"Guitar Repairs - Amp Repairs"

Guitar Setups and Repairs London

Guitar Repairs London.  Let us restore musicality to your guitar, whether you’re a hobbyist or a working musician, whether you’re in need of a repair, adjustment or custom work.  We will stand behind every repair we do, 100%. London Guitar Repairs is the place for repairs, setups and modifications to your guitar & stringed instruments including re-strings, setups, re-frets, refinishing, neck resets, vintage restoration, relic-ing, blasting, cracked tops, broken or loose acoustic guitar braces, pickup installation, custom electronics, bone nuts and saddles, binding and major reconstruction. Perfect work, done FAST, at low cost. We are open Monday -Saturday 8am-9pm. London Guitar Repairs is a full service repair shop ranging from setups and truss rod adjustments to complicated neck resets and refrets.

Guitar Setups and Repairs London

Guitar Repairs London – Acoustic and Electric Instruments
 Guitar Setup London – While-You Wait & Next-Day Repairs
Electric Guitar Making and Repair Convenient London Location

Guitar Repairs and Setups London. Expert technicians keep your instruments and equipment in peak playing condition with expert repairs, upgrades and maintenance.

Guitar Repair | Amp Repairs London

Guitar Repair | Amp Repairs London

Guitar repair has been a large part of London Guitar Academy from the start. Terry Relph Knight, an expert luthier with over 30 years experience, and his experienced repair staff are well known for their set ups, custom wiring, fret jobs, wood work, custom guitar building, and much more. With excellent diagnostic skills, high quality guitar repairs, and vintage restorations. We are also the top recommended company for repairs and re-frets on session great Hugh Burns guitars.


  • 6 string guitar – £30  plus strings
  • 12 string guitar – £45  plus strings

Guitar Repair | Amp Repairs London

London Guitar Repair runs our own high quality guitar repair shop in London. Guitars need regular servicing to maintain playability, electronics, action and tuning intonation. Changes in weather such as temperature, central heating and humidity  as well as wear and tear on frets, nuts, saddles and strings can affect stringed instruments greatly.

Guitar Repairs London

Guitar Repairs London


Repairs, Maintenance and Modifications | Guitar London

Guitar repairs London, Amp repairs, Guitar Setups, re-fretting, Headstock repairs and full re-wires, spares and custom parts

To find out more about my guitar repair and maintenance services or to book a free consultation simply call 07957230354 or email Terry @ info@londonguitaracademy.com 

Guitar Repairs,Guitar Repair, Guitar Setups, Re-fretting, Headstock repairs, Bass guitar repairs, Guitar Pickups, electric guitar repairs, acoustic guitar repairs, London
Guitar Repairs, Advice, Maintenance & Guitar Setups London. Low prices, fast service, and 100’s of loyal customers. Guitar Repairs London for YOU!
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Below is an example of the detailed repair logs we issue with our repairs.

Repair Log: 2006 Epiphone Custom Shop Limited Edition Casino vintage sunburst SN:xxxxxx made by the Un Sung Musical Instrument Co., Ltd., Inchon, Korea.

Copyright retained by Terry Relph-Knight 17/09/17

Current value – purchased second hand for £450. Can be found on offer for as high as £799. Current production has a Casino VS (no Bigsby) which sells at a street price of £438.10.

Following the upgrade work perhaps £600

Delivered with a black, Epiphone branded, hard case.

A 2006 Epiphone Custom Shop, Limited Edition, Casino thin-line, electric guitar. Two piece (scarfed headstock) mahogany D profile narrow neck, 41mm at the nut. Truss rod (4mm hex hey) adjusts at the nut, 3 screw access under an E branded cover plate. Hollow body of maple ply with basswood bracing. Cream binding top and bottom edge of the body and on the neck. 12 inch radius rosewood fretboard with off-white plastic dots and 22 medium jumbo frets. Body is finished in a black/brown to dark transparent yellow, vintage sunburst. The neck and headstock are painted black with the Epiphone brand inlaid in mother of pearl at the top of the headstock. The headstock is of the narrow style with in-curved sides and a pronounced ‘open book’ crest. The internal paper label shows the model as “Casino VS” (vintage sunburst). A round silver ink stamp on the back of the headstock just above the line of the nut, states the guitar is Limited Edition Custom Shop. The Epiphone Custom Shop brand is used on limited run models.

The specifications for the current Casino on the Epiphone web site give a neck width of 1.68 inches. The neck on this one measures 1.635 and the nut itself is just a little narrower than the neck.

