Bookmans repairs musical instruments so we can help you be the best musician possible. Not to toot our own horn, but last quarter Bookmans placed over 4,700 musical instruments on our sales floors. Each and every one of them was fully checked out, set up and made ready for sale. Our Musical Instrument Repair Shop services every instrument we sell and also offers repair service for people in the Tucson area. We sat down with resident luthier and head of instrument repair, James Tanguay, to find out more.

Bookmans Musical Instrument Repair Shop

James has 25 years of performance, teaching and repair experience. He specializes in fretted strings, folk and ethnic instruments as well as accordions. James and his highly trained crew can fix just about any instrument (acoustic or electric) brought to us.

After repairing and reconditioning 4,700 instruments last quarter, you and your crew are practically wizards! What are the basics about our musical instrument repair program?
It’s a simple system. People can drop off and pick up any musical instrument at any Tucson Bookmans location for setup, repair, reconditioning or adjustment. Bookmans gives free estimates on those services and we accept Bookmans trade credit in exchange. If customers insist, we will accept cash too.

You mention guitar set up, what is that?
For a set up, our luthiers and technicians adjust or repair the instrument so it sounds and plays its very best. This is done to all musical instruments that are sold to Bookmans prior to being placed on our sales floor. For example, an electric guitar will have its electronics tested, cleaned or replaced as necessary. We level and crown the frets if needed and dress their rough edges. The fingerboard is cleaned and oiled then the tuners and hardware are checked for full functionality. Following this the instrument is cleaned, de-scuffed, polished, restrung and the neck is adjusted for the proper relief and angle. The height of the strings at the top and bridge of the guitar are adjusted for playability and to fit the style of music the for which the instrument is designed. We adjust the bridge saddles for accurate intonation and give it a test drive so that fine adjustments can be made before the instrument goes back in its case and to the Bookmans sales floor to make someone the next rock legend.

Does the instrument have to be from Bookmans to qualify for repairs?
It doesn’t matter where the instrument was purchased or what the issue is, we are happy to look at it. All guitars change over time. When these instruments live in our extreme Arizona climate they require specialized care.

What about new instruments, do they require setup?
Yes, new guitars get a set up at Bookmans too. Manufactures of lower-priced instruments often skip the set up process to keep costs low. Many new, inexpensive guitars have been made into gems in our workshop but nicer guitars also need set ups. Makers of mid-range and high-end guitars like the Recording Kings, Nationals and Eastmans do very fine setups, but when these instruments arrive in our dry climate they change. We let these instruments acclimate and then readjust them so they are at their best in our local conditions. Other instruments need setups too, not just guitars. All our instruments receive setups prior to sale, and any instrument can be brought to us for servicing.

Bookmans offers a full-service shop that includes guitar setups. We are available anytime to our customers whether or not they purchased their instrument from us. For more information on Bookmans Musical Instrument Repair Shop, including contact information, visit our Musical Instrument Repair page.