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Looking at buying a new guitar in the near future. The guitar will likely be an acoustic Martin or Taylor in the 1500-2000 price range. Should I explicitly ask for the shop to make sure it is setup properly (at no cost) before I take it home?

This is a large local shop - not a franchise.

Also, would I typically be buying the one on display or do they have more that they stock in the back? I kind of want one that hasn't been handled and bumped around by people shopping.

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A good local shop should due an initial setup to your taste when buying a new guitar from them. –  cadmium Jan 9 '13 at 21:55
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You can ask for it to be set up to your preference. Personally I've always preferred to do the setting up myself simply because I'm very specific! Truthfully it all boils down to how you like it at stock.

You will likely get a new guitar from the back unless it's an ex-display and in that case it should always be noted that it's ex-display.

Edit: Oh, keep in mind that a lot of guitar shops may charge a small fee for setting up the guitar and general maintenance costs. The most I've paid for this service is in the region of £10-30 depending on how much work needs done.

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I do it myself as well for adjustable saddles, but for a fixed saddle he might be better off getting it done by a pro. –  horatio Dec 12 '12 at 18:35
    
That is very true. I'd imagine it would likely be a fixed saddle and they can be tricky and in that instance it would be the better option. –  Craig Moore Dec 12 '12 at 18:40
    
Sounds good. I haven't been playing long and only my beginner guitar at that. So I haven't really developed a preference. But it sounds like I can assume that a good shop will check that it meets factory setup specs before I take it home? –  Keith G Dec 12 '12 at 21:15
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As long as you ask, they'll be more than happy to check it over for you. Be sure to play it first and find what you'd like altered, if anything at all. –  Craig Moore Dec 14 '12 at 16:32
    
After calling a couple of shops, it sounds like standard procedure is to check them over and tweak if necessary to assure they are in spec with what the factory recommends. –  Keith G Dec 19 '12 at 19:00
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