My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

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Pix of the inside

Post by Barry on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:03 pm

mini update:

I received my inspection mirror today and took a few pictures, with mixed success. (It's harder than it looks).
Updated pix

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

Post by christoyoyo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:25 pm

believe it or not,its an easy fix,it is going to need a new bridgeplate period. and that is a cheap ply bridgeplate, at least it goes across the grain of the top(dont quote me but it looks like a cheap as hell ply top too).... replace it with an ebony bridgeplate, and before you think you're finished, check your bracing... string it up for this! look for separation.... remember no matter what you're told, humidity is not the only enemy, cheap guitars did not come with expensive bridgeplates! like solid wood going across the grain of the top.. as you seem a novice, fork out some $ on a luthier and have a permanent fix, or get a bridge doctor, or don't get it fixed at all.....

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

Post by corsair on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:06 pm

PM sent....

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

Post by eyebulger on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:45 am

geez now we need the naughty chair for this thread as well.
I think it's time for a bit of a time out from this

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:18 am

[quote="christoyoyo"] check your bracing... string it up for this! look for separation..quote]

I agree, you want the strings on and up to tension. With no strings if there is any separation, then without the tension it may not be visible. Still it's above my head for repair advise - I haven't tried to work on any acoustic repairs yet.

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

Post by Barry on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:24 am

Sure, putting it under tension sounds ideal, but then you have to pass an inspection mirror past 12 strings and then try and get a clear view of the inside. You simply cannot manoeuvre this or any other tool inside the guitar (a snake LED camera probe being a possible exception).

Normally, the bracing components are 'explored' with a brace wedge to determine how well they are attached. What you cannot see in my pix is the quality of the (hide) glue which appears clear, clean, and to be well applied and holding quite tightly, as you might expect from a Mats era guitar. The pics showing the white powder are the exception and found only in one location. Jury's still out on what that is but I'm thinking now it may be polish residue from a long ago (sloppy) cleaning.

addendum: In case you missed it on the original Mats thread, this is a flamed spruce top with mahogany back, sides and neck. Definitely not plywood, and not a cheap guitar.

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

Post by grogg on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:15 pm

Looks like solid woods to me and cant see any cracks in the glue joints (but of course that doesnt mean they arent there). Can you get a hand in the soundhole and dig your finger nails into the joints?
I guess if the bowing is still apparent with the string tension off then its there whatever, no?
In which case I would go with the clamping across the top (or a weight like a book) while moisturising the underside, steady eddy on this tho, take weeks, container of water in body with sound hole blocked?
Problem could well recurr in which case additional bracing required such as the bridge dr..

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

Post by Barry on Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:43 pm

grogg wrote:...I guess if the bowing is still apparent with the string tension off then its there whatever, no?
Yup.
...steady eddy on this tho, take weeks, container of water in body with sound hole blocked?
Something like that, yes. Just being in a high humidity environment is not having much of an effect. Trevor, over in the Mats forum suggests, dampening the underside directly with a moist towel.
Can you get a hand in the soundhole and dig your finger nails into the joints?
No, not really. Not a very good idea anyway. Hard to see, even with the mirror. Tapping the soundboard does not reveal any rattling, buzzing, or dramatic changes in sound so the assumption is that all bracing is solid.
Problem could well recurr in which case additional bracing required such as the bridge dr..
That's the current plan. Flatten her down as much as possible then further reduce and/or stabilize with Bridge Dr. I don't really wish to spend another $50-odd dollars for one but...

BTW, I did a little look about on the subject of bridge plates and apparently rosewood was used by Martin on many top models so I'm in good company! It's the choice of a lot of custom builders too. Rosewood is somewhat harder than Maple which makes sense since it must resist the rip and tear of 12 strings in this case. Tonally, it's perhaps not as bright as the often used Maple, but more so than Spruce which is the most commonly used bridge plate wood. Those are the ones you normally see chipped and cracked because they're so soft.

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Update

Post by Barry on Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:31 pm

Well, I bit the bullet and decided to order the Bridge Doctor.

I read a lot of first hand accounts on a lot of acoustic guitar forums, and the overall result was way more positive than negative, especially for 12 string guitars which tend to suffer more so with bridge rotation and bellying up.

The worst accounts I heard was, "it didn't work". But most important, I did not hear of the BD causing any damage. And, since I'm using the brass pin version rather than the drill-thru-the-bridge version, it's easily reversible if needed. The original nut has a small chip in it so I'm also going to replace it, as well as the saddle and the pins while I'm at it.

Film at eleven...waiting.

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Re: My New Spectacular Mats Needs Some Help...

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