Author Topic: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica  (Read 2271 times)

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Offline Medic502

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Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« on: February 25, 2019, 08:06:36 pm »
I bought a used yamaha pac012 pacifica...I obviously want to make it as easy to play as possible.
A local shop gave me a price of 80 bucks for new strings and basic setup.
I'm thinking I can do this myself or should I let them do it?
How about the gauge of the strings that I am planning to put on it...can I get a recommendation on that.

Thanks

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Offline jono

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 08:17:09 pm »
Welcome aboard. Justins website has a good video series on guitar setup, have a look and decide if you are able to do it yourself. You will need some specific tools to make the job easier. Once you have the hang of it it is easy enough.
Strings are a personal choice,  if you are just starting then 9's will be easier on the fingers.

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Offline stitch101

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 09:18:12 pm »
If you know what intonation is and how it will make or break you guitar as
a musical instrument then do the work yourself.
If you don't know what it is then it will cost you more than $80 to have your guitar
fixed after you mess it up.
You won't find much for good info on the net on how to set your guitar up. Most
of it is very very bad info.
Strings As a beginner 9's or 10's will do. Don't get super slinky, you'll drive yourself
crazy trying to learn chords.

Offline Medic502

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 10:11:40 pm »
Thanks for the replies...all advice is appreciated. I am starting on the Justin lessons.

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Offline Majik

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 12:26:52 am »
Frankly, $80 sounds on the high side.

The most I have paid is £90 (in the UK, but with tax, etc. That's about equivalent to $100), but that was a by a guy who does high-end setups for the likes of the Rolling Stones. I only bothered getting this done once on my guitar which cost close to £1000. I wouldn't pay this much for a setup on a guitar worth less than £150.

In general, you should be able to get a decent setup for around $40.

And, yes, if you are prepared to learn, you can do it yourself.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline Curtis Suter

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 12:35:41 am »
If you know what intonation is and how it will make or break you guitar as
a musical instrument then do the work yourself.
If you don't know what it is then it will cost you more than $80 to have your guitar
fixed after you mess it up.

An elaboration of this would be great, I know what intonation is but I'm not sure how I'd mess it up on my acoustic guitar.  I've done all my setups for a few years now including changing/sanding nuts/saddles.
Always appreciate your advice here, it's extremely useful and I always stop and read your well written posts.

Thanks
Curtis

Offline stitch101

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 01:25:57 am »
The OP has an electric guitar which is very easy to mess up.

On an acoustic it is harder to mess up but also harder to fix.
Sanding a saddle to much, at an angle or unevenly can make
unwanted changes to both intonation, sound and sustain.

If you are handy and patience doing your own set up is just fine.
After all it is your guitar and learning a skill is always a good thing.

But picking up your first guitar last week and not even knowing
what a set up is and wrenching on it could cost more than a set up
to fix. It could also make the guitar unplayable and make the op quit
learning to play all together.

Offline Curtis Suter

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2019, 04:18:21 am »
Thanks, 

I thought it was an acoustic guitar the OP had!  Ha ha
Curtis

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 08:14:41 am »
Set up here in France (at my local shop) 25 euros Acoustic 42 euros Electric plus any parts. There's an expat bespoke guitar builder about 6 miles up the road who charges a minimum of 50 euros just to look, no doubt targeting the non French speaking Brits!. Anyway $80 seems a bit steep IMHO.  8)
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Online close2u

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2019, 01:42:26 pm »
$80 is too high imho ... especially for a basic setup … I would pay that if there was any fret filing or electrical repair going on but changing strings and tweaking a few moveable parts - no way.

On a strat type you have fixed and moving components that affect playability.

Nut
The strings pass through the nut slots near the headstock. If these are badly cut action can be high and fretted notes can go sharp in the first few frets ... bad news for beginners learning open chords.

Truss rod
Sets tension along the length of the neck ... ideally set with a slight bow not dead straight.

Bridge
This can be floating or locked down ... achieved by tightening or loosening the springs in the back. Tremolo use and personal preference dictate here mainly. This will affect string height.

Saddles
Can be used to fine tune string height once the bridge is set using Allen keys in the grub screws. This raises or lowers the saddles. Adjust for personal preference and try to follow the neck radius.
Use the saddles to adjust intonation too. Use a screwdriver with the screws at the back to move them laterally backwards or forwards. Intonation is the last of the adjustments ... even after adjusting pickup height.


The intonation on a guitar is very important to playing in tune on the whole neck, to avoid fretted notes sounding a little sharp or a little flat even when the open strings are in tune.

... I always check mine when changing strings (it may need a fine tweak) and will always need checking if any other adjustments (string height, tremelo, truss rod etc) are made to the guitar


Setting it is easy ... you just have to match the exact pitch of the 12th fret harmonic of each string to the 12th fret fretted note.  The fretted note may be a little sharp or a little flat compared to the harmonic.  That means your intonation is incorrect and your bridge saddles need to move backwards or forwards.

Tune the open strings - once at pitch then your 12th fret harmonics must also be at pitch (to do with the laws of physics and wave frequencies etc).

At the 12th fret, play the harmonic then play the fretted note ... being careful not to press too hard or bend sideways ... they should match ...
1]  if the fretted note is sharp, the string between bridge and nut is too short so move the saddle backwards
2]  if the fretted note is flat, the string is too long between bridge and nut so move the saddle forwards

It helped me when I was starting out doing my own maintenance work on my guitar to visualise the shape of a full grand piano.  Think of its great length at one side ... matching the left of the piano keys ... where the very low notes are strung ... and contrast this with its other curved side ... matching the right side of the piano keys ... where the very high notes are strung ...  high pitch notes are short strings, low pitch notes are long ...

so if your fretted note is sharp - too high-pitched - then the string length from bridge to nut is too short (and vice versa).

 :)

Offline Medic502

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Re: Beginner at 57 years old question on setting up my Pacifica
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2019, 07:14:30 pm »
Thanks... I have a co-worker that has played for many years that is going to look at the guitar today for me.

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