Daniel, Just wanted to let you know how great my guitar plays now. From the moment I walked into your shop, I knew you were the guy to take care of my guitars! I'd been playing this tele since I'd inherited it from my dad Billy Windsor who played and sang with the legendary Danny Gatton till his death. I've always cherished it, but struggled to figure out why it didn't play easier and in tune. You took one look at it without playing it and knew this, this, and this is just not right! Well it is now, and I'm grateful. This would be a guitar that my Dad and Danny would surely want to play and never put it down!! Thanks again Daniel. I'm sure I'll be seeing you soon to start on some of my other guitars.
Steve Windsor - Radio Caroline
I have found Arlington Fretworks to do awesome fret installations on my Rushmore design custom one piece guitars. Most of my guitars are in the rough form when I have Daniel fret them and he does it with excellent skills. Daniel is patient but his return time on work is fast and I like that he does it right and makes great suggestions for tone as well. He is professional and knows what he is talking about when it comes to neck leveling, fret dressing, re-fretting, neck alignment, string gauge, intonation, and installing the nut properly and functionally. He has helped me on several guitar builds and lets me work in his shop, and every time I do I learn something new. His prices are competitive with anybody else but his work is excellent better then anyone else! I rate him at the highest rating - 5 stars!
Johnny can also be seen on my Videos page.
Hey Daniel, excellent work. i just played both guitars a little bit and am amazed. Here’s my quote:
I brought 2 guitars to Daniel after hearing about him through 2 different musician friends of mine. His turn around was extremely quick which is exactly what I needed and the prices were very affordable. He did exactly what was necessary to fix my Telecaster, which many have been unable to do over the years. My Strat, “Diablo” which has 666 in the serial number, literally was brought back from the dead – thanks to Daniel. I highly recommend Daniel to working musicians in the NoVa/DC/MD area that need quick turnaround, affordable price and simply a great job done.
For gigs, info, CDs: http://www.chineseirishman.com
Just wanted to thank you again for the gift of letting me play your Apple Tree custom guitar--and offering it for sale should I come up with the $$$ (working on it!). That was truly a rare and great experience for me, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. The only similar thing i can think of is the first time I played a Taylor having only played cheapo laminate acoustics until that point, which was years and ears ago (yes, ears), when i had only playing for a few years. Like the Apple Tree Experience, it opened me up to the fact there is a whole world of sound and feel I had not idea about, but still not quite as intense. Very tough to explain to people who don't understand, but priceless. Has me thinking a lot about the music I've been playing too much of simply because it's the least common denominator, and the music I've not been playing enough of because it's not.
Ps - the Washburn sounds great and is playing as well as i think it possibly can--thanks!
Daniel is what every guitarist dreams of in a guitar repairman: he has a deep understanding of his craft - both guitar repair and woodworking/carpentry in general -, he's meticulous and exacting, and man is he fast on the turnaround! I recommend him wholeheartedly, without reservation whatsoever. Thanks, Daniel, for a perfect fret dress on my Campellone jazz guitar.
Roger Taylor, guitarist, Anita's Jazz Hat (www.anitasjazzhat.com)
I feel very fortunate to have found Daniel. I own several high end guitars - Custom Shop Gibsons, PRS, as well as other guitars that I've owned for over 10 years that are almost like an extension of my own arm. I won't just let anybody work on them, and I am extremely particular about who I will let near any of them. In fact, I have been to several techs in the DMV area, and I never left feeling completely satisfied that the work was being done properly. I'm so fussy, that some of these techs have refused to work with me again! However, I know that every time I leave a guitar with Daniel, it will be taken care of with utmost care and professionalism.
One of most impressive things about Daniel is the depth of his knowledge about the instrument. He is a true student of the science of the guitar, and that experience leads to an instrument that plays spectacularly as a whole. He also is able to put highly technically aspects of guitar repair into easily understandable terms, so that after he's done with a repair job, you leave confident that the guitar is in perfect playing order. He has a quick turnaround time and in many cases, can perform a repair the same day if his schedule allows. He also warranties his work and will make adjustments where necessary at no charge, sometimes even months after the repair has been completed.
