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NJ Tom

Is it worth the chance on a used guitar with this modification?

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post-70988-068976200 1521202175_thumb.jpgI'm considering a used J-45 that has a 'Bridge Doctor' installed. The guitar has a brass pin installed on the G string only.

 

Is this some kind of hocus-pocus modification, a solution in search of a problem? The price of the guitar is right but I have reservations about the value of this mod. How easy is it uninstall by the average person with no luthier skills?

 

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Bridges/JLD_Bridge_Doctor.html

 

Thanks in advance

Edited by NJ Tom

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One of those things installed would be a sure indicator that something is wrong with the guitar, either something perhaps fixable short term (humidity related perhaps?), or long term. My guess is long term, not fixable...

 

When you say the price is right, does that mean considering a long term issue with the bridge, or as if the guitar had no issue at all? Personally, I would only consider this guitar if it sounded fine, AND the price was VERY right! [biggrin]

 

Lars

Edited by Lars68
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As Lars says, that is a device made to correct a rolled bridge (bellied top), not a good thing in an acoustic guitar. I say run away, regardless of price.

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This is a device I would install on a guitar that I wanted to sell. Now.

 

I've made two of them, one on a 1960s Suzuki 12 string and another on an Applause. The Suzuki was a basket case I rebuilt in 1994 so I can't attest to any tone change. I wouldn't have dared put string tension on it without something shoring it up. The Applause, I did have a chance to compare before and after, plus I had others to compare it to. I can't say it changed the tone, although one would think it would have all kinds of detrimental effect.

 

There are enough J-45s out there where you don't have to buy one with a crutch inside. Unless of course you fall in love with it in spite.

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One of those things installed would be a sure indicator that something is wrong with the guitar, either something perhaps fixable short term (humidity related perhaps?), or long term. My guess is long term, not fixable...

 

 

Not necessarily although the older the guitar the more likely the Bridge Doctor is there as a cure rather than a preventative measure.

Breedlove installs a Bridge Doctor or an almost identical truss system as part of the build of their higher quality guitars. I also know guys who almost immediately install them in new guitars, particularly 12 strings. One of those an ounce of prevention things.

Edited by zombywoof

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My 1953 J-45 had one of these when I bought it. To keep the top down and straighten things out.

Thus it was a bit of risk to remove it after a year or something, but it had to be done.

 

And yes, the top bulged back up, yet nothing cracked and the new convexity didn't influence intonation.

In fact it freed the guitar signicantly and made it respond like a normal acoustic. Before it was clearly inhibited and stiff.

 

The screw-hole is still there and the plan is to fill it with pure gold.

8 years ago I inherited a handful of old golden teeth that belonged to my forefathers/mothers and the idea is to melt them into a pluck then gently press that device down the bridge.

 

A job I couldn't do myself.

 

Anyway - as it can be re-installed you could experiment back'n'forth.

Of course with the aber dabei the instrument might change to worse either by 'growing' out of shape'n'tune og be too rigid.

 

If you get it, be sure the deal includes return-right.

Edited by E-minor7

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Great advice and your responses are much appreciated. The J-45 in question is selling for $1400 ($1300 on the dealer website) plus shipping and even though that appears to be a great price, I'm going to pass.

 

I only began playing in my mid-50's for several years, gave it up, and I've got the bug again at age 65. But at the time I had several nice guitars including an '08 Martin D-18 which I regret letting go. I prefer larger bodied guitars and the most ergonomic dread-sized I owned was an Epiphone Masterbilt J-45 copy. The sloped upper bout gave me just a bit more wiggle room and it was really comfortable to play sitting down. The D-18 killed the Epi in sound and volume but it seemed a little cumbersome at times.

 

The used J-45's I'm seeing are all outside my range of price, especially since I'm starting all over again. But man, how I love the looks of a sunburst Gibson.

 

I'm seeing what appear to be really attractive deals on used J-15's and J-35's. Reverb has a 15% off sale on some examples so I might re-adjust my thinking along those lines. I suppose I can live without a sunburst.

