At this time of year when guitars tend to be bought as presents I get asked if it’s necessary to have it set up, or it’s suggested that as it’s a new guitar it shouldn’t need very much doing.
Unless the buyer is extraordinarily fortunate, the answer is always “yes” and a new guitar can need more doing than one that’s been previously set up.
Most guitars are made to a price and budget instruments just don’t have the time spent on them to make them play as well as they can. Also, most guitars are made outside of the UK where the climate (temperature and humidity) is quite different and this can affect the wood. Common problems on new guitars are:
So in conclusion, yes a new guitar will benefit from a setup and if you are paying several hundred pounds for an instrument, isn’t it worth paying a bit more and getting the best out of it?
You can see the components of a guitar setup and a guide to prices on this page.