Not only is he, in my opinion, the best guitar tech in the area, but he's a very nice guy and extremely personable. I always enjoy working with Daniel and appreciate all his hard work in making an extremely picky guitar player very happy. I would recommend Daniel to anyone looking for any type of repair in the DMV area. He's done the full range of services for me, from the most basic setup to the most complex fretwork. Every time, I've been extremely impressed with the quality of work and the playability of the instrument.
Daniel's work is superb, He spent several hours consulting with me and was flexible in meeting my high standards for four of my arch top guitars. He also served me home roasted coffee from Kenya. I played some of his custom built guitars which sounded and felt great. Needless he to say, when my CD goes to number one I hope to hire him to be my guitar tech on the road.
The Mark Mosley Trio can be heard weekly at Sala Thai 1301 U St. NW DC
I took my violin, two acoustic guitars, and a new but not set up mandolin over to Arlington Fretworks on Saturday. I thought both acoustics would need neck resets. Daniel sorted out what was actually needed and on Sunday I ended up with both acoustics fully fixed and playing beautifully, the mandolin setup so it was now playable and sounding great and the violin pickup now working again, all for an incredibly low price. When someone sells you just what is actually needed, instead of [and I would not have known any better] what suits their business, you know you can trust them. Daniel is a professional at his work and clearly knows exactly what he is doing and is a pleasure to work with personally.
For gigs, info, and to sample Dave's great CD visit: www.violindave.com
Daniel, you are an amazing guitar healer, treating our instruments like well cared for patients. You are truly a guitar whisperer.
D.D.C., Manhattan, NY
Hello, this is Tim Wynne. I am a 58 year old DC musician. Growing up I was inspired by the Cherry People playing at the Silver Dollar on M St and Danny Gatton playing at Mr. Henry's - 16 years old with a fake ID. I have played with some great DC musicians. My "claim to fame" being the band called Sinbad. I was the bass player. But, enough about me - on to Daniel Carbone and Fretworks:
I have zero interest in the mechanics of a guitar or bass. So, I have sought help from many DC area techs over the past 40 years. Danny Gatton replaced my frets back in the day.
Daniel is unique. He is spiritual in his art. He cares and he knows his stuff. Great mind (he must read...or use the internet). He heals and he inspires - both me and my instruments.
So, my testimony is that Daniel is the BEST tech I have ever known. Daniel's work is worth more than he charges and you will LOVE the results.
Now, don't tell anyone. He seems to be taking on new clients. Mums' the word....
Daniel Carbone repaired a very delicate ES 125 from 1950 quickly, and informed me very clearly about all my options. i'm a player.. not a tech, and he translated for me what i needed to know in terms i could understand.
This guitar is my only "jazz box", and he understood that i needed it up and working quickly. i had it back in my possession in less than a week and it plays better than it has in many years!
I've had nightmare experiences before with instrument repair and it was so refreshing to meet Daniel.
Thanks to a recommendation from ace violinist Dave Kline, I took two classical guitars to Daniel yesterday for modifications. One I got back within an hour and I've been playing it all evening after a quick, inexpensive, perfect fix.
The second had more serious traumas to address but it's back with me after just a day in Dan's workshop....with a [heat] straightened neck and playable action. Others luthiers suggested returning it for repair to the manufacturer in Spain. That would have meant shipping, insurance, risk and no guitar for months. Thanks to Dan this ones back with me after one day at a fraction of the cost! Plus my 6 year old got a free paper airplane and flying lessons.
When my kids get to that certain age I'll trust him with their teeth!
Ken Avis (Lynn Veronneau Trio)
From the initial conversation about bringing our guitars for repair, to the quick and precise work, the experience with Daniel was as friendly and efficient as I could have asked for. Not only do the guitars sound inarguably better but I got a free lesson in maintenance and repair and was welcomed into his shop with an inviting attitude and conversations. Daniel is a superhero.
- Jake H., Momentary Prophets
Thanks for the stellar set-up!
