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Guitar Effects Canada String Instrument Service Rates - 2017


We are extremely proud to welcome Kevin "KJ" Johnson, Fender Certified Electric and Acoustic Technician, to the Guitar Effects Canada team.

Kevin is an extremely well known and sought after tech and will be handling all our Stringed Instrument repairs.


Bench Rate       $72.00 per hour

  •  Prices are for labor only. Parts not included unless specified.

Some repairs often require new strings and or parts and a setup, which is an additional cost.

  •  Some repairs or services can present unexpected complications and may require additional labor charges beyond the fixed rate, in these cases you will be contacted with a revised estimate.

Maintenance – Restrings

  •  Steel String Guitar or Bass $20
  •  12-String Guitar $30
  •  Locking-Tremolo Guitar $30
  •  Classical Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo $30
  •  Ukulele $15

Maintenance / Setups

A Typical Setup Includes:

Complete inspection of the instrument – Restring - Clean and hydrate fingerboard - Tighten, adjust and lubricate hardware - Adjust truss rod - Adjust tremolo-bridge setting to player’s preference - Adjust and or correct string height at bridge and nut - Adjust for correct string relief - Adjust intonation - Clean and lubricate electronics - Adjust pickup balance - Restring, tighten and lubricate all hardware - Clean and test electronics, replace battery (Battery not included) -

Address loose wiring - Cleaning of entire guitar within limits of the existing condition - Tune and check, full inspection and play test.

  •  Guitar or Bass (Electric or Acoustic) $65 and up
  •  Requiring neck removal for truss-rod adjustment (i.e. Vintage Fender) Add $10
  •  Non-locking tremolo bridge (i.e. Fender Stratocaster) Add $10
  •  Locking tremolo bridge Add $30
  •  12-string Add $20
  •  Resonator Guitar $75
  •  Mandolin $65
  •  Ukulele $50
  •  Banjo $75

Refinishing and Cosmetic Touch Ups

All refinishing and Cosmetic touch ups on a per quote basis.

Fret Work

Requires new strings.

Some fretwork requires new or re detailed nut and re set up.

Not all cosmetic repairs are included but all fretwork is done as carefully as possible to leave a clean result.

  •  Fret edge dress $45
  •  Full fret level recrown and polish $150
  •  Full re-fret – unbound neck $ 360
  •  Full re-fret – bound neck $ 420
  •  Re-Fret – Maple Fingerboard (clear gloss or satin finish)       $375.00
  •  Re-Fret – Maple Fingerboard (tint gloss or satin finish)           $450.00
  •  Partial fret level $30 per fret
  •  Partial re-fret – unbound neck $40 per fret (includes blend level recrown and polish)
  •  Partial re-fret - bound neck $60 per fret (includes blend level recrown and polish)
  •  Glue loose frets $40 per fret (includes blend level recrown and polish)

Nut Work

Requires new strings and on occasion setup work. Nuts will be replaced as carefully as possible to leave a clean result. We use and recommend Graph Tech but can also use bone at additional cost. Plastic nuts and saddles are not offered.

Premade (Pre slotted Graphtech product)

  •  6-String guitar $60 may require * setup review
  •  4-String bass $60 may require * setup review
  •  12-String guitar $80 may require * setup review
  •  Mandolin $80 may require * setup review
  •  Banjo or ukulele $80 may require * setup review

Custom Made (Cut and slotted from blank material)

  •  6-String guitar $80 may require * setup review
  •  4-String bass $80 may require * setup review
  •  12-String guitar $100 may require * setup review
  •  Mandolin $100 may require * setup review
  •  Banjo or ukulele $80 may require * setup review

What is a * setup review? If the guitar is in a correct state of set up and playability before replacing the nut, it most often does not require a full set up following this procedure. In the event that a set up needs to be done they are typically less extensive than a complete set up. If needed, excluding cost of strings it will add approximately $50 labor.

Structural Repairs

  •  Broken headstock minor (partially attached, simple alignment) $85
  •  Broken headstock major (fully detached, difficult alignment) $155

* Broken Headstock / Neck repairs do not include a complete cosmetic re finish but are left in a clean stable long term playing condition. Re finish is available by quote.

