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TipofTheWeek

 

It pays to learn how to make basic adjustments and tweaks to your instrument. Otherwise, you end up spending a ton of money to have someone else do minor work you could have done yourself with a little time and patience. It also pays to have the right tools for the job. For this Dunlop Strings Tip of the Week, we want to let you know about a company called Cruz Tools.

 

They make great tools for guitar players, bass players, and drummers (they also make a ton of motorcycle tools, which we think is pretty awesome). Here’s a look at some of the Cruz Tools gear we have here at the shop. We use each of them all the time.

 

cruztoolsBlog

 

1. Jack and Pot Wrench. A great tool for tightening instrument and amp jacks.

 

2. Standard Driver. This is a great tool to have if you own a vintage instrument that requires you to remove the neck to adjust the truss rod. The tip fits fully into the slot to minimize slippage and improve torque.

 

3. Guitar/Bass Multi-Tool. This is a Swiss Army Knife for guitar and bass players. It’s got four metric and three fractional hex keys, two Phillips screwdrivers, a 2.5mm slotted screwdriver, and ruler so you can check your action. Really worth keeping in your gig bag at all times.

 

4. Bass Player Tech Kit and Guitar Player Tech Kit. Practically every tool you need to work on your instrument.

 

5. Cheater Driver. Like the Standard Driver, this is great for owners of vintage instruments. Its small tip lets you get in and make minor adjustments without having to remove the neck in most cases.

 

If you want to treat your instruments right, go with Cruz Tools. Their stuff is the real deal, high quality and purpose-built. Note: Always be cautious when working on your instrument—chances are small that you’ll do any damage as long as you are patient and pay attention to your doing. Don’t try to rush anything.

 

Now, let’s have a little fun. We’ve got one spare Guitar Player Tech Kit and one spare Bass Player Tech Kit. Share a setup horror story with us in the comments below, and we’ll choose two people at random to receive one of these gig bag must-haves.

 

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Comments (20)

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Category: Tech Tips, Tip of the Week

  • Jeremiah Lind

    Oh man, I had this one show back when I was really learning, and playing in a band, I had a guitar player lose it. He broke a string in the first song and broke a string through the second. Then he went to change guitars and put his down, tripped, and broke it. So pissed off, he walked. One of my friends was in the audience, and he came up, and we managed to salvage some of it. But my god, what a hellish night.

  • Tim Warren

    I bought a Government Gibson Flying V in March and I was installing Dunlop strap locks ( Love those!) I took out the old strap screw and attempted to install the Dunlop strap screw and it wouldn’t go all the way in! Even got the screw gun out and was drilling the hole, couldn’t understand why the screw wouldn’t go all the way in, I found out I was actually drilling into the truss rod, oops! So to fix it I used some small washers to fill the gap since the screw wouldn’t seat correctly. I was worried for a minute but all is well, Dunlop strap locks Installed with no damage.

  • Siddharth Raghunandan

    So I bought an RG 1527 Ibanez 7 string with a Zero Point Tremolo. One of the guitar techs from the shop I bought it from asked me if he could set it up and that I could take it the next day. I was okay with that as there were some intonation and minor buzz issues. The next day I come back , strap the guitar up to test it in the shop. They had a short cable and I plugged into a JCM900. When I struck the first chord and touched the whammy, THE ENTIRE BRIDGE FALLS OFF THE GUITAR and on to my foot. I, on reflex backed up and bent over too fast , pulling the short cable and causing the amp to fall at my feet as it was on the edge of a platform display!! – Sid (siddharthr1991@gmail.com)

  • Dan Kiefert

    I got an Epi led Paul copy from a friend and it had a cracked neck. I decided to refinish the guitar while I finished the neck. Got everything stripped, neck glued and hung it from the rafters in my basement to start staining it. As I was staining I turned to grab more stain and heard a crash, snap sound. Broke the neck off about 1/3 the way down. Long story short I managed to glue that break as well and the guitar plays and sounds great in spite of what she’s been through.

  • Joshua Cruz

    When I was 15 I got a Squire strat took it too a tech at some music store I will remind nameless inspecting to get a playable set up but instead I got a guitar with the nut filed really low and the saddle replaced and screw repaced with hand cutters and frets that sharp and no crown and when I got home to play it I cut both my hands and the tech didn’t want to fix it or even had it in the records as being worked on now that guitar is in parts waiting for me to fix it

  • Kazimierz Kuta

    When I was young my band played in my friend garadge where also my frieds dog was locked for winter. After some time i found AC cable from my combo bitten off. When trying to replace it on my own, I decided to also change AC socket to one more robust. Since I got no idea what I was doing I broke power transformer with screw driver. When replacing power transformer I broke some transistors. After that I have decided to heve somebody with more expirience. That was costly lesson.

  • Jude

    I once bought an Ibanez SR bass that was in fairly poor playing condition. I took it in to a local music store for a setup but when I got it back it kept shorting out. I had a look in the back and realized that the guy in the store had completely messed up the electronics; everything was soldered to something it shouldn’t have been. I took it back to the shop and asked if they could fix it. When I got it back and plugged it in it seemed a bit quieter but appeared to be in working order. That was, until, I took it to a gig. I plugged it in and it was alright but when the guitarist stood on my cable during the second song, the jack which hadn’t been securely screwed in was pulled out, bringing the entire guts of the bass with it in front of about 200 people. I decided that there was no point in taking my bass back to the same music shop so instead took it to another. I took it in and asked the guy if he could have a look at it. When I went back in to see if it was done he told me that he thought that I wanted it to be sold and he’d just sold it for about a quarter of what I’d paid for it about two months before…

  • Vadim D

    Oh, I have one funny story.

