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  #1  
Old 03-18-2018, 03:54 PM
Cantelibre Cantelibre is offline
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Default Sunken top. Epiphone Masterbuilt AJ500RE

This is one of the early ones I believe, equipped with the LR Baggs Element under saddle pup. It is even more sunken than I originally thought, in front of and behind the bridge. A straight edge laid across the top confirms it. I am humidifying the guitar now. I put a pair of travel soap dishes with holes drilled in the lids and household sponges inside and sealed the sound hole with tape. No noticeable change in 24 hours. I know this isn't giving it much time but I was hoping to see something...

The battery for the Baggs dated to 2010 and it had electric guitar strings on it! The guitar probably has not had proper care and feeding for years. I got it pretty cheap after pointing out the defects, sunken top, not really playable, etc. Any advice would be appreciated.

By the way, the spruce top is beautiful. I'd hate to re-top the guitar if it doesn't come back up, but with solid rosewood b & s, I don't want to junk the guitar.

Last edited by Cantelibre; 03-18-2018 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:13 PM
redir redir is offline
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Did you inspect the inside of the guitar real well too? It might come back up with some humidification. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:09 PM
Cantelibre Cantelibre is offline
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I felt around inside the body for cracked braces and whatnot. I need a new inspection mirror, so no, not yet.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:10 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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The epi's of that era are well known in my locality for neck block failures.

Possibly check the neck block hasnt failed.

Steve
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:13 PM
Cantelibre Cantelibre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
The epi's of that era are well known in my locality for neck block failures.

Possibly check the neck block hasnt failed.

Steve
You mean the neck blocks were prone to cracking? Coming unglued?
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:07 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Coming unglued and allowing the neck to come up and top to cave in
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2018, 11:18 AM
LeightonBankes LeightonBankes is offline
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Without pictures, it is hard to imagine, but if the entire top is sunken (in front/behind bridge) seems some heavier strings would be the ticket, they would pull up on the soundboard more. When building a guitar, a person generally figures the tension of the strings will pull the top up about .030" from it's unstrung position
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:03 PM
Cantelibre Cantelibre is offline
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Well, after 5 days old humidifying with the sound hole and bridge pin holes sealed with tape, the top has come up some, particularly behind the bridge. I have had no tension on the top at all during this process (no strings are installed currently). Should I string it up and see how much more the top will pull?

The guitar will need a new saddle. The original one was lowered too much, and the bottom of the saddle is uneven to boot, but I can at least use that saddle to see if the guitar will play.

By the way, the top will probably never be as good as new, but if it played ok, maybe I could live with it.
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Old 03-31-2018, 07:13 AM
Cantelibre Cantelibre is offline
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Well, this job seems to be a success, so far. I have a bone saddle blank that I will be a new saddle for the guitar once I see the top is stable enough. Right now I'm using a Tusq saddle that came out of my Gibson J35. Just had to shave a bit off the bottom for good action.

It took around 12 days of humidifying with the sound hole and bridge pin holes sealed off to bring the top up. A set of light gauge strings work nicely. Top seems to be fine, neck angle and saddle height are good. The only thing I might do down the road is a fretboard plane and refret to correct a slight hump at the 14th, but it's not really necessary right now.

It's a pretty decent guitar, has a nice tone.
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