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  • Guitar Setup

    Setup FAQ

    • Are PHRED guitars setup before they ship?

      14-point Setup and Inspection
      Our 14-point setup and inspection ensures that every PHRED Instruments guitar we ship is professionally setup and ready to play when it's delivered to you. Setup will include string-height adjustment, intonation, electronics inspection, and the frets are leveled, crowned, and polished, as outlined below.

      Fretwork and Fingerboard
      1. Debur Fret Edges
      This process involves filing the edges of each fret such that the edge of the fretboard feels smooth as you play up and down the neck.

      2. Level Frets
      Leveling all the frets ensures that you can play at low string action and with clear and articulated notes on each fret.

      3. Crown Frets
      After leveling the frets, they are crowned. Crowning frets is a process by which the frets are rounded slightly at the top. This makes the frets feel nice and smooth all around, ensures smooth bends, and also makes it easy to slide up and down the fretboard.

      4. Polish Frets
      After crowning the frets, polishing makes them shine brightly. Polishing them also makes them even more smooth to the touch.

      5. Condition the fingerboard
      The fretboard wood is cleaned and conditioned using fretboard oil.

      6. Install D’Addario 10-46 gauge strings
      We install D’Addario EXL 10-46 gauge strings on all guitars. If you prefer a different brand or string gauge, contact us and we can accommodate other brands and string gauges, and adjust the setup accordingly to the strings that you prefer to use.

      7. Adjust Truss Rod
      The truss rod should be adjusted such that the neck is slightly concave.

      8. Adjust Nut
      The nut height is adjusted to the fingerboard, and the string slots are filed to a perfect height and width for the strings we install.

      9. Adjust the Bridge Height
      As a part of setting the string action, the bridge height is adjusted to our standard measurement of 1.75mm above the 12th fret on the low E string, and 1.5mm above the 12th fret on the high E string. We leave a little bit of room if you want to adjust the bridge a bit lower than that.

      10. Adjust the Bridge Saddles
      Intonation is set by adjusting the bridge saddles. We tune up and stretch a fresh set of strings, and then adjust the bridge saddle position until the harmonic at the 12th fret compared to the note at the 12th fret.

      11. Adjust pickup height
      The height of the pickup is adjusted such that the perceived volume is consistent between each of the pickups installed on the guitar. We can setup the pickup height to a custom height at your request.

      12. Inspect and test electronics
      Whether you upgrade to our USA wiring option or go with the stock wiring and electronics, we are going to make sure all the electronics work properly prior to shipping. For guitars that have an OBEL jack, we wire it Tip=Send, Ring=Return.

      Guitar Body & Hardware
      13. Inspect guitar hardware
      Check that all screws are tightened and that the hardware is in good shape.

      14. Clean and polish the guitar body and hardware
      Just before we package up a guitar for shipping, we clean and polish your guitar using StewMac Guitar Polish to make it shine.

    • What brand and model of pickups are installed in the base model guitar?

      The DockStar model stock pickups are made in China and are unbranded PAF Style pickups. 

      Stock pickups for all other PHRED instruments guitars are made by Artec Sound and use the following pickups:

      Black Pickups
      HBC-115 BK
      (Ceramic, 4 conductor/shield)

      Chrome Pickups
      LPC-210 BK
      (Ceramic, 4 conductor/shield)

      Single Coil Pickup
      SSC-12 WH
      (Ceramic, Single Coil)

    • What brand and model of stock tuners are installed on the base model?

      The stock tuners on the DockStar are made in China, and are unbranded. 

      The stock tuners on all other Phred guitars are made by Jinho. Some of the tuners have the Wilkinson brand name on them, others have the Jinho brand name on the underside that touches the headstock.

    • What brand of stop tail-piece and bridge are used in the base model?

      Some of the hardware parts are unbranded and are made in either Korea or China. The parts made in Korea usually come fro Sung-il.

    • What brand and gauge strings are installed?

      During our setup, we install D'Addario 10-46 gauge guitar strings. You may request another brand or gauge and we will setup the guitar accordingly.

    • Can I upgrade the pickups before shipping?

      We offer certain models of DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan pickups for upgrades.  Upgrading the pickups will provide the most noticeable upgrade in tone of all the add-ons we offer.  However, if you are on the fence about upgrading the pickups, we recommended ordering the guitar with stock pickups. This way, you can first hear the stock pickups on the guitar through your pedals and amplifier, and can then decide whether or not you'd like to swap out the pickups down the road.

    • Can I send my guitar in for upgrades after purchasing?

      The answer is yes.  We provide guitar and bass setup services to local guitar players in the west San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley and surrounding areas. We also offer setup and upgrade services to Phred guitar owners around the globe who would like to send in their guitar for us to work on.

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