I use Mark at Songbird. I am in a show and my #1, a Burns Brian May, is in use 6 days a week. When it has an issue, I bring it to Mark and he has it done the next day. He charges me double for the rush job, but that is OK, as his price is already quite reasonable.
I ordered tuners from L+M once and two months later they had still not arrived. It was a problem with their supplier. They apologized profusely and were nice enough about it, but hey, I had to get on with my life. I went to Songbird, they had them in stock, and the next day they were installed, and worked perfectly. The old screw holes in the headstock were even filled in and dyed to match.
I took my Tom Anderson Classic to 12th Fret when I first got to Toronto several months ago. I just wanted a simple truss rod adjustment, as I had been touring for a year in a variety of climates.
It took 2 weeks, and I got it back with the trem flat against the body, even though it was set up floating when I brought it in, and it had always returned to tune perfectly, even after dive bombs. They told me "we set up all trems this way - that's the way 'most people' want them".
I had them re-float the trem. Now the tuning is unstable. It will probably take another year of playing in and futzing with before it stabilizes again, if it ever does.
They also filed the nut slots, which I did not ask them to do. (Once again, a standard part of all their setups.)
The open high E acquired a buzz it didn't have when I brought it in. I had to bring it back for further adjustments.
Overall I found them rather opinionated. That's OK - if you're right. The guy told me, with a straight face, that Anderson is a "parts company"! Tom Anderson is a friend of mine. I bought the guitar from him personally - I've been to his shop 3 times. He has'nt made or sold parts or parts guitars for 20 years! He makes everything but the hardware himself.
My advice to anyone going to a new tech is to be very, very specific about what you want, and leave absolutely nothing out, even things you would assume are obvious and self-explanatory. Watch them put it in writing. Ask them to call you first if they feel the need to apply additional procedures, or think the requested procedure is unadvisable. Don't care about whether it makes you look compulsive. It's your guitar and no-one knows it better than you.
I had a refret done at Capsule, and it's ready for pickup... details will follow...
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