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  #1  
Old 08-16-2018, 01:02 PM
crowmeyocks crowmeyocks is offline
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Default Lyon & Healy ‘Columbus’ Set-up & Bridge Questions

Hey folks! First post here, hoping for some guidance.

Im working on my first real restoration, a L&H 0(ish)-sized Columbus from ‘18 or before. Managed the neck reset and the refret, adding a nice layer of nervous sweat to the finish. Everything seems to have worked out alright, but I’m not satisfied that I’m getting all the sound out of this sweet old diddy. Even before the neck set, when the strings were like noodles when up to pitch from lack of tension, I could hear an impressive, clear resonance that I’m missing with the finished product. I feel like the answer is in the set up or the bridge.

I had to rebuild the bridge, building on top of the original, and like a dope I laid on the super glue pretty thick when putting the fret in and it didn’t end up seated in the slot, its just stuck in at an angle. I have some wiggle room to bring it down a couple hairs, but before I go taking risks I’d like to hear opinion. Could this be the reason I’m getting a quiet, nasaly tone?

Does having two pieces of rosewood with two layers of glue between the strings and the soundboard really effect the tone that much? If the fret was seated snugly would I have a better shot at getting the resonance to the top intact? With these fretted floating bridges, what is the OG construction pattern? Is there a gap between the wooden seats on the backside and the fret? Should the seats be even or a little lower than the fret?

I went a little overboard with the reset—could the extra tension be choking it up?

Or is there some other set up secret that could help this puppy howl?

Im sure theres some folks who will shrug and suggest that thats what you get from an old guitar (ladder braced with the one horizontal prace towards the rosette), but I know in my marrow that there is a beautiful voice just begging to sing out of this old box. Any help on unlocking the art of old parlor set up is much appreciated! Thank you kindly!

Pictures below.

Last edited by crowmeyocks; 08-16-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2018, 01:49 PM
crowmeyocks crowmeyocks is offline
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https://imgur.com/a/b0MgXqJ

Here's the pictures, sorry about the lighting. Let me know if you'd like more detail of anything.






















Last edited by crowmeyocks; 08-16-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2018, 08:13 AM
bisco1 bisco1 is offline
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A couple of thoughts on your situation. Oversetting a neck on a tailpiece equipped guitar shouldn't harm the tone, but I emphasize shouldn't. The fretwork saddle can be redone by using a soldering iron on the fret to vaporize the super glue. Then you can clean the slot and redo it. On a bridge with slots to locate the strings, you MUST make sure that the slots are deep enough to allow good string contact with the saddle. Make sure the fit between the added bridge portion and the original bridge is perfect--if not redo it and glue with hide glue if possible. Finally, some guitars don't like heavier strings. Are the strings you put on after your rework the same gauge as the ones on the guitar originally? Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:09 PM
crowmeyocks crowmeyocks is offline
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Thanks for the reply and the tips!

You know, I went back to this guy on day three of it being strung up and it just suddenly had all the warmth and fullness I was hoping for. I reluctantly had to rework the bridge again to take it down a little, this time letting the fret show a little crown when I looked thru the backside of the slots to ensure good contact. Now I’m waiting to see if the magic happens again. I dont know whether the strings needed to wear into the bridge fret a little or if the bridge needed to settle into the top, but it was night and day tone wise. Hopefully someone else panicing in the future will find this thread—just let the bridge fret and the strings get to know each other for a couple days. Rattles and that pinched, nasaly tone may just give way to more fullness and some surprising volume around day three.

I have Martin Lights on there, seems like it actually prefers heavier strings, which is what were on there for probably 20 or more years of its wall hanging life before I picked it up, but I dont want to give it too much tension and ruin all the work I did in a year or two. These guitars were made for steel strings tho, can they tolerate mediums? Is it just inevitable that a guitar will need work every hundred years?

Thanks again for the tips!
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:13 PM
crowmeyocks crowmeyocks is offline
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In case anyone’s interested, here’s a track of this guitar pre-reset & fretwork. I’ll post an ‘after’ for comparison soon.

https://m.soundcloud.com/user-710644551/rainbow-waltz
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2018, 05:50 PM
BillRomansky BillRomansky is offline
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10 to 1 it’s the bridge. It looks like the top diagonal is at 50% slant to the bottom horizontal. Maybe get a quality piece of rosewood and copy the bridge as one piece and not two.
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bridge, columbus, lyon, parlor, set up

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