so don't forget to visit and follow thanks!
Offering Guitar Repairs, Restorations and Customisations, throughout Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, Torbay, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Exeter, Plymouth & Devon!
We're still busy in the workshop and working on something new behind the scenes, so apologies for the lack of posts. Remember we regularly upload our latest repairs on our Facebook page:
so don't forget to visit and follow thanks!
A bit of a different blog post, apologies to our regular blog followers, with everything that has been going on and our busy workload we've fallen behind with our posts. We will be slowly catching up and backdating our posts for the monthly repairs. Don't forget to follow us on our Facebook page as we regularly post photos of our latest repairs through the workshop.
In the meantime, we thought we'd share some information on intonation, below is our reply to a customer during a conversation about intonation on his mandolin. We though we would post it here to hopefully this shed some light on this topic.
'Intonation is a funny thing, and it’s very easy to get caught up with it and get obsessed with it being perfect. Sadly the truth is it will never be 100% on basically any fretted instrument. The fretboard is basically one big compromise, taking the guitar as an example, intonation basically isn’t correct on any string fretted or even open. It’s still based on a design from 100 plus years ago where digital tuners weren’t invented. As the notes sounded ‘in tune’ at the time of the manufacture, the design was viewed as perfect to use. The whole design is essentially one big compromise.
Although technology has progressed, the design has remained the same to this day (except for the compensated fretboard). All players have grown used to the way the guitar sounds so unless the player has perfect pitch, the player normally cannot hear the minor differences in pitch on each note. The only time these issues normally arise is during recording using modern ‘plug ins’ where the computer can pick up these issues. Although the compensated fretboard does deliver each fret in theoretical perfect pitch, it sometimes cannot be useful when playing with other instruments, as they sounds slightly out if the ear can hear the differences (unless all the instruments have the same compensated board).
Also to add into the mix, intonation can hugely be affected by how hard the player pressed down on the frets and how hard they strike the strings. For example a guitar with jumbo tall frets, if a player presses down very hard when playing, the string actually gets stretched slightly over the fret, which causes it to go sharp. The string gauge and the age of the strings can also affect intonation too, along with the pitch they are tuned to. Yet again this is down to the tension of the strings. The age of the strings can also affect intonation as they decay over time.
With all this said however, any string instrument should be intonated so that it sounds in tune to the ear and basically in tune with a guitar tuner (most tuners compensate slightly for the fluctuation). If a string is reading sharp at the 12th fret (or mid point between the nut and the bridge saddle) then the string length needs to be extended slightly. If the string is flat, the string length needs to be shortened slightly. The most common way to test intonation is to play the harmonic at the 12th and it should match the fretted 12th note, ideally this should also match the open played note although this isn’t always the case with ever instrument.'
If you're concerned about the intonation on your instrument, please get in touch with us and we'll be happy to arrange booking in your instrument. Thanks for reading!
Once the old lacquer was removed the attention was turned to the scratchplate and the wiring.
The selector switch had been replaced with 3 mini toggle switches sometime in it's past. The wiring and the plate was a state when we removed the scratchplate.
The wiring complete back to factory standard with a new CRL switch fitted. We even found matching wire were needed and stained to blend in with the existing wire.
With all the work done, the guitar was reassembled, and setup ready to play!
We left the headstock and neck alone as it had already been through enough trauma, you can see from the photos below where the previous owner had tried to remove all the sticky lacquer, removing the logo in the process!
This cool, one of only 100 made, 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Dean ML was recently in the workshop for a guitar MOT and fret polish after years of storage!
The custom pickup covers had began to rust as the previous owner hadn’t stored the guitar correctly along with the frets!
We gently cleaned and polished off the rust, carefully preserving the custom pattern on the pickups, the other hardware was gently polished too to remove the worst of the oxidation. The frets were hand polished to a shine before the guitar was restrung with black strings!
This awesome LTD Kirk Hammett Ouija Signature Limited Edition was recently in the workshop to have custom pickup covers fitted!
The pickup covers were custom ordered by the customer and carefully fitted before the guitar was restrung!
Unfortunately we’ve entered another national lockdown, however this time the government have changed their guidelines slightly allowing ‘businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services’
This means fortunately we are able to stay open for a drop off/collection ‘click and collect’ style service!
All visits into the workshop are not allowed, however socially distanced drop off and collections can be arranged strictly by appointment only thanks. All discussions regarding your instrument will be by phone/email/text/messenger or WhatsApp.
For the updates on our latest repairs/customisations/restorations, please like our page Facebook.com/TorbayGuitarRepairs to follow our work!
Thank you for your support during these difficult times!
A massive thank you to all our customers during this eventful and testing year.
We’ve still been amazingly lucky with customers new and familiar, we’ve loved repairing/working on all the instruments.
Roll on 2021, we’ve a huge year planned next year as it’s the 10th anniversary of Torbay Guitar Repairs, so expect some cool things throughout the year!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!
This vintage Gremlin guitar was in the workshop during lockdown for some major repair work while we were shut.
It’s neck had been broken away from the body!
Once it was repaired, it’s was setup and the top of the guitar was hand polished to complete the restoration!
As the neck was basically completely detached from the body! It had a nasty crack running down either side of the body. The neck was carefully reglued back into position, with attention to ensure the neck angle was correct!
Some cosmetic work was done to the top of the guitar either side of the damage to hide the repair. The damage to the back of the neck/body joint was also tidied too!
This cool 62’ style project Jazz bass we assembled and setup while we were closed for lockdown!
As the customer wanted a ‘62 style bass, the decision was made to have an old style copper strip earth wire. These are almost impossible to buy new so we made our own!
The bridge fitted with the copper earthing wire plus we made an earthing plate for the pickups as found in vintage Fender basses.
The rest of the parts were assembled on the body and the scratchplate was fitted after the holes were drilled!
We stained the edges of the scratchplate and gave it a very light scuffing to match it in with the aged body.
It was then time for stringing and setup!
Great news! The workshop is back open and up and running!
We’ve already started contacting customers on our waiting list and will be contacting the remaining people shortly.
Due to Tier 2 Covid restrictions, all visits to the workshop will be a short as possible with drop off/ collections thanks. We’re still happy to give advice but this will be over the phone/email/messenger/WhatsApp.
We kindly ask that customers wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. Anyone with symptoms/suspected symptom, please let us know and we can reschedule your appointment.
Looking forward to seeing you and your instrument soon!
Hi, I'm Lewis, Ive been repairing guitars since 2004, I learnt my craft at Totnes School of Guitar Making!
For guitar repairs and customisations by Lewis Durtnall, email TorbayGuitarRepairs@live.co.uk!