tried-no way, They go to Merlin the guitar tech-which is a real challenge in this country. At the recent Tokyo Music Instrument Fair, I made a point of getting as many recommendations for guitar techs as possible.
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#2816338 - 11/20/16 04:40 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: skipclone 1]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9161
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
The stuff at my plant was a sort of umber color. They'd coat bolt threads with it and let it dry before using them.

Yeah, Skip----good guitar techs are like good auto mechanics in that as soon as you find one that you like and prefer, they move on and disappear.
Whitefang
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#2817053 - 11/23/16 10:20 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
My review will be: The tool came in the mail yesterday and it's going back today. the cost is $25 bucks and would have been worth it if it had worked. It may work for others but it did not work on my guitar. It got some good reviews or I would not have ordered one. It's a nice looking tool and a cool design idea...but, did not pass muster. It's made by Jacktight.com. Luckily Amazon has a good return policy... cool

Ps. I tried it 1st without the Loctite on the threads to see if the tool would work. I would recommend going this way no matter what tool is used.


Edited by Larryz (11/23/16 10:24 AM)
Edit Reason: ps.
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#2817055 - 11/23/16 10:23 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9161
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
That's too bad. I HATE it when I get disappointed like that. Hope you find something that works for ya.
Whitefang
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#2817059 - 11/23/16 10:29 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
Yeah, I will probably pickup a pair of forceps like the tech used and try again. Thank God I have an arsenal of guitars and can let one sit or go to the shop for awhile. I took the guitar to GC to get it covered free under the warranty but I may bite the bullet and take it to my main guy and just pay for a more permanent repair...
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#2821097 - 12/13/16 07:44 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
<Update Bump>: OK I returned the JackTight Ouput Jack Repair Kit tool and received a refund from Amazon. The cost was $20.99 + tax and shipping, as it did not work for me...

My son-n-law had also ordered the All Parts Bullet Guitar Jack Tightner #LT-1400-023, on Amazon for $12.59 + tax and shipping. He sent it home unopened for me to try tonight. It worked like a jewel and it took all of one minute to tighten the jack (to include taking the guitar out of the case and putting it back in!) I highly recommend them... I'm going to keep one in the case with this Epiphone ES-175 guitar LOL!

Now to find that blue Locktite! thu


Edited by Larryz (12/13/16 07:54 PM)
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#2851285 - 04/23/17 07:23 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9461
Loc: Northern California
<UPDATE-BUMP> on my Epi Es-175...OK, the jack loosened up again after a few months of playing. I was ready to attack that baby and apply the blue locktite and fix it once and for all with my new tool...but the new tool failed me. It only worked for one fix, then the plastic/rubber wore enough that it would not hold the jack from spinning. Pretty much the same problem with the 1st tool that I had sent back for a refund. I decided not to use the Blue Locktite as I may never be able to keep the jack from spinning enough to loosen the nut again if it my latest fix fails in a few months or so...

So, I'm wanting to use this guitar for a jam tomorrow and it's not wanting to go back together this evening! I came up with a cure and I was able to snake an open end wrench through the f-hole down to the grounding jack plate and keep it from spinning while tightening the nut with a metric 12 wrench on the outside...and...wah-lah, it's as tight as any tech could ever wish for! I'll be using it tomorrow for sure! If it comes loose again, I will use the Locktite on that sucker! cool
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#2851351 - 04/24/17 05:10 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9161
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Good show!

And good thing that wrench didn't slip outta your fingers. wink
Whitefang
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#2851363 - 04/24/17 06:46 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: whitefang]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 5584
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As one who's overall budget currently keeps me in an "as needed" status, this thread & some of its responses are a good reminder of the value of "self insurance".

Thanks, Winston, Fred, J Dan & CEB for some practical ideas !
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#2853802 - 05/05/17 04:06 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: d]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 2740
Gig money gets stashed for if something needs fixin'...

The Chinese VOX amps that I was warned about have not needed even tubes changed with gigging since 2009 (mostly on the AC15)...

I have a temperamental MIJ Jazzmaster that needs to be setup and adjusted from time to time and I probably should replace all of the wiring, other than that the guitars don't need much, other than the fact that I go through switchcraft jacks like crazy, breaking them somehow on everything.

I used to go through cables like crazy... a friend was cabling his studio and built me a set of heavy duty cables that lasted for about 5 years... but I started getting shorts in them, too. I go the great Jodavi Zzyzx Snap Jack magnetic cables and a couple of pedalsnakes and haven't had a problem, since.

I used to go through strings like crazy, then I started buying them in bulk, using string cleaner/conditioner (and having a lot more guitars). Now... seriously, I might go 6 months or a year on some of them without needing to change them (though I do kind of like them grimy and dead-ish, like Neil young does, on some guitars).

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#2853810 - 05/05/17 05:12 PM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: p90jr]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 12182
The Asian Voxi hold up a Hell of a lot better than the British built Voxi. Many Brits had transformers die. Sometimes I think they just didn't like 60 cycle Yankee power. The vintage Voxi that seemed to hold up best were the ones with Woden transformers.

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#2854243 - 05/08/17 11:12 AM Re: Do you have a maintenance & repair budget? [Re: CEB]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 2740
Originally Posted By: CEB
The Asian Voxi hold up a Hell of a lot better than the British built Voxi. Many Brits had transformers die. Sometimes I think they just didn't like 60 cycle Yankee power. The vintage Voxi that seemed to hold up best were the ones with Woden transformers.


Yep.

Also, the printed circuit boards are very substantial, and they didn't mount things like input jacks directly on the PCBs, which is the cause of trouble with them in so many amps. I know "nothing sounds like a real vintage tube Vox!" but these sound closer than any audience of non-cork-sniffing gear heads could ever hear, truthfully, and the trade-off in dependability (and affordability) is worth it!!!

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