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  1. #1
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Default Customer Service 101

    This is a story of what transpired this week. I was very surprised that service like this still existed. Tell me if you've had a like experience. Well maybe I'm just getting old and impatient but when I set up my brand new SG with my usual set of 9 thru 46 strings, a little normal "break in buzz" became unbelievably irritating, and could not be removed with reasonable action or truss adjustment. With the 10's it sounded good, but with the 9's it allowed the neck to straighten and any proud frets became very evident. On this guitar there were at least 7 high spots. I was busting my ass on Tuesday night trying to adjust it right. Hitting the Gibson forums and reading all the advice of denial. "Well if it's a Gibson ya got there buddy, that would'nt be fret buzz ya got there. Ya got a dink in yer string that's all." Hey thanks hayseed! Anyway, under tension, I sighted the neck, and you could see an average amount of releif in the neck, but then when I straightedged it, it rocked. I did everything I was willing to do on a brand new SG. The neck joint does not give the same rigidity as say a Paul would, and a fret job on these necks; you gotta know what yer doing, and I'm horribly outta practice. I could take it back for warranty repair, but I did'nt want the pimplefaced summer student worker cranking on my truss rod and hitting my frets with 220 on a handheld Ryobi beltsander! (Not really but I've seen things ya know?). So I called up a person on Wednesday I've know for years, a Japanese man who is a master luthier. I wont give his name on the board as he's relatively overbooked as is, but if you pm me I will give his info. People from around the world trust his work. He works in a 15"x20" room. He is world renowned, but still very grounded and reasonable with his cost. ( He even works on AC/DC's Young brothers guitars! Who better than to take a SG!) Anyway, he was willing to see me on Thursday night, the only night he is open to the public past five. I walk in he takes it out of the case and and says he's been seeing alot of new Gibsons lately. When I walked in, he was working on a 1944 Gibson E-400. He says This Gibson today would be worth $115.000.00. Wow! He was restoring the original wooden bridge on that guitar, and then it was going to a museum in Kalamazoo. He spent about an hour with me, checking the neck, diagnosing the problem, then watches me play, takes notes, asks me what guage strings I use, and writes it down. Asks what action I like, writes it down. He then says 40 years ago when he started his business, fret jobs on new guitars was unheard of save for a kinked neck or moisture damage. Now he says they are common place. A five second buzz on the upright beltsander and Gibson calls that a fret job! Anyway he asks me when I need the guitar, and I say ideally by the weekend, but I don't expect that possible and I don't want to interupt what he is working on. "No problem" he says. "Anything is possible". The guitars he's working on are either due for refinish or have glue curing or whatnot. I say great. He then gives me a warning. He says "I am 99% sure I can get rid of this problem, but the guitar was a living thing and sometimes it will always move and change. I tell him I have nothing but confidence in him. Based on his clientele I'm positive he can fix it. He says to come back on Friday night and it will be ready. One day. I said great and left it with him. Well Friday night I went to pick up the guitar. He sat me down, and handed it to me. Wow!!!!!!! First off, the frets shined like jewels. Beautiful! He said "I spent 9 hours on this guitar." I said Why so long?" Not so much as that I questioned his methods, but why would he take so long on this particular instument when he's got guitars there with real heritage and lure. He said "You told me that when you bought this guitar, you spent hours trying to find a perfect instrument. it's an extension of yourself. A vehicle for your ideas. When you buy an instrument with a quality name, you expect the best and should get it, and the bad should not be covered up with heavy strings." Deep! The first thing you notice walking into his small shop is that the only power tool in the place is the air compressor for his paint gun. Everthing else is a hand tool. Some of them look like they were made 100+ years ago. Back to the guitar though. He first levelled the neck, and let it aclimatize. Then he took down the hight spots. Let the neck rest, then longboarded the frets. rechecked the neck, and adjusted the truss rod slightly again. Then rechecked the once high spots again for remergence. Then he reboarded the neck. Then the time consuming part; the beautiful crowning. He hand crowned each and every fret with a selection of small, round, and, flat, and three sided needle files. Then he hand polished every one of them as flawlessly as the last. The setup was beautiful too. I did not even ask, and there was no additional charge, but he even changed the nut and cut a beautiful set of slots that feel like their rollers. No binding at all. Long story short, a guitar that I bought for $800.00 with the "Worn Cherry finish" he kind of joked about is now the nicest playing guitar Iv'e ever had the pleasure of owning. The cost? $240.00. For that nine hours of time $240.00. Here is one man, a Japanese master luthier in his 60's living in a very expensive city, with famous clients that sing his praises, and he puts a little guy like me first so I can get my guitar back in time for the long weekend. I was blown away and very humbled. I can't remember the last time I walked away from a shop, any shop where I felt 100% satisfied with what I got. It was such a great feeling. My wife said to me she had'nt seen a grin on my face like that in years while playing guitar. It was such a pleasure. The true meaning of customer satisfaction.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 08.30.08 at 07:21 AM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  2. #2
    5150 clawedmonet's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:25 AM
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    Congratulations! That is a great story. It's so easy to get caught up in the negative that we often miss out on the great things that are happening right under our noses.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    good on ya bro, its great to hear that some people still put the customer 1st.
    the guy that sets up my gear for me is as blind as a bat, but whenever he touches one of my instruments it feels perfect, i guess its a touch/sound thing rather than a visual...he also crowns the frets etc by hand, he's so good i wouldnt trust anyone else with my gear.

