All pricing is based on a rate of $75 per hour. Minimum shop fee is $37.50, which will be applied toward your final invoice. Unless otherwise noted*, prices indicated are labor costs only. I am a dealer for all of the fine D'Addario products and stock many of their quality string sets, along with items from their Planet Waves division like humidification systems, capos, straps, etc. Just let me know what you need and I'll supply it at extremely competitive pricing. Be sure to check out the "PLANS" page for several, cost-effective Church and School Service Plan options!
THIS is the FUN stuff! Your instrument may be well maintained and functioning just fine, but you are REALLY excited about trying out a new set of pickups...or think a different pickguard would look cool...or want speed knobs instead of top hats...or...The Sky's The Limit!! Below are just a few of the more common upgrades I've done over the years. Unless otherwise noted*, prices indicated are labor costs only. I will supply all parts necessary for each job at an extremely reasonable price.
Install Pickups: $45 - $150
I don't think there is any single upgrade you can make to your guitar or bass that will so drastically change/improve it's tone! I do more pickup swaps than anything else in the customization end of things. I'll swap or install pickups in any acoustic, electric or bass. The fee varies GREATLY because of the labor involved in swapping out a single coil pup versus a fresh install of a complete system in an acoustic guitar. Semi Hollow bodied instruments are ESPECIALLY time consuming because I'll be performing laparoscopic surgery through the F hole! When installing new pickups in electrics I HIGHLY recommend the Electronic Upgrade service below for full appreciation of the upgrade! Those new pups need to BREATHE!!!
Electronic Upgrade: $75 - $150
The first time I did this to my electric over 10 years ago I wasn't sure if it would make any sort of tonal difference. I was FLOORED the first time I plugged in, raked a chord and rolled my volume up. There was a HUGE difference in tone, clarity, volume, usability of the tone knob range, etc! The cost of this service *INCLUDES up to two feet of the highest quality Gavitt musical instrument pushback wire for your specific application, two or four CTS U.S.A. pots in either 250k or 500k depending on the application, a U.S.A. CRL or Switchcraft switch depending on the application, a U.S.A. Switchcraft mono jack and a tone capacitor chosen specifically for your setup. Only the very best silver audio solder will be used. Dual Single Coil instruments are on the lower end of the scale, and Dual humbucker equipped guitars with braided wire shielding and guitars utilizing multifunction pots with coil tapping are on the higher end.
Install Strap Button: $20
...on your acoustic guitar. Time to lose the shoelace man! *Price INCLUDES your choice of nickel or gold plated strap button!
Neck Back Refinish: $150
All of my customers for whom I've performed this service are THRILLED with the results! I could NEVER stand the "stickiness" of a glossy finish on the back of a guitar or bass neck...ESPECIALLY the "gummy" nitro lacquer finishes! I developed a process of removing the finish and replacing it with a beautifully smooth and completely sealed "Tru Oil" finish. This is the only finish I use on my builds. You'll LOVE it! I'll need to have your guitar (or neck) at my shop for two to three weeks to allow for several coats of finish and curing time. Please note that the back of your neck will have a well-worn, broken-in appearance when completed.
If you can dream it...I can likely help make your customization dream a reality! From a simple pickguard swap to a complete "make-over"...I've got you covered!
Sometimes things just happen, and you need to have your instrument repaired. Maybe some part is wearing down or has failed completely. It's just no fun when something is not working well on your guitar, bass, mando, etc. I feel your pain! Let's get your instrument back to it's original (or better) Glory! All pricing is based on a rate of $75 per hour. Unless otherwise noted*, prices indicated are labor costs only. I will quote all parts necessary for each job at an extremely reasonable price.
Repair/Replace Nut: $25 - $75
The slots wear down to unacceptable levels, they crack, chip and break. Or...many factory-built guitars do NOT have nuts cut to the proper depth...which causes such issues as poor action and certain pitches in first position chords being pulled sharp! Let's get that nut properly cut and functioning well...or let's replace it with an awesome unbleached bone nut! Unbleached bone is my preference when creating a custom nut for your instrument, but I'll work with synthetic material if requested. Finally...a low nut slot can often be back-filled with the appropriate material and re-cut as well.
Repair/Replace Saddle: $25 - $85
On an acoustic guitar, adjustments can be made to the saddle to improve overall playing action and even intonation to a certain degree. Adjustments to the saddle are almost always necessary when installing a new/different pickup in acoustics...specifically if an under-saddle piezo pickup was/will be used.
