FAQ & GENERAL INFORMATION

 

 

Can I visit the workshop?

We do allow workshop visits if you are a genuine customer and AFTER you have paid a a deposit so you can see your build in person and we do allow guitar collection after your build is finished, any other visit is strictly invite only and by appointment.

As much as I like meeting new people and other builders etc, the workshop is a WORK shop. We do not have a retail area. We do not have a display room. We do not have sales staff who are paid to take your visit.

Unfortunately over the years there has been too many time wasters who pretend to be a customer just to check out the workshop out of curiosity and want to stand around talking for hours with no intention of purchasing a build and it has ruined it for the genuine customers. That time is allocated to building guitars and it puts us behind squedule, slows down the build process for our customers and it also costs us money (time is money in a workplace). A descision had to be made to either heavily increase prices to cover lost time or stop visitors all together. It's not an ideal situation, however it is afterall a workplace and not a retail store. I apologise that it has to be this way.

Where do you source your timber/parts?

I use various sources around Australia and international. This includes timber salvage and plantation grown. I prefer to buy locally so I can select in person, however when sourcing exotics this isn't always possible. I prefer to purchase from certified sustainable sources who have chain of custody accreditation.

 

How much deposit do I need?

AU$1000.00 deposit is required at the time of ordering.

You can make payments building up to and through the build process, if the build is finished before you have paid in full, you are welcome to keep making payments over a reasonable amount of time as long as you make at least one payment a fortnight. Deposit is non refundable.

How much is freight?

I use Pack & Send for all freight and usually it is usually delivered by either TNT or Toll. The below prices are approximate Pack & Send fees and often cost more.

Australia: Allow around $80.00, plus 4% partial insurance or 2% full value insurance.

International: Allow around AU$360.00, plus 4% partial insurance or 2% full value insurance.

As 4% insurance is a bit pricey we often only insure for $1000.00 value which will cover most repairs if damage occurs, however it will not cover the full value of a missing item. It is a bit of a gamble. International buyers will be responsible for any additional charges including taxes and duties etc. The insurance rate drops to 2% when insuring the full amount of the guitar.

What cases do you use?

We use Gator Deluxe XL cases on our superstrats and Tele's.

A standard length case will not fit our guitars so if you choose to supply your own case you will need an extra long case, often called a baritone case.

Can I change specs after I've ordered?

Once the deposit is recieved all hardware and specialized timber will be ordered. After this stage you cannot make any changes, however, if you drastically wish to change the specs it will be at the discretion of Searls Guitars and additional charges will be added.

 

What size pickup adjustment hex key do I need on your guitars?

Pickup adjustment: 1/16" hex key.

Neck bolts: 3/32" hex key.

DO NOT do these bolts up too tight or you will damage the timber. Just snug is enough.

If you do these up too tight, we can repair for a charge however any damage is not covered under warranty..

 

What size Truss Rod hex key do I need on your guitars?

Guitars made Febuary 2017 to current use a Stainless steel truss rod and truss rod size is 5/32" hex key.

Guitars made between 2011 and 19th January 2017 - The truss rods we use are a stainless steel two way welded truss rod and require a 9/64" hex key.

Guitars made prior to 2011 the truss sizes vary and are not recorded in our records.

 

Turning the truss rod left will decrease the relief, pulling backwards, turning the truss rod right will increase the relief, putting more upward bow into the neck.

We will not warranty any truss rod damage or damage caused by adjusting the truss rod.

 

What string height are your guitars set at by default?

 

We set what some would consider low action unless the customer requests otherwise.

The nut is generally filed to .5mm measured at the first fret.

The treble side (on a six string) is usually set at ~ 1mm at the 12th fret and the Bass side are set at ~ 1.00mm - 1.25mm at the 12th fret.

As a comparison as I understand numbers can often mean nothing to some people, Gibson guitars are factory set at 1.58mm and 2.38mm at the 12th fret and they state that any fret buzz by action lower than this is not considered a fault.

Paul Reed Smith set their string height at the 12th fret 1.58mm & 1.98mm.

Your guitar neck may move (forward/back bow) slightly due to a change of climate from that it is manufactured in. We install carbon fibre stiffening rods on all guitar post 2015 to help minimise this, however it is an unavoidable situation and is normal with all guitars. The string height may need to be reset after the neck settles into its new home by adjusting the truss rod and bridge height. It's recommend you wait about a week for the guitar to fully settle before making any major adjustments.

Storing the guitar in its case helps reduce the effects of sudden change in climate or atmosphere, especially during travel.

 

How thick are the necks/what do they feel like?

I carve the necks thin and to my hand, not a standard pattern so I cannot compare to any brand, however the neck profile is a variation of "Modern Flat Oval" (however it's not flat!) and I tend to average the neck (including board) thickness at the first fret around 19mm and around 21mm up the other end. The nut width is normally 43mm. You can request what I call a "retro profile" which is the same as my thin neck carve, however it has a 1mm offset.

 

Can you build me a copy of a (insert brand here) ?

I will build "public domain" shapes or original designs if I like them.

 

Do you build Bass Guitars? - no

Can I work for you? - no

Will you teach me? - no

Do you have endorsement packages? - no

Will you do a refurb/repair on my guitar?

We do take on some repair and setup work, this will need discussion.