Hardware – Epiphone Kluson style 18:1 tuners (stamped with the Epiphone epsilon brand) with integral nickel plate oval metal buttons. Epiphone licensed Bigsby B700 model trapeze vibrato tailpiece. Two Epiphone P90 pickups with chrome plated dog-ear covers (the base plates of the P90s have their two end tabs soldered to the inside of the dog ears on the covers), Epiphone ABR-1 style Tone-O-Matic bridge (nickel plated). The two bridge posts, which have a small slot in the top for height adjustment with a flat screwdriver, are M4 metric thread and they screw in to 12mm diameter metal inserts in the top of the guitar that seem to be set into the bracing. Unfortunately the guitar is missing the floating pickguard with the Epiphone E metal logo and these pickguards are hard to find and expensive to replace. Metal insert witch hat knobs (reflector knobs).

Problems – Brought in for reduction of the very high action (previous owner used it for rhythm playing) and a general check over.

Has a loose output jack, pickup switch and bridge tone control. The treble side bridge post is screwed much further into the guitars top than the post on the bass side. The bridge is set very high and is highest on the treble side. Guitar is generally a little dirty and the finish looks very dull. Judging by traces of an abrasive white power found under the Bigsby and by the state of the finish, the previous owner tried rubbing down the gloss of the finish, possibly to make it look like an older guitar. 

With the strings removed the neck had a tiny amount of forward bow. The truss rod was loose with no tension applied. I tightened the truss rod until the neck was flat and then applied a fret rocker test.

The test shows the following frets are high; 10 just a little on the high E side, 12 particularly on the low E side, 14, 18 and 20 a little in the middle.

Work done –  Fitted a Goldo Tune-o-Matic bridge with roller saddles with added M3 bridge locking grub screws. Dropped the bridge height from the high setting as received to adjust the action and adjusted the depth of the two threaded bridge posts that are screwed in to inserts in the top of the guitar.

Tightened up the nuts on all the controls, on the switch and on the output jack. Dabbed on some clear nail varnish to help lock the nuts in place.

Partial fret level – filed down the high frets with a crowning file and smoothed and buffed with Crimson fret rubbers.

Cleaned and polished the guitar, trying to buff out the fine scratches left by the previous owner.

Re-built the licensed Bigsby. Removed the old tension roller. Manufactured two plastic conversion sleeves to support the Callaham 3/16 tension roller axle in the 3/8 inch holes in the axle mounts. Drilled and tapped the back of the Bigsby frame for 3mm grub screws to lock the conversion sleeves and axle in place. Removed the inner circlip from the string roller to stop it binding against the bearing housing. Inserted two fibre washers to take up the slack between the bearing in the Bigsby arm and the inner face of the arm bracket. The string roller and the arm now swing with very low friction. Re-mounted the Bigby on the guitar and clipped a Vibromate String Spoiler to the string roller to make re-stringing easier.

Filed the nut slots to accommodate the heavy bottom / light top string set, to reduced string sticking and to reduce clearance over the first fret to improve intonation and ease of play.

The Bigsby – The ‘licensed’ Bigsby vibrato is a B700, trapeze tailpiece model. The main change that Epiphone have made to the design, presumably in order to save money, is that rather than drill the 3/16” holes in the aluminium frame for the front roller axle and drill and tap for a grub screw in the frame leg, Epiphone chose to cast larger 3/8” inch holes (roughly 3/8” the holes actually taper from the outside in). A 1/4” roller axle is used, running in push-in nylon bushings inserted, both into the frame and into the ends of the thin tension roller tube. The axle is retained by circlips at either end rather than the grub screw through the frame as on a geniune Bigsby.

I wanted to upgrade the Epiphone licensed Bigsby by fitting a Callaham solid, stainless steel tension roller (3/16” shaft 0.187 inch, roller is 2.215 long by ?? diam) and a drilled through string shaft (0.374 inch diam, Epiphone is 0.388, Bigsby is 0.373). These parts are designed to fit a genuine Bigsby and neither are a direct retro fit in the Epiphone licensed version of the Bigsby. The tension roller can perhaps be made to fit with suitable 3/8 to 3/16 reduction bushings. The string shaft is narrower (0.374 inches diameter compared to 0.388 inches of the existing Epiphone shaft) and would probably be too loose a fit. The options on the string shaft are, either remove all the string pins and the string roller from the frame, drill through the string roller and countersink the holes to allow the strings to be threaded through the roller. Or – to try fitting a Vibromate String Spoiler for easier string loading. I eventually settled for the Vibromate which seems to work OK without shifting and altering the tuning.

Unlike my Korean made, but genuine, Bigsby B5, on the Epiphone licensed version there are retaining circlips fitted on either end of the string shaft, holding it in place in the frame. My B5 has only one circlip on the outer end and its lateral movement is limited at the other end by the arm bracket that is attached to the string shaft with a grub screw running into a mating hole in the shaft. On the Epiphone the two circlips are too close to the roller bearings and they mechanically interfere with the bearing housings. As a result, when the Epiphone string shaft is rotated it feels like the bearings are full of sand. I removed the circlip on the arm bracket end and limited the side-to-side slack by fitting some washers on the shaft between the vibrato frame and the arm bracket. 

