Nottingham City Guitars workshop covers all aspects of service, repair and restoration for acoustic, electric guitars and bass, even the odd cello or double bass. Work is usually undertaken on a fixed price or agreed budget. If further work is needed we will advise before additional expense is incurred. We are always busy but often undertake repairs or a set-up the same day if urgent. It’s amazing how the right attitude, or not, can queue jump ! Instruments can be dropped off without notice, preferably in a case or gig-bag. We undertake set-ups, fret dressing, re-frets, new nuts and saddles, broken head stocks, structural repairs & routing, installation of Bigsby and B-Benders, machine heads, new hardware, electrical work, pickup installation, new jacks, pot’s and switches, re-finishing. Don’t worry if it’s not listed – we do it! We hold a good stock of quality spares and some vintage and used parts – including CTS, Luxe Radio, Switchcraft, Schatten & Jesecar frets. We supply and fit MasteryBridge and Bare Knuckle Pickups. We hand wind pickups and undertake vintage re-winds. We do not undertake amp repairs but highly recommend Martin Cooper of Coopersonic Work can be arranged directly with Martin and collected / delivered from our workshop. The following prices exclude parts & strings, unless stated otherwise and are applicable to 6 & 4 string guitars. We only use quality spares and will discuss options with you. Please email if you have any queries – Workshop terms and conditions are listed on our Terms & Conditions page.


Playability and sound quality can be dramatically improved on guitars with a thorough set-up. Unfortunately most new guitars leave the factory & usually retailer too, without proper adjustment, irrespective of how much you just spent !! Set-up is dependent on string gauge and player’s style and technique – not every one wants a low action or straight neck. A guitar set-up fine tunes an instrument, literally and figuratively, adjusting the string action, saddles, neck relief, nut, pickup response and intonation. This process can transform an instrument and be particularly beneficial to beginners who are otherwise put off by an unwieldy cheese grater guitar with high action. A set-up is usually required following a change of string gauge or permanent change of ambient temperature – your dream guitar may have been shipped 1000’s of miles. A heavily played guitar may require a fret dress prior to set-up. This process levels, re-profiles and polishes all the frets along the neck, removing troughs and flat spots. Fret dress incurs additional costs noted below. A standard set-up includes – Check & document original set-up. Clean guitar, check machine heads, hardware, strap buttons. Clean pot’s & switches where accessible. We use an ultra-sound bath to clean serious hardware crud ! Check frets & fret level. Polish frets, clean & oil fingerboard. Adjust nut if required, adjust truss rod & neck relief, action, saddles, pickup heights, & intonation. Lubricate & re-string to chosen gauge. Document new set-up & string brand / gauge. We supply and fit Sfarzo, Ernie Ball & D’Addario or your own new strings supplied to us. Set-up costs £38 for six string electric and acoustic guitars and four string basses. Floyd Rose style six string guitars £70.

Repair Costs

Work shop charges are based on £35 per hour + materials & parts. Minimum charge £35. Unlike most guitar retailers we have all the necessary specialist tools, neck jig, spray booth, buffing machine, ultra-sonic cleaner & inspection equipment. We carry a large stock of quality spares.

Click the categories below to see the prices ⇣

Install new nut from £45 plus nut.
Install new nut on 12 string from £70 plus nut.
Nut prices vary depending on material between £4 – £15 approximately.

Cost of new Jesecar nickel silver frets and Set-up is included. Stainless steel frets will incur additional charges. We also stock & fit Evo-gold frets.

Fret dress & crown, setup & re-string £85
Complete re-fret Rosewood / Ebony fingerboard from £180
Complete re-fret Maple fingerboard, including re-finishing lacquer from £220
Complete re-fret bound fingerboard from £220
Partial re-frets, Rosewood, from around £25 plus £8 per fret. Generally a fret dress & setup will then be required at cost above. Finishing on Maple fingerboards for partial re-fret is extra.
Re-fretting often requires installation of a new nut as new frets will be higher than worn frets removed. Cost of nut replacement will be charged at £20 in addition to fret work costs above.

Fit new machineheads, direct replacement from £30
Fit new machineheads with modifications from £60
Repair broken headstock from £70, excluding re-finishing.
Re-thread & replace truss rod nut from £45
Cut new saddle £60 plus saddle
Acoustic bridge repairs, re-fixing, pin reaming, from £35
Install under-saddle transducer pickup and output jack, from £70
We supply & fit Hipshot B-Benders & Parsons/Green string bending systems. Fitting costs vary from around £ 300, please enquire.
When electrical components are exposed as part of the work order we clean pot’s & switches before re-assembly. We use quality cable & components, including CTS pots, CRL, Switchcraft, Schatten coil wire & Luxe. Vintage spec’ components can be matched, including braided and cloth covered cable.

We have a workshop guitar enabling you to experiment with different tone capacitors and try our own single coil hand wound pickups. Costs vary and are more economic for a full re-wire.

Typical costs exclude parts unless noted

Re-wire from £60
Replace jack socket £25 inc’ Switchcraft jack.
Replace single volume or tone pot’ from £38 inc’ CTS pot’.
Switch replacement from £15
Fit treble bleed circuit from £24 including components.
Fit new tone capacitor from £15
Fit new pickups from £30
Rewind customer’s pickup from £80 each. Fitting extra.
Wax potting pickups from £30.

Fit strap buttons from £18
Body repairs, split stitching, dents – from £65 depending on finish.
Custom scratch plates hand cut from £60


All re-finishing is done in-house, from application of decals, touch-up work to bodies & necks to full re-sprays and sun burst finishes. Please be aware that the cost of re-finishing can often exceed the value of the guitar and further costs are incurred if we need to strip, reassemble and set up the guitar on completion of works. Generally older vintage instruments will be de-valued if they are re-finished.

Minimum full re-finish cost is £300. Please enquire on cost and time slots available. We would recommend allowing a minimum of 16 weeks for finishing works to allow adequate hardening of new coatings. A typical Tele’ body would be primed, painted with 6 – 8 coats of paint and 6 – 8 coats of clear lacquer before buffing and polishing.

We work with various finishing products including nitro-cellulose lacquers and paints, alcohol stains and water based paints.


If you really must and can’t wait a lifetime please look no further. We can corrode metal work and cause maximum distress to both you and your instrument in a heartbeat. Re-finishing takes a bit longer if you are looking for that authentic worn paint-on-paint effect. The bonus is there’s no hangover involved for or a killer 40-a-day habit and there’s no charge for dents or chips. We often work to photographs supplied or for true realism can copy true play wear from our excellent genuine vintage guitar stock. Most relics are totally OTT but it’s your call.

See some of the relics here.

All work is guaranteed. A written / email report & photos are provided for all work undertaken.