    Once i started learning to play guitar, I bought a russian one, it was kind of a jaguar body shape with a Gibson style headstock, but these were only two things positive about it.

    It was a demon spawn, this guitar. First problem I faced was no chance to put on a guitar strap, because the strap buttons were almost a quarter coin size. OK, one that was on the horn could be removed with a screwdriver. But the button on the back had no screw at all! After several attempts of turning it counter-clockwise i discovered that it wasn’t really a strap-button. It was a screwdriver itself!

    The next step was electronics. It had 3 PU’s, singles. Terrible sound, almost no output, but it wasn’t a surprise – the guitar was 30 years old. The guitar had a built-in phaser, flanger and distortion! They were powered by a single 9-volt battery, that was placed (sic!) under the neck plate. So once you try to change the battery, you remove the screws and the neck falls down hanging on the strings! It also had a 5 pin DIN output jack (Looking like a MIDI port), so it took me some time to make a jack cover and to replace the jack. I changed the PU’s, the scratchy pots, took away all the phaser-flanger-dist crap and thought I was almost near the goal. Then I changed the strings, the tuners were almost dead, but I thought they would be enough for a year. I saw that I should adjust the truss rod. I took a wrench and started turning it back and forth, but nothing was happening. I decided to start turning it until I see any result. when i turned it out it came out that it is not a truss rod, it was a rusty pin looking like this:
    http://www.mtk-fortuna.ru/Upload/49/005.jpg half a meter long. The only way to adjust the neck was bending it against your knee.

    As you can see, someone was seriously against Rock’n’Roll in Soviet Union.
    Hope this story caused a smile!

  • Steven Corry

    Ever try fixing a guitar with a kitchen knife,channel locks and vise grips….end of story!!

  • Dave

    I was given a Martin D-35 a while back by a friend that had decided he was done playing for a while. At the time, I had never worked on any guitar before, but as soon as I got the guitar home, I decided that I was going to lower the action.

    Back then, the only thing I knew about the action of the guitar is that the truss rod did something to the neck. So I grabbed an allen wrench, reached up inside, and started cranking away. Next thing I know, I hear this LOUD pop. It had come from the guitar, but I wasn’t sure from what. So I began looking all over. It actually took me a minute of looking it over to notice that the bridge had split length-wise across the middle of the bridge pin holes and down the treble string side to the edge.

    Next morning, I called a guitar tech to have it fixed. Since that time, I’m always tinkering with my electrics. But I still won’t touch an acoustic to do anything other than change strings.

  • SlopeRocker

    Broke Truss rod just before a gig using a makeshift tool. Had to play with incredibly high action. My fingers still hurt months later. I desperately need some better Bass guitar set-up tools.

  • Tyler

    Tried setting up my first guitar with a butter knife, rusty pliers, and a bunch of old rusted hex keys, lets just say it didn’t go as planned.

  • Dustin

    You comment with a story to win your favorite gear brand’s free tool pack, and immediately after, someone posts a story that is much better than yours….

  • smittytoneamps

    Upon inspecting my new super strat it badly needed a setup. Try to adjust the neck reflief only to find the truss rod in the beautifully figure flame maple neck already broken!! My new guitar joy turned to epic disappointment!!! :-(

  • Sammy Reynolds

    I was intonating my Strat and all of the sudden the saddle screw came out and the spring went flying across the room. I couldn’t find it and I almost, ok not almost. I cried and it took my 3 hours to find that spring.

  • Leon Hall

    if you ever tried doing a set-up without the correct tools, you know all of my problems

  • Robert K

    I bought a 1979 Les Paul that had the pots and pickups, and bridge replaced. I plugged it in as soon as I got home and it sounded like trash. I thought it was because active pickups were trash. I cracked open the back plate to check the battery and I was surprised at what I found.

    I was expecting a few wires here and there, but what I found was a ball of wires bursting from the cavity in pretty much every color you could get. Amidst this massive, tangled rainbow from hell, I found the battery. It was wrapped up in foam and had the leads scotch taped to the terminals. After about fifteen minutes of prying the battery from the mess of cables and replacing it, I plugged it back in. Apparently one of the pots just kind of fizzled out. These were coil tap pots, but I’d never seen ANYTHING wired in such a willy nilly way. I eventually just ripped out all of the electronics and replaced everything from the wires to the pickups.

    As for the bridge, I’ve never seen something like a floyd rose tacked onto a Les Paul. There was no cavity for it so it kind of just jutted out from the guitar like a broken smile. Curiously, I took it off to find that it was mounted to a plate that was super glued to the screws. Three to five business days later, I took some glue solvent and replaced the whole bridge assembly. As for the locking nut, I’ve just kept it on there because taking it off would require removing a lot of wood.

    As a happy ending, it’s still one of the best sounding guitars I’ve ever played… after pretty much putting a whole guitar together.

  • Anonymous

    I was changing the strings on my Floyd Rose equipped guitar right before a gig, and POW! I cracked a bridge saddle by barely over-tightening the locking allen head…doh! I was fortunate enough to be able to get in touch with a guitar tech friend who had some spares, so now my bridge has one chrome saddle!The bling bridge.

  • sugapablo

    Opened the back panel of a friend’s old Les Paul, and out came SPIDERS!!!! :(

    I would love a guitar kit. :)

  • TrojanHombre

    My first electric guitar was a 1980′s Japanese Fender Strat. Before I really knew what I was doing, I got the bright idea to “adjust” everything. This included messing with the pickup heights, the intonation on the locking tremolo, and a truss rod adjustment. Before I knew it, I had a horrible sounding guitar that I absolutely hated to play. I ended up selling the guitar pretty cheap to someone else (who probably laughed at my stupidity) because I could never get the guitar to sound or play right again, and I was too naive to seek professional technical help.