Guitar Care and Guitar Repair, Max’s Philosophy
Max Guitar Care is the home of quality guitar care, guitar repair, restoration and service. The big retailers offer repair service as a sideline, to support warranties, but their focus is on sales and the bottom line. At Max Guitar Care, service is not a sideline. Max is focused on providing outstanding guitar care and guitar repair for your instruments – and on your satisfaction. Max’s payoff is the satisfaction he derives from pleasing his customers.
Guitar playing is fun. This is especially true in a group setting, whether it’s in a band when the members meet regularly to rehearse and gig, at a jam with the excitement of playing with new people and the need for quick learning and improvisation, or with a couple of pals sitting around a campfire with a beer.
But the amount of fun you experience playing your guitar is related to the condition of the instrument. If it’s perfectly set-up, aligned, and tuned, your enjoyment is maximized. Sometimes you can reach that zone expressed so eloquently in the classic country song, Lukenbach Texas, “The only two things in life that make it worth living is guitars tuned good…”
But if your guitar hurts your fingers, won’t stay in tune, and buzzes, it’s pretty hard to reach that zone. At Max Guitar Care, Max’s job is to make sure that playability of your instrument is maximized. Max makes sure your guitar or bass is in as perfect condition as possible, so that the only factor limiting the quality of your playing is your skill and ingenuity. As Max says:
“I’ve been taking care of my own instruments since my Mom bought me my first guitar for my birthday in 1965. I’ve always been interested in how guitars fit together and how they work. I could never understand how a player could ignore that his instrument needs expert attention. Currently I have 16 electric guitars, 6 acoustics (including the two that I made), two basses, and a mandolin. I like to think that I keep all of them in perfect condition all the time.”
Every fall guitars begin to dry out, shrink microscopically, and go flat. That means it’s time to set up again, check the guitar neck relief, frets, saddle and nut, string height, and start humidifying. In the spring, they begin to swell up with the increased humidity and go sharp. Time to check and set everything again.”
The idea with guitar care is to keep your instrument in top playing condition when it doesn’t require a repair. In a way, a guitar is a machine, with moving parts. That means it needs periodic check and adjustment. At MGC we offer care packages that include guitar string changes and varying degrees of inspection and adjustment. Proper care can catch major repairs before they happen.
The idea with guitar repair and guitar restoration is fixing a situation that has gone wrong and returning the instrument to fine playing condition. That can include normal wear and tear maintenance, such as fret jobs. If you play your guitar regularly, the frets will eventually require expert attention, such as dressing and levelling. Eventually they’ll need to be replaced. As Max says:
“Think of fret work on your guitar like brake work on your car. It’s normal wear and tear, nothing to fret about (he he he). On your car, you step on the brakes, you wear them a little. Depending on how you drive, you may wear out your brakes faster than the next person. Periodically you need new brake shoes and you need to machine the rotors. It’s like that with frets too. On your guitar, if you’re a heavy hitter and you use a lot of big open chords, you’re going to wear your frets, especially the first few. No sweat, I know how to do a good fret job.”
If the joint between the guitar neck and headstock on your Gibson SG starts to crack, that would be a guitar repair. If the jack on your Fender Tele starts to get loose and your chord falls out if you step on it, that would be a guitar repair. If your prized acoustic dries out in the fall and develops a crack, that would be a repair also. Don’t worry; be happy. We know how to fix problems like that.