Thank you again for your expert and professional work on my Terry McInturff, Takamine, and Martin guitars. My guitars now play effortlessly and sound excellent. Each guitar's intonation is precise and accurate throughout the entire fingerboard - this is a real testament to your skill and attention to detail. Thanks also, for taking the time to provide such honest and timely service at a reasonable rate. You welcome your clients with a kindness that is rare indeed. Any musician would be privileged to have someone of your caliber servicing their instruments!
Daniel has repaired three guitars for me. His work is outstanding.
First he re-set the wood bridge that was pulling off the top of my Carvin thin-line acoustic. Now it's solid and the guitar has a great tone.
Then Daniel re-fretted my favorite American Deluxe Strat. It's my main gig guitar and I wore the frets down to nothing. I didn't like the thought of replacing the neck. Now it plays like new!
And third, Daniel found the root cause of a tuning problem on my 1981 Japanese Electra, the first 'real' guitar I ever bought. He carefully filed the nut so the strings hit the right point. Now I can play the guitar on stage and it stays in tune all night.
Daniel will put new life back into your worn-out, broken-down instruments. Thanks Daniel!
Lead Guitar, Due Process Band
I have brought four Basses to Daniel for set ups, neck work and pickup installation.
He is a true craftsman. His work is “Top Drawer” quality.
I am totally satisfied with the work he performed on my instruments.
Not only is Daniel professional he is also very personable.
He is very willing to work with his customers in setting up dates & times for dropping off their instruments for repair.
He has a very short turn around time, in my case he performed set-up adjustments on two guitars within a few hours on the same day that I dropped them off to him.
For high quality work with very reasonable prices & quick turn around time on your treasured instruments, you can count on Daniel & Arlington Fret Works
Denny – Sterling, VA
Denny is the bass player for the Chicago style blues band Deja Blue. For gigs and info: www.dejabluebluesband.com
I'm a singer songwiter based in Washington DC and Daniel has been working on my guitars for two years; it is a relationship that I will gladly continue.
Examples of Daniel's work for me include: Refret, set-up and new nut on my Taylor 610; Refret, set-up and nut adjustment on my Yamaha LL 5-EC; Set-up and fret dressing on my 1933 Harmony Supertone parlor guitar; Installation of K&K pickup on my Ventura V-13 six string acoustic, Set-up on my Fender Fat Strat (where he corrected several mistakes of a previous set-up), New nut and neck adjustment on my Ventura V-15 twelve string acoustic; Repaired the fretboard on my brothers 90 year old banjo. In addition Daniel has inspected several other guitars for me, and I have purchased two guitars from him as well, including a classical guitar that he completely rebuilt. He's also done work for my students.
If you are looking for high quality work at a fair price from someone who will take the time to explain the process and your options, then Daniel is your man. Too often repair shops give you the bum's rush, and you leave not really sure of what you are paying for. I am always appreciative of the extra time Daniel extends to me to explain the process, and his enthusiasm is reassuring. I also like the fact that Daniel has 35 years experience as a carpenter. He has an amazing eye for detail and strives for precision. It is my pleasure to highly recommend him to you.
David "Silky Dave" Ensor
I am a working musician and my guitar is my life line. I had Daniel do some surgery on my instrument (shimming the nut, fret replacement and set up) It's like having a new instrument. Daniel is a true craftsman, passionate about his work, and very detail oriented. Daniel goes the extra mile and discusses all your options available. He truly is a 5 star guy.
Luthier Daniel Carbone worked on two of my guitars over this summer. First one was a Martin 000CME which I have been playing and gigging around for about 10 years with a very dull sound for a martin. That was until Daniel figure out that a bracing piece was broken. This guitar now sounds phenomenal like it should. He also repaired my Les Paul copy electric guitar with fret problems, buzzing and a coarse and uneven nut. This guitar now plays very smooth. Very well recommended luthier.
www.myspace.com/ronrecinos or google Ron Recinos on youtube for videos
Arlington Fret Works does detailed and thoughtful work. The rates are reasonable and Daniel is a true craftsman. I wouldn’t take my guitars anywhere else. We are lucky to have him in the Metro area!