After removing the Epiphone tension roller, I reamed out the tapered holes in the vibrato frame with a 9.5mm drill. I manufactured two new plastic bushings from ABS 0.75 inch long 3/8” diameter spacers with centre hole drilled out to 5mm. These were cut down to 14mm long and a compression slot cut through one side.

Repair log – 1963 Watkins Copicat MkII – tape loop echo/reverb unit SN: xxxx, made in London SW9, by Watkins Electric Music also known as WEM.

Repair Date – 09/09/16 Customer – xxxx xxxx

Terry Relph-Knight copyright retained

Price – The original price in 1962 was £38.10 (around £763 inflation adjusted). Today – £400 to £565, depending on condition. This one is graded as – ‘in good condition’

Description – A mechanical ¼ inch tape loop, valve, reverb / echo unit. This unit is a MkII valve unit, although the makers plate shows it as a ‘D.T.S.’ model (apparently D.T.S. means ‘death to Selmer’. Charlie Watkins was annoyed with Selmer because they had simply copied his earlier two head echo and this D.T.S. three head unit was his response).

Controls –  Motor only on / off toggle switch, incandescent 6.5V indicator lamp, Swell control with anticlockwise on/off mains switch for the entire unit, Reverb control, Gain 1 control (input 1), Gain 2 control (input 2). Two ¼ inch mono jack sockets for input 1 and 2. Three push button keys for ‘Halo’, ‘Echo’ and ‘Repet’ (short for repetition? Rather than a misspelling of repeat).

Hardware – Case is made from 6mm plywood covered in two tone oatmeal and turquoise flecked rexine, with ‘gold’ piping and fittings. The tape transport is of 18 gauge steel plate, painted turquoise and silk screened in white with the logos and control labels. Mounted on the left of the plate is a two roller, cast aluminium tension arm, incorporating a permanent magnet for erase. From left to right there is a record head followed by three playback heads. After the heads there is a fixed aluminium tape guide followed by the motor spindle / tape capstan. The electronics are mounted on a separate bent steel plate under the transport plate. A captive 2 core mains lead (replaced with a grounded 3 core) and two captive screened cables for a footswitch and the signal out, exit the left edge of the transport plate and are stored in a recess in the left end of the case.

Valves – This unit has a Mullard ECC83, a Brimar 6BR8 and a Mullard ECC83 – These may be the original valves. Each half of one ECC83 is used as an input amp for the two input channels (inputs are 1Meg each), the 6BR8 (a dual tetrode plus triode) is used for the record head driver and for the bias oscillator and the second ECC83 is used as the playback amplifier. All the signal mixing is by a passive resistor network, high impedance output.

Problems – Produces a horrible noise (hum) when the Echo push button (middle button of three) is depressed. No power indicator light. Bottom grille is smashed. Badly needs a new tape loop. Mirror insert missing from the middle of one of the knobs. Two core mains lead and the output cable has an ugly terminal block splice in it.

Work Done –  Unit disassembled and cleaned (the inside of the case under the transport had some rather alien looking dust bunnies in it). Heads cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. Middle playback head, bottom grille, indicator lamp and output cable replaced. Two core oval mains cable replaced with a three core Live, Neutral and Earth cable, so the unit complies with current safety regulations. Two mismatched securing screws replaced with matching screws. Tension arm bearings lubricated. Replacement Marriott head measures 1038 ohms, 589mH. Bad head is open circuit, shows more wear and a wider head gap.

Diagnostic notes – The circuit diagram of these Watkins units shows that the three playback heads, which are spaced along the tape path at increasing distances from the record head, are all wired in a series chain into the input of the playback amplifier. Three push button switches (labelled ‘Halo’, ‘Echo’ and Repet’ – yes it really is labelled Repet) are wired, in the up position, to short across each head winding. Pushing each switch down removes the short and includes each playback head in the playback circuit chain. If any of the play heads are open circuit the playback amplifier sees an open circuit when that head is selected by its push button, and the output produces a loud hum.

Parts replaced – Playback head, Bottom grille, lamp, 3 core mains cable, output cable, 2 fixing screws, knob insert. Note – Parts are extremely hard to find. There is now only one source.

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London Guitar Academy

The London Guitar Academy is London’s only dedicated Rock Pop and Blues guitar school specialising in one to one guitar tuition in either electric or acoustic guitar.

Each lesson is tailored to suit each students individual taste and ability; offering a fresh and innovative approach to learning the guitar.

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