What is a guitar setup and why it is Important?

Whenever you get a guitar for the first time, it requires a professional and well-organized setup. A professional guitar setup is highly effective to ensure the optimal performance of the guitar. It is extremely helpful for the guitarists who are dying to get mesmerizing experiences while playing the guitar.

Today, we have decided to present a detailed and informative article regarding the professional guitar setup and its necessity. Hopefully, guitarists or musicians like you will love this article.

What is a Professional Guitar Setup?

Before any further do, let’s know what is a guitar setup. Professional guitar setup is a combination of adjustments that are highly reliable for optimum quality performances. This guitar setup is actually a combination of some hardware adjustments along with neck, string height, tuning stability, etc. 

What Does a Guitar Setup consist of?

A new guitar requires a professional setup and you have to take the guitar to the professional luthier or guitar tech. Professional guitar setup includes so many services, along with adjusting the string height, truss rod, and action, etc. These are not all for the guitar setup. These requirements vary according to the guitar type. Considering all these things, you will get some additional activities. Let’s know what you will get from the guitar setup.

  • Truss Rod Adjustments

The first advantage of a professional guitar setup is to get the chance of adjusting the truss rod. Do you know what the truss rod is? Well, a truss rod is a rod coming from the neck and going towards the body. When you are playing the guitar, you will need to adjust the relief in the neck and the truss rod is the stuff that will help you most to do this.

If you take your guitar to a professional luthier, they will check the relief in your guitar. If it has enough relief, it will be in the bow shape and if not, it will be in the back bow. This relief is not good, whether it is high or low. You should maintain a standard level to get the best output. 

  • Tremolo Adjustments

Tremolo adjustment is another way of keeping the performance at its apex level. If you are not satisfied with the tremolo or your guitar has a floating tremolo, you have the opportunity to fix it to get the tuning more stable. Tremolo has a spring system that allows it to move. You can adjust the distance between strings and tremolo. By doing this, you can make your guitar suitable for high-performance before every show.

  • Setting the String action

String action is basically the distance you will find between the strings and also between the string and fretboard. Some guitars have high string action and have more gaps between strings and fretboard. This type of guitar requires more pressure to play. The other type is the low-string action. This kind of guitar has less gap between string and fretboard. So, you don’t need to pressurize it too much. Now, we are not suggesting which one is good for a guitarist.

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Actually, it varies according to your preferences. Some people love to play with high string action, where some people prefer low string action. But if you want a loud sound, you should keep the string action high as it provides more room to vibrate the tune.

  • Setting the Guitar’s Intonation

Guitar’s intonation is another crucial thing that needs to be perfect, anyways. Intonation is how well the string stays in tune when you will pull the string one by one and its existence throughout the fretboard. You can check the intonation in a simple way. You just start playing the guitar and pull strings one by one.

After leaving the last string, you should go down a bit and feel the sound to understand consistency. If you feel that the tune is coming from different parts of the fretboard, you have to adjust the intonation. Setting the guitar intonation is a tricky thing to do. But, you have to do it somehow. Otherwise, your guitar will sound like crap.

  • Hydrating and Polishing

Keeping your guitar always hydrated and polished is very crucial. We all know that woods need water to stay useful. After cutting the trees, the wooden piece remains dehydrated and hard to survive. If you don’t keep it hydrated, your guitar will crack very soon. So, whenever you go to a professional luthier, they will work on it for sure. You will find different kinds of fretboard conditioner and polish to do this. Just get something and make your guitar shiny and hydrated.

  • Fret Dressing

Fret dressing is another technical thing that is not a regular setup, but you may need to do it anytime. First, let’s know what the fret dressing is. Well, fret dressing is the adjustment of uneven fretboards. After using the guitar for a long time, it is normal that the fret will be uneven or face some other issues.  To fix it, you have to work with the fretboard. You can make the fret even so that it can provide a tune with a perfect melody.

  • Setting the Guitar’s String Radius

Guitar’s string radius is another crucial thing that affects a lot of your guitar’s performance. There is a huge variation in the string radius in different guitars. You won’t find the same radius in the Fender guitars and the Gibson guitars. People normally think that the fretboard should be straight as possible. But, honestly, the fretboard is not fully straight. It is a bit uneven and that’s the reason why you need to get the perfect string radius.

Why Do You Need a Guitar Setup?

No matter which type of guitar you have, whether the new one or an older one, you need to set up the guitar. People may think if they buy a brand-new guitar, they don’t need to set it up. But it’s totally wrong. Due to the shipping, it is very normal if your guitar faces any malfunctions.

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Normally, the action of the new guitar remains high and it may cause fret buzz sometimes. There are so many issues like this that require a professional setup at the beginning. So, don’t waste your time deciding what to do. Just go to the luthier and get your guitar setup.

Bottom Line

Having a proper guitar setup is very necessary if you have a guitar and this is equally applicable for your new guitars as well. But, before giving anyone to do this, make sure he is good enough to do this job. If any error occurs while setting it up, you may lose the charm of the guitar forever and it may cost you a lot So, be careful when you are working with your guitar.