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LG1 Bellying

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Hi all. First post. I bought a 66 LG1 recently. I knew it had some problems with a slight belly on the top, to be expected with a 52 year old ladder braced guitar. 

I have been advised that a bridge truss will fix it but I’m dubious about it as I suspect it might bugger the tone up and the tone is what persuaded me to buy it in spite of the flaws. I ‘ve never been able to work out of a neck reset will fix the problem permanently rather than compensate for the changed angle and has anyone got any thoughts about changing the plastic bridge for a rosewood one? I want to keep it as original as possible but it needs to work too 

thoughts and experiences would be appreciated folks  

 

 

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First, welcome.  This is jut a fun place to hang around and occasionally we all have our "Aha" moment and learn something new.   I own ladder braced guitars 30 to 35 years older than yours and from my experiences if they are going to belly (which all guitars do to some extent) they often do not  develop a belly in the sense of a uniform dome.   Rather, they tend to get ripples or kinks in the lower bout which in more severe cases resembles a roller coaster.  Has to do with support in the area of the bridge.   I would think the  difference would be your LG1 should have a pretty substantial bridge plate to support that heavy ADJ contarption.  Question is though is it made of stiff laminate or soft spruce.   The bellying would almost make me suspect the latter.  

No first hand experience with the Bridge Doctor but  I have never heard any complaints  regarding any kind of sound deterioration.    If I recall Breedlove actually used to install Bridge Doctors in their higher priced guitars  at the factory.    There are certainly other routes you can go but the BD is about the easiest and cheapest.   

Edited by zombywoof

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Switching out the plastic bridge for a rosewood one is seldom a bad idea on the LGs. It may even help your bellying issue. You may need a new bridgeplate, too, but I'm no expert.

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changing parts on old guitars for personal preference is never a good idea ...imo

 

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Typically, there are a few considerations, and some of those will arrive with their own considerations in tow. If you want to preserve the instrument as a collector's piece, the less done to it the better. A mid '60s LG-1 isn't exactly uncommon, so most would, I believe it to be a better vintage player than collector's piece. Losing the plastic bridge and the adj hardware should ideally improve the tone unless you attach a really oversize rosewood replacement which could decrease volume and lend a 'mashed potato' tone that some like, but most don't. Make sure the bridge plate is intact and well-glued, and likewise the transverse brace in that area. All guitars should exhibit a little top belly - it's a flat-top in name only, and excliding such causes issues. A good luthier should be able to give you a good idea of needs and prices for work involved in about 5 minutes. All in all, you should come out with a nice little player. 

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19 hours ago, dhanners623 said:

Switching out the plastic bridge for a rosewood one is seldom a bad idea on the LGs. It may even help your bellying issue. You may need a new bridgeplate, too, but I'm no expert.

 

I thought Gibson went back to rosewood bridges in 1966.  

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13 hours ago, jvi said:

changing parts on old guitars for personal preference is never a good idea ...imo

 

 

In the words of my luthier after he replaced the spruce bridge plate with a maple one on my pre-War Regal Jumbo 12 string - "survival trumps originality."  

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48 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

 

In the words of my luthier after he replaced the spruce bridge plate with a maple one on my pre-War Regal Jumbo 12 string - "survival trumps originality."  

originality trumps all, unless the git is fd

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I understand the "all original" vs. "good player" debate. Yeah, if you're a collector -- or you're wanting to sell the guitar to one -- then, yeah, keep the guitar in its original form. I don't think that far ahead, though. My guitars need to sound good to me today, and if there is a way I can improve or enhance their ability to sound better than they do, I'll do it if it makes economic sense.

 

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just saying if a guitar is old I think they should be left original when possible and changing plastic bridges cause you dont like it or want better sound isnt nice, get a different guitar and leave the oldies in original condition- restore to factory or leave them be/    opinions vary but I can only state my own and I intend no insult when I state them .

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22 hours ago, jvi said:

just saying if a guitar is old I think they should be left original when possible and changing plastic bridges cause you dont like it or want better sound isnt nice, get a different guitar and leave the oldies in original condition- restore to factory or leave them be/    opinions vary but I can only state my own and I intend no insult when I state them .

 

No insult taken. It is just that in the case of a plastic bridge, I'm of the opinion that switching it out for a rosewood one is just correcting a mistake Gibson made....

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4 hours ago, dhanners623 said:

 

 I'm of the opinion that switching it out for a rosewood one is just correcting a mistake Gibson made....

I appreciate that reasoning.  On board with switching it out. 

...but then having something original, hmmmm  stupid reasoning.  I guess if something else has to change due to the repairs that makes the guitar non original in it's entirety, then I would continue with the bridge.  If nothing has been changed and the repairs keep the guitar in original condition, I'd keep it as is.

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