Thanks for working on, refretting and setting up, the SRV custom made stratocaster. I was really impressed with you going out and finding the exact specs of Stevies #1 guitar. It plays so much better now. I am truly grateful. Thanks,
Daniel does terrific work. I handed him an aging Taylor acoustic with several problems, and days later got back what felt and sounded like a new guitar. Some new frets, leveling and crowning, nut, bridge, and truss rod adjustment, and miscellaneous repairs have made a world of difference in playability, intonation, and sound.
Daniel patiently explained how the variables of truss rod, worn and raised frets, and the nut and bridge affect intonation, buzzing, and ease of fingering. Then, after examining my guitar, he decided it needed work beyond his original estimate, which he did for no extra charge. This is exactly the kind of attention to detail and “pride in his work” that you look for in a true craftsman.
My acoustic is once again a joy to play and it rings like a bell. Best investment I've made in a while.
Look, you got a sick guitar? Take it to Daniel.
I don't know if you remember or not, but I brought 2 Epiphone acoustics in for you to evaluate a couple of months ago. You set up my jumbo and it plays like a dream. What I really owe you thanks for is that you evaluated my EJ-160 and found the the neck was overset. I took it back to Guitar Center and they wanted to try and adjust it without resetting the neck. I was insistent that I didn't want to do that and sent it back to Gibson for a warranty evaluation. Well, it turns out you were right and they're replacing the guitar. THANKS!!
It was nice meeting you this past weekend. I just wanted to say thank you again for all the work that you did on my Les Paul and my Stratocaster. They both sound amazing. Your setup and adjustments made a world of difference in the feel and sound of the guitar. I will definitely be back to see you in the future and will recommend you to everyone that I know.
Daniel--I just want to let you know very pleased I am with the setup you did on my Eastmanmandolin. Everything from the bridge and nut adjustments to straightening the neck has made an already good sounding instrument become a great one---the intonation is perfect all the way up the neck and the action is set exactly the way I like it. I am very appreciative of the way you were patient and explained the process to me, and took my desires into consideration when you did the work. Again, many thanks for a super job!
Dan - The Strat plays just beautifully, I almost want to cry as it's never sounded so 'right' since I purchased it almost 11 years ago. The Les Paul sunburst tone pot finishing touches sound just right,...your previous work re: set up etc., was impeccable.
Thanks again, Michael
Freak’in awesome. I always loved my Epi Howard Roberts, even though it had serious FretBuzz & intonation issues. Now that you leveled the frets, moved the bridge and setup the intonation correctly, I love it even more! I’ll never let it go.
While this is a new relationship, it is a trusting one already. Your turn-around was great! Your prices very reasonable and workmanship and reliability Impeccable!
Please work your magic on my Ventura Barney Kessel. I have already referred you out to my buds! Look-out! More work on the way.
I cannot adequately express how absolutely pleased I was yesterday when you showed me the finished results of your work on my 1956 Gibson LG-1. You truly are a master and a creative genius when it comes to "cleaning up" and repairing this (and so many other) wonderful vintage instruments. I was so greatly impressed with the time you took in your workshop to show me step by step how you accomplished it and, more importantly, how pleased you were, to make this happen. Additionally, and equally important, as a true artist and craftsman, you have a wonderful command of innovative techniques that you shared with me which allowed me to make informed decisions about the work to be done. The end result is a wonderful vintage guitar whose beauty and sound will last for many more generations. And you did it all at a very reasonable (low) cost that made the whole process all the more enjoyable. As you know, this guitar will now become a cherished treasure to be given to my daughter and kept by her as a "connection" to her Dad's youth. So for all of these reasons, I thank you so very much. You are more than a Luthier - You are a creative master and now a trusted friend.
Best wishes and Thank You
Richard (Rick) Pariser
I wanted to let you know that my son's bass teacher was astounded by the transformation in the playability of my son's Squier bass after you did a complete set-up. He had never commented on the bass before but had always declined to play it, preferring to use one of the instruments lying around the lesson room rather than giving the lesson on the Squier. He tried the bass after you did a complete set-up and pronounced that it was like a new instrument and asked for your contact information. They then just traded the bass back and forth for the lesson.
