My workshop is located at the bottom of my garden in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire. I offer a range of services including restringing, setups, servicing and repair of bass, electric and acoustic guitars including Ukuleles and the occasional banjo.

I carry out most types of repairs to most types of guitars. This includes but is not limited to broken headstocks, cracks on tops, backs and sides of acoustic guitars, bridge removal and replacement and brace repairs. I can replace nuts and saddles with hand carved ones made from bone or tusq, refret guitars and level, crown and polish existing frets. I also make repairs to finish including scratch and dent removal and refinishing. I can also reshape necks, replace tuners and pickups and repair and rewire electronics. I make guitar peddles and so I can make repairs and modifications to some peddles although it depends on the type of peddle.

A free evaluation will be carried out at no charge before work is started to diagnose any problems and to provide a realistic estimate of the exact costs for work required. This will be agreed with the customer in advance to avoid unexpected charges. Sometimes, it is not financially viable to repair a guitar and if so, I will let you know. All work is guaranteed. I encourage customers to try their guitars here before returning home where possible so that I can make minor adjustments to playing action while you are here. I operate a 30 day guarantee period during which you are welcome to bring the guitar back for further minor adjustments if required. I want all my customers to leave happy and their guitars to play as well as possible.

Below are some videos which show the process of leveling the frets and setting up a 'Made in Mexico' Fender Telecaster and a refret of a Squier Stratocaster. You can also get an idea of the approximate costs for some of the standard services that I offer.

Service and Setup









String Change

A new set of strings will help your guitar to play better and is quite simple to do. You can either bring your own strings or I can supply a suitable set. I am happy to work on most types of guitar including acoustic and classical guitars as well as Ukuleles. If you have not played your guitar for a while, you may wish to choose a basic setup which will help your guitar and you play to your full potential.

String Change and Basic Setup

A standard setup for electric and bass guitars includes replacing the strings with ones of your choice, cleaning or treating the Fretboard with oil, truss rod check and adustment, checking the sring height, nut and saddle adjustments and the intonation. Any sharp fret ends are filed down to make playing more comfortable and guitars are given a clean and polish. For guitars with complex tremolo systems an additional is necessary as these can take some time to adjust. The cost of strings is not included in the price so you can either provide your own or I can supply a suitable set. An setup for steel string acoustic or classical guitars is similar except that the methods used to adjust the string action are slightly different.

Fret Level, Re-crown and polish

Extensive playing over time can lead to fret amd fingerboard wear. This is most noticable when bending strings as it leads to a gritty or uneven feel. Frets can become loose and uneven leading to choking of notes, particulary in the upper registers. When this happens, the string height may be raised to compensate but this makes the guitar less easy to play. Fret levelling, recrowning and polishing can dramatically improve the playability of older, well played guitars and transform the feel and playability of low cost guitars where less attention is paid to fret finishing.

Refret

In most cases, fret levelling is enough to help a guitar play better but for well worn guitars or if the frets become unstable, it may be necessary to replace the frets. This involves carefully removing each fret, cleaning the fret board and replacing each fret to match the precise radius of the fretboard. Frets are the levelled, crowned and polished, strings replaced and the guitar setup. An additional charge in levied if stainless steel fret wire is requested as its additional hardness damages the tools. Please note that replacing very low frets with new ones may require a new nut to be installed. If fret wear is concentrated in only one area, it is possible to replace just a few frets and this keeps the costs down.

Nut Replacement

The playability of a guitar depends on many things but the quality of the nut is vital. If poorly cut, it can lead to buzzing strings and a very high playing action. Old plastic nuts can be replaced with a new bone nut or one made from other man-made materials such as Tusq which has similar sustain properties. A replacement nut can be custom carved to adjust the string spacing or string height at the 1st fret. Changing a nut can make a huge difference the playability of a guitar.

Hardware Replacement

Tuners and bridges can be replaced or upgraded with ones of your choice. The cost for this will depend upon whether the new hardware is a direct replacement or whether changes to the guitar need to be made. The addition of locking tuners will speed up and simplify string changes and improve tuning stability The addition of a new bone or composite nut or adusting the string height at the nut can improve the playabity and tuning stabilith of the guitar,

Electronics

We can replace pickups to your preferred model and rewire your guitar. This may involve simply exchanging one brand of pickup for another, replacing or cleaning dirty or broken potentiometers and rewiring the controls using a range of different configurations. Quotations for this will depend on the work involved.


Price List

Below is our current price list for standard work. Costs will be agreed prior to carrying out work following a free evaluation. The price of strings is not included. Customers may either supply their own preferred brand or I can supply a good quality set of strings for £5.00.

String Change
£20.00
Basic Setup (i.e. Bass/Acoustic/Electric Guitars without Tremolo Bridge)
£55.00
Setup with Tremolo Bridge
£65.00
Fret Level/Polish (includes Basic Setup)
£85-£100.00 depending on extent of work
Refret (Standard Fret Wire) including Fret Level/Polish and Setup
£165.00
Refret with Stainless Steel Fret Wire
+£50
Refret Bound Fretboard
+£50.00
Replacement Nut (hand carved)
£45.00
Replacement Saddle (hand carved)
£45.00
Pickup Replacement (Not including cost of pickup)
From £30.00 per pickup
Tuner Replacement (Not including cost of Tuners)
From £30.00
Electronics/Rewiring
Estimates on request


NAH Guitars
Letchworth Garden City, SG6 1SA.
Mb: (+44) 07751 088686
Nick Hartell
Support@NAHGuitars.com