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Should this bridge be replaced?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by TJNY, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. TJNY

    TJNY Friend of Leo's

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    I just acquired a 1996 acoustic and upon close inspection(yep, Ebay purchase) I noted this condition of the bridge. I am no tech so I am looking for those with knowledge to chime in. The pegs look straight and are not leaning toward the saddle. Just wondering how much life is left in it.
    Thanks in advance!!
     

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  2. justrfb

    justrfb TDPRI Member

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    Hello TJNY.
    IMHO yes! It looks like you need your neck reset too, which is the reason presumably, you have grooves cut in your bridge. As the strings pull the neck "up", the saddle gets filed down to keep the string action low. As the saddle gets filed down to lower the string action, the string break angle over the saddle is decreased, hence the strings start digging into the bridge. It is a natural progression on acoustics. You don't say what make and model the guitar is so if it is an entry level or mid range guitar (and you work on your guitars yourself), under $400.00, I would suggest trying the neck reset and bridge replacement on your own with the help of the awesome videos out there on the WWW. If it is a high end Martin, Gibson, Taylor or alike, over $1,000.00 I would suggest a tech do it, unless you have great confidence in your skills. It will be a good amount of money though... I hope this helps and good luck.

    Sincerely,
    Rich
     
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    That looks like a Guild bridge, yes?

    What you have are called "notched" bridge pin holes and this was typically done for use with solid (as opposed to fluted/grooved) bridge pins. StewMac actually sells a set of saws and files to notch bridges like that. If the notches have nice clean edges and the guitar plays well then I wouldn't worry about them. When they wear they get sloppy and rounded and the strings can pop out of the bridge pin holes.

    But you should also pay attention to what Rich says. If the saddle is very very low (and it's hard to see from your photo) it could be time for a neck reset. I do a lot of work on my own guitars but I wouldn't consider doing a neck reset myself on a guitar I valued. I'd find the best luthier around - like Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island, NY.
     
  4. TJNY

    TJNY Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, it is a 96' guild JF30. A reset!? Oh man. I will have to take it to a shop to have it looked over by a pro before I start to cry......
     
  5. TJNY

    TJNY Friend of Leo's

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    Here is a pic if the rest of her:
     

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  6. loopy reed

    loopy reed Friend of Leo's

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    How about some side shots of that bridge so we can see the height of the saddle?

    And a side shot of the whole guitar, to see what the neck angle looks like?

    To me, replacing the bridge does not seem absolutely necessary.
     
  7. TJNY

    TJNY Friend of Leo's

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    I will take some this evening and post them up. Thanks for helping! The saddle does not appear to be very low. Pics will the story better than I can!
     
  8. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree. Unless the rear of the bridge is lifting - something that older Guild 12-strings are somewhat known for - I don't think you need to replace it. Those notches look like they were cut in there intentionally rather than being a product of string wear.

    And, if the playing action is good and you have at least some saddle material sticking up above the bridge, you don't need a neck reset.

    That looks like a beautiful guitar. I love those Guild jumbos.
     
  9. TJNY

    TJNY Friend of Leo's

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    No, the bridge is not lifting at all. It looks quite solid. No 12 strings in my stable.
    I love it otherwise. Sounds very much like a jumbo should.
     
  10. loopy reed

    loopy reed Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like you're in good shape!

    And that's a beautiful guitar, by the way. I love Guilds.
     
  11. TJNY

    TJNY Friend of Leo's

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    I certainly hope so!! I don't use Ebay often but I did in this case. Besides the bridge, minor, minor issues with binding on the side. Other than that, it looks very good for a 96'. I examined it inside and out and no indications of damage so it appears to be sound structure wise. Throwing a few more peso's at it to get it near perfect is not a big issue. Throwing many hundreds would be!!

    It's my third Guild. A welcomed addition to the family.....
     
  12. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Looks to me like somebody just strung it for awhile without the string ball ends being tucked properly under the bridge plate. That would let the string winding come up & tear at the bridge a bit. Not a big deal. Make sure the bridge plate is OK (and it sounds like it is) and if not a patch would fix anyway.

    A lot of bridges are slotted or 'ramped' as mentioned in another post to give good break
    angle over the saddle. Yours appears to be so, just roughed up a bit.

    Nice guitar!
     
  13. August_West

    August_West Tele-Meister

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    There is absolutely no way you can judge this guitar needs a neck reset from that picture angle!! Sorry, that's horrible advice (my opinion). How is the action? If the action is too high, and there is no saddle left to file down, then you need the neck reset. The strings chewing thru the bridge like that may or may not matter, you need to tell us about the action & intonation. If the action is fine, and the guitar intonates well, you don't need to do a thing IMHO.
     
  14. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    Put a mirror inside and check on the bridgeplate. Sometimes the plate can get chewed up by the ball-ends of the strings and as a result, the windings on the strings start to peek outside of the peg-holes and begin to chew away at the bridge. That very situation happened to my '70s Gibson J-45. It was much worse than what you got going on there, though. Beautiful Guild, by the way!
     
  15. justrfb

    justrfb TDPRI Member

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    Hello August_West.
    How much experience do you have with acoustics? I am a Martin guy so I am not intimately familiar with Guild guitars. It is a beautiful guitar... Here are some thoughts... I have never seen a high end guitar with a slotted bridge. Not saying there aren't any, I just haven't seen any. The reasons I know for slotting a bridge are (already mentioned) using solid bridge pins and to get a better break angle onto the saddle. Most people in my experience don't slot the bridge on purpose. If a bridge is slotted and not done on purpose, it is because of what I mentioned, string wear the slot into the bridge because the saddle has been filed down to get the action lower because the neck is progressively being pulled "up" be string tension. In the first picture, those slots do not look like they were cut on purpose hence all my thoughts. I have reset a neck, I have glued a bridge and I have adjusted saddles, all to get the action good. It is just my opinion, offered to help... I can be wrong as I am not a luthier by profession, just by hobby.

    Sincerely,
    Rich
     
  16. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    New bridge pins?
     
  17. loopy reed

    loopy reed Friend of Leo's

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    Rich

    Please quit freaking this guy out.

    There is no way a string would cut into a bridge like that.

    Please understand I mean no offense.

    This would be like me going on the Jeep forum that I lurk (because I don't have any advice) and responding to "Won't Start" threads with You've got a cracked block!!! It just doesn't help anything.
     
  18. justrfb

    justrfb TDPRI Member

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    Hello.
    I apologize if I have alarmed, irritated or insulted anyone here... I mean no harm, I just love this stuff! Fixing, diagnosing, figuring, gluing... If I came off any other way then helpful, I am sorry. I will back way off and good luck. I was just trying to help. Good luck.

    Sincerely,
    Rich
     
  19. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    I too don't think the notches in the bridge were caused by string wear. I'd say someone notched it (and not really very well) to either improve the string break angle or to allow the pins to seat fully and stop them popping out.

    I have a Guild 12-string dreadnaught on which the pins - especially for the thicker strings - don't really seat that well. As long as the pins hold, I'm not about to notch the bridge though. :eek:
     
  20. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have a '71 Guild F30 that has some pretty pronounced slots on the bridge face., and it's a long way from needing any serious repair. As others have said, if the action is good, don't sweat it.

    That's a beautiful weapon, by the way...
     
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