Thanks very much for the work you did again man, I took it to practice today and it played PHENOMENALLY. Here's a review for your site:
After playing with my guitar for a couple of years with minor adjustments and electrical work, I figured it would be time to have it professionally looked at and fixed up to 'new' status. After dropping it off and having every detail of what was to be done told to me I felt that I could trust him with all the work that was to be done. After a full refret, adjustments to the neck and fixing the bridge the guitar plays wonderfully. I fully recommend Daniel and his craftsmanship to anyone who is considering getting work done on their guitar. He is the man!
Just a quick note to thank you for the great job refretting the Strat neck. The guitar is basically back together except for the upgraded electronics, which I plan to put back into it this week. I went ahead and put strings on so that I could check everything out. It feels great and plays beautifully, and I haven't even set it up yet. I'm grateful for the careful work, and I'll be sure to tell people where it was done!
I can't say enough about the fine quality work that Daniel has done on my guitars. A set up on my Ric 12-string, which included filing out the slots in the nut, made that guitar play (and tune) perfectly. He also did a fantastic job replacing the frets and dressing the neck on my favorite acoustic. Communication was great, and it's so obvious that he wants you to be completely satisfied with the job. His only fault is that his prices are too low! Anyone who puts this kind of time and attention to detail into their work ought to charge more for it. Just don't tell him I said so.
My guitar is the "simple" neck reset Daniel calls it. I guess calling it simple is a good sign.
The action was way high on this. I was considering just making it a slide guitar. I recently bought another nice acoustic and wasn't sure what to do with the D43. I saw Daniel's ad on Craigslist and being close to my residence, I decided to see if a professional could do something for this guitar. I first brought Daniel an electric that he performed a setup and fixed a messed up pickup mounting. He did that very promptly and well so I decided to inquire about the neck reset for the Washburn.
Well, I have good second/travel acoustic guitar now.
I purchased this USA Washburn D43 in 96 from Musicians Friend on a blowout sale. It listed for about $750 I recall. Another fair USA acoustic would cost me over a $1000 these days, so the result of Daniel's work was well worth the price.
The last couple of times I needed some work done on my basses, I came to Daniel. I have two Fender basses. On one of them, Daniel performed work like fret leveling and crowning as well as the basic set-up. My Fender MIM Precision had a very rare problem that none of the other guitar technicians I brought it to could identify. The open E string produced tons of buzz when played relatively hard. Daniel was the only who could notice what the problem was.
Daniel is very friendly and will listen for your concerns and will have your guitar ready in a short period of time.
If you are looking for a great service at a great price, then don't look for any other luthier/guitar technician. Some of the things that I noticed about Daniel is that he takes care of your instruments like they are his. Guitar techs at music store don't care if they drop a guitar, put a dent, or a scratch in it; they are not careful with the instruments they work with. Daniel will also take the time to explain exactly what he is doing and why he is doing it and will discuss the process in detail. He really does love working with those "thousandths of an inch" to make sure your guitar performs at its best. I really appreciate all the work Daniel has done for me and will always come back to him in the future. Highly recommended.
I had a classical guitar that had been purchased in Spain about 40 years ago. After much neglect, I brought it to him for fretwork and refinishing, basically to see if it could be saved. He enthusiastically took on this project. I would have given him as much time as he wanted, and he still had it back to me in less than a week. He completely brought it back to life while being careful to avoid anything that would affect the original tone. I was thoroughly impressed and would trust him with any of my guitars.
Daniel, thanks so much for the work that you did.
Daniel, The guitars both sound great. I no longer have any reservations about replacing my Epiphone - it now plays exactly how I'd like it to. Being in tune everywhere on the fretboard is a new experience that I can't believe I did without for so long. I also noticed that my pickups on the Epiphone are in much better positions, with distinctions between pickup settings that I've been learning how to exploit. And I've already gotten used to the action as you set it up. It allows much cleaner playing, most notably when I play legato phrases.
What amazes me about both of them is how more precise my playing is now. Fewer slurs and fewer notes becoming slightly bent when I grip a chord. I'm also not afraid to change positions rapidly because now I know I will nail it better. Must be a combination of all of these factors. Thanks again. And if you'd like me to leave a review on your website, just direct me or feel free to cut and paste from this email and quote me.
