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Belly problem?


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Hey guys,

 

Looking at a 2005 j-45 but had a few concerns over a possible bellying issue in the lower bout. Does anyone have any general guide lines as what I should be looking for and what is just normal?

 

Thanks

 

S

 

:-k

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I am NOT of the opinion that any and all bellying is a sign of a problem.I have a old Southern Jumbo that always has some bellying,worse during the winter during house heating/outside temp swings.No issue with bracing,strings or anything really.A new J-200 has shown some slight arching,and it seeems to come and go.Honestly,knowing that there is no structural problem,I am of the mindset that string tension and temp/humidity swings will almost always show some top arching,they are built that light.Check yourself (with a make-up mirror duck taped onto heavy gauge coated wire Dr.Octopuss!)and if things look good and sound good(tap test)ensure you have enough humidity roughly 40%.I know if I drift and come to find humidity at say 30%(declining over days)I get the Vapo rub tub going and give all my guitars a spa over a few days/removed for playing ect.Oddly enough the first sign of rehydration is slight muddiness,my Gibson's just like to be a bit dry,they bark best then.Common sense on structural issues and guitar humidity.That said I hardly ever use the soundhole plug humidifier,only the snake.The plug does more soundhole damage going in,IMO,than is doing good.Set snake in strings when damp and keep in closed case.Check humidity first.

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What exactly are you referring to when you say "bellying problem"? All Gibson acoustics have radiused tops and backs on them. This strenghtens the top and back. I don't quite follow what you're asking! Can you be more specific?

Thanks for your thoughts guys.... much appreciated

 

...Well, I’m no tech but what got me thinking there may be a potential problem was the saddle being lower than normal and the action being a little high. I then used my Stew Mac strait edge but it behind the bridge and the gaps at each side seem larger than what I've seen other Gibson’s. I know that that is a standard radius on all Gibson’s and that they are never really flattops, however, when does radius or lower bout belling become an issue that needs work?

 

As Torca says, maybe it will simply natural move and therefore go down with the change in temperature and could simply be over my over analysis....

 

The guitar looks and sounds great and there appears to be no loose bracing as far as I can tell. Are there standard measurements (Action, Saddle height, Gaps in lower bout radius) that would show a problem?

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Are there standard measurements (Action, Saddle height, Gaps in lower bout radius) that would show a problem?

 

Not really, because ... . An unusually large belly can be a sign of structural damage (loose braces, for example), so you need to check for that. And it sounds like you are. But it could also be a sign that the guitar is overhumidified and needs to dry out for awhile, or a sign that the top has a little less lateral stiffness than average. As long as there is no structural damage, it sounds as if there is nothing you need worry about -- provided there is enough saddle left to get the action where you want it without a neck reset, of course.

 

-- Bob R

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