Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by jeremyb »

This is why I learn how to do stuff myself, can't be bothered with the drama!
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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by Vince »

jeremyb wrote:This is why I learn how to do stuff myself, can't be bothered with the drama!
No, I like the finding and keeping of a good luthier.
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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by cholera »

I really liked the guys at Weta when I first went, I was quite young and quite happy to listen to their opinions of what I should do, but when I got a little older and decided I knew what I wanted they weren't to keen on taking that on board. They did make an extremely good pickguard for me once though, I will give them that. But same deal, I asked them to fit it to the guitar and leave the set up as close as they could to how it was. They decided to make it "better" and charged me extra. "Better" to them was putting fat as fuck strings on it and raising the action about a foot, basically making the guitar unplayable for me....
But overall I just got the feeling they thought I was an idiot bogan who was playing 7 strings because I was into Korn or something, which I most certainly wasn't.

Anyway, I'm sure the OP has enough opinions to draw a conclusion now!

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by sizzlingbadger »

jeremyb wrote:This is why I learn how to do stuff myself, can't be bothered with the drama!
I do most of my own work too, but sometimes I need someone with he right tools and the budget to put it right if something goes wrong.
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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by niceguyollie »

Vince wrote:
cholera wrote:I don't really like to drag some small business down to the ground, but Weta on the other hand were actually rude to me, then charged literally 3 times a quoted price. KD came along at just the right time, so I stopped going to Weta.
I really like Weta, it's just a pain getting out to their new place. The Really Rude Guy seems to have mellowed out a lot since the move and that was my only quibble. I love the really quirky retro instruments they build, too. I've heard that they have a bit of a tendency to return the instrument saying "Oh, and we discovered that blah blah blah so we changed that" and up-sell that way but I can't remember if that's ever happened to me.
Yeah, I had the same experience when I went to Weta years ago, you'd take your guitar in and ask for something to be done, but then they'd go and do all this other stuff without checking first. I had them recut the string slots on my '73 SG's tuneomatic bridge, and without asking me they decided to flip the bridge around so that the intonation screws were facing the rear of the guitar "....because it makes them easier to access". I was pissed off, as I wanted the guitar kept in its original condition. You just shouldn't do non-reversible work on someone's guitar without making it clear to the owner exactly what you are doing, even if you believe it is for the better.

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by xCaptainx »

I randomly stumbled upon KDs store while killing time in Wellington and unfortunately would have to agree with Ed.

While I found him pleasant enough, he came across as way, WAY too confident and boastful about his work. Was VERY clear about being the absolute best in NZ with working with Floyd Rose guitars and yeah, I dunno, I just didn't really gel with his personality and found him extremely off putting. Gave me huge lectures and talked down a lot. I'm no expert, but hey at least put out a feeler about someones competency level before giving them a 101 about how amazing you are and boasting about how you more you know about a certain topic.

I dunno. I wouldn't take work to him if I lived in Wellington purely because of that experience. I know nothing of his work, I just didn't 'like' him haha.

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by cholera »

niceguyollie wrote:
Vince wrote:
cholera wrote:I don't really like to drag some small business down to the ground, but Weta on the other hand were actually rude to me, then charged literally 3 times a quoted price. KD came along at just the right time, so I stopped going to Weta.
I really like Weta, it's just a pain getting out to their new place. The Really Rude Guy seems to have mellowed out a lot since the move and that was my only quibble. I love the really quirky retro instruments they build, too. I've heard that they have a bit of a tendency to return the instrument saying "Oh, and we discovered that blah blah blah so we changed that" and up-sell that way but I can't remember if that's ever happened to me.
Yeah, I had the same experience when I went to Weta years ago, you'd take your guitar in and ask for something to be done, but then they'd go and do all this other stuff without checking first. I had them recut the string slots on my '73 SG's tuneomatic bridge, and without asking me they decided to flip the bridge around so that the intonation screws were facing the rear of the guitar "....because it makes them easier to access". I was pissed off, as I wanted the guitar kept in its original condition. You just shouldn't do non-reversible work on someone's guitar without making it clear to the owner exactly what you are doing, even if you believe it is for the better.
Holy shit Ollie. That is messed up. I thought I had a bad run with them. I got drunk at a party once and the young apprentice guy from weta was there, I kinda went off at him a bit about what they (not him) did to my guitar, so I've been too scared to go back since! I can't believe they did something like that though.

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by niceguyollie »

Yeah, was not cool at all. I've had a few bad experiences like that with various repairers in Wellington, which is why I'm glad I do most of my own set-up work now.

