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Thread: Guild D-55 possible issue

  1. #1

    Guild D-55 possible issue

    I recently received a 2010 New Hartford-built D-55. The guitar plays and sounds beautiful, but I found that it has a fairly pronounced hump behind the bridge, but only on the bass string side. I've tapped on the top trying to determine if it's due to a loose x brace, but can't determine if it is. It may be that the guitar was strung with heavy gauge strings for some portion of it's life. As you can see from the pictures, the back corner of the bridge is starting to separate from the top, though I have no idea if the is something that's stable or will get worse over time.

    The third picture is showing the slightly distorted section of top (shown by elongated light reflection behind bridge.)

    Any ideas? If I do decide to keep the guitar, any ideas what kind of refund I should ask for to cover possible repair, since the seller did not disclose this issue in the listing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Barton City, Michigan
    I likely won't be of much help to you. Whenever I buy a used guitar (which is about 98% of the time) I ALWAYS assume that I will need to invest something in the guitar to get it to where I want it. Also, I believe that not all sellers (myself included) will always know every issue on a guitar that should be disclosed. Lastly, If you got the guitar at a below market value price that will likely enter into the equation as well.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    U.S.A. : Nevada : Las Vegas
    Flattop guitar tops are not perfectly flat. They have a little bit of a dome to them. Hard to tell if this is more than normal. That bit of space where the paper slips under the bridge is perfectly normal. The glue doesn't come all the way to the edge. So that's not a real concern to me, unless it's actually LIFTING from the top. I'd have it checked by a tech or luthier and see what work it needs, if any, and get an estimate you can show the seller to assist you in getting the BEST deal possible!!

    Also I notice some finish checking on the bass side as well. If it's been subjected to extreme temperature changes, that might also account for a brace on that side letting go. All this can be evaluated, and negotiated.
    Last edited by davismanLV; 05-12-2019 at 08:38 PM.
    Tom in Vegas

    Use the good china. Life itself is the special occasion.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Southern California
    Stick a cell phone in the sound hole and take pictures.
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  5. #5
    Just some info, These Guilds from New Hartford (Including your D55) all had a curved radius built into the tops. I believe it was a 25 or 30 foot radius so there should be a curvature to the top itself from the factory. Take a straight edge and lay it level width ways across the top of the guitar just below the bridge. Be careful of the finish when you do this. It should make contact in the center of the guitar top and not touch either side of the guitar body. Then measure the distance on each end from the straight edge to the top of the sides and that will tell you if there is more curvature on one side or the other. Pictures from the inside with a Cell Phone will help you determine If something has come loose. If it has then take it to a luthier to let them re-attach whatever it is. If nothing is loose this may be a simple issue of proper hydration. The guitar may not have been properly humidified over it's life which can cause things to get a little out of whack. Properly humidifying the guitar may actually fix the issue if there is one.

    As far as the bridge lift is concerned it is common and if you decide to fix it normally runs between $75-$150 to have a Bridge properly removed, Planed to match the top, and then properly re-installed. Mind you the guitar needs to be properly Humidified before this repair is done to insure everything winds up back where it needs to be.

    If I were you I would take it to a reputable repair shop near you and ask them for a professional assessment and estimate of what it will cost to fix any issues it may have. This will remove any doubt from your mind and give you a solid place to start with any negotiations with the seller for a repair refund. Hope this info helps!

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  6. #6
    My D-55 was about 3 years old when I bought it. The guitar had been living in a closet for at least the last 2 years before I got it.
    The bridge was lifting very slightly and the guitar was very dry.
    I had my Tech inject glut between the bridge and the top of the guitar and clamp it.
    That was all that was needed for the bridge to once again be in full contact with the top of the guitar.

    Hope you will enjoy your D-55 as much as I do mine.
    Happiness Is A New Set Of Strings
    Taylor Martin Guild

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    metrowest MA
    Guitars with temperature-cracked soundboard finishes sometimes sound better than their intact counterparts, imo.

    I agree re: having a competent repair person examine the guitar & determine if it needs any attention beyond proper humidification.

    Congrats on the purchase, by the way. A D-55 from New Hartford or Tacoma can be quite special, tone-wise! Very pleasantly chimey, with light or medium D'Addario phosphor bronze strings.
    several Guilds, one Gretsch, one Taylor, & a Squire CV tele

  8. #8
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I can't tell if that's actual bridge lift or not. If I recall, there was not glue under the entire surface of the bridge when they applied it. Is that where the paper stops when you slide it under there?

    A little belly is pretty normal, but I can't really judge your axe from looking at it to tell whether anything's actually fix-worthy. I wouldn't touch that bridge myself if just that little bit is what allows the paper in.
    1967 MK-VI Artist Special (Hoboken - Jacobs restoration 2018) - "The Mark"
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chazmo View Post
    If I recall, there was not glue under the entire surface of the bridge when they applied it. Is that where the paper stops when you slide it under there?

    Indeed the tops have a routed rectangle where the finish is removed and the bridge plugs into in. About 1/8" to 3/16" all the way around the bridge is not glued to the top!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by The Guilds of Grot View Post

    Indeed the tops have a routed rectangle where the finish is removed and the bridge plugs into in. About 1/8" to 3/16" all the way around the bridge is not glued to the top!

    I have 3 wonderful Guilds from the mid 70s, including the D-55 I bought new.
    Did Guild do this back then?

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