Restoring vintage and rare instruments is the driving passion behind us here at the Guitar Repairers. Seeing a beautiful old guitar from say the 1890’s restored to a playable condition is what makes all our hard work really pay off.
Why do we do it?
Well, from a luthiery point of view we restore old guitars because:
Older timber is much more resonant. Over time wood dries out and the dryer it is, the harder it is, causing it to resonate sound rather than absorb it. (even modern kiln dried timber is not completely dried out)
The less moisture there is in wood the less it will move over time. Through seasonal changes new wood still warps and moves. An older guitar has done all its moving and warping so we’re left with very sturdy timber.
The timbers used in older guitars are of very high quality. Brazilian rosewood- the best quality rosewood- for example was once used almost exclusively in old guitars. Now a protected species, it is no longer allowed to be cut down and sold. Some Honduras Mahogany and types of spruce are becoming sparse and their lower grade equivalents are being used instead.
They all have stories. Dings, dents, scratches and marks, these are all tell tale signs that a guitar has led an interesting life. Knowing that an old 1900’s parlour guitar from the US of A was once some young musicians bread and butter makes for a much more interesting history than some man named Django CMCing them from a factory in Moosejaw, Canada.
As with a lot of broken headstocks this happened sometime between the guitar being put into airplane baggage and retrieving it from airplane baggage. Needless to say the owner was not impressed. But all is not lost, things can be done!
This guitar is suffering from a condition known as “man-sat-on-guitaritis” and as a result the soundboard caved in. Distraught, distressed and ready to try any new fangled, yet to be proven medically, luthiery magic in order to restore his Maton EBG808L to its former glory. Luckily for Dave, Maton repairs are somewhat of a specialty for us.
“remember the first step towards fixing the problem is to admit you have one”
Hello there fellow guitar junkies.
For some time now, our loving customers have asked me to do a blog, so that is what I will attempt to do (a blog, not a sermon right?). The question is, where to start? I know! I’ll start with the most common question I get asked: “What is a set up?”
To which I cordially respond “ Can you tell me your idea of what a set up is?” I ask this with all sincerity because most folks don’t really know. That is why we offer an appointment based system which allows the client to actually watch the whole process from beginning to end. So if you have an hour or so up your sleeve and don’t mind being strung out on massive quantities of caffeine, this might be right up your street.
In early 2009 we had got a phone call that started out like all the others “I’ve broken my guitar can you repair it?” “Of course,” we replied “I’ve snapped the headstock off and I have a gig in two nights.” “Oh” Was our response.
Not too long after, a man came in with this broken ovation. It turns out it belonged to happy tapper Preston Reed, who was playing some shows in Brisbane over the weekend.
This break was particularly bad but we felt confident it could be repaired and stage ready in time. (more…)
From time to time you may notice your guitar will start to buzz when fretting. Mostly, this will occur between frets 7-9 or above the 12th. You may take it to a repairer and have them tell you it needed a “fretdress”.
Not wanting to sound uneducated you enthusiastically agree. To which they take your guitar and walk into their back room ne’er to divulge their practice.
Of course you pick it up and then faint at the bill.
A fretdress, is a solution to the problem of uneven frets. Sometimes (due to a wide variety of factors, ranging from humidity to climate to tension over time etc etc) the neck will sweep into an: (more…)