The price of getting a neck reset on your acoustic guitar can vary widely depending on the age, brand and condition of the instrument, so it can be tough to figure out what neck reset costs. Even geographical location can play a role in pricing. Luthiers in high cost of living metropolitan areas will likely charge more for an acoustic neck reset than a luthier in a rural area.
Generally speaking, a neck reset on an acoustic guitar can cost between $250-700. Any less than that, and you’re getting a very good deal. Any more than that, and you’re likely shelling out to one of the pricier luthiers out there.
The best way to check what an acoustic guitar neck reset costs though, is to visit local music stores and luthiers to get a proper estimate. Snooping around online will not really do you much good, as at the end of the day you’re likely going to bring it somewhere local anyways.
If you want high quality repair work and the most bang for your buck, it’s usually best to seek out a local luthier. Typically, a luthier operating out of his house, shop, or private practice is likely to charge you less than a repair shop in an established/popular music store. Your mileage may very, however.
How to know if your guitar neck needs to be reset
Wondering if your guitar even needs a neck reset? Here’s how to find out.
The classic symptom a guitar neck needing to be reset is very high action. Action is the distance of your strings from your fretboard. The strings will often be at a healthy action towards the nut or headstock of the guitar, but as they move down approaching the 12th fret and onward, they get unreasonably high – often so high that it’s hard to fret a note.
In short, if the neck angle of your guitar causes the action to be very high, it’s likely your guitar will need a neck reset. Here’s a helpful video on some tests you can do to see if your guitar is really in need of a neck reset:
How to prevent a guitar neck reset
Naturally, a reset is a pain and not something any guitarist looks forward to. The good news is that there are ways to prevent a neck reset.
The pull of your guitar strings on the guitar neck over the course of many years is thought to cause the neck angling problems that lead to an eventual neck reset. Thus if we can lessen that pull or tension, we can greatly extend the lives of our guitars and avoid any resets for as long as possible.
So one way to prevent a reset is not to leave your guitar fully tuned at high tension for extended periods. You can tune down your strings if you’re planning to leave your guitar sitting in its case unplayed for a while. Using light or extra light strings can also place less tension on the neck of your guitar over time.
Even though you can take some steps to prevent a reset, many acoustic guitars will need a neck reset at some point in their lifetime. When that time comes, it’s best to find a local luthier and get an official estimate of how much that procedure will cost you.
Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide whether you want to pay for a neck reset or invest that money into a new acoustic guitar. If you choose to go looking for a new guitar, we recommend taking a look at our list of our top 10 favorite budget guitars. We look at a variety of models, brands and price points, so you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. You can check it out here.
Thanks for reading! And as always, happy picking!
Ready to Get Better at Guitar, Faster?
Whenever you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, check out my favorite resources below:
Elixir Nanoweb Acoustic Guitar Strings
- Unique polymer coating allows strings to last for months or years at a time, making for an exceptional value.
- Provide the perfect mix of boom, range, twang, and brightness that acoustic music is known for.
- Beloved by everyone from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot, the D-18 is one of Martin’s most legendary guitars ever.
- An excellent, premier quality acoustic guitar for bluegrass, country, folk, rock and more. This is what I play myself.
Chords, Tabs & Lessons for 100 Songs
- This free guide from Acoustic World gives you chords, tabs, and video lesson for the 100 best songs to learn on guitar.
- I spent hours putting this together all by myself to help you get better at guitar, faster!
Fingerpicking vs Flatpicking Guitar
- Learn which picking style is right for YOU by exploring examples, history, and popular players of each style.
- Discover essential techniques and pros and cons of each approach.