Nashville bridge bowed

Tune-o-matic bridge as found on Gibson and other guitars was designed by Ted McCarty and introduced in the mid 1950s as the ABR-1. The design was updated by Schaller in the 1970s and the new bridge being termed the “Nashville” bridge by players as its introduction coincided with the Gibson factory’s move from Kalamazoo to Nashville. …

Evenly spaced strings

I had this brand new American Vintage Series ’64 Telecaster in for a setup. Its owner pointed out the very narrow string spacing of the 1st and 2nd strings at the bridge. The first thing I tried was moving the strings apart, into the next slot. This however caused a problem in that the strings were now …

Dressing fret ends with a diamond file

At this time of year when guitars tend to be bought as presents I get asked if it’s necessary to have it set up, or it’s suggested that as it’s a new guitar it shouldn’t need very much doing. Unless the buyer is extraordinarily fortunate, the answer is always “yes” and a new guitar can …

Removing scratches from the frets using Micromesh pads

I covered fret dressing in this earlier post but will repeat the steps here for completeness. The pictures should tell the story but I’ll add some text where I think it’s necessary to explain further. The first job, before the frets can be leveled is to remove the lacquer from them. The easiest way to do …

1982 Gibson Ripper Bass

Following on from the “70s Bass Extravaganza” earlier this year I have two early 80s basses in for set up this week. Gibson Grabber Bass The first is a lovely 1982 Gibson Grabber Bass. It was suffering from uneven frets and a rising tongue caused by some unwise heavy shimming of the neck with a …

Butterscotch Telecaster with Joe Barden pickups

I put this guitar together today for a customer. The body is from guitarbuild.co.uk and the owner finished it using my Butterscotch nitrocellulose lacquer. I fitted the Joe Barden pickups, with the bridge mounted to the body, G E Smith style. There is a 4-way switch fitted, giving in-series as well as in-parallel pickup combinations, …

Sunburst Epiphone EJ-200 - another left-handed conversion

Another EJ-200 lefty conversion, this one in sunburst. These really are cracking acoustic guitars with bags of tone and volume. This example (sourced from Thomann) has  much better neck angle than most so I was able to get a low action with plenty of height left on the saddle. I’m thinking that I really should …

PE-1000GC Aria Pro II Gerry Cott Signature

… you don’t see one for ages then two come along at once! Although I used to own one of the original PE-1000 guitars and wish I’d never parted with it, I can’t ever recall seeing one of the blue Gerry Cott signatures before. In  the space of two weeks however, I have worked on …

J-200 with JLD Bridge System installed

The top on this Gibson J-200 has bellied a bit, so much so that the lacquer on the top has started to crack. Consequently, I had trouble getting a low action and thought the guitar might be suitable for the JLD Bridge system, which can correct bowed tops. Installing the JLD system was straightforward enough. …

Zenith Bijou Standard 21 Archtop acoustic guitar

This 50s archtop acoustic is a Zenith Standard 21 “Bijou”. Zenith guitars were made by Framus in Germany and re-badged Zenith by the importers, who were the major instrument distributors Boosey and Hawkes. This one has Ivor Mairant’s signature in ballpoint pen on the label inside, but I don’t know if it is the signature …