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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Repair & upgrade or not to repair & upgrade?

arumako

Japan

Nov 19th, 2015 06:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hello FDP, This is only my 2nd post and it's been 2 years since my last post. I was kind of hoping to get your thoughts on a repair that I have been contemplating.

I own a F330-12 that I have been using for nearly 20 years. It has been my go to guitar, and many people have complimented my F330's sound (having mistaken it for a Martin or Taylor, they always have that surprised look when they say, "Its a Fender?"). She is super easy to play with no buzz and sounds spectacular.

Last weekend I noticed the tuning was going in and out as I was playing. As it turns out, the neck was starting to come loose.

Two-years ago, I posted here on the FDP about the same guitar because my neck extension (higher frets by the sound hole) was bowing into the sound hole; and I had considered a repair at that time, but thanks to some good advice from kind FDP folk, I left it alone and kept using it as is. At the same time, I thought I might upgrade the entire sound board in the future.

One of my favorite hobbies is restoring guitars; and so, I removed the neck (which thankfully came off very clean). I was really surprised to find that the entire guitar (except the neck) is made from laminates including the sound board (I should have known by the price I paid for the guitar!). Repairing the neck will be easy. As a matter of fact, I can upgrade that into a bolt on configuration.

So my question is, would you just put the neck back on the guitar and sell it? or would you change/upgrade the sound board and keep using it? Your interest and comments would be appreciated! Thanks.

1987 F330-12 Slideshow

(This message was last edited by arumako at 08:58 PM, Nov 19th, 2015)

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
**********

USA/Taos, NM

Nov 19th, 2015 07:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That's either a real giant size guitar, or you're a really small dude...to get inside the guitar like that and take photos.

surfdog

Lakeside, CA

Jim
Nov 19th, 2015 09:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi Arumako,

I have an old broken barely playble Mexican guitar hanging on my wall that I bought in Guadalajara in 1966. I makes great wall art.

So, my suggestion is to get new. Toss the old or fix it
for wall art.

Jim

arumako

Japan

Nov 19th, 2015 10:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'd say it's a Texas size "jumbo" dreadnought, stratcowboy...ain't too hard for a japanee guy like me to get in there `n` take some nice photos of them, there innards...

...wall hanger? My nearly 20 year "goto" guitar, hmmm...well, surfdog, I must admit I never even thought of that...I guess, even for guitars that had a great run, there comes a time to retire...

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Nov 20th, 2015 05:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Why not just reset the neck and keep it? Replacing the soundboard seems like a last resort for a broken guitar and may or may not sound better when done.

Coral Head

Sunshine State

Groupies needed
Nov 20th, 2015 06:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think laminates are often used on 12 strings because they are stronger and can withstand the extra string tension better. If you want to change the soundboard for fun, go for it, but if you just want to play the guitar and enjoy it, I wouldn't bother. Also, I would not put a lot of time into it just to sell it because it won't bring much money (not in the USA, anyway).

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 20th, 2015 10:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If it's an easy repair, I'd just fix it and keep it. Why sell a guitar when you say you've had it for years and love the way it sounds?

I think the prejudice against laminated tops is getting into snobbish territory. I've played plenty of laminated top acoustics that sounded just fine.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
*********

So. Cal. USA

Nov 20th, 2015 10:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If all you have is a neck joint issue fix the guitar and play it. It looks like all it needs is a re-glue with attention to neck angle. You are fortunate you can do the work yourself as the cost of this repair would most likely exceed the value of the instrument if you had to take it to a shop.

If it sounds good with a laminate top just keep playing it. That I would not even think about changing unless you just want the experience and plan for a replacement anyway.

arumako

Japan

Nov 21st, 2015 08:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for your thoughts Te 52 and Hammond101. My main consideration for upgrading the sound board is to correct the bowing near the sound hole. I kinda figured a solid Spruce, Cedar or Koa sound board would certainly sound "as good as" a laminate, if not better...I guess that can sound a bit "snobbish"... I was envisioning something like my '74 Yamaha FG160 which uses laminate backs and sides and a solid Spruce sound board... it sounds incredible.

I never considered how a laminate might be used on a 12-string because of its strength either Coral Head, and your assessment of the re-sale value of one of these guitars looks to be spot on. Thanks. I definitely need a 12-string in my line-up, so it looks like a repair is in order at the very least.