I found Arlington Fret Works by doing a simple Google search for guitar repair in my area. Skeptical of anybody working on my guitar, I went in for a simple tune-up and left pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
Daniel, the owner, runs the small repair shop out of his basement. he was passionate and extremely knowledgeable about his work. He did a great, quick analysis of the state of my guitar, the work that needed to be done, and while recommending certain repairs, certainly did not push me to do anything I didn't want done on the guitar.
He had the guitar ready for me the next day. The work was inexpensive and he took the time to explain much of what he did in great detail. I also mentioned, since I hadn't played in a while, that I couldn't find some of my old equipment. He threw in a set of strings, a cable, and a few picks for good measure for a few extra bucks.
Great customer service and responsive, I'll recommend all of my friends to go see Daniel should they need any repair work done.
Exceptional service, great price, and fast...
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By Scott - Nov 9, 2009 ( Google Local Business)
I highly recommend Arlington Fret Works. Dan worked magic on my Washburn acoustic and Stratocaster, delivering far better playability and significantly better sound to both instruments. Dan looked over the instruments, made his assessment and explained the options in terms I could understand. I learned a lot from his detailed explanations of how small changes in an instrument make a big difference in sound and feel. He completed the work quickly and at a very reasonable price. I could not have been more pleased. I had read about the advantages of having guitars properly set up by a pro like Dan, but I had no idea what a difference it could make. It's an instant upgrade without spending the money for a more expensive guitar. Life is short; go see Dan and get your instruments playing at their very best!
Trust your guitar to Daniel!
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By rjdavisjr196 - Oct 19, 2009
Am a bit of a guitar hermit. Have been playing for close to 40 years but have never taken my guitar to a pro for adjustment until recently. Would just rather do it myself. But had a few fret divots in my used guitar and wanted it to play a bit smoother. Daniel saw me early on a Sunday (!) and expertly advised me on all of the options available. A week later...WOW! Like playing another (and much superior) guitar. Effortless bends, silky slides, spot on intonation. Plays the same all the way up and down the fretboard. Some folks treat guitars like utilitarian tools, and thats fair and fine and probably appropriate in a lot of cases. Others patiently treat guitars like organic extensions of the player. Daniel is squarely in this 2nd camp. Clearly somebody to trust with your special instrument!
Dan is exceptional
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By sukharev - Sep 4, 2009
I am not a gigging pro, but I enjoy making different kinds of guitar music. Dan revived two of my acoustic guitars and essentially re-built a cheap solid-body guitar making it a very playable beautifully sounding and looking instrument. Dan has knowledge and intuition of what is appropriate for each instrument as he finds the most parcticable solution. Every time I come to his shop I learn a lot about my own instrument. After his final touches I enjoy playing my instument more and more. Highly recommended!
Dan's the Man!
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By Rick - Aug 14, 2009
I am a pro gigging guitar player and have taken my guitars to to Dan for fretwork. I can honestly say that Dan does excellent work always to my complete satisfaction. I have used many guitar techs throught the years and can say Dan is the best! I highly recommend Dan for all you guitar maintenance/set-ups and fret work needs. Bob
Minor guitar miracles
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By maksim2042 - Jul 28, 2009
Dan is my go-to guy for all string instrument work -- and has risen to every challenge I threw at him. From a busted Spanish guitar that was practically brought back from the dead, to a weird late '60s vintage bass nobody makes any parts for, Dan has gone out of his way to make things work. (one story: in order to set the neck on my '68 MIJ Hofner-clone, Dan had to manufacture a single-use tool just for this purpose)
Excellent Guitar Tech
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 By Matthew - Jul 26, 2009
Highly recommended. I found Fret Works online and met Dan at his shop in Arlington. Whereas I thought I'd drop off my guitars and see them two weeks later (like every other lutheir I've worked with), Dan had me stand beside him for the next two hours as he meticulously inspected the instruments, making adjustments where necessary and correcting set-up mistakes that I'd made. Needless to say, this was an incredible learning experience and the results were excellent. Better yet, he explained why some of the repairs I'd requested were either unnecessary or potentially harmful to the guitars and offered easy & inexpensive fixes instead -- you can't ask for more than that. Will definitely be bringing my guitars to Dan from now on.