Guitar Doctor - Whitman, MA
®

Guitar Doctor


We fix guitars

Repairs and Restoration Services

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.
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.

The instrument's value may also be enhanced.
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.

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

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

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.

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.
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.
ELECTRICS NOT WORKING (ACOUSTIC)
Broken connection at jack, dead battery, short at battery cap, broken pickup, controls need cleaning.
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 INTERMITTENT SIGNAL / CUTS OUT
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 pickups. pickups 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
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.   

ACOUSTIC 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 - 10
am to 4pm
CLOSED  Sunday & Monday
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