 

Thanks to all.

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Not necessarily although the older the guitar the more likely the Bridge Doctor is there as a cure rather than a preventative measure.

Breedlove installs a Bridge Doctor or an almost identical truss system as part of the build of their higher quality guitars. I also know guys who almost immediately install them in new guitars, particularly 12 strings. One of those an ounce of prevention things.

 

 

exactly. a lot of people install these things, and they are supposedly easily removable as the seller said. anyway, the '98 Early J45 is an amazing guitar. i hope someone jumps on it

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I’d pass on that right away-good move to leave it alone, Tom.

 

In that price bracket, I’d definitely check out some J15s, they’re a superb slope and ridiculously cheap for what they are. My old one was excellent, I wish I still owned it!

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The screw-hole is still there and the plan is to fill it with pure gold.

8 years ago I inherited a handful of old golden teeth that belonged to my forefathers/mothers and the idea is to melt them into a pluck then gently press that device down the bridge.

 

That walks the blade-edge between cool and weird so perfectly...

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I’d pass on that right away-good move to leave it alone, Tom.

 

In that price bracket, I’d definitely check out some J15s, they’re a superb slope and ridiculously cheap for what they are. My old one was excellent, I wish I still owned it!

 

Thanks. I just pulled the trigger on a 2013 J-35 purported to be in 'like new' and unmolested condition for $1250 (+ shipping) with just a few hours of playing time. We'll see. I found several J-15's/J-35's in that price range, but I really like the sound of mahogany...it's why I was seeking a J-45 in the first place. Another consideration was finding the guitar within my tri-state Northeast area. I didn't want to worry about a guitar being shipped from across country and transferred between airplanes and several trucks. It has a 7 day return policy as well.

 

 

If my skills as a player with general luthier and repair knowledge were better I might have rolled the dice on the modified J-45. But since I'm pretty much starting from scratch again I just didn't want the disappointment and hassle if the guitar was sour.

 

Again, thanks to all who offered advice.

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Thanks. I just pulled the trigger on a 2013 J-35 purported to be in 'like new' and unmolested condition for $1250 (+ shipping) with just a few hours of playing time. We'll see. I found several J-15's/J-35's in that price range, but I really like the sound of mahogany...it's why I was seeking a J-45 in the first place. Another consideration was finding the guitar within my tri-state Northeast area. I didn't want to worry about a guitar being shipped from across country and transferred between airplanes and several trucks. It has a 7 day return policy as well.

 

 

If my skills as a player with general luthier and repair knowledge were better I might have rolled the dice on the modified J-45. But since I'm pretty much starting from scratch again I just didn't want the disappointment and hassle if the guitar was sour.

 

Again, thanks to all who offered advice.

 

J35 is a great choice. I really liked the ones i’ve played, a little more open and airy than a J45 and with good volume and projection. You’ll be happy!

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My 1953 J-45 had one of these when I bought it. To keep the top down and straighten things out.

Thus it was a bit of risk to remove it after a year or something, but it had to be done.

 

And yes, the top bulged back up, yet nothing cracked and the new convexity didn't influence intonation.

In fact it freed the guitar signicantly and made it respond like a normal acoustic. Before it was clearly inhibited and stiff.

 

 

I spent well over a month attempting to flatten the top of a very rare 1930s guitar. Within a couple of days of removing the truss I had erected inside the guitar to level it, the whole thing went right back to its same old used to be. In this case though as the guitar was perfectly playable in the condition it was in and successfully flattening the top would have required me to reset the neck I ended up just leaving it as it is for the time being.

Edited by zombywoof

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I’d pass on that right away-good move to leave it alone, Tom.

 

In that price bracket, I’d definitely check out some J15s, they’re a superb slope and ridiculously cheap for what they are. My old one was excellent, I wish I still owned it!

 

as good as my Early was, and as simple as it seems to remove the bridge thing, it might be worth it

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