This is a bit of a work in progress. As and when I think something of interest crops up or is asked then I’ll add it to this FAQ. Please let me know if you need any further information by dropping me a line here.
1. How long does a setup take?
Good question! A silver setup will normally take between one-and-a-half and two hours to complete. A gold setup will take roughly double that as all frets are levelled, crowned, polished and checked before any further setting up takes place.
2. What does a Tonefinder setup entail?
Ok, it depends on whether you’ve gone for a silver or gold setup. Let’s assume you’ve gone for gold (a silver setup basically doesn’t have any fret work or electrical checks included). In no particular order the following checks will be made:
- Check, lubricate and tighten all tuners as required
- Check and adjust the nut
- Check, level, crown & polish all frets
- Clean the fretboard
- Check strap buttons
- Full electrics check
- Restring with gauge of your choice
- Check neck relief
- Check action
- Check intonation
- Check pickup height
- Check tone and playability
And that’s just a very quick rundown of what’s involved!
3. What’s involved with your amp servicing?
‘Basic’ amp repairs (such as dry joints, tube replacement, biasing (granted not that basic), socket replacement etc) will be carried out by me. More complex work or anything that I’m not comfortable doing will be passed over to my good friend Richie Stopforth (he of ‘The Mafia’ fame) who is an absolute guru when it comes to the magic of guitar amps. Remember, there’s incredibly high voltages inside an amp even when they’re not plugged in. Unless you know EXACTLY what you’re doing then don’t even think about going anywhere near the insides of one!
4. What’s your turnaround time?
For guitars I aim to get most things done within a week although this can take longer if parts are needed etc.
For pickups, please allow 21 days.
For pedals, please allow 14 days.
Amp repairs can take from five minutes to a couple of weeks depending on what work and/or parts is/or called for.
5. Do you make your own guitar nuts?
In a nutshell (sorry), yes. The vast majority of nuts and saddles that I make & fit are made from bone. I’m very, very careful about where I source my bone from and only ever get the very, very highest grade material that I can. The only time I don’t use a bone nut is if the client has requested an alternative material.
6. Do I pay for work before or after you’ve done the work?
In the vast majority of cases you pay for the work (and parts) after the job has been completed and you’re 100% delighted. In some circumstances I may ask for payment up for parts etc e.g. the cost of the parts involved are very high or you’ve been advised against having the requested work performed but wish to continue anyway.
7. Are you insured? And is my equipment safe with you?
Yes, all equipment left with me is insured. Once dropped off I take photos of your guitar/amp/pedal/etc and those photos are stored securely off-site. I also record make+model+serial number (where possible) of all equipment left with me. Again, this data is stored securely.
And yes, all your kit is safe with me. My workshop (I work from home) is very, very secure (those who have been know how secure access is) and I have CCTV fitted throughout which is monitored when no one is home. Naturally I won’t go in to specifics on a public website but rest assured that your valuable kit is as safe as it can be.
I’ve seen other websites that list the jobs they have in and the progress that each job is making. I don’t intend doing that with Tonefinder as I feel it’s advertising what’s in the workshop and when it might be potentially picked up. Having had guitars worth in excess of £50k in before I think you can see why I won’t be going down that road.
8. Do you use my personal data?
Yes. I keep notes on your name, telephone number(s) and email address. I will only ever use your email address to send my newsletter to. If you’d rather not get my newsletter then please let me know and I’ll ensure that you don’t receive it. If you do get a newsletter and you don’t want to get it again then it’s very easy to unsubscribe.
I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER SELL ON YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS TO ANY 3RD PARTY. EVER. Ever.
9. You’ve got a lot of testimonials on your website. Are they real?
In a word, yes. I keep all emails that contain testimonials and also texts too. This is so the testimonials I publish can be verified.
10. What if I don’t pick my guitar/amp/etc up from you?
If an item that I’ve worked on (or have been asked to work on and then told not to) remains in the workshop for what I consider to be an unreasonable amount of time (normally six weeks but circumstances may alter this) then I will charge a storage fee of £5 per day per item (although why would anyone not collect their kit is beyond me but it does happen. It’s kinda like leaving a puppy out in the snow). Wherever possible, notice will be given to the owner of the equipment that storage fees are going to be enforced. If the item (or items) is still not collected after a further two weeks then it will be considered abandoned and I reserve the right to sell that item (or items) to recover any costs incurred. Any remaining money will then be donated to a charity of my choice.
11. Can I visit your workshop to check out your work before I commit?
Yes indeed. You’re welcome to visit the workshop at pretty much any time (although I am quite a miserable git at three o’clock in the morning). All visits are by appointment only so please contact me to discuss.
12. Do you record your phone calls?
Yes, all calls to both the 02393 and 07506 numbers are recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
13. Do you have pets?
Yes, we have an Enid. She’s a Miniature Schnauzer. I get asked this a lot because people are concerned about pet hairs and smells getting on their kit. Miniature Schnauzers are very low hair loss (and low allergen) dogs. Plus, Enid isn’t allowed in the workshop; more for her sake as I’d hate for Enid to eat something that could cause her any harm. If you have any concerns (allergies, dog phobias etc) then please contact me to discuss and we’ll find a solution that works for you.