Tech services.....set ups, maintenance, fretwork, upgrades


All guitars and basses are vastly improved when set up correctly, improving playability and tuning stability. There are many parts which require maintenance and servicing. For example, truss rods need periodic adjustment to keep the neck straight against the constant pull of the strings and tremolo systems only operate smoothly when set up correctly to match the chosen string gauge.

Our 10 point electric guitar set up ensures that each component is cleaned, adjusted and lubricated where necessary and set up to original design specification:

    1. neck relief/truss rod adjustment.   2. action/string height.   3. intonation.   4. tremolo float.   5. secure/lubricate hardware.   6. neck alignment/angle check.  7. electrical check/clean.   8. check clean and oil fretboard.   9. nut and fret wear check.   10. pickup height adjustment.

Acoustic guitars, basses and folk instruments also expertly set up and adjusted to spec.

Adjusting the truss rod for correct neck relief © 2022 Guitar Angel
Adjusting saddle heights for action © 2022 Guitar Angel
Ibanez bass guitar set up for a low action and perfect neck alignment © 2022 Guitar Angel
Floating bridge position is critical for correct intonation © 2022 Guitar Angel


Popular upgrades to improve tone and functionality include nuts, saddles, tuners, bridges and other hardware.

NUTS... We can make nuts for any instrument or recut your existing one if the slots are tight, uneven or higher than spec. Bone is favoured by many as the number one choice with Tusq, graphite and brass also being popular. Some vintage Gibsons had nylon nuts, we are aslo able to make these.

SADDLES... We make saddles, intonated or straight, for all types of acoustics and basses, in all materials and favour bone where an under saddle piezo pickup is installed. We can adjust the action on your acoustic by lowering, raising or skimming the saddle along with any required woodwork.

Many people upgrade their electric guitar saddles to graphtec low friction. These are available for vintage and modern trems, hardtail bridges, tunomatics and basses.

We service saddles which may have seized adjusting screws and also overhaul Floyd Rose type locking saddles and trems.

There are many options when it comes to replacing tuners, some popular choices are vintage spec Kluson types and modern locking tuners which improve tuning stability with a tremolo.

Hand carved bone nut for a Gibson Artisan Les Paul © 2022 Guitar Angel
Broken strat nut and new bone blanks © 2022 Guitar Angel
Hand carved bone nuts made for these 2 vintage Gibsons © 2022 Guitar Angel
Intonated bone saddle made for a Martin D28 © 2022 Guitar Angel
Graphtec Ghost saddles/Hipshot bass bridge © 2022 Guitar Angel
High spec Schaller double locking trem fitted to this BC Rich mockingbird © 2022 Guitar Angel
Gotoh backlock tuners fitted to 42nd street Broadway model © 2022 Guitar Angel
Tonepros bridge and tailpiece Gibson Les Paul © 2022 Guitar Angel

Fretwork and fingerboards.

We are able to carry out all types of fretwork including full refrets, partial refrets, de-frets, fret levelling and crowning, plus replacement of missing or damaged fret marker inlays.  With a full refret there is an opportunity to change the fingerboard radius if required. You can also choose the size/gauge of fret wire and nickel free and hypoallergenic wires are available. We always check the board for level, truing it up when necessary and do any corrective work before fitting the new frets. With bound fingerboards, the tang ends are always removed to preserve the binding. Quite often acoustic guitars have most wear on the lower frets, in which case a partial refret would replace the worn frets with matching wire and the entire fretboard would be levelled and crowned.

If frets show medium wear it is normally sufficient to level the frets to remove the indents and crown all the frets to restore their surface profile.

When converting  bass guitars to fretless, we can make and fit a new fingerboards in timbers of your choice, or the existing board can have fret lines inlaid with contrasting wood and side dots "moved" inline with note positions.

Some fretting tools including fret bender and tang cutter © 2022 Guitar Angel
Removing frets on a Gibson SG100 guitar for a refret © 2022 Guitar Angel
Fret crowning on a Gibson J200 acoustic guitar © 2022 Guitar Angel
Profiling a new board to 12 © 2022 Guitar Angel
Checking the fretboard for level & straightness © 2022 Guitar Angel
Radius block sands the surface © 2022 Guitar Angel
Fret levelling on a Gibson J200 acoustic guitar © 2022 Guitar Angel
Refret on a 1962 Fender Stratocaster neck © 2022 Guitar Angel

Electric upgrades

Many players wish to upgrade their stock pickups to improve the sound. We can fit all types of pickups for electric guitars, basses and acoustics.  Any associated woodwork is carried out to a high standard, such as extra body routs, enlarging cavities, jack socket mounting and acoustic preamp fitting.

For amplifying acoustics, both guitar and bass, along with folk instruments, there are many options including undersaddle piezo strips, glued in bugs, dual saddle + mini microphone blend systems. These can be passive, with or without volume and tone controls, or active with fitted preamps or discreet preamped jacks. We are happy to advise.

We are often asked to upgrade tone and volume pots, switches, jack sockets, capacitors and wire. We use the highest quality components from CTS, Sprague and Switchraft. We can also restore any modified wiring back to standard spec.

Old and vintage pickups often fail and need rewinding. We work closely with many highly regarded British pickup makers who expertly carry out any pickup repairs needed.

An unusual pickup design from Grimshaw © 2022 Guitar Angel
A preamp fitted to an acoustic guitar © 2022 Guitar Angel
Fernandes Sustainer circuitry fitted to guitar © 2022 Guitar Angel
N-Tune electronic tuner fitted to customer's LP guitar © 2022 Guitar Angel
Fender jazz bass guitar rewire © 2022 Guitar Angel
Push-pull pots fitted with coil tap on twin humbuckers © 2022 Guitar Angel
Seymour Duncan Invader pickup fitted to a hardtail Strat © 2022 Guitar Angel
A selection of pickups © 2022 Guitar Angel