If my sound board was not bowing in, I would definitely just convert the neck to a bolt-on, reset the neck and keep using the guitar. I have 2 other sound board repairs I need to do, and this might be just the right practice project too.

In any case, your input is food for thought and very helpful! Thanks a bunch!

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
*********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Nov 23rd, 2015 12:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm working on a severely bellied cheap but pretty acoustic 12. I have to glue a few unglued braces, then will install a JLD Bridge System to correct any remaining bellying and prevent any new bellying. For $25, it's reasonable, and should work great.

I believe Breedlove guitars use these.

JLD Bridge Doctor.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
*********

So. Cal. USA

Nov 23rd, 2015 01:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes Steve, you are correct. I just purchased a Breedlove 12 and it has this system installed.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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**********
*****

Chain Smokin'

Gas Station Attendant
Nov 23rd, 2015 04:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you enjoy repairing guitars, I think the experience you gain from the process of removing the top and making a new one would be more valuable than any money you might make from installing the neck and selling it in its current bellied-top condition.

I mention this because you'll gain great experience, AND you may end up with a guitar that sounds and plays better than it originally did.

You did an impressive job--cleanly removing the neck (NICE work). That tells me you're quite capable of removing the top and making a replacement.

arumako

Japan

Nov 24th, 2015 12:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the input Steve Dallman, Hammond 101 and Peegoo! I really like that JLD Bridge Doctor. I've seen a lot of 12-strings with bowing and bulging like my F330-12. Even if I do change the top, 25 bucks is a worthy investment, and can keep my 12er going for a long long time. I sure do appreciate your input.

Even if I mess up this sound board upgrade, it will be great experience and training to help me prepare for the other two sound board projects. I think I'll go with a conventional spruce sound board...maybe AA or AAA quality with the JLD Bridge Doctor. Thanks FDP for helping me to think things through and sort things out in my mind!

Hammond101
Contributing Member
*********

So. Cal. USA

Nov 24th, 2015 10:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Please keep us posted as you move along with the project. I am fascinated by those with wood skills!

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
****

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Dec 8th, 2015 11:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The bridge Doctor does work and really doesn't kill the sound. I don't know why but it works.

JeffreyAK

California

Dec 23rd, 2015 12:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

First post, came across this via Google. I've had a F-330-12 for almost 30 years, bought it new in '87. I think it sounds gorgeous, but after letting it sit unplayed for years and pulling it out of the case I found the same problem you describe above - the neck extension is bending down, and the neck side of the sound hole is kinda sunken a bit. It still plays ok except way up the neck. You said you just left yours alone, and that's all I can do too since it's not worth a professional repair, but I'm wondering, is this humidity? Has anyone had success fixing this sort of problem by controlling the humidity in the case?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*****

Chain Smokin'

Gas Station Attendant
Dec 23rd, 2015 03:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Howdy Jeff, welcome to the forum. A humidification may help if the guitar has really dried out. Do the following:

- Remove the strings from the guitar, and clean the guitar well

- Tie a 12" loop of heavy cord around one of the tuning keys

- Dampen a face towel and wring it out well; drop it into a large trash bag the guitar will fit in

- Pull the bag up and around the guitar; gather the top of the bag beyond the headstock, around the cord loop; tape it tightly

- Hang the guitar by the loop from a closet rod or a shelf indoors

You want it hanging--not laying flat--because this allows the water vapor to reach every part of the guitar. Check it after three days. If the top has relaxed (become more flat), then you need to keep the guitar humidified once it's strung back up.

There are several types; I like the Damp-It (green hose thing). Use the plastic sound-hole cover with it.


JeffreyAK

California

Dec 23rd, 2015 09:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the suggestion! I'm guessing it's spent most of it's life too dry, in a hot inland valley in California where it doesn't rain much and only during the winter season. If a thorough humidification helps, maybe I can keep it happier with a humidifier.

JeffreyAK

California

Dec 31st, 2015 11:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So it's not appearing to make a significant difference. I tried the garbage bag trick but wasn't sure it was doing anything, so I went to the wet-rag-in-the-case trick, placing a wet rag in an open baggie in the case under the neck and shutting it. The RH inside the case went up quite a bit compared to the surrounding air, 52% vs. 37%, but I'm not seeing the slightest difference in the top or neck sinking after a week. I'll keep the rag in the case and monitor it, but so far nothing has changed. Oh well, worth a try.

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Repair & upgrade or not to repair & upgrade?




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