Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

Guitar Setup Course: Feedback

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Hello and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone still has the holiday glow as you enjoy 2015 and keeping all those resolutions you promised to yourself.

One thing you may have always wanted to understand and do yourself is guitar setups on your own guitars.  There is really no better way to understand what makes some guitars play better than others, how to tweak a guitar that feels a little off more to your liking, and also be able to check if a used guitar is in great shape but just plays funny because it hasn’t been set up properly.

We are the only repair shop in the area who offer this type of course because we do not mind educating our customers.  You should not have to pay for a setup again after taking this 4 hour one on one course.  Here is feedback from our latest student in November of 2014.  He wanted to concentrate on Strats that he had, and was able to use the course immediately to work on another guitar he had.  So give a ring if you are interested to set up a time:  weekday evenings, or weekend mornings.

“I am very happy with the class and the results with the guitars.
 the fiesta red strat is the most playable – however the pick ups aren’t that great.
 the white custom shop strat is the most beautiful guitar – pickups have great tone –
 and finally . . . the black strat –
 I have been able to adjust the truss rod a bit more and have gone back and forth with the truss rod adjustment  – i believe i have it set up pretty nicely.  i have also set the action pretty nicely.  the intonation is a bit tricky as i am using a korg chromatic tuner (19.99) – for now i have re strung this guitar with the same size strings (10s) – this guitar has pick ups that absolutely scream.
Any how – thanks a lot for spending the time to work with my guitars, and teaching me so much – i am pretty confident in the basics of setting up fender guitars now.
it is an excellent service you provide. “

FOR SALE page added to the website!!

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Hello Everyone. Hope you are all having a fantastic New Year!!!   In that spirit we have added a new page to our website titled: FOR SALE.    You will find listed there various items all dealing with guitar parts, guitar building, and music gear that we are willing to part with (for a price) here in the shop.  If you see anything you are interested in, contact us for more info, any questions or to make an appt to meet and inspect the item.  Hope to hear from you all soon, and check back periodically as new items will be listed monthly.



Shop Closed September 18th through October 6th

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Hey Folks, sorry for the inconvenience but we will be taking some time in late September to close the shop, update some equipment, and do some relaxing. Please call or email if you have any questions and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and you are ready for a great 2013.  The shop is open again and ready for all your guitar repair needs.   We hope to hear from you soon.

I’m Back!!!(Take Three)

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

(third time writing this. mysteriously all the text disappeared the first two times. Spooky!!)

Anway, Just letting everyone know I am back and finally updating my blog on a regular basis again.  I chalk it up to an intense case of laziness the past few months. Actually been just the opposite, always busy with something. My goal is to get at least two updates a month from now on, and maybe even more. Woohoo!!

I attended a small concert a few weeks ago at the Fret House in Covina,  a guitar duo of Carl Verheyen and Steve Trovato.  It was just an incredible showcase of what you can do on guitar without a distortion pedal, including a mix of fingerpicking blues and folk, the hottest country licks, jazz and some of their originals.  Both Carl and Steve are well known in LA but probably not elsewhere. Carl Verheyen happens to be an A list sessions musician in the area. I can attest to the fact that he is equally as impressive in live situations.  check him out with his full band, December 1st at the Canyon Club.

Also, the ever popular Musician’s Swap Meet will be held on November 20th at the usual site, Old World Festival Hall in Huntington Beach.  They also serve brautwurst and beer so its definitely a good way to spend a Sunday.

Buzz Feiten Tuning Goes Iphone/Ipod

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

A quick update from Allen, our contact over at Buzz Feiten Tuning.   Here is what Allen has to say,

“You should be aware of the DAddario/Planet Waves
ProTune which is an iPhone/iPod app that includes BFTS(Buzz Feiten Tuning System) as an upgrade. So, now there’s a full tuner with our system
(no acoustic intonation of course) for less than $25.
Plus, BFTS and all our licensed partners will be exposed to
an enormous marketplace due to our inclusion in Apple’s
marketing on iTunes. This is a very significant breakthrough.
Check it out:
Planet Waves also makes the TruStrobe pedal tuner with BFTS that
retails for $89. We are now very affordable.

Guitar Setups and Setup Course

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

The professional guitar setup is a much misunderstood thing.  I attribute that to the fact that there are alot of  folks out there who think they can perform a setup just because they can tighten a truss rod,  but they really dont really get it. As long as it doesnt buzz and the action is “low”, they think the job is done.

