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  #1  
Old 01-26-2020, 12:20 AM
Mad Max Mad Max is offline
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Default Can it be saved?

So we have this old beat up guitar that's been in my family for a long time, best I can tell it's a Conn F-10. My brother and I used to play this guitar growing up so it has sentimental value. I got it out of my brothers basement because I want to get it fixed, it has a cracked bridge and I want to get a decent set of tuning machines put on it. But I noticed that the (probably laminate) top is bowed up below the bridge. Is it possible to get this fixed without spending a fortune? Thanks.

Last edited by Mad Max; 01-26-2020 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:34 AM
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Good project.

Might be a good candidate for a 'Bridge Doctor'?

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Old 01-26-2020, 12:41 AM
Mad Max Mad Max is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucebubs View Post
Good project.

Might be a good candidate for a 'Bridge Doctor'?

Wow that looks like it would be perfect. From what I can tell, all of the original bracing is still in there. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:15 AM
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Almost anything can be fixed. That would be a pretty simple job for a good luthier. Just take it to a local shop and they'll give you an estimate. Probably a couple hundred dollars unless there are brace issues underneath.
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:16 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is online now
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Be forewarned that when badly bellied tops have Bridge Doctors installed, the tonal results can be fairly horrific. On some guitars they work pretty well, on others they sound awful.

I would recommend that you take the guitar to an experienced guitar repair tech and discuss it before you buy a JDL Bridge Doctor on the assumption that it will automatically help. It might or it might not. My highly skilled repairman put one on a guitar of mine that wasn’t as badly bellied as yours, and it sounded like the largest and meanest mosquito you ever heard in your life.

I couldn’t get it out of the guitar fast enough. The ironic thing was that it didn’t even really correct the bellying, either, even when it was cranked as far as it could be cranked.

So don’t be in a hurry on that.

The priority on this instrument of yours should be to repair the cracked bridge, if possible, and then if not decide whether you want to spend the money to replace the bridge if the crack has made it beyond saving (which I rather suspect it has.)

Seeing the condition that this guitar is in, to get it fully playable again is going to cost you quite a bit of money. You might be better off keeping it as a family memento rather than getting it restored.

That will be up to you, naturally, but even though it has sentimental value for you, sentiment can be very expensive in this sort of circumