Inspection Process – Electric Guitars

Electric and Bass Guitars

One of our many goals at FirstGuitar is to set you up for success in developing your skills and enjoyment for a lifetime of music making on your electric guitar. We provide a thorough inspection of your instrument followed by a custom setup and adjustment to insure that your guitar is easy play. This is a very unusual procedure especially for guitars at this price point but this allows us to fulfill our goals in helping you to experience every opportunity for success.

Preliminary Inspection

  • Unpack and visually inspect guitar for shipping damage
  • Inspect guitar for unacceptable finish blemishes and defects
  • Tune guitar to standard pitch.
  • Conduct preliminary inspection of action and overall playability


Each guitar is seasoned in a temperature and humidity controlled environment at standard tuning pitch (upwards to about 120 lbs. of tension) for at least 8 days in order to settle the woods and prepare the instrument for our setup and adjustment process

Day 9 Inspection

  • Re-tune guitar to standard pitch
  • Check tuning machines for proper overall operation
  • Check tuning machine screws for proper tightness
  • Check ring nut on each tuning machine to make sure they are secure
  • Check that strings are properly wound around tuning post to maximize tone and insure less wear on tuning machines
  • Check neck joint for cracks or other defects
  • Inspect neck angle with a straight edge
  • Inspect bridge and fingerboard height (fingerboard and bridge should be about the same height above the guitar top; a bridge that is too high or too low can indicate a poor neck angle)
  • Check to see if bridge/tremolo system is properly adjusted and is not pulled forward from string tension
  • Play guitar acoustically to check for unwanted vibrations or noises
  • Plug in guitar and check input jack functionality
  • Check pickup selector switch in all positions
  • Check volume and tone controls
  • Inspect string height or action at the nut
  • Inspect string height or action at the saddle on the bridge
  • Inspect truss rod adjustment
  • Adjustments
  • Adjust truss rod for overall playability or action (0.001” relief @ 8th fret)
  • Cut, shape and file bridge saddle to bring overall string height closer to the fingerboard for ease of playing (0.078” @ 12th fret/bass side, 0.063” @ 12th fret/treble side)
  • Cut string nut slots deeper to adjust the height of each string appropriately above the first fret. This is for ease of playing in first position (0.024” @ 1st fret/bass side, 0.010” @ 1st fret/treble side)
  • File nut slot back angle to keep the string from buzzing inside the nut and help insure proper intonation and tone
  • Hone frets if they are uneven and affect playability
  • Apply fingerboard oil to fingerboard and bridge if the wood appears or feels dry.
  • Re-tune guitar to pitch and check overall playability (repeat steps as necessary)
  • Polish

Inspection (Prior to shipment)

  • Inspect bridge and fingerboard height
  • Inspect string height or action at the nut
  • Clean and polish with museum-grade preservation polish
  • Detune guitar to lower pitch to prevent damage during shipment. Each string is detuned by an interval of a fourth. This removes enough tension to protect it during shipment, but leaves enough tension to help maintain the accuracy of our adjustments. Detuning each string by one fourth also makes it easier for you to retune to pitch after receiving your guitar. You will find additional details in the insert letter that comes with your instrument.


We put a lot of work into our guitars, so we take extra care to pack and ship them in 275 lb. test corrugated boxes with ample packing materials for extra security and safe shipping. Your guitar has the greatest chance to arrive safely and in the best condition possible.

The best guitars for . . .