1. How long does it take?
Once started, most jobs take about two (2) weeks to complete. After that,
there is a two-week “settling” period, during which the various materials used
cure. Once that process is complete, we perform any fretwork and needed
adjustments and do a final setup,. When we are convinced all the elements
have been perfectly optimized, your guitar is ready to come home!
While all this is going on, can provide you with weekly updates, so you will always
know your guitar's status and can track its progress.
2. How much does it cost?
Every guitar is different. Every installation is unique.
No two installations require the same work.
For these reasons, the following price guide is just that: A general approximation
of pricing for a relatively broad range of typical installations. However, highly detailed,
intricate designs and specialized requirements may be many multiples of the prices shown
in this guide. For this reason, the cost to you for your one-of-a-kind, NSO art and related
services will be those and only those set forth in your written contract with NSO.
Fiber optic side dots (bolt on neck, no binding) $450
Existing designs (shark teeth/fins, vines, etc.) $650
Mural-style illuminated inlays (bolt on neck, no binding) $900
Additional Services (Most Guitars-
With binding + $100
With set neck/ neck thru paint returned + $300
to original condition
With set neck/ neck thru neck left bare + $200
With set neck/ neck thru neck sanded + $250
bare and light clear coat applied
3. What else do you need from me?
Once the NSO Services Agreement is signed, all we ask is that you enclose two (2) sets
of your preferred strings in the case with your instrument. If you do not,
your instrument will be returned with Earnie Ball brand strings.
4. What about shipping?
No one knows better than you how you want your instrument cared for. For local customers, we strongly encourage personal drop-off and pick-up. For instruments that must be shipped, you are responsible for packaging and shipping. We strongly recommend that you purchase insurance for both delivery and return shipping.
Unless you provide separate return packaging, we will return your NSO upgraded instrument to you in the packaging in which it was received, unless it has obvious damage. If in our (sole) judgment that packaging
is unfreightworthy, we will notify you and will replace the packaging at your expense.
Alternately, you may choose NSO Shipping Return. With NSO Shipping Return, NSO will package and ship the instrument to you within the continental United States by a method and carrier of NSO's choosing. (Other shipping destinations by agreement.) The fee for this service is US$75, plus the cost of packaging materials, shipping/freight, insurance, and any special handling. Insurance will be mandatory if you choose to utilize NSO Shipping Return.
NOTE: Instruments serviced by NSO are released for return shipment only upon full payment receipt and verification. Instruments for which full payment has not yet been received and verified will not be released for carrier pickup. Any carrier charges for return pickup are your sole responsibility.
5. What should I expect?
You should expect top notch luthier service!
You should expect you instrument to be returned to you in the same or better condition than it was sent!
You should expect to be AMAZED by your one-of-a-kind, genuine NSO instrument!
6. Do you do other modifications/ repairs?
Yes! No Shadows Optics is a full service repair shop capable of any guitar services you may need .
We also do modifications such as Floyd Rose installations, Graphtech Ghost installations, and paint work.
7. What if I need parts?
Parts for your Fiber Optics system (LEDs and resistors) are readily available at your electronic components
retailer or better electronics stores.
NOTE: Parts for your illuminated inlay system (remote drivers, internal drivers) tend to be highly reliable. To avoid inadvertent damage to these systems, we have designed them so that they are not user serviceable. If you do experience problems with one of these systems, DISCONTINUE USE IMMEDIATELY and contact NSO Support for further guidance and recommendations on how best to proceed.
8. Are you hiring?
As of now, we have no open positions. We expect to add more experienced luthiers in the near future. Please
submit at a resume that shows the full range and history of your luthier experience, together with history and
pictures of your work.
We occasionally offer apprenticeships to serious applicants living in proximity to our Colorado shop.
9. How can I be sure that the design I want ends up looking the way I want it to?
We do everything we can to ensure that you and we are communicating properly about what you want from a design standpoint. For example, if you want us to replicate an existing design – assuming it is not proprietary to others – often the best approach is to have pictures. Or, you can provide us with hand-drawn sketches. We will be working with you throughout the process, right up to, and in many cases including, initial design implementation, to make sure we have your detailed feedback and stay on the same page. Our overriding goal is to give you what you want and, wherever possible, more than you expect!
10. Will the guitar manufacturer still honor my warranty, if I get an NSO installation done?
Warranties vary among manufacturers. NSO urges you to check your manufacturer’s written warranty and/or contact your guitar’s manufacturer directly to address any warranty concerns prior to contacting NSO.
11. Does NSO warranty its work?
Yes. Please refer to NSO’s written warranty applicable to the upgrade, stock purchase or service provided to find further details and information.
12. Can non-warranty repairs be performed on NSO installations at regular guitar service centers?
NSO employs patent-pending technologies and know-how in its installations. For these reasons, we do not generally recommend third-party service of NSO installations, where providers may be unfamiliar with such technologies and techniques or otherwise unable to provide the level of care and service available directly from NSO.
13. Do the illuminated areas get hot?
NSO installations generally do not cause the inlays to get hot. However, in the multicolor installations, the color white, if left on for long periods of time, can generate heat. Aside from occasional use with the multicolor system, if white is your preferred color, we recommend an entirely white inlay system.
14. Will I need to change the way I handle or play my instrument?
Not at all. That’s one of the great benefits of an NSO upgrade!
15. Are there any special care procedures I need to follow with my NSO upgraded instrument?
In general, your NSO guitar can be used and handled like any other guitar. Because of the special nature of the installations, we do encourage you to be cautious in your selection of service and repair providers. And, because NSO installations do involve lighting in their use, to avoid staring directly at the illuminations, particularly in dim and dark environments.
16. Does playing my NSO upgraded instrument outside, especially on a wet stage or if it starts to rain, create an
additional shock hazard?
Using anything electrical where moisture is present or in wet or rainy environments or conditions is virtually always unwise and even dangerous. NSO strongly WARNS AGAINST using your NSO product or system in these sort of circumstances, environments and conditions.
17. If I experience problems with my NSO system, does my guitar still work?
It should. Absolutely. Your NSO installation is designed not to interfere with your guitar's existing electronics. In the event that you experience any problems (including failure, instability, or performance irregularity) with your NSO products or services, DISCONTINUE USE IMMEDIATELY and contact us at for help. CONTINUED USE OF A FAILING SYSTEM CAN CAUSE IRREPARABLE DAMAGE AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
18. Does my NSO installation require a separate or external power source?
No. Another compliment to NSO creativity and innovation – and to your enjoyment of the NSO experience! However, you may choose to utilize an external power source for your system. The power source is available directly from NSO, and eliminates the need for frequent battery changes on systems with a larger illuminated surface area (like shark fins). The external driver is easily located on your existing pedal board setup, or can stand alone. All that is required is an ordinary 110v wall outlet. You'll never need batteries again!