Guitar repair: At last a Yamaha worthy of the name!

(welcome to the last blogpost of 2021!)

It is always such a pleasure to work on an instrument that is well maintained – nearly dust-free, spotless inside, tuning machines snugged-in, fretboard clean, fretwires untarnished, a good shine all around – it makes you want to put in that much effort to make it that much better.

This Yamaha (circa 2010-2011) belongs to a serving officer of the Indian Army. Looking at it, one could only nod one’s head in appreciation.

Right. So, if it was so good what was it in for?

The action on it had risen beyond comfortable and the owner wished that it returned to its original action (or at least as close as it could get).

As I heard high action, I looked underneath the bridge, but air could not have passed through even if you tried pushing it in. But I noticed something else. That later. First, what was it that caused the high action?

Looking beyond the bridge, I noticed a healthy belly – two coins worth.

The instant reaction in my head was ‘shitty bridgeplate’. However, when I looked in, I was very surprised to find a rosewood-like bridgeplate. If it wasn’t rosewood, it looked pretty much like it.

Coming back to what I had earlier noticed while inspecting the bridge,

the bridge had cracked!

Not that its cracking was affecting the action on the instrument in any way, but it was just something that needed to be rectified.

But first the belly.

Some heat, some clamps and some time – 48 hours to be precise.

After the first 24 hours, the results were most encouraging

Instead of a belly, the top now had a trough in its place! I knew, though, that once string tension played its part, the trough would disappear and the top would straighten out: that was an ideal situation. It was also possible that some of that belly would return! But we wouldn’t know that at least for a few weeks/months.

But first the bridge was fixed and then the fretboard and bridge were given an oil massage to make them glow.

Crack in the bridge? Where? 

Stringing it up with a fresh set of strings, I put the guitar through its paces. And boy, did it sing to me?

Here’s one last look at it

P.S.: This is the last blogpost for the year. I’ll take a break to collect my thoughts, rejuvenate myself and I shall meet you over at the other side, when the Old Man is gone and the Babe has been born! Stay well, stay safe, and have a blast, if you must! 

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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