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by sirvill »

cholera wrote:Anyway, I'm sure the OP has enough opinions to draw a conclusion now!

Hahaha... yeah clear as mud!!

Looks like there is about equal love and hate for both KD and Weta.

I'm taking her into Polar Bear@MusicPlanet today to get it all sorted - will chuck some pics up when its done :)

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by bender »

niceguyollie wrote: Yeah, I had the same experience when I went to Weta years ago, you'd take your guitar in and ask for something to be done, but then they'd go and do all this other stuff without checking first. I had them recut the string slots on my '73 SG's tuneomatic bridge, and without asking me they decided to flip the bridge around so that the intonation screws were facing the rear of the guitar "....because it makes them easier to access". I was pissed off, as I wanted the guitar kept in its original condition. You just shouldn't do non-reversible work on someone's guitar without making it clear to the owner exactly what you are doing, even if you believe it is for the better.
This might be a dumb question, but how is flipping a TOM bridge around so the screws are facing the other direction non-reversible?

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by rickenbackerkid »

Wellington seems to be a desolate landscape for luthiers! I’ve used KD, he did great work. He loves to talk about himself, and I can see how that would piss some people off. Weta can be rude and try hard for the upsell. Who’s the guy who did a completely flat radius on Sooty’s Strat without being asked to?

And then of course we have Simcha Delft, if you can wait a while. Even then you might be out of luck as she doesn’t seem to take on everything.

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Post by hamo »

Max Watt who used to run Wellington Rock Shop is doing luthier work now I believe. I know Max from way back and he used to make his own guitars, but I don't have any experience with his work. I'd trust him though. There's also a guy out here in Upper Hutt, but I haven't heard anything about him either.
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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by niceguyollie »

benderissimo wrote:
niceguyollie wrote: Yeah, I had the same experience when I went to Weta years ago, you'd take your guitar in and ask for something to be done, but then they'd go and do all this other stuff without checking first. I had them recut the string slots on my '73 SG's tuneomatic bridge, and without asking me they decided to flip the bridge around so that the intonation screws were facing the rear of the guitar "....because it makes them easier to access". I was pissed off, as I wanted the guitar kept in its original condition. You just shouldn't do non-reversible work on someone's guitar without making it clear to the owner exactly what you are doing, even if you believe it is for the better.
This might be a dumb question, but how is flipping a TOM bridge around so the screws are facing the other direction non-reversible?
Because the string slots were then cut for the corresponding wound and plain strings and how they sit over each pickup's pole pieces, meaning to get it back the other way the saddles would then need to have the tops ground down again and be recut. Eventually I ended up buying a replacement tuneomatic (wasn't enough saddle left on the old one to work with by then) and getting that set up correctly.

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by bender »

niceguyollie wrote:
benderissimo wrote:
niceguyollie wrote: Yeah, I had the same experience when I went to Weta years ago, you'd take your guitar in and ask for something to be done, but then they'd go and do all this other stuff without checking first. I had them recut the string slots on my '73 SG's tuneomatic bridge, and without asking me they decided to flip the bridge around so that the intonation screws were facing the rear of the guitar "....because it makes them easier to access". I was pissed off, as I wanted the guitar kept in its original condition. You just shouldn't do non-reversible work on someone's guitar without making it clear to the owner exactly what you are doing, even if you believe it is for the better.
This might be a dumb question, but how is flipping a TOM bridge around so the screws are facing the other direction non-reversible?
Because the string slots were then cut for the corresponding wound and plain strings and how they sit over each pickup's pole pieces, meaning to get it back the other way the saddles would then need to have the tops ground down again and be recut. Eventually I ended up buying a replacement tuneomatic (wasn't enough saddle left on the old one to work with by then) and getting that set up correctly.
Cheers, that makes sense.

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Re: Luthiers in Wellington for setup/repairs?

Post by Bradman »

I haven't taken my gear to Kenny Duncan but I have a couple mates who took their stuff to him and he did a good job.

I once went in with my mate who got a les paul re-fretted and he started asking me a lot of questions about my guitars, and when I told him I had just picked up my Strat from Weta who had put in new pick ups and done a set up for what I though was a fairly reasonable price, I think around 70-80 bucks, he was quick to make a few rude comments about them and their work.

I recommended Weta, they built a guitar for me recently and they were very nice and on to it, and just love talking gear. Just going in to pick a guitar up turns into an hour or so of vintage guitar talk.
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