  The difference between a basic setup and a solid professionally done setup can be subtle but at the same time can change completely the way a guitar plays for the better.   I’ve had so many customers fall back in love with a guitar after its had a proper setup in our shop.

For more information about guitar setups you can check out our Faq & Tips page

or get the best book I have seen on the topic, Electric Guitar Setups by Hideo Kamimoto

or even better SIGN UP now for my Guitar Setup Course, where you will learn hands on how to do your own setups and maintain your own stable of guitars.   More info in the Our Services section, and you can always call me for more information.

My First Interview!! Finally, A Celebrity of Sorts

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I was asked a week ago to do a short interview with this guy who is taking a journalism course.  He found me on the internet searching Google, he likes guitars, and thought “why not call Maurice and see if I can interview him for this class project I have due next week.”    I agreed and we set a date and time for him to come to the shop.

He showed up, notebook in hand, and while I was working on a guitar setup he asked a bunch of  questions about me, guitar repair, and guitars in general.  It was fun so I wanted to post the article that he submitted for his class, with his permission of course. Here it is in its entirety.

PASADENA, Calif.–“Sometimes I like to go buy a cheap old guitar from a yard sale and just smash it with a hammer to see what repairs I can make,” says Maurice Adams from his garage-turned-workshop.

            Adams, 42, created Adams Music Instrument Repair in 2003 out of his Pasadena home, where it’s been a one-man business from the start.

            His workspace is woodshop meets Woodstock, toolboxes and tie-dye, and a shrine to hard work and hard rock. Adams appears to fall somewhere between handyman and hippie, with short black hair, and clad in jeans and a blue Memphis Tigers t-shirt on this day.

            Adams grew up in a musical household where his “dad was a good clarinet player” he recalls. He began playing the guitar at 14, and the six-string has been his instrument of choice ever since, performing in both original and cover bands starting in his late-teenage years.

He dabbled in basic guitar repair while in college at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering. It wasn’t until Adams attended Summit School of Building and Repair in Vancouver in 2003 that he was ready to open his own repair shop. “It was really important for me to have that formal training, and learn from someone more experienced,” Adams says, while fixing the action (the height of the strings above the fret board) on a customer’s acoustic guitar.  “There is plenty of lesson-learning material out there, with Internet sites and videos. That’s fine if I’m only fixing my guitars, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable fixing other people’s guitars with just that basic knowledge.”

            The guitar repairman, whose full-time gig is selling industrial products, does the repairs as a side job. “I don’t have set hours. Some days I might only work for an hour doing setup work (neck, string height, fret wear) for an acoustic. Some days I might have to put in new pickups (for an electric guitar), which can take five or six hours.”

            There is really no such thing as a typical day at Adams Music Instrument Repair, as evidenced by one particular repair request out of left field. “One customer had a car horn button on the body of the guitar to stop the sound. He needed that replaced, so I found something at an auto parts store,” he says.

            He doesn’t provide a set price list to his customers and admits that he probably could charge more for his services. “I’m thinking of making $30 the benchmark. Once the guitar comes out of the case, that’s automatically 30, and it can go up from there,” he affirms as he places a $20 invoice on the case of the guitar he’s been working on during the interview.

 Adams also admits he needs to advertise his business a bit more. “I’ve started a blog, but I know I need to update it more often. I would like to get the word out even more.” Even without a full-on advertising campaign, Adams Music Instrument Repair comes up first in a Google search for “guitar repair Pasadena.” This is no small feat when competing for business in a city of more than 150,000 people.              

For now, Adams is content with the steady flow of business. He enjoys each unique challenge that guitar repair brings, from resetting a vintage Martin acoustic guitar to fixing a broken headstock on a Fender Stratocaster.

And if it’s a slow workday, he can always take a hammer to one of his own guitars.

Pele Hilstrom Visits the Shop

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Pele Hilstrom from Mod Wheel Mood stopped by the shop to have a new guitar worked on and set up properly.   Here he is hanging out in the repair shop, checking to see if it meets his standards.  Pele is also a songwriter for Chrysalis Publishing, and plays in many LA area bands.

Musicians Swap Meet again, Sunday June 27th

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Well, my buddy James and I had such a blast at the last Swap Meet down in Huntington Beach that we are will have a booth again this Sunday the 27th, at the Old World Festival Hall.

Come See us,  check out all the cool used music gear, and have some good German food and beer too.   Starts at 10AM.  here is a link for more info.