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Ungluing ES-175 bridge. Can it be made? Does it affect tone?

 
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perdido



Joined: 16 Jan 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject: Ungluing ES-175 bridge. Can it be made? Does it affect tone? Reply with quote

The bridge on my ES-175 is glued to the top. Some previous owner glued it at some point Sad
I would like to unglue it and leave it floating as it must be.
Can this be done?
Does it make any difference in tone if it is glued or not?
Thank you.
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M



Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 331
Location: Northern VA (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I'd try to unglue this myself, unless I was a pretty skilled guitar tech/luthier. . . Careful!
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perdido



Joined: 16 Jan 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it can be done, I know it sure is a job for a luthier. The point is if it's worth it, if there are actual differences in tone or intonation depending on the bridge being glued or not. Intonation is fine right know. Why are archtop bridges not glued like flat tops then?
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Generic Sobriquet



Joined: 03 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might have some affect on tone, but I wouldn't think the glue between top and bridge would be the more desireable of the two. Removing the glue won't affect intonation, but rather will allows you to adjust the bridge angle to improve intonation.

Glue isn't needed on an archtop because the tension of the strings holds the bridge in place, just as it does on a violin/cello/etc. Also, the strings are attached via the tailpiece, rather than run through the guitar top and bridge and held there by the birdgepins, as with a flattop. With a flattop, the tension of the strings would pull up the bridge (and still can over time, even with it glued down).
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Excel Player



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 61
Location: Shelbyville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely would have a luthier do it. There's nothing worse than tearing a part of the top off or even more miserable, pulling off just a portion of the laminated top. Obviously, the previous owner had no idea what the heck he was doing. Also, depending on what kind of glue was used, the glue can act like an insulator and you lose whatever tone the top can contribute to your sound even if it's laminated. I just hope you don't need a new bridge after all is done.
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perdido



Joined: 16 Jan 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll contact a luthier today. I don't mind much breaking the bridge, but I don't see how the glue can be removed without damaging the top. The tough thing is deciding if the tone will really be improved by removing the bridge or if it's not worth taking the risk.
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planetguy



Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm gonna go w "if it ain't broke...don't fix it".

if it intonates ok and it's not wanting as is in the tone dept....i can't imagine you'd notice much diff in the overall tone unless of course there's like a 1/4" of glue or something similarly goofy.

the things people do, eh?

years ago i pickd up a '66 PBass for $125. as the guy pulled it out from under the bed, i started drooling when i saw the old case. opening it up my eyes went straight to the headstock...woohoo an old style decal!....but my excitement waned as i looked down at the body and i noticed the horns had been cut off to make it into a TEAR DROP SHAPE!

as if this desecration wasn't bad enough....a large hole had been chiseled out for a GIBSON mudbucker p/u in the neck position! i wanna tell ya, the owner was very proud of his mods.

well, for the neck and hardware alone it was still a great deal. i had a woodworking friend make me a beeyootiful one pc. zebra wood body for it. today it's one of my prized posessions.

good luck w your 175.
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perdido



Joined: 16 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm taking her to the luthier this evening to see what he thinks. I guess I'll probably leave it as is because I can't figure how it could be removed without leaving a big mark on the top. Anyway, I guess I'll always be teased by the thought of how it'd sound without that _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ glue on it! I'll let you know how the story ends.
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Excel Player



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

God luck. Definitely keep us posted on the diagnosis.
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sunflower



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If its horse glue you'll be OK as if can be steamed off
if its epoxy resin your probably knackered
you're tech will advise you .....

I've defo get that glue off if I could
for the best sound you don't want anything between the bridge and the top
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Taqui



Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Bilbao (Spain)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Ungluing ES-175 bridge. Can it be made? Does it affect t Reply with quote

perdido wrote:
The bridge on my ES-175 is glued to the top. Some previous owner glued it at some point Sad


Shocked Shocked Shocked
Directo a un buen luthier, there's many in Spain...Why don't you call Fernando Alonso? I think he's the best one.
Un saludo
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perdido



Joined: 16 Jan 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solved! Just went to pick it up from the luthier and he has done a great job. Incredible, it's like if it never was glued. All's well that ends well. I'll try it during the weekend to see if the floating bridge really makes any difference tone wise. Thank you very much to all!
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