Guitar repair – Getting Alhambra in tune again!

You all might remember this one from some time back. It returned recently for a change of tuning machine sets. The owner was not happy with the tuning machines and also the crumbling buttons on them.

If you don’t remember the earlier visit by this instrument, you can read about it here

Guitar repair – A novel problem in a classical Alhambra!

As you can see, otherwise, the guitar was in very good shape, being kept well.

However, the tuning machine set on the treble side was causing problems. As I looked at it closely, I discovered tell-tale signs of efforts to unscrew the set. The screwhead closest to the ‘e’ string tuning machine was all worn out – a sure sign that a much larger screwdriver had been employed to open the small screw.

Also, it was evident that when the screw could not be removed, someone had tried to prise out the machine set by slipping in something between the set and the headstock. Try and notice the area of the tuning machine assembly around the ‘e’ string tuning machine and you will know what I am talking about.

Thankfully, when that too failed, it seemed further efforts were not made.

However, the owner knew nothing about it. When accosted, he said that since the instrument had been previously owned, maybe, it was the other owner who may have tried a few things.

The owner also requested that the strings on the guitar be retained. That was a problem. Trying to string a classical guitar is a problem in itself. Trying to unwind strings from classical guitar tuning machines is a bigger problem. But since the owner had requested, it had to be done.

With the strings and tuning machine screws off, the three-in-one sets of machines came off easily. As I tried on the new set of tuners, I wasn’t surprised to note that the screw holes in them and those drilled on the headstock of the guitar did not match up…they rarely do!

So, I filled out the old holes with wood dowels and drilled new holes

And the rest was smooth.

If I leave you with the photographs, you’ll be able to make out the rest of the story.



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:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *