©2018 by Patt's Guitar Repair and Instrument Conservation, LLC

Frequently asked questions:

What kind of instruments do you work on?

 

We work on stringed instruments of all eras. This includes acoustic guitars, classical guitars, electric guitars, acoustic basses, mandolins, banjolins, banjos, electric basses, upright basses, autoharps, zithers, sitars, baglamas, ouds, and more. If you are curious if we work on the instrument you own, feel free to call us and we can discuss. There is nothing too odd or curious, and we love working on instruments from all over the world.

 

How long is your turnaround?

How long is your turnaround?

Our turnaround is dependent on the work to be performed and how many instruments we currently have in our shop. We aim to turnaround most basic maintenance repairs within a week, including basic setups of acoustic and electric guitars. Complex repairs and finish work are completed in the time provided, and this can be anywhere between two weeks to a month. You will be informed of any delays or wait time increase that is unexpected, and will never be left in the dark about what is going on with your instrument.

What are your prices?

 

We are happy to give you a verbal estimate range over the phone or through email, and can give a more accurate estimate if photographs are attached to an email. The most accurate estimate can be given in person during regular business hours, and all consultations are free of charge. Final labor estimates, particularly for complex repairs, can only be given in person. If you are shipping from outside of Los Angeles, rates can be discussed over the phone/via email.

will a guitar setup fix my problems?

 

In a word -- Probably.

Each instrument has a different set of needs and requirements to be given a clean bill of health, and not all guitars are fabricated in the factory using the same methods, tools, or human ingenuity. As well, some instruments require less abrasive approaches, utilizing tools and materials and experience that requires more time and patience. There are many reasons why one type of crack may require less time and materials to repair, and another that looks similar acts completely differently, and requires a different approach.

 

As one of my teachers told me, 'Fixing a guitar isn't replacing a carburetor', and this is true on many levels. While there are many parts of a guitar, particularly an electric guitar, that can easily be modified or swapped out, most of the intrinsic structure of a guitar varies from instrument to instrument, and the problems that afflict them are as varied as those that can be found in a house, or the human body. Instruments can go through a lifetime of experiences, sometimes before you have even acquired it -- these conditions can be extreme heat, exposure to sunlight, frigid air, very low or very high humidity, or simply just being very old. All of these factors add into the diagnosis of what is going on with your instrument when it is brought in for repair.

This is the long way of saying that while regular maintenance of your guitar, in the form of a 'setup', can and typically will fix many of the problems you are facing, often there are more factors as to why your guitar isn't playing the way you want it to. Things like fret buzz, warped necks, saddles that are too low to be lowered further, are all signs of deeper issues with the instrument. I always make an effort to demonstrate how I diagnose these issues with an instrument, and never attempt to repair an instrument without a customer not only approving of the repair, but understanding what is being fixed in the repair, and why.