Kevin Catalano : The Tube Doctor

If you are looking for someone to repair, modify your guitar or amp, read on for more information, price list, and contact numbers:-

Who is The Tube Doctor?

I got my first guitar when I was 9 years old. It was a huge (for my small hands) acoustic dreadnought that my Grandfather bought for me as a get-well gift. Having a cast on both legs for that summer limited my mobility, but the upper half was thankfully unaffected. This assembly of wood, metal, wire and plastic brought me a lot of solace that summer, but when I used it as a club against the back of my eldest brother, the resulting cracking and splintering meant that my musical education was going to take a different direction than what Grandfather had intended.

Electric guitars are astonishingly complex, for being such outwardly simple machines. Just six strings, a neck and a body, right? Six strings of finely drawn metal, some of which have an additional layer of wire wound tightly down their entire length. Tolerance that is precise to 0.0001". And these precisely-sized wires have to remain in place, from 0.04" above the first fret, to 0.0625" above the body fret. Some like it higher, some like it lower. Oh, and they have to play cleanly, without rattling or buzzing against the 22 or so precisely ground fretwires. Simple bits of nickel/copper alloy, that range in height from 0.032" to 0.055", mounted in slots that are cut according to a simple, mathematical calculation that allows for less than 0.05% of deviation. A multitude of really tiny details, which can mean the difference between good and

I've served as a machinist's apprentice, studied solid-state electronics in university, worked as a design engineer for a loudspeaker manufacturer and have designed and built my own vacuum tube amplifiers. When our house needed rennovations, my Father showed us how to build it. When furniture needed to be built or repaired, the only shopping we did was for the right kinds of wood and tools.

Working with guitars didn't come about by design, but was born of necessity.
Have you ever tried to have one of the local, big companies (or any others) complete a repair on your guitar? If the instrument doesn't come back in worse shape, chances are that the repair you so hoped would solve certain problems, has compounded your misery through the attention of unskilled, uncaring hands. To top it all off, you were probably over-charged.

That won't happen when you trust your equipment to me. The only two hands that will be working on your guitar or electronics, are mine. No anonymous "Service Department" will visit their indignities upon your guitar. All instruments and equipment are painstakingly measured and analyzed prior to any work being carried out. Extensive photo-documentation ensures that your instrument is returned to you in better condition than when it left your hands.
Research and development of new techniques and materials is ongoing, so you can rest assured that your equipment will not be used as a guinea pig for untried, untested

Trust the Tube Doctor. My reputation is your guarantee.

Here are my contact numbers and e-mail address :-

Phone...9464-5957 Fax.......2276-4111

e-mail :-


(Sorry, folks, just cannot get the e-mail address to link directly to the e-mail. You have to type in the address by hand. Can someone help? Tommy)


Price list for some of the jobs I undertake

Setup- $500
Includes action, intonation, truss-rod adjustment.
Clean tuning machines & trem/tail-piece.
Electronics checked and evaluated.

Level and Recrown Frets- $1000
Includes stabilizing loose frets, adjusting nut,
polish frets, clean & oil fingerboard. (non-lacquer finishes)

$1700 Unbound neck, oiled fingerboard (ebony, rosewood etc)

$2000 Bound neck, oiled fingerboard.

$2400 Bound neck, retain plastic fret ends (Les Paul et al)

$2800 Maple neck, bound or plain. (includes fingerboard refinish)

$3200 Scalloped neck. (maple, or raw finish)

Fret Repair

$300 Replace single frets. (minimum charge)
$75 Each additional fret.

$600 Bone Nut. Action set to your specification.
Precision fitted and polished.

$400 Graphite Nut.

Action set to your specification.
Precision fitted and polished.
(good for tremolo work. does not last as long as bone)

Except for partial refrets, all work in this section includes setup.
All complete refret jobs include your choice of nut.

$150 Replace pickups. Price per pickup. (excluding parts)

$100 Replace pots. Price per pot. (excluding parts)

$700 Custom wiring and switching options.

These are some of the more usual jobs I undeartake. If you have any specific requirements, please contact me to discuss your needs.

$160 High quality, low capacitance cable.
Below 1 meter. Top quality 1/4" ends.

$180 Cables from 1 meter length.

$ 30 Each additional meter.

Custom Builds $7000 Minimum Charge. Bolt on neck. Tele-style guitar.