What made you start HCG?
I initially started working on my own guitars when I was 15 after being charged a little too much at a guitar store for a pickup swap ($300, crazy right?!?!) and then ended up buying and assembling kit guitars by age 21, which I’d sell just to buy the next kit, and I’d eventually fallen in love with repairs and servicing instruments after friends started bringing their guitars to me for basic work. With some extra research, hard work, and a great mentor, the rest is history, and now I do what I love 6 days a week!
For those who may not know, what does a guitar service usually entail?
It depends, 9/10 music stores will usually correct action, intonation, perform a quick cleanup and a re-string. But from day one our services have also included fret re seating and fret polishing, I essentially see it the same as an oil change for your car during a service. Frets constantly move and “lift” from the fretboard over time, correcting these issues during a service gives us the best chance at giving your instrument back feeling great, providing a set up/service is all it needs.
What’s the best thing to do to keep your guitar in it’s best condition between services?
Leave them in their cases, away from the elements, although we know you love looking at your guitar hanging them on the wall or leaving them on a rack in rooms without a controlled climate will cause the set up to shift faster, and strings to corrode quickly, especially in Melbourne, which given the constant weather change plays a real toll on a guitar. Also change your strings regularly, it keeps frets cleaner and decreases the degree of fret wear you’ll get over time, and fret dressing is expensive! Oh, and have them serviced regularly! I normally recommend every 4-5 months or 2 season changes, but it varies from guitar to guitar.
Can you tell us about other services/products you offer?
I’ve recently just released my own brand of Instrument care polished and oils, never totally being happy with the polishes and wax currently available for musical instruments, I’d worked hard with a manufacturer to create and all Australian made range of guitar cleaning products. They consist of Harron’s Speed Wipe (anti-static spray Wipe), Harron’s Body Butter (liquid carnauba wax that deepens finish and protects your guitar) and Harron’s Board Sauce (lemon oil fretboard cleaner) with more coming soon!
Expanding our services beyond Australia, and taking our instrument care products worldwide, meanwhile providing the same great service to our local customers for repairs and rebuilds.