Guitar Setup Tips

Unique Japanese Guitar Setup Tips:

Japan is unique in many ways, including its seasonal differences. Since the winter season is typically ultra-dry and the summer season is ultra-damp, many of the Japanese vintage guitars that have been in Japan for many years have had a toll taken…

It's not uncommon for vintage Japanese guitars to show small cracks in the finish due to the aging process in that unique climate, and that aging usually does not affect the structural integrity of an instrument. These problems are usually cosmetic in nature, but it's good to ask questions before buying, if you're not sure or if something doesn't look right.

Because of the damp and salty air, the wires and electronic contact points can slowly corrode, especially if the instrument had not been played regularly. Often, numerous flicks of the switches and turns of the knobs will clear up the scratchiness, but sometimes it is necessary to get inside and really clean the electronic parts. A good cleaning can really help your tone. Only in very few cases do parts actually need replacing. For the instrument's finish, I highly recommend regular polishing and wiping off your sweat after playing. For polishing a rosewood fretboard, I strongly recommend a lemon-oil product such as "Guitar Honey" - working this into the fretboard and polishing it off with a cheese cloth will get the grime out and nourish/condition the wood, preventing cracking while darkening the wood and creating a much faster neck.

We strive to offer the most rare and minty vintage guitars available, but even the best of them often need a good setup. Each guitarist has his or her own playing style and a basic setup by a professional will make your guitar perfect for you. When changing string gauge, if you find that the neck has a slight bow in it, you can adjust the truss rod to counter-act the tension of the strings and bring the neck straight again. Raising and lowering the saddles or the bridge will get the string height where you like it. And last, but not least, check/adjust your intonation after making these adjustments. A set of basic tools are all that's needed for these adjustments. If you do not feel comfortable doing this type of work, take your guitar to your local guitar shop and expect to pay about $25-$50 for a professional setup. It's a pittance to pay for years of enjoyment with your new best friend.

Please remember to treat your vintage Japanese guitar to regular maintenance and new strings. Your guitar will thank you : ) Enjoy making great music!

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