Free Set Ups

What is a Set Up?

Just as you need to adjust a car's seat, mirror and seat belt, a guitar or other instrument may need several adjustments - even if it's brand new. A set up looks at the instrument's playability as a whole, adjusting many variables to give the desired result- a guitar that plays its best for the individual musician.



Here at Mass Street Music, one of the main reasons customers prefer buying from us is that we take the time to set up every new guitar, mando, bass, uke, or banjo for every player, whether it was purchased here in Lawrence, Kansas or on our wesbite. Large retailers are content to ship you a guitar right off of the warehouse shelf, while we take pride in the fact that all of our guitars have been set up to be truly ready to play - for you. Here are some of the main points we look at on your guitar as we set it up - and that we check on for every used guitar we sell.


There are other things that may need to be tweaked before the instrument is ready, but these are the main points.

Why a set up?
There's nothing less fun than playing a poorly set up guitar. The strings hurt your fingers, the dang thing won't stay in tune, and to top it off, there's the dreaded buzzing. A poorly set up instrument is one of the key reasons young players give up on learning to play, so no matter where you purchase your instrument, make sure it gets a hands-on set up from a professional luthier.

Doesn't the guitar manufacturer make sure the instrument is in top shape?
Most guitar companies will do cursory adjustments to their instruments as they leave the factory, but their large tolerances coupled with the sheer number of guitars being produced means that most guitars are simply not ready to play out of the box.

Do all guitars need a setup?
Even a simple thing such as changing your string gauge can alter the guitar's playability slightly, so it often just needs a quick tweak after. Score a great old guitar at the flea market or a relative pass down a family banjo to you? It's always a great idea to have it looked over to make sure it's playing as well as it possibly can. High end guitars like Collings and Don Grosh arrive at our store with a great standard setup already, but not everyone is looking for a standard setup. If you're purchasing a guitar from us, we're happy to set up your instrument exactly the way you'd like. If you're not sure, we can ask a few simple questions and get it set up well for your style.

Questions? Just give us a call at 800-747-9980 or email us at