Fret Dress: $25 - $95
Ahhh...winters in Minnesota! The lack of humidity for over 6 months each year wreaks havoc on guitars not religiously humidified. A common issue for many of us in the great white north is sharp, protruding fret ends due to fretboard shrinkage during the winter months. Fret edge dressing is the solution...but DON'T forget to humidify in this season to lessen your chances of having this problem. Fret dressing covers anything from filing a few sharp edges to a full level, radius, crown, dress and polish. Let's figure out what you really need!
Re-Fret: $150 for the first 5 frets, $15/each additional fret
If you think your guitar is "groovy", that's great! But you never want to have to apply that term to your frets! Lots of worn frets still play fine, and you might just need a fret dress. I will not re-fret any instrument unless it REALLY needs it! Let's find out what your instrument really needs! Maple and bound fretboards higher.
Structural Repair: $ TBD
Once again, because of the LOW humidity in this part of the country in the winter months, you may be shocked to find that you've developed some cracks or splits in the wood of your beloved acoustic guitar! Lets get that guitar re-humidified and those cracks stabilized and glued. Final price depends on level of damage, and on your choice of repair only or complete refinishing so that the original damage is nearly invisible.
Other: $ TBD
Need a repair that you don't see listed here? No problem! Let's talk about it!
As players we often overlook the importance of GOOD, REGULAR maintenance of our instruments. Regularly scheduled maintenance makes a HUGE difference in the play-ability AND longevity of our guitars, basses, mandolins, etc!
Restring and Tune: $15 - $35
Cheaper than a tetanus shot! Fresh strings make a HUGE difference in your tone! Price includes cleaning and conditioning* of fretboard (No petroleum products used for conditioning, and *on non-maple boards only).
Intonation Service: $15 - $45
Love how your "Cowboy" chords sound...but playing anything above the 5th fret makes you wonder if you forgot to tune? You need a full intonation with a strobe tuner my friend! For guitars with intonatable saddles only! This service also includes setting proper saddle height and radius to match the fretboard.
Truss Rod Adjustment: $5 - $15
Is your action too high and your fretboard looks a little like an Olympic ski jump ramp? Or...do you have string buzz and your fretboard is slightly reminiscent of a humpback whale? Well then... you likely need a truss rod adjustment! Having your fretboard either dead straight or with a slight amount of relief will give you GREAT action with no fret buzz! Price varies on location of adjustment access and how far off from spec the current neck is. Please note that intonation and action is often altered with this adjustment. Therefore, the Intonation Service is necessary with any truss rod adjustment on instruments with adjustable saddles.
Tremolo/Vibrato Service: $15 - $75
Whether it's an "old school" Bigsby or dive-bombing Floyd, this service will get everything functioning exactly as it should...or to your specs. Lock your Strat trem down, or get your Bigsby working as smooth as silk!
Nut/Saddle Service: $15 - $35
When you tune...do you sometimes feel the string "jump" up in pitch accompanied by an annoying "TINK, TINK" sound? Well, I "TINK" you've got problem! Strings breaking at the saddle? Cleaning and polishing the nut and saddle slots will alleviate any string binding. Graphite or quality synthetic lubrication added only if needed.
Complete Setup: $50 - $150
This includes EVERYTHING above...along with a light clean and polish! This is the "full meal deal" for your guitar. A full setup is recommended at least every 6 months to keep your instrument in tip top shape!
Clean and Polish: $15 - $75
Depending on the level of cleaning necessary, I stock a full compliment of cleaning and polishing pastes and sprays. Although I give every instrument I work on a light clean and polish before returning it to the customer, sometimes a thorough cleaning and polish is required!
Tube Amplifier Service: $35 - $75
Have you noticed a decline in volume or tone quality from your favorite tube amp? Is it making "funny" noises... are the pots scratchy? My Tube Amp Service will get you back on track! I will replace your tubes with fresh, tested JJs or Tung-Sols....depending on the application. I use JJs in the power section as they are incredibly stout and can take the higher plate voltages of today's Cathode Biased amps. The new reissue Tung-Sol 12AX7s are SWEET and are the best sounding preamp tubes out there in current production. The bullet-proof Sovteks are perfect and economical for a matched phase inverter tube. if you play a "fixed" biased amp...no worries! I'll install a matched set of octal power tubes and reset the bias using a highly accurate meter and bias device. Finally...I'll clean and lubricate all the pots. Price varies depending on whether the amp is fixed or cathode (self) biased and whether the entire chassis needs to be removed to access bias adjustment. Cost of tubes is NOT included.