Let me set up your guitar or bass to play the best it possibly can!

What I will do

A normal set up consists of (as appropriate):

  • full evaluation of guitar
  • check and fix any loose frets, dress any sharp fret ends
  • polish frets
  • adjust neck relief
  • check and adjust nut slots and lubricate
  • clean and lubricate the bridge
  • adjust tremolo action to owner’s preferences
  • check and adjust bridge saddles
  • set bridge height
  • set intonation
  • adjust pickup height
  • check and tighten all screws
  • lemon-oil rosewood fretboard
  • treat switches and pots with contact cleaner
  • clean and polish
  • fit new strings

A fret dress is often recommended to get the lowest, buzz-free action and if a fret dress is required this will be performed for an additional charge after consultation with the owner.

Adjusting the intonation of a Gibson Les Paul



Well it depends on your guitar but expect to pay between £40 and £60 plus the cost of the strings. If a fret dress (level, re-crown and polish) is required, it’s normally an additional £40.

28 Comments on “Let me set up your guitar or bass to play the best it possibly can!”

  1. Steve has just set up my Fender Stratocaster. Sorted out the bridge so the trem doesn’t instantly put it out of tune. In fact it holds tune. Lovely action. Plays like a dream. Hope Roxy were good! Thanks a lot.

  2. Steve set up 2 guitars for me Fender squier strat which also needed a fret dress and fender strat copy which needed a new nut. Delighted with the work on both guitars and I cannot stress highly enough how much I am impressed by his work and the improvement on both guitars now Steve has worked his magic on them. They look, play and sound great.
    Thanks Steve.

  3. Finding the luthier I’d used several times had moved on, I came across Steve and his excellent website living and working nearby.

    To date he has set up, fret dressed, changed a saddle and a nut, replaced a Jack socket, and restrung two of my electro acoustics.

    And I have to say his expertise, professionalism, care and attention to fine tuning, quick turnaround, and bespoke friendly service leave nothing to be desired.

    I am perfectly confident Steve is more than capable of successfully undertaking just about any guitar problem, and at a very fair price.

    I’ll certainly be taking any future work to him.

    Very highly recommended.

    To find a reliable luthier one can trust implicitly says it all !

    Thanks Steve,

    Roger x x

  4. Steve has now set up not 1 but 3 of my electric guitars. Each were very different guitars with equally problematic issues: Squier Stratocaster with a lopsided bridge, Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid not staying in tune in D standard and Fender Standard Jazzmaster with annoying rattle noises.

    Steve sorted ALL of these problems and set up the guitars to an immaculate standard – it has made the world of difference and all 3 guitars are now easy to play. Affordable prices, goes the extra mile and friendly personality too, would recommend to any guitarist; especially those around the beginner stage who may not be aware how much difference a set up can make!

  5. Hi, I just have a cheap Squire stratocaster, had it about a year now, and I have never really had it set-up properly by someone who knows what they are doing. How do you work? Do people send you their guitars through the post?

    • Yes sometimes people send me guitars for setup.

      I don’t recommend it though as the guitar can get knocked in transit which ruins the setup. Courier charges both ways increases the cost quite a bit too and it’s best to find someone local if you can.

  6. Hi Steve
    Are you still working away during lockdown? I would like a set up doing please. Well I actually have two that need it but I will have to do one at a time.
    I’m only local in Sale ??

    • I’m very sorry but as a non-essential business I’m not taking on any work for the duration of the lockdown. I’ll be back at work as soon as it’s a bit safer.

  7. I’ve entrusted Steve with 5 of my guitars now – 2 Peavey Rockinghams, a 1973 Fender Telecaster Custom, a Fender Coronado II and a Gretsch G5422TG – every one of them is now an absolute pleasure to play and I cannot thank Steve enough for the great work he has done. I’m trying not to think of some of the potentially great guitars I’ve had in the past and subsequently sold because of their playability or other issues – I know now Steve would have had them playing like a dream.

    Very highly recommended service. Thanks Steve

  8. I’ve owned an Ozark semi acoustic guitar for years and as I’ve just had a big birthday, my partner suggested that a new guitar would be a great way to celebrate. I was considering one of the Gibson or Epiphone Jazz models to replace my old buzzy, Ozark and I was excited when the dealer said that my old guitar would have a trade in value against my ‘upgrade’.
    I was however, devastated with the poultry sum offered for my beloved but underperforming guitar and decided against the upgrade.

    I mentioned my disappointment to Steve during a discussion about another guitar and he suggested that it might be worth spending a bit of time and money on my Ozark to see if it’s issues might be resolved.

    A full set up, some fret dressing and a new nut and strings and it’s a completely different guitar! Maybe not quite in the Gibson class but certainly as good as the Epiphone I was considering, and at a fraction of the cost.

