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I recently acquired this simple and seemingly well made Regal "parlor-sized" guitar. It appears to be made of solid woods - spruce top and mahogany back and sides. Not sure about the neck. It has what appears to be a phenolic type of pickguard. The neck is loose and should be easy to pop out and reset. It is ladder braced with a single thick pine-looking brace/bridge plate across the lower bout. The back is nicely braced with tapered braces, and the interior is nicely kerfed. I would like to replace the bridge - and possibly rebrace the lower bout with a more tone-prone (i just made that up) bridge plate and bracing. Can anyone suggest a bracing pattern that may be applicable and possibly yield a nice tone? Thanks

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Hi Fred,

 Are you intending to open up the guitar?  It is possible to replace the existing bracing with an X brace if you are up to it. It's a lot of work but it can be done with the back removed.

Ned,

The guitar is quite soundly put together, so I would prefer not to remove the back. I was thinking it may be possible to work thru the soundhole - as small as it is - and somewhat rework the top bracing into something that improves upon the existing arrangement. At the least I would like to remove the thick brace/bridgeplate and replace with perhaps two parallel separate braces and a thin maple bridgeplate. I am thinking that anything would be an improvement to what is in there now, which as I said looks like a piece of soft wood. I have removed bridgeplates and reglued braces on somewhat larger guitars (LG's) so it may be possible. Thanks.

I would assume that making a better bridge and getting rid of that hardware would make a fair bit of difference to the tone. That and a better bridge plate might be all that is needed. You can always do just those two things and see what you think. Plus, a good reset will lift the strings from the top, also (hopefully) improving the tone. That a pretty significant bunch of changes, so perhaps, in conjunction with thoughtful string selection, that would be enough to improve the tone a lot.

(And I'm a fan of ladder brace tone in guitars built that way - not sure why. It just sounds right.)

Mark,

Yes that will be my approach. It really is a well made guitar with nice materials and details, but the bridgeplate/brace seems to be the weakest feature. I plan to get an ebony pyramid bridge. Thanks.

Sure, a pyramid bridge would look fine. Replace the bridge plate too, make a good set-up with the new neck angle, and see what's goig on. I think it would be my approach too.

Thanks. I found what looks like a nice ebony pyramid bridge on Ebay. I will reset the neck and then first string it up with a thin maple bridgeplate tacked onto the existing bridgeplate/brace. If it sounds OK I may just keep it at that. Otherwise I will pull the bridgeplate/brace and add new braces and maple bridgeplate.

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