News » Repair Spotlight

Meet the Plek Machine


If you've been up to the shop in the past few months you've probably noticed the latest addition in our lutherie toolbox, the Plek Machine. What is a Plek you may ask? For starters, it's a tool, an extremely accurate tool. Like an MRI or CT Scan of your guitar, the Plek machine scans an instrument's frets and fingerboard, and presents that data to our trained crew of luthiers. From there our luthiers diagnose problems spots, and apply changes based on optimal neck relief and action. It's also a CNC Milling Machine, allowing our luthiers to dress an instrument's frets, removing only as much fret material as is needed, thus allowing for greater playability and longer fret life between refrets.

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Repair Spotlight - Waterloo Left Hand Conversion


Repair Spotlight - Waterloo Left Hand Conversion

We'll kick this Repair Spotlight off with the disclaimer that not every guitar is a good candidate for a left-hand conversion. Bracing, neck shape, bridges, and saddle slot placement are all considerations that must be made when determining if the process will work well. This ladder braced Waterloo WL-14 however made for the perfect candidate! Click through to read more about this process.

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Repair Spotlight: Gretsch Electronics Upgrade


Repair Spotlight: Gretsch Electronics Upgrade

While we often focus on the acoustic side of things in our Repair Spotlight posts, the shop also specializes in all things electric. In this edition of the Repair Spotlight we're talking electronics swap out...all of the electronics. Here Matt Street Luthier Matt H is taking a stock Gretsch G5420T and upgrading all of the pots and switches with gear from our friends at Emerson Custom and swapping out the pickups with TV Jones TV Classics. Click through to check out the process!

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Repair Spotlight: Custom Neck Profile


Repair Spotlight

Up in the Repair Shop our luthiers get unique requests from customers on a daily basis. Whether it's something standard like swapping pickups, to a neck reset and a complete refret, the shop is more than willing to make musical dreams come true. Cut to a recent request to thin down a neck on one of our customer's favorite guitars. Originally the guitar had been built with a wider neck profile and nut width, but over the years the customer had grown to want something thinner and narrower. Jim jumped in and, of course, build a custom jig to get the job done. Scroll through the photos below of routing, carving and refinishing this neck.

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Repair Spotlight: 1931 Martin OM-28 Bridge Repair


Repair Spotlight: 1931 Martin OM-28 Bridge Repair

Underneath a layer of overspray was this beautiful, original Martin 1931 OM-28 bridge, with all the contours and craftsmanship that we admire in these vintage guitars. Jim slowly cleaned out the over-cut string slots in order to fill them with new pieces of ebony to correct the breakover angle. While the shop has fabricated hundreds of replacement belly bridges over the years, and have all gotten quite good at it, we're always striving whenever possible to save the original appointments and details of vintage guitars such as this OM.

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Repair Spotlight: Andy McKee - Greenfield Harp Guitar Repair


Repair Spotlight: Andy McKee and Mike Horan

Life on the road can be rough for the touring musician, but even more so for their instruments! Friend of the store Andy McKee has been jet-setting around the world, playing his unique combination of top-tapping, fingerstyle and percussive acoustic guitar, and his gear has logged some serious miles with him. Unfortunately, the headstock on the bass side of his Greenfield HG Harp Guitar broke off while traveling back to Kansas. General/Repair Manager Mike Horan came up with a clean, elegant solution for repairing this truly unique instrument and let us tag along in this installment of the Repair Spotlight.

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Next Day Service on Guitar Setups


Next Turnarounds on Setups at Mass Street Music

The Repair Shop has been working hard this summer. Streamlining procedures, honing of skills, and bringing on more staff has resulted in some serious good news for you! Starting August 8th we're excited to offer Next Day Service, Monday through Thursday, on Guitar Setups and Restrings. Drop of any guitar for a restring or setup and we'll have it ready for you the very next day! 

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Repair Spotlight: Swimming Pool Route


Swimming Pool Route - HH Strat

The Repair Shop here at Mass Street is always up for a challenge when it comes to satisfying the requests and mods of our customers. This time around Matt H. was tasked with turning a three pickup Stratocaster into a dual humbucker configured guitar. The easiest way to accomplish this was routing out the entire pickup cavity, and creating what's known as a swimmming pool route. After carefully measuring, and marking out exactly what material will be removed from the body, Matt then setup a custom template/jig for drilling and routing out the excess material.

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Features Repair Spotlight

Repair Spotlight: Gypsy Braces


Repair Spotlight: Panel Door
The Repair Shop sees their fair share of instrument disasters. Dropped, kicked,   water damaged, dried out are just a few of the many maladies that can befall a perfectly good guitar. When this particular Gypsy Jazz acoustic showed up in the shop it provided a new level of challenge in exactly how they were going to not only gain access to the top crack, but also how to get inside and clamp the braces. On a traditional dreadnought style guitar, the sound hole provides access for luthiers to make such structure repairs. But on a "Petite Bouche" guitar there's no way to stick a hand or clamps inside to glue things up. After sizing up the repair it was determined that taking the back off the guitar would be prohibitively expensive. As an alternative the decision was made to cut a panel to gain access to the damage. Click through for photos documenting the process.

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