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Guitar repairs
Repairs

Guitar Doctor has over 35 years experience in fixing and modifying guitars, bass guitars and all stringed instruments.

We will make your guitar play its best so that YOU can play your very BEST.

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Guitar restoration
Restoration

Either by replacing worn tuners, securing loose braces, properly gluing body cracks or whatever your "experienced" guitar might need, Guitar Doctor can bring to life.
Monetary value may also be enhanced.

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Guitar maintenence
Maintenence

Just like any tool, instruments need to be maintained in order to play their best.

The combination of wear and tear, humidity (or lack of it!)  and age always cause guitars to become less than best.

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We will make your guitar play its very best so that YOU can play your BEST.

This page is not meant as a do-it-yourself guide but as a general description of what could be wrong and what the cure might be.

Below is a short list of some common problems that we see every day and some possible solutions.

We can't include everything that can go wrong with an instrument or all of the possible fixes, but this should give all players some insight.

Read below for some common guitar problems and answers or see our F.A.Q. page for more specific answers.

Also see Amplifier Repairs

HIGH ACTION

Too much neck relief, nut slots not deep enough, bridge/saddles too high, or any combination of these.

LOW ACTION, NOTES BUZZING

Neck is back-bowed, nut slots too deep, bridge/saddles too low, or any combination of these. May need fretwork to maintain clean playing if you want to keep low action.

ELECTRICS NOT WORKING (ELECTRIC)

Broken connection at jack, faulty switch, short in wiring, poor solder joint.  

ELECTRICS NOT WORKING (ACOUSTIC)

Broken connection at jack, dead battery, short at battery cap, broken pickup, controls need cleaning.

HEADSTOCK BROKEN OFF OR CRACKED AT NECK

This is a very common injury, especially with Gibsons and more especially with Les Paul models. We see it nearly every week and are able to fix nearly every case, much to the owner’s relief. The best thing to do to bring the guitar in to the shop as soon as possible. DO NOT TRY TO GLUE IT YOURSELF. This will make it much more difficult to fix in the end.

TREMOLO BRIDGE GUITAR - WON’T STAY IN TUNE OR CAN’T INTONATE

Worn or loose locknut, guitar neck is loose, tremolo bridge pins drifting, strings pinching in nut, too much drag through nut and string trees.

SCRATCHY SOUND WHEN KNOBS TURNED

Controls need cleaning or replacement.

GETS BUZZY IN SUMMER/ HARD TO PLAY IN WINTER

Guitar is humidity sensitive and requires seasonal maintenance, especially truss rod adjustment. May want to purchase in-case guitar humidifier for winter.

PICKUPS HUM

Poor or no ground connection, single coil p-u 60 cycle noise is accentuated with high-gain amp settings, shielding may be required, hum-canceling pickups may need to be installed.   

PICKUPS SQUEAL / SCREECH

This is microphonic noise and has an abrupt & uncontrollable threshold. Occurs commonly in old and/or single coil p-u’s. P-u’s may need to be wax dipped (potted) or replaced.  

INTERMITTENT SIGNAL / CUTS OUT

Bad solder connection or switch, hot circuit may be touching ground wire somewhere in controls, corroded jack contacts.

VOLUME CONTROL INEFFECTIVE/ CUTS OUT TOO QUICKLY

Control will need replacement or "tone circuit" modification.A linear potentiometer instead of usual audio pot may be desired.    

BUZZING / DEAD NOTES ON NECK

This is microphonic noise and has an abrupt & uncontrollable threshold. Occurs commonly in old and/or single coil p-u’s. P-u’s may need to be wax dipped (potted) or replaced.  

FINGER NOISE ON STRINGS

Strings are old and tarnished or rusted, frets need cleaning & polishing, flat or semi-flat wound strings may be desired.

STRING ENDS STUCK IN TREMOLO BRIDGE

Clamp blocks have been over tightened and are split and spread, locking screws are stripping and jammed from over-tightening.  In standard tremolo bridges, the holes may be too small for the string balls.  Holes will need to be enlarged. 

STRINGS BREAK AT HEAD

String is pinched in nut slot, sharp burr at tension bar, string trees, or holes in string posts.

STRINGS BREAK AT BRIDGE

Saddles worn, sharp burr at saddles or string anchor point. Saddle crown too steep or sharp.

STRINGS BREAK IN MIDDLE

Worn or sharp frets; "ding" in frets - strings too old - more frequent string replacement required.  

STRAP BUTTON LOOSE

Stripped or worn screw hole. Hole needs to be plugged with wood and re-drilled. 

AWKWARD CONTROL PLACEMENT OR FEW CONTROL OPTIONS

Guitar can be rewired to suit needs of player.                
SEE OUR CUSTOM SHOP PAGE 

SIGNAL BREAKS UP

Bad solder connection, faulty switch, hot/ground short aggravated by vibrations in guitar.Weak battery (active systems) 

CRACKED OR BROKEN NECK OR HEAD

Don’t fix it yourself!!!!! Nothing is harder to fix than a bad repair. This is often an inexpensive repair except for refinishing the damaged area on more expensive instruments with colored paint or stain.

OPEN STRING TWANGS IN NUT

Nut slot too wide, not enough back tension behind nut, nut slot cut too low.

BROKEN OR CHIPPED NUT

This can often be repaired with "dental" style filling and re-cutting, otherwise nut replacement is required.

CONVERT RIGHT HANDED GUITAR FOR LEFT HANDED PLAYER

May need adjustment of saddle(s), bridge, pickguard, and/or controls. Nut will need reslotting or replacement. Difficulty of work depends on guitar.  

ACOUSTC GUITAR PROBLEMS

CRACK IN FACE OR SIDE

Needs careful glue, clamp, refinish and reinforcement on the side. 

DEEP CRACK W/ GAP (WON’T CLOSE)

Needs to be splinted, reinforced & refinished, often after re-humidification. 

HUMP IN NECK AT BODY

Fret dressing for mild hump - re-fret and/or fingerboard leveling for severe cases

HIGH ACTION THAT CAN’T BE ADJUSTED

Bridge and saddle profiling for mild case - May need neck reset for severe case

HEEL SEPARATION FROM BODY

Reset neck on better guitars.  "Salvage" fix on cheap guitars involves penetrating glue and a bolt through heel and neck block, disguised with a strap button.

FRET BUZZ at 1st POSITION

Frets may be worn deeply from heavy use with open chords - needs fret dressing or partial fret replacement

VOLUME CONTROL INEFFECTIVE/ CUTS OUT TOO QUICKLY

Control will need replacement or "tone circuit" modification.A linear potentiometer instead of usual audio pot may be desired.    
Hours:

Tuesday to Friday - 10am to 6pm
Saturday - 10am to 4pm
CLOSED  Sunday & Monday

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