Every guitar and bass player should seriously consider modifying their instrument, especially since most of us aren’t getting custom orders straight from the factory. It’s like having a tailored suit—maybe the one off the rack fits nicely enough, but one that’s specifically tailored to make you look good? There’s just no comparison. Instruments are like that. With a few adjustments, you can turn a decent instrument into a great one, or take an already great instrument and make it even better. Which mods you make is up to your specific needs, but we have two in mind that we consider to be mandatory and universal. As soon as you get a new instrument, you need to install the Straplok® Retainer System and Super Pot Potentiometers. Like, do it as part of your first setup.

Here’s why.

In many ways, the acoustic guitar is the ultimate in creative convenience—you can pick it up wherever you are, maybe your couch or your patio, or take it with you somewhere like the beach, and just start strumming—no need to set up any equipment. You don’t have to leave it there, though—under the surface of that elegant simplicity lie a number of important choices that can make your acoustic performance that much more sublime.

We put a list of recommendations together for players who want to give their acoustic guitar and their playing experience some extra love.

Check it out below.

Knowing how to set up and maintain your instrument is an important way to become more intimate not only with the instrument itself but also your sound and playing style. Any player can do it—all you need is the right tools for the job. We can help you out with that.

Our System 65 Tools offer just about everything a guitar or bass player needs for his work bench and gig bag. Whether you need to adjust something on the fly or have the time for a full setup, these tools will help you keep your instruments playing their best. Let’s take a quick setup tour to see just how helpful they can be.

First, you need a proper workspace. The System 65 Setup Mat makes for the perfect surface, as its made from no-mar neoprene with thick padding to protect your instrument. Next, you’ll need the Neck Cradle to prop up your instrument. Also padded with no-mar neoprene, the Neck Cradle rotates to provide full support to the back or front of your instrument’s neck and can accomodate a wide range of thicknesses. If you’re removing any parts, the Magnetic Parts Tray is a lifesaver to make sure you don’t lose any nuts or screws. For backstage maintenance and repairs, the System 65 Gig Light is an absolute necessity, featuring a beam that’s bright enough to be seen from up to 100 yards away, and it’s waterproof, so you don’t have worry about the odd beverage spilling on it.

Keep your instruments pristine with Dunlop’s Platinum 65™ Premium Care System of professional grade instrument care products. We took a cue from the automotive care industry, harnessing Montan wax—its latest innovation—as the Platinum 65 line’s key ingredient. Montan wax is a fossilized plant wax prized for its ease of use and deep glossy shine.

The Platinum 65 System optimizes Montan wax for the maintenance of musical instruments so that you can both clean your guitars or basses and dress them with a protective barrier. Platinum 65 products take less time and less effort than any other wax-based care product—there’s no need to wait for drying, and there’s no need to wear your arm out trying to even out the surface coating.

Platinum 65 care comes in two forms. For quick and easy everyday care, there’s the 1-step Cleaner-Polish. For weekly use, or whenever more thorough care is necessary, we recommend the Deep Clean and Spray Wax two-step process. Both Deep Clean and Spray Wax are silicone-free.

We put together a step-by-step process for applying care products to show how simple and effective the Platinum 65 Premium Care System is at cleaning and protecting your guitar.