Q: What makes you different from other shops?
A: North Coast Guitars is about the player in all of us. We know that regardless of how much or little you spent on it your instrument is special and unique to you. We strive to make sure that your instrument plays as well, if not better, than when you first bought it and to extend the life of your instrument.
Q: How much is a guitar or instrument evaluation?
A: We always offer free evaluations.
Q: What are the benefits of repairing and or maintaining my instrument?
A: Most people don’t realize that instruments need to be repaired and maintained. In a lot of ways it’s like a car. Your car needs oil changes, tires, brakes, all sorts of work to keep it going. You don’t just junk it when it runs out of gas or when it need the tires rotated. Yet with some of the mega stores out there guitars and basses are seen as disposable if they don’t “play the way it used to” or go out tune. Always remember a properly built and maintained guitar can last 75 + years, with proper care. So before you give up on it, bring to us and see what can be done.
Q: What is the benefit of a hand made Bone Nut?
A: The Nut is the piece that sets the spacing and height of the strings at the leading edge (beginning) of the fingerboard on electric and acoustic fretted instruments. All of the leading guitar/bass manufactures use a prefabricated plastic or composite Nut to save time in the building process. (Yes, even that $3000 Martin, Taylor, or Gibson you just bought.) By changing the Nut to bone you receive better tone transfer and clarity out of the guitar. Players also benefit from having a Nut custom made specifically for their guitar, string gauge, and playing style. In short, this allows us to maximize the responsiveness and tone of any guitar or bass and customize the set up to fit a players needs and style.
Q: What is the benefit of a hand made Bone Saddle on acoustic guitars and basses?
A: The saddle is the piece that the strings make contact with on the bridge of a fretted instruments and set the string height and intonation. All of the leading guitar/bass manufactures use a prefabricated plastic or composite Saddle to save time in the building process. (Yes, even that $3000 Martin, Taylor, or Gibson you just bought.) By changing the Saddle to bone you receive better tone transfer and clarity out of the guitar. Players also benefit from having a Saddle custom made specifically for their guitar, string gauge, and playing style. In short, this allows us to maximize the responsiveness and tone of any guitar or bass and customize the set up to fit a players needs and style.
Q: What is a Setup?
A: We put new strings on the instrument, adjust the truss rod to make the neck fluid and responsive, adjust the intonation (if needed), clean and polish it, and look it over to see if there are any other problems that need to be addressed.
Q: Why is the Action (string height) too high or low?
A: Wood is like a sponge. When it’s hot and moist around it, wood will absorb the moisture in the air and expand. When it’s dry, the moisture in the wood evaporates and it will contract. Over time as the humidity in the air changes outside or around where the guitar is stored, the action will differ dependent on the conditions. To help prevent this from happening pay attention to where you are storing your guitar. Try to find a place in you house that doesn’t go through extreme temperature and humidity changes. In other words don’t store it next to the washing machine, dryer, over a heat duct, etc. In addition every acoustic guitar/bass should have an “instrument humidifier” for when it is not being used or played. You can find these types of accessories at any guitar retail store or we can order one for you. Even with these preventative measures wood instruments will still move and require an “adjustment” or set up. Depending on the instrument and how it is stored, this may need to be done once or twice a year.
Q: What is fret wear?
A: The “frets” are the pieces of metal in the finger board that make contact with the strings as you play the guitar. In over 90% of the guitars on the market these frets are made of a nickel/silver alloy that is softer than the guitar strings. Because of this the frets wear down over time, becoming flat or grooved instead of domed. This causes your intonation to go sharp and buzzing to occur when you are playing. To fix fret wear we do what is called a “Fret Dress”. This means that we level the existing frets, re-round them, and then polish them to a high shine so that the guitar plays as well if not better than it did when you first bought it.