As we've said more than a few times in the past, the way your acoustic, bass and electric guitar is set up is vital to how well it plays and sounds. And while some of us are happy to do some setup work ourselves, it can help a lot to take your guitar to a professional for a full instrument MOT. UK company Ackworth Guitar Setups (opens in new tab) is recognising both approaches for its 10th anniversary with a videos to help players and a new membership scheme for those who want to use its services regularly.
"It was our way of giving something back, and giving reduced price repairs at a time where the cost of living is rising across the globe," says AGS founder and Head Technician, Tristan Johnson about the new AGS Membership (opens in new tab) that began this year. "It's the right thing to do".
The scheme offers players different types of membership depending on their needs and budget; from up to two Deluxe setups (or one Premier Setup) a year with the AGS Player membership up to a comprehensive Pro package that includes four Deluxe setups (or two Premier) along with an amp revalve and service.
In addition members can get discount of strings, AGS merch and even the company's courses where its experts will teach you how to do your own setups. The membership scheme is also via monthly payment to help players spread the cost and recognises the increase in new guitarists that followed the COVID-19 lockdowns.
"The positive affect of Covid-19 was that people started to drag guitars out of spare rooms and attics, and then began to realise the guitars needed some professional help,"reflects Tristian. "We feel privileged that we have a loyal customer base that is growing day by day. I think people are tired of the old way of doing things, and the approval of the people who trust us with their instruments is overwhelming."
Ackworth Guitar Setups currently has branches in home town of Ackworth, West Yorkshire as well as Leeds, Nottingham, Cambridge and Northampton. But there are plans to expand further via its current working relationship with retailer PMT.
"We are hoping our relationship with PMT means we open in more towns and cities," says Tristain. "We're also secretly working on our own line of products, but that's top secret for now!".
Tristain acknowledges that this wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of his team, in particular his partner in crime Damian Hughes. "In many respects, the success of our business is to do with him. He's a great friend, and although I would never tell him this, I am immensely proud of him. He's turned into a great guitar repairer."
The AGS team are now sharing their knowledge with a new series of 2 Minute Tips and Guitar 101 videos for its new YouTube channel aimed at helping some of the many new players become more confident with skills such as changing their strings, as well as more involved repair work such as replacing your guitar input jack.
For more information visit the Ackworth Guitar Setups YouTube channel (opens in new tab) and website (opens in new tab).