    Thanks Steve for your advice and honesty. You’ve breathed new life into an old friend”

  9. I’m an ‘oldie’ player and have owned a USA Strat Plus from the late 90’s from new, but not really played for a few years, but decided to ‘have another go’ just for my own entertainment, and bought a ‘Kinman Gypsy’ set of pickups, and the Decade control harness (gives the usual pickup switch positions, plus an on/off push selector on the bottom ‘Tone’ control knob … giving an additional set of 5 more selections .. very impressive.)
    I took my guitar to Steve and after a week collected it …. it was a completely different guitar, I’d NEVER felt it play so easily and smoothly, and Steve explained a lot about the Strat that I didn’t appreciate, I can’t thank him enough, and will certainly be asking him to ‘service’ it again in the future.
    If you are ‘pondering’ about taking your guitar to Steve … just do it .. you will not regret it.
    Thanks again Steve.

  10. Hi Steve,

    Thanks a lot for the setups! I took two guitars into Steve for different and similar reasons. I wanted both guitars to feel the same and be set up as such. So the G&L Doheny V12 has slight narrower string spacing than standard Fender or Gibson which would be great for people with skinny things or better technique but for me I wanted it made stock, like my CIJ Jazzmaster. Steve sorted this and now it’s a lot easier for me to play. Additionally Steve sorted out the pickups, raising the bridge pick up and generally getting the levels right, thanks for that!

    Originally I just wanted a set up on the Jazzmaster, Steve noted right away the intonation would be out on the bridge, and suggested an upgrade to staytrem. I did that, and while it was on the bench I ask him to gut it and upgrade the pots. Steve also noticed a perculiar raised pole piece on one of the magnets which impacted on the intonation and resolved this.

    I’m really happy, the guitars are loving the Burly strings – they sound spot on. Additionally, I’m really happy with the set up on the Doheny V12, there’s much more tonal variety when I move between series,parallel and split coil on the pick up selection – it’s a joy to play.

    Great job on a general polish up on both guitars but in particular my long standing beloved Jazzmaster.



  11. I recently bought a Sigma SDM-18 dreadnought and realized that although it was very good, it would benefit from a proper setup.
    Took it to Steve who did a superb job, tidied up and polished the nut, set the neck relief and adjusted the bridge. I now have a superb playing guitar that sounds better than ever.

  12. Collected a hybrid Strat that needed setting up and the nut cutting from Steve today. WOW what an amazing job he did. The trem is set perfectly hasn’t gone out of tune after a couple of hours playing. The action is beautiful and the nut is cut superbly, he even dressed the frets on the brand new neck I had fitted because they weren’t perfect. Steve always gives a first class service, whether your guitar is worth a couple of hundred pounds or a couple of thousand he treats each guitar with equal respect and his attention to detail is second to none. This is the second guitar Steve has done for me but I’m sure it wont be the last.

    Cheers Steve.

  13. Picked up my PRS from Steve today. As always, impeccable work! New nut, bridge refloated and a set up and it is faultless.
    I’ve had my USA Strat set up with new electrics also fitted by Steve and it has never let me down once whilst gigging (and never drops out of tune with the floating bridge)!
    I took a Chinese Epiphone Casino to Steve after buying it and finding it to not be the best piece of stringed wood I’ve held.
    Steve fitted a new nut, dressed the frets, and set it up and it also sings!
    I honestly can’t fault him. If you’re considering who to trust with your guitar, and want peace of mind that it will come back as you want it to, then Steve is your man.
    Would you believe he’s also a nice guy too. :-)

  14. Just collected my guitar after a new guitar setup from Steve ( 3rd guitar Steve has setup for me to date)
    I thouroughly recommend Steve to anyone.
    The examples of his craftsmanship are superb!

    Steve’s extremely high level of workmanship ensures the very best sound and playability my new guitar is how it should have been when I took delivery. Nice re dressed frets, perfect action without fret buzz, intonation is faultless, and my nice new guitar was treated with absolute care and respect by Steve, not a mark on it.
    It now plays in a way it didn’t before, a joy to play.

    Thanks Steve, you’re the best


    Steve I

  15. Having purchased a brand new Strat I wanted to get it set up correctly. I found Steve’s website and after reading about the services he provides I decided to contact him. It turned out to be the best £50 I’ve ever spent. A full set up, rectify a slight problem with the trem and a new set of strings. It now plays like a dream. Steve provides a first class service at a great price and he is such a nice guy as well.
    Thanks again Steve.

    Iain grierson

  16. I purchased a Fender Strat after it fell from a wall in PMT in Salford after I had tried it out in store, I didn’t replace it properly and the damage was my fault. The staff at PMT were amazing and refused my offer to pay for any repairs, in the end I bought it knowing that it needed to have a proper set up. I took it to Steve after finding him online, I suggested changing the pickups, tuners etc to make the guitar better. He told me it wasn’t needed and that it just required a set up, I asked him to attend to the damage on the body caused by the fall and left. A week later, I returned and found the damage fixed seamlessly! and the guitar playing and sounding incredible, to the point I cannot put it down! Steve charged me next to nothing yet made a massive difference and totally rescued me from an awful disaster.
    If Jesus took up the guitar? he would take it to Steve to improve it.
    Thank you Steve for your generosity, honesty and your miracles!I
    John Stimpson

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