Monday, June 25, 2012

Stewart-MacDonald Guitar Basic Set-up Kit Review


A few days ago I wrote about Dan Erlewine’s “Guitar Player Repair Guide” and mentioned that many of the tools needed for basic set-ups can probably be found in your home tool box. But there are a few things you will need for a quality guitar set-up that you probably do not have lying around your shop. But have no fear, the guys from Stewart-MacDonald have put together the things you will need in their basic set-up kit.

This kit includes:

A beveled 18” precision straight edge that is machined to be accurate to within 0.0015”. This will help you check neck relief and verify truss rod adjustment changes.

A string action gauge that is designed to quickly measure string height, but is also good for checking the height of nuts, saddles and pickup pole pieces.

A set of eight under string radius gauges so you can match bridge saddle heights to the curvature of the fretboard.

They also throw a set of set-up instructions into the box too, and of course Stew-Mac has an abundance of helpful hints on their web site. By the way, you can get the basic set-up kit in standard or metric sizes (of course the metric system will never catch on).

The metric or standard kit will set you back $89.11 (which is $5 off the price of these items separately), but you will save at least that much money after you do you first couple of set-ups. They are well-made tools and are certainly worth the money. You can find the basic set-up kit and most any other repair tool you can imagine at


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