Split bridges – here’s an Ibanez!

What was that I said about guitars/problems/brands coming in twos and threes? 

So, here’s an Ibanez with a bridge that could have been split right into half, but just to complicate the problem, it is split in two places which is almost in line.

Though this was a laminate guitar (top, back and sides), it was well constructed and had a preamp attached (was an electro-acoustic guitar). 

Thankfully, the bridgeplate seemed solid with little to no signs of wear and tear.

And for those of you who like to look up model numbers, etc… 

…it’s 2Y-02 GS151202881.

The first order of business was glueing the lifting corner of the bridge from the bass side. I shot in diluted wood glue and clamped that corner of the bridge down and left it to cure for a good 36 hours.

That square black piece is leather, cut from an old belt that I almost threw out!

And as you can see, the instrument carried more than a couple of ‘endorsements’. 

What would we guitarists be without such ‘endorsements’?

Once that had cured and I pulled the clamp off it, I turned my attention to the bridge crack. I filled it up with my tea and coffee-stained saw dust, sanded it level and then polished it up such that even a person who knew there was a crack in the bridge, would never be able to make out.

Once this was done, I went about reaming the bridgepin holes that strangely looked more oblong than round to me (it doesn’t show up very clearly here in the photo, but in truth, they were). That was another reason to take the reamer to the bridgepin holes.

Oblong/oval bridgepin holes are a sure sign that the bridgepins don’t fit the holes very well and together with string tension, are a strain on the bridge. And that is what led to the bridge cracking. Q.E.D.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There were other big and small problems that I saw. More than a couple of tuning machine heads (buttons) were loose, there were divets (grooves) in the first five frets (along the ‘B’ string), there was a degree of DNA and body oil deposition on the fretboard, the whole body was in dire need of cleaning and some TLC, and the nut and saddle were plastic.

The saddle, particularly, was in a pitiable condition and not even in one piece.

With that kind of a saddle, I doubt if the transmission of sound would be as good as it could be if a bone saddle, or, at least a single piece of anything was used as a saddle.

However, my brief was to work on the bridge and the bridge alone. So, I played as if I hadn’t even noticed those problems!   

But there’s a sweet little story that you all should know. 

I was told that this guitar was a young man’s first instrument. He has since graduated to ‘better’ guitars while this was sitting around. 

Meanwhile, the young man’s mother expressed a desire to learn to play the guitar. Respecting his mother’s wishes, the young man decided to get this instrument in playing condition, and hand it over to his mother.

Three cheers for the son, and bigger cheers for the lady for deciding to take up music!

From the Lucknow Guitar Garage, may your journey into the world of music be full of discovery and happy learning! 



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: guitarguyhelp@gmail.com

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