Guitar repair – My encounter with a Sire!

The owner brought me this relatively new instrument for an initial set-up and some snazzy bone bridgepins.

When he pulled it out of the bag  – headstock first – I thought to myself, ‘Taylor’ but when it was out on my workbench, it seemed like an instrument in identity crisis.

The headstock made it look like a Taylor

The binding reminded one of CF Martin

while the pickguard made it look as if a child had made a poor effort at cutting out the very distinctive Hummingbird style

The bridge reminded me of another manufacturer, one on whom I can’t place a finger

Can you tell?

However, the label read

Ah, well!

I got to my job, first reaming the bridgepin holes to receive the new bone bridgepins.

And once this was done, new strings were thrown on to begin setting up the instrument. The owner’s choice of strings:

Thankfully, there was not a lot of setting up required and my job was done.

As I sat down to fiddle with the instrument, I began noticing details. It was surprisingly well built and near-premium quality solid wood had been used in its construction.

The back was a very pretty solid mahogany

and the front was a prettier solid spruce.

It also had Taylor-style EQ controls in the shoulder of the guitar

Strumming it, I was blown away by its bass response. Meanwhile the trebles were clear-ringing highs. Usually, it is hard to find a well-balanced instrument. Either it is bass dominant or else the trebles overpower the bass. It was a pleasure playing this one.

As I sat admiring the beauty of the Sire, one thing on the instrument stuck out worse than a sore thumb. The finesse with which the guitar was built, was missing from the pickguard – almost ‘thrown on’ there.

And sure enough, a closer look revealed the rough edges and the slight asymmetry. Take a look

When I, a small time repairman, fashion a pickguard, I ensure that there is not a single edge sharp enough to cut you, or, one on which your nail or pick may catch. The amateurish nature of this pcickguard was indeed an eyesore.

But that should not take away anything from the instrument and the way it sounded.

And as it often happens with me, I forgot to take a photograph of the finished job!!!

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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