I wouldn't usually dump on a major manufacturer but this has just gone way too far out of whack. Well known Spanish maker has apparently changed the way they do business and this brand new gem was sent to us from one of the stores for evaluation and repair.
Just watch out for them - its a biggish job to put this right and if one comes your way don't quote until you have looked under the bridge. This one has a 1 to 1.5 mm trench cut in the top and maybe an expanding poly sort of glue just dotted in a few places. Geez.
I'm normally a fan of "whatever works"... but in this case, it apparently didn't work! If their glue regimen had kept the bridge on and solidly intact, then we wouldn't know there was a problem.
It seems there could be a bad case of Ovation-itis brewing. Any further clues as to who the maker may be?
I'll PM you, commercial realities apply.
I'll PM you (please accept my friends request) with the makers ID.
Thats terrible , did you repair it Rusty ?
Yep, skimmed the bottom of the trench with a saddle slot jig and endmill, rebated the existing bridge which had a bit of depth in it and stuck it back together with Titebond Original. The fix is easy enough but it takes a bit of time and cost double what a "clean and reglue" would be. It's sub-zero down here mate, I trust the deep north is treating you better.
Ah, no, the bridge "self removed" most of the way and a skinny palate knife completed the lift without any heat being needed.
But, I understand the problems being experienced with "Mystery Glue". Anything out of Indonesia in particular is terrifying - I had a bad day with an "F" Infinity Bass which needed the fingerboard removed to fix the truss rod and stiffen the whole thing: end game on that one was the fingerboard may as well have been welded to the neck. New neck was easier and cheaper than machining of the original board etc.
We are going to see a lot more of these problems out of Asia in particular.
Well that's only $2290 and some change in U.S Dollars so, of course, I'd be welling to pay that for a fancy guitar with a hole in the top full of glue. It's a fine example of the surprising quality found in so many mass produced guitars today.
So, is this an example of production quality vs. build quality?
Actually, I can see where this would seem like a good idea from a production point of view and it really seems to me that the biggest problem is that the bridge didn't fit properly and the glue wasn't up to the task. It makes me wonder what percentage of their production will end up needing to be fixed like this one.
Honestly, would locating the bridge like this really be a bad idea if it was done like Rusty did it, with a better fit on the bridge and different glue?
My knee jerk reaction was that it's wrong to see a new top with a trench cut across the grain like this but I realize that even I've seen many repaired guitars with cross grain damage that are fine afterward. IF that's not really as big and issue as my knee jerk reaction might indicate, wouldn't this actually represent a pretty handy way to locate and "lock" a bridge in place for the glue up as long as the bridge was fitted properly and a good glue was used?
The problem here is that the bridge actually didin't sit in the trench - it sat on top of the trench so to start with the glue had to bridge a 1 to 1.5 mm gap. If they had put enough expanding glue in the trench it would have held on maybe. You observation is valid however if they had used a couple of two inch nails or some tech screws your observation would be equally as valid - my question was about the build quality and design being appropriate to the cost and representation of the instrument to the user.
I'm also not an advocate for expanding glue in these situations as creep is definitedly an issue with large bridging of gaps.
I understand, Rusty. It sounds like shoddy work all the way around and isn't much better than applying glue tape then slapping the bridge on. In fact, what you posted looks like an attempt to hide the gap that glue tape leaves behind by routing it into the top.
What I'm wondering is if anyone sees any major structural issues in doing it this way IF they had properly fitted the bridge and used a better glue, which seems to be what you ended up doing. I'm not crazy about the ides of having the top cut across the grain but, as I said earlier, I've seen plenty of repairs that deal with cross grain breaks and cuts that work just fine.
One of the reasons I'm asking is because I always struggle to hold my bridge position when I glue them on. Double or triple layers of tape on the outline help but it always manages to creep a bit as I clamp it into place anyway and I end up trying to race the glue setup (usually HHG) to get everything clamped and aligned.
I have noticed that it's not so hard with "cold" glue so I think that part of this is because the glue I prefer goes on hot and seems more likely to loosen the edges of the tape because of the heat ( not to mention that HHG is just slimy to begin with.)
This technique, with the corrections you made appears to be something that might do a better job of holding the position during clamp up. That's why I was asking if anyone had any major concerns with routing a "trench" like this as long as the bridge was fitted to it ( with an overlap all the way around) and better glue was applied.
Hi Russ- Maby Im missing something here but I cant see a reason for a trench to put the bridge in - can you enlighten me?
Peace - Donald
If I read it right, Russell received the guitar with the existing trench for the bridge. It was poorly-glued, had pulled-out and needed to be redone.
Since the trench was pre-existing, he just 'kissed' the depth of the trench for a clean surface and reglued the bridge with Titebond.
And if I didn't understand correctly, I'm certain he'll set us both straight!