  •  Neck reset (Bolt on with glued extension i.e. Seagull) $200 + setup
  •  Re glue loose or cracked brace $50 each
  •  Re glue detached brace $70 each
  •  Minor crack repair * in top back or side $65 each
  •  Major crack repair * with internal cleating $80 each

* Top crack repairs do not include a complete cosmetic re finish but are left in a clean stable long term playing condition. Re finish is available by quote.

  •  Bridge removal and re glue $150 + setup
  •  Bridge removal and re glue with under-saddle pickup $170
  •  Shave bridge $50 (occasionally used as cost saving alternate to net re-set)

Bridge & Saddle Work

Acoustic Instruments (Graphtech Products used)

  •  Acoustic Guitar compensated Graphtech saddle $40
  •  Ukulele Graphtech saddle $20
  •  Banjo Bridge (Grover) $25
  •  Mandolin – by individual quote only
  •  Arch top instruments by individual quote only
  •  Electric Instruments By individual quote only

Electronic Repairs and Service

Prices are for direct replacement pickups and do not include routing or modification of the body or modifications  / repairs to existing pick up wires.

  •  One pickup $40
  •  Two pickups $55
  •  Three pickups $70
  •  4 conductor pickup with switching (mini-switch or push/pull pot) Add $15
  •  Replace standard 3,4 or 5 way switch, $40
  •  Replace output jack $20 - $40 (Standard vs. Barrel)
  •  Replace standard potentiometer $20 - $ 40 each control (depends on access)
  •  Telecaster bridge pickup Add $20 and restring
  •  Install new under saddle or contact pickup with endpin jack $65
  •  Install new sound hole pickup with endpin jack $45
  •  Install floating bridge pickup for mandolin or archtop guitar $65
  •  Install new self-stick acoustic pick guard or tap plates $20
  • *Archtop / F Hole guitars by individual quote only.

Tuners and Miscellaneous Installs & Services

New strings are highly recommended but existing strings can sometimes be used. There will however be a charge for restring. Prices are for direct replacement and do not include reaming or shimming.

  •  Requires reaming Add $20
  •  Requires doweling of old set-screw holes Add $20
  •  Requires drilling of new set-screw holes Add $20
  •  Requires re bushing / dowel on all tuner holes $120
  •  Classical guitar tuner set  $15 + restring
  •  Guitar or bass (Steel string) $25+ restring
  •  12-String guitar (Steel string) $40+ restring
  •  Ukulele $25
  •  Install new strap button or strap lock $10 each
  •  Dowel and re-drill loose strap button $15 each
  •  Block tremolo bridge (front only) $40
  •  Block tremolo bridge (front & back) $60

Note on Humidity

Wood is hygroscopic, which means it will release or absorb moisture into the air around it, causing it to shrink or swell. Prior to a guitar’s construction, the wood is dried and seasoned to achieve stable moisture content. After construction, the wood in the guitar will continue to release or absorb moisture depending on the humidity in the air around it. If the guitar is exposed to a dry environment, it will begin to release moisture into the air, causing the wood to shrink. If it is exposed to a humid environment the wood will absorb moisture from the air and begin to swell. These changes have implications for the playability and longevity of the guitar. The ideal conditions for your guitar (and your violin, cello or piano for that matter) are between 18°C-24°C and between 45%-55% relative humidity. These conditions are the same as those in the factory or workshop where the guitar was built. Keeping the guitar within this range will ensure that the wood will not release or absorb moisture, and will help your guitar avoid the symptoms described on the following panel.

Effects of Humidity Change

High humidity can cause acoustic guitar tops to swell, resulting in uncomfortably high action; a setup can usually address such issues. Extremely high humidity can cause glue joints to release, and finishes to distort or peel. High humidity can also cause necks to warp or twist, and metal components to rust and corrode prematurely. Low humidity may cause sharp fret ends to protrude past the edge of the fingerboard as it shrinks. Acoustic guitar tops will begin to shrink inwards, resulting in low action and fret-buzz. Prolonged exposure to a dry environment will lead to warped necks and loose frets. Severe dryness will cause cracks to form and glue joints to release as the wood shrinks.


Kevin “KJ” Johnson Music Services

Fender Certified Electric and Acoustic Technician.