Guitar repair: This guitar and the missing blog post!

It is now 1 AM on Sunday, June 19th, as I begin to write this post. Till now I had been searching!

I had worked on this guitar some time back. It was an Epiphone Dove. No matter how hard I have tried searching my blog, I haven’t been able to find a post detailing what I had done to it before. 

My idea was that I would share the link here and then with three or four fresh photographs, recount what was happening now. And so, this post has just three photographs!

I even called up the owner asking him to send me the link which I particularly send to the owner of the instrument that I work on. He could not find it either.

Just a few minutes ago the thought occurred to me that maybe, I never wrote a post about the instrument! (Can that be true?) I am still confused. But it is true that I do not write a post about every instrument that I work on.

From what I remember of the work I did, I think I changed just the nut on it.

Usually, beyond a certain price range, manufacturers feel inclined to provide at least a bone saddle. The nut they consider of no consequence and so even a piece of plastic shaped like a nut works.

That was the case with this instrument too (if I remember correctly). But the guitar had been brought in because the owner was experiencing some buzz on the treble strings (e, B, G).

So, I threw out the plastic nut and installed a new bone nut dialled to the right dimensions. I remember that I myself was surprised at the really low action at the first fret. The instrument had been a pleasure to play on. The owner too was thrilled with not only the action but also the change in quality of the sound of the instrument.

The story up till now was just the preamble! All this was to introduce the instrument to you.

Well, it turned up again at my doorstep, recently, with that old problem of buzzing strings! A friend of the owner had brought it in.

That nice low action had gone lower and the neck of the guitar was straighter than what I like to see.

That is a .012″ feeler gauge and it is pushing the string up. As you can probably make out, the string slots too are not too deep.

Sadly, I don’t even have a written record of this instrument. I remember that the action at the nut was low but please don’t expect me to remember what exactly it was. What I can say is that the instrument must have been playing just fine for me to let it go.

The best way I can surmise the phenomenon is that between then and now, humidity dealt its hand and the buzzes came rolling in.

I dialled some relief into it but because the buzz persisted, I filled the nut slots very, very slightly. That all but removed the buzz.

I did not dare go any further working on the nut, neither did I wish to adjust the relief any more.

What made me stop – besides other factors – was that we were working with old, muggy strings. With a fresh set of strings and a fresh set-up, all should be well.

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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