I have said this many times before and I will say it again: a set-up of your instrument is imperative as soon as you have bought it. That initial set-up tunes up the instrument for its journey ahead.
In an expert technician’s hands, while things (minor adjustments) that will make it a joy to play are dealt with, issues that may crop up in the future are spotted and tackled then and there.
One such guitar came to the Lucknow Guitar Garage recently (within the first week of it being buoght) and I was very happy to see the owner had invested time and thought (not to talk of money) into his instrument. The instrument itself was a Fender CD-140SCE sun burst, which lived in a hard-shell case (which was bought separately).
Just the hard-shell case told one enough about the sensibilities of the owner; sensibilities that are not awakened until one is three or four guitars old. In the time that elapses between those three or four guitars, realisation dawns that it is best to protect a precious (and not necessarily in terms of money alone) purchase in a hard-shell case.
Alright! Enough on sensibilities and onto the job on the counter. As I have seen in umpteen instruments, this one too seemed as if it had been standing in the shop too long. At first glance, the fretboard was dryer than tinder and would need a fair bit of the ‘love potion’.
Also, I decided to swap the plastic/micarta nut and saddle for real bone elements. Why I harp on bone saddles and nuts is because the kind of resonance and sustain you get out of bone, no man-made material can give.
Some measurements, some marking and some sanding and the nut and saddle were ready.
The hardware on the headstock was tended to – both how they were fixed on to the headstock and how smooth each operated.
Next, the nut and saddle was put in . With everything ready, all that was needed was to seat them in their slots. Often, when you get a really snug fit with the nut, glue is not required. This was one of those guitars.
I oiled the fretboard, burnished the fretwires and threw on a fresh set of strings (12s, if I remember correctly). And as I admired the instrument, I told myself, ‘What a pretty guitar’!
With the wise investment (of time, effort and money) made in it, the guitar should serve the owner well for a long, long time to come.
I did advise the owner to remove that sticker on the pickguard (announcing free online lessons).