Guitar repair – A Dove that sings sweet!

The action on your guitar is primarily dictated by neck angle, and then there are a host of other factors.

Neck angle is another element where (comparatively) expensive guitars score over cheaper guitars (putting another tick in the ‘expensive guitars’ column’)!

This well-maintained Epiphone Dove Pro came to me for general maintenance, a check-up and some fresh strings.

Immediately, I could see that though the saddle was of bone, the nut was a plastic one (the first pic).

And even though it had a bone saddle, the owner brought a new bone saddle which he had earlier purchased elsewhere. He wanted me to replace the old one with the new one.

Also, healthy divots had formed on each fretwire, right up to the 10th or the 11th.

The fretboard and bridge were very dry and in need of some serious TLC.

Work started with taking the old strings off the guitar and keeping the bridgepins in the order that they came out.

However, as I removed the saddle from its slot, I instinctively dug in and found these sitting there: a wire-tie and some pieces of string!!!

Next, the old, plastic nut was knocked out of its slot. Measurements were taken of its dimensions

which would then be transferred to a swanky new, bone nut.

Cleaning the fretboard and filing, crowning and polishing of the fretwires came next. I must say I was very happy with the results achieved.

The bridge too was shown some love and it shone!

Working on the new saddle, all those wire ties and string pieces had to be taken into consideration. Dialled in that saddle looked rather low.

With the new nut and saddle in place, the instrument was strung up with the owner’s choice of strings which he provided. Not the best and certainly not something that I would recommend to go on a Dove Pro. I did ask the owner to choose better strings next time.

But before I threw on the new strings, I checked and adjusted the neck.

and then as a last touch, shaped the bridgepins so that ball-ends of the strings would not catch on the pin ends.

With the strings on, it was amazing at what I saw and measured. The action was crazy low and better still, it did not buzz!!

But what worried me was the string angle. The very low saddle left little to no break angle. I did not talk to the owner about this but when he did come to pick up the guitar, I did point out what the situation was. I told him that string slots/ramps were needed and on the next visit I would cut them.

But I leave you now with a shot of the beautiful Dove, as also one of wounds received during the battle!





Amit Newton

An experienced guitar tech with over 10 years of experience working on acoustic Gibsons and Martins in the Gulf region. There is nothing that cannot be repaired; the only consideration is the price at which it comes. And yet, if there is sentiment attached, no price is too high! WhatsApp/Call me: 7080475556 email me:

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