Andy Eagle ( Guitar repair tech for 30 years )

Eagle

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Hello everyone.
A few words of introduction;
I have been a repair tech full time for 30 years and on the side of a proper job before that. I also work with collectors, insurance and auction houses authenticating vintage and ex rock star gear.
Basically if you have an issue I have more than likely seen it before.
I firmly advocate that there is objectively good and bad in both music (not for this column) and musical instruments and it is far from just opinion. I base what I write on my experience and empirical data if available and have no affiliation with any companies as this would compromise my ability to say what I find and this is why people come to me in the first instance. I also call myself a repair tech not a luthier because I deal mostly with a diagnostic approach to solving peoples problems and not scratch building .

So as the title says;

Ask me anything!
 
A quick gratuitous vintage shot to get started;
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64 ES335 with factory Bigsby.
 
Hi @Eagle! 👋

In over 3 decades of work, what is the most satisfying repair that you can recall? I'm guessing that there must be a few that make you smile when you think about them?
 
Hi @Eagle! 👋

In over 3 decades of work, what is the most satisfying repair that you can recall? I'm guessing that there must be a few that make you smile when you think about them?
That's a really difficult one. It's probably between when I get a great guitar that just needs a basic set up to completely transform it and the odd headstock break that ended up practically invisible .
 
@Eagle Did you ever make an empirically-based diagnosis that was either very surprising to you, or runs counter to perceived guitar wisdom?

(perhaps both!)
 
This thread is definitely overdue.

@Eagle I see a lot of criticism towards Gibson for their quality control issue, when compared to other manufacturers such as Fender. Given how many pass across your bench, is it being blown out of proportion?
 
@Eagle Did you ever make an empirically-based diagnosis that was either very surprising to you, or runs counter to perceived guitar wisdom?

(perhaps both!)
Yes using Plek data and fingerboard modelling. The interaction between neck relief and fingerboard radius and the subsequent effect on next fret clearance and therefor dynamic range available at the same action measured at the twelfth fret. How it pans out as you go up the neck in all positions.
 
This thread is definitely overdue.

@Eagle I see a lot of criticism towards Gibson for their quality control issue, when compared to other manufacturers such as Fender. Given how many pass across your bench, is it being blown out of proportion?
Not at all but not because they aren't consistent. IME Gibson manufacturing in general is to a different standard than practically all the rest . Gibson simply does things in the way they always did without caring if the precision that others routinely manage is just missing. Who else doesn't even buff the finish up to the fingerboard edge or on the back of the head ? leave razor scrapes in every bound fingerboard, A lip in the binding. These are not QC just bad process. All that said they are consistently good sounding and perform well, I can't remember when I last saw a poorly functioning truss rod. People just expect Gibson to be Gibson and accept things that they would reject on anything else at the same price.
 
Without letting out any info you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so, which guitars have been brought to you that made you say “Holy shiiiiiiit” when opening the case?
 
Without letting out any info you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so, which guitars have been brought to you that made you say “Holy shiiiiiiit” when opening the case?
I was once asked if I wanted to take a look at something coming up for auction ( 92 if I remember it right ) so it wasn't directly brought to me but I did get to handle it. I went down to where it was being kept. It was the Jimi Woodstock Strat. The hardest part was how badly the nut was cut, the spacing and action was all over the place. I so wanted to fix it :rofl
 
Loved reading through your build threads over on the Fractal forums!

Have you ever found that a guitar really comes alive after new frets and a new nut? Or is it just fixing some tuning/buzzing issues?
 
I have played a few famous Guitars that you definitely know that are pretty mediocre examples of their type. I'm not going to say what there where though.

Billy Howedel’s main Les Paul is probably a great example of this with it’s f*cked up headstock repair with the total wrong neck angle, IIRR, it’s a mutt of two different LP’s from two different headstock breaks but Billy made it work.

Or maybe a lesser example would be the re-fret I saw on Gilmour’s Red Strat where it doesn’t look like the frets are seated 100% in the slots-

5CD173C2-3A9A-4EAB-92CF-892891FF29B3.jpeg
 
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