    anyway brah great story and now enjoy your S.G. its the only gibson worth the time and effort.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  4. #4
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    good on ya bro, its great to hear that some people still put the customer 1st.
    the guy that sets up my gear for me is as blind as a bat, but whenever he touches one of my instruments it feels perfect, i guess its a touch/sound thing rather than a visual...he also crowns the frets etc by hand, he's so good i wouldnt trust anyone else with my gear.

    anyway brah great story and now enjoy your S.G. its the only gibson worth the time and effort.
    Hey Tommy! How ya doi'n? Thanks man. I was watching him as he was inpecting it, and one of the techniques he was using was interesting. He positioned his hand a certain way, and was almost, as I would desribe it as pinging his pinky finger against each fret with the first, third and sixth strings. Before he even straightedged it he was telling me the problem areas, then brought out the straightedge, and sure enough, there they were! I don't know if this is a common technique, or something passed down or what, but I very intrigued. Quite cool. First time I've ever seen it done.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    Hey Tommy! How ya doi'n? Thanks man. I was watching him as he was inpecting it, and one of the techniques he was using was interesting. He positioned his hand a certain way, and was almost, as I would desribe it as pinging his pinky finger against each fret with the first, third and sixth strings. Before he even straightedged it he was telling me the problem areas, then brought out the straightedge, and sure enough, there they were! I don't know if this is a common technique, or something passed down or what, but I very intrigued. Quite cool. First time I've ever seen it done.
    my guy doesnt allow anyone to watch him work so i couldnt say if he does that or not, all i know is, his work is stunning. he also custom builds acoustics and they are by far the best playing acoustics you will ever play, his prices are also very good, a full setup only cost me 50 which included a fret dress etc.
    aint it great when ya find guys like this.
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  6. #6
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    my guy doesnt allow anyone to watch him work so i couldnt say if he does that or not, all i know is, his work is stunning. he also custom builds acoustics and they are by far the best playing acoustics you will ever play, his prices are also very good, a full setup only cost me 50 which included a fret dress etc.
    aint it great when ya find guys like this.
    Yeah. My guys an acoustic builder too. You should see his classicals. Unbelievable.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  7. #7
    Top Of The World ncbuckeye3's Avatar
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    03.10.12 @ 09:20 PM
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    Good story. Next time, paragraphs!

  8. #8
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncbuckeye3 View Post
    Good story. Next time, paragraphs!
    Haha! Yeah! I'll remember. Was typing this at 5:00 am, and was a little zombied to follow the rules of the written word. For seuth!
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

 

 

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