Is this bridge gap an issue?

gtg2034

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Hey all!

First post here.

Looking to buy my first Guild, tossing up D25 /D35 /D40.. Anyway, there's an early '70s D35 for sale, looks to be in great shape with the exception of "a slight bit of space in the center of bridge and top on the rear side of bridge" pic attached.

Is this a big problem waiting to happen? Or is it just a normal, non-issue that happens to old guitars.

Any opinions appreciated,

Thanks!
 

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dreadnut

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Hi, and welcome! Not a big problem but it should be fixed before it gets worse. A qualified luthier can easily do this for under $100. The bridge needs to be removed and re-glued down.

Good luck, and be sure to let us see what you bought!
 

gtg2034

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ahhh that's good to know thank you. Perhaps I'll pass on this one, it's already a little costly (unless they'll reduce to account for that bridge work).

Thanks for the help, and for sure I'll be posting once I pull the trigger :)
 

Neal

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Yes, it does need to be removed, cleaned and reglued.

OTOH, the saddle is nice and tall, indicative of a neck reset in the recent past. Lots of '70's D-35's need a NECK RESET and have not gotten one (mine included!). If the rest of the guitar looks as good as what I am seeing in the photo, I certainly would not rule it out because of the bridge lift.
 

gjmalcyon

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Take a look at the second post in this thread:


Try the "paper test" mentioned there before you trundle off to the luthier.

And welcome. Stick around - nice bunch of folks around here.
 

SFIV1967

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Welcome to LTG! If you want to learn what it means reglueing a bridge, have a look at this Martin factory repair person repairing one of John Mayer's expensive stage guitars. You get the idea at least: It starts at the beginning and continues with bridge work at about minute 1:40:


Ralf
 

gtg2034

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Thanks all! Appreciate the input.

The paper test makes sense, what the bridge not adhering well to the lacquer.

Love that factory video too, oddly mesmerizing.
 

davismanLV

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I was gonna say to try the paper test all around the bridge. They didn't glue all the way to the edge because they didn't want glue "squeeze out" to happen, but if the paper only goes in 1/4" or less then it's probably glued down just fine. You could play that guitar for many years with no problem. Anything more and it would pay for security and peace of mind, to have it reglued. As has been said, a bridge reglue job is fairly routine and not at all expensive. If you're handy and did some research you might could do it yourself, even! Either way, not such a big deal. And welcome to LTG!! (y)

p.s. - nice tall saddle, as has been mentioned, so if the action is relatively low then you're doing well for a '73. That price is kind of high for a D35, but if it's pristine as they say and it sounds amazing with some negotiation it could be a good deal. The lifting (possibly) bridge gives you negotiating room!!

p.p.s. - the bridge area is masked off when finishing the guitar, so the bridge is glued to bare wood. Glue to lacquer won't work. That's also why they didn't go all the way to the edge with the glue, because it has a small lacquer overlap under the bridge. Didn't ask if this guitar is local to you and you can hold it and play it and do the paper test. If not you'll have to rely on the seller doing it and showing you the results in photos.
 
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Neal

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A close look at the OP's photo of the bridge shows that there is a gap all the way across the back of it, not just at a corner.

There also appears to be more break angle across the saddle than I am usually comfortable with. I suspect it is adding to the strain on the back of the bridge. No biggie, as long as the bridge is firmly glued down.

For $1200, I agree that you can do better. For $1000, maybe not, considering the overall great shape the guitar is in.
 

dreadnut

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Looks nice, but a pretty aggressive price. You can do better.

I would suggest keeping your eyes open for a nice vintage D25 of the spruce top variety, which can be found for under $1,000

This one looks kinda nice:

 

gtg2034

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I also am feeling this is more money than I'm willing to part with at the moment. Especially now that reverb.com is collecting taxes :/

the D35 is not local, however, that D25 that "dreadnut" posted is!

