Everyone needs medical attention at times and so do musical instruments. From time to time, you may wish to modify your guitar, your guitar may need re-fretting or re-wiring and sometimes the neck needs adjustments. As guitar players, we have all picked up sufficient know-how along the way to deal with minor problems of the guitar. But at times, it is too much bother to try and fix the problem yourself; it may be too time-consuming or you just don’t know where the problem lies or the job on hand is just not something you can trust yourself to undertake. Some music shops in Hong Kong offer repairs in and the results are often amazing. I have seen guitars in worse conditions after the repair. The victims ended up having to pay the shop rather than vise versa.
If someone says he can repair or modify your guitar, you would want to be careful. For a start, you want to know his experience. But experience is not, per sa, sufficient. What I look for in a repairman is whether he loves musical instruments, whether he respects the musical instruments and take pride in his job. I have had experience with competent repairmen in Hong Kong. Yes, they can do the job but that is about it. They would do just enough to get the job done. If with a small effort he can improve the instrument to no need, very often you find them unwilling to make the effort. To them it is just a job. To me that is never good enough.
A year and a half ago, I need to replace the frets on my 1959 Les Paul Re-issue. The Les Paul has a bound neck and it is not like changing the frets on a Fender neck. At the time, I had only one Les Paul Re-issue and that was my number one. I asked around and was introduced to Mr. Kevin Catalano. I met Kevin at 48th Street and told him what I wanted to do with the guitar. We ended up talking about guitars for hours. It was the first time I met him, but I could feel his love for musical instruments and he is a person who takes pride in his work. I parted my Les Paul with him. When I got it back, the frets are perfect. A few months ago, I had a dented fret on one of my Steinbergers and wanted to have it replaced. Kevin was honest enough to tell me the had never replaced frets on a Steinberger and the materials on the fretboard makes the job very tricky. I entrusted him with the Steinberger and he did an excellent job.
Kevin is preparing
some information about his experiences and profile and will his details
and contact address will soon be here. Click
here to find out more about Kevin and repair work.
Here are some pictures of Kevin replacing the frets on
my white Steinberger. Kevin in putting in stainless steel frets on the
guitar. After that is done, fret wear will be a history :-