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Thread: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

  1. #1
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    Granted, I live on Long Island where prices are high, but I was wondering what it runs. I'm having a guy invert my tuners so they turn in the right direction, put on a new set of J74s and adjusting bridge, etc. (Still fixing that Strad-o-lin) I'm looking at $110 plus $9 for the strings (6.84 at Sweetwater). If he does a good job with it I'm probably okay with that.
    Last edited by Elliot Luber; Nov-06-2019 at 3:42pm. Reason: fixed price error
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    Probably not unreasonable for your location, particularly if there’s drilling involved with the tuner inversion...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    That sounds like a reasonable charge.
    David Hopkins

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  6. #4

    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    The last time I had a pro setup, it was $150, but that included the mandatory fret level. The guy wouldn’t do a setup without one, a view I have come to believe correct, especially for those coming in asking for as low as possible without buzzing.
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    Depends what I want done.
    Basic setup is 50 ($60-$80 depending on exchange rates at the time Im not familiar with the dollar so my exchange rate could be waaay out.)
    If I want more done like a fret level or a nut adjustment or saddle adjustment (aka new saddle) itd be between 100-150 but probably 100. (~$120)
    Athougth the only thing Id actually pay to get done by a professional is a new saddle or nut or fretwork. When I bought my mandolin I set it up the frets were ok and the bridge needed some adjusting. I cut the nut lower myself. So most of the time its free.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    A good set-up person/repairman is worth their weight in platinum.

    Even if I could do it myself I would rather pay to have the job done well. Then I can spend more time playing.

    I don't have the experience,skills,tools,nor attention span to do perfect set ups.

    I am pretty good at changing strings.

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    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    Yes, a good set-up is important, but can we be more specific?
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    The two best shops in Portland charge $75 and $80 for a mando setup. This does not include fretwork.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    I believe guitar center does a basic guitar set up for about $50. It it involves a bridge installation and set up a mandolin would be around $150 at the luthier near me. They also turned the truss rod and leveled the frets as needed.
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    Get Rob Meldrum’s free eBook by e mailing him. Just do a search and about a hundred threads will come up. Then spend the fifteen bucks for a thickness gauge set and other stuff. Then see where your mandolin’s measurements fall. This will give you a good idea of where you are and where you need to be. You might just decide on DIY. If you don’t you’ll have educated yourself.

    A rule of thumb for me is the cheaper the instrument, the more likely you need fretwork for optimum action. The prices quoted above are all acceptable ballpark figures. I’d never have work done at a store that carries 200 guitars and two mandolins. Nor would I buy a mandolin from one.
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    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    So it came back all set up, oiled and sounding pretty good. The tuners are even facing the right direction! Worth the expense, as good craftsman service usually is.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

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  19. #12
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    You're lucky to be in an area to find someone experienced in mandolin set ups. Around here the "experts" set up entry import guitars for the student market. We have a couple of decent guitar set up guys for mid level guitars that the local musicians use and they'll jump on anything with strings but they are quick to admit they dont really have much experience in any specialty outside of guitars. Last major set up I drove 6 1/2 hours to someone I trusted. But i happened to be going near there anyway.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  21. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    I believe guitar center does a basic guitar set up for about $50. It it involves a bridge installation and set up a mandolin would be around $150 at the luthier near me. They also turned the truss rod and leveled the frets as needed.
    Unless you have a Guitar Center where you live that has an excellent luthier I would steer clear. The one I go to has a young woman with an attitude who might know how to set up an electric guitar. The acoustic department has a quite a few guitars that need adjustments and the two or three mandolins are not set up at all.
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    I tend to steer clear of music stores for any work on an acoustic instrument. Historically, they have been amateurish. I prefer to go to an actual luthier. Fortunately, there are a couple within about 70 miles. They're competent and competitively priced.
    David Hopkins

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  24. #15
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    I have that e-book. Thanks. There's also a great video on how to do it yourself, but I wanted it professionally done.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

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  25. #16
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    There's a music store by me that does very good work in-store, but that is rare. There's also a really good luthier who works out of his house by me, but I don't know if he does many mandolins. Guitars he knows well.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

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  26. #17
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does a mando set-up cost in your area?

    One can find pretty much everything in the New York area... at a cost.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

    Member, Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra
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