There's also another (non-local) D25 on reverb that looks in decent shape: https://reverb.com/item/38208279-guild-d-25m-natural-1979-w-mint-guild-humidifier-case-video this could be an option for me. Nice case, but heavy shipping cost to NYC..

I've asked them to do the paper test for me, so I'll report back if/when I get that info!
 

Grassdog

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If it's a lighter build '73 and all original, that's not a terrible deal IMO if you negotiate down a bit. I've seen a couple late 60's/early 70's D-35's go for more than that lately.
 

dreadnut

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gtg2034

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Did you mean to post this one in NY? Looks to be in nice shape too.

That one is actually quite close to where I live - could swing up and test it out, covid doesn't allow for a lot of flexibility on that end, however. Would have to be a quick visit (understandable)

A close look at the OP's photo of the bridge shows that there is a gap all the way across the back of it, not just at a corner.

There also appears to be more break angle across the saddle than I am usually comfortable with. I suspect it is adding to the strain on the back of the bridge. No biggie, as long as the bridge is firmly glued down.

For $1200, I agree that you can do better. For $1000, maybe not, considering the overall great shape the guitar is in.
Interesting about bridge angle. Here's a couple more pics I got privately (will be getting more this evening). I'm not well versed in how a proper break angle should be.. too much saddle?
 

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Neal

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That one is actually quite close to where I live - could swing up and test it out, covid doesn't allow for a lot of flexibility on that end, however. Would have to be a quick visit (understandable)



Interesting about bridge angle. Here's a couple more pics I got privately (will be getting more this evening). I'm not well versed in how a proper break angle should be.. too much saddle?
The break angle looks a lot better in the third photo. Honestly, a tall saddle is an asset. Not only does it suggest many years of trouble-free action adjustment, the tone is optimized with a saddle that gets the strings 1/2" off of the soundboard, particularly on a dreadnought like this one.

My '73 D-35 only has a sliver of saddle left, and the bridge has been shaved as well, so I'm sure I'm not getting the power out of it that the guitar once had when it was at optimal spec.
 

SFIV1967

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The break angle looks a lot better in the third photo.
Isn't that saddle leaning a lot forward?! Would mean no perfect seating of the saddle in the saddle slot at all! Looking from the tailpiece there is much more saddle visible than from the neck towards the saddle.

1610484701519.png


1610484730625.png


1610484804923.png


Ralf
 
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bowenite60

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Isn't that saddle leaning a lot forward?! Would mean no perfect seating of the saddle in the saddle slot at all! Looking from the tailpiece there is much more saddle visible than from the neck towards the saddle.

View attachment 12614

View attachment 12615

Also look from the top, that saddle is not at all in a 90deg angle!

View attachment 12616

Ralf
I just had the same issue with my new DCE1. The former owner installed a new bone saddle, amongst other things it was thinner than the saddle slot. It was also shorter than the slot. We discussed this in another thread. Anyway, it looked just like this saddle. Thih, and straight/ non-compensated. I ordered a new (bone) one from MacNichol Guitars on eBay. It claimed to fit most Westerly Guilds. It fit perfectly! No sanding etc. required. It is compensated. The guitar is 100% now.
 

gtg2034

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Isn't that saddle leaning a lot forward?! Would mean no perfect seating of the saddle in the saddle slot at all! Looking from the tailpiece there is much more saddle visible than from the neck towards the saddle.
Remarkable eye thank you! I see exactly what you mean, especially in that shot from above.
 

Neal

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Isn't that saddle leaning a lot forward?! Would mean no perfect seating of the saddle in the saddle slot at all! Looking from the tailpiece there is much more saddle visible than from the neck towards the saddle.

View attachment 12614

View attachment 12615

Also look from the top, that saddle is not at all in a 90deg angle!

View attachment 12616

Ralf
You are assuming that the shot of the bridge is taken directly from overhead, exactly 90 degrees from the plane of the bridge. My view is that it is taken at an angle that accentuates whatever saddle lean may be present. I do not see a telltale gap behind the saddle in the slot.
 
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