guitars | repaired, restored & built
Federal Strings is a fretted instrument workshop located near the Village of Federal, in the Byron Bay hinterland.
Run by luthier Joshua Rippingale, Federal Strings is open Tuesday to Saturday for maintenance, repair and modification of guitars, basses and other fretted instruments. The workshop is climate controlled, fully insured and all work is guaranteed.
Joshua also builds fine acoustic guitars for his clients by commission.
If you have an instrument requiring a setup or maintenance, that needs repair or restoration, or if you are interested in commissioning a handbuilt guitar, please get in touch.
I service all makes and models of acoustic and electric guitar and bass, and other fretted instruments too. Services range from maintenance, setup, customisation and repair work, through to the commission and construction of a bespoke acoustic guitar designed to fit both you and your musical intent.
maintenance, setup & servicing
A good setup makes your instrument easier and more comfortable to play and can resolve many common intonation and tuning issues. Guitars, by their nature, can change subtly with the seasons and with the continual force of string tension. A regular set-up, cleaning and service will help your treasured instruments sound and play their best. This is also an opportunity to lubricate moving parts and inspect common wear areas. Catching things like worn bridge-pin holes or loose tuner bushings early could avoid the need for a more costly repair down the track.
repair & modifications
Accidental damage? Wear-and-tear? From minor cracks to major surgery, I'm happy to provide a quote on any job. Acoustic instruments are my specialty.
Looking to squeeze new life out your guitar? Pickup installs, swaps, electronics modifications and machine head upgrades are just some of the services I offer.
repair and maintenance pricing
Each instrument is unique and generally I must inspect it before I can give you an accurate quote.
However, if your instrument is in good condition, this price list gives you an indication of the cost of some standard services. You can book an appointment for any of my services online.
Setup - $110
A detailed, precision setup. Adjustment of action at nut and bridge, adjustment of neck relief and intonation and pickups where fitted. Includes a clean and polish of the instrument, servicing of moving parts and electronics, a general inspection and detailed report on your instrument. A new set of strings is required for all setups. I offer D'Addario strings at a competetive price or you may supply your own. Guitars fitted with some vibrato systems and instruments like 12-string guitars may attract an additional fee.
Restring - from $50
Price is for a standard guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo etc. Includes a fret polish and a clean and oil of your fretboard. You may purchase the new strings from me - I stock D'Addario strings at competetive prices - or supply your own.
Electronics repairs, installation and modification
Electric or acoustic pickup installs or swaps from $80. New components (output jack, potentiometer etc) from $40 plus the cost of the component. All other work quoted on an individual basis.
Fret level, crown and setup - from $250
Includes a full setup and service and guaranteed to leave your instrument playing as well as it possibly can. New strings are required. I stock D'addario strings at competitive prices or you may supply your own.
From $550 and will be quoted after a detailed inspection of your instrument and discussion of your needs. Price can vary based on number of frets, your desired fret material, the condition of the fretboard and so on.
Crack repair, bracing repair, neck resets, headstock repairs, bridge re-glues ... if it is broken I can probably fix it. Due to the nature of the work, I must examine your guitar in-person in order to provide an accurate quote.
Use the links below to make a booking. Restrings can be performed while you wait. For other services, you are booking a time to drop off your instrument and discuss the work that will be performed.
A guitarist for more than 30 years, I've seen every side of the music industry. I've had 10 years experience building and repairing guitars, including time studying with one of Australia's most prominent and respected luthiers.
I spent years as a performing, touring, and recording guitarist, playing everywhere from pubs to auditoriums and festival stages - so I understand what musicians need from the tools of their trade.
My lifetime obsession with fretted instruments means I understand the passion of the amateur musician too. Whether you are an enthusiastic home player, a student or a collector, I get what drives you.
My instruments are made one at a time and designed in consultation with the customer. They emphasize dynamic range, comfortable ergonomics and an elegant, understated aesthetic.
My aim is to make zero-compromise players' instruments, rather than collector items. I strive to build guitars that fit their owners' body and whose sound supports their musical intent. Guitars constructed to excel acoustically while remaining robust enough to serve as a tool for the musician.
The goal is to produce a guitar that is better in every way than one you'll find hanging on the wall of your local music store.
As of July 2021, prices start from $4000. If you are interested in my guitars, please get in touch.
Pictured: Camphor/Sitka 00 in 24.9 scale, satin nitrocellulose. Photography by Mia Forrest.
11 Teak Road
Federal, New South Wales
The workshop is open Tuesday to Thursday 10:00am - 4:30pm, 1:00pm to 4:30pm on Fridays and 10:00am - 12:30pm on Saturdays. Bookings are required so that I can give you and your instrument 100% of my attention when you arrive. You can book online, via phone or email.
joshua @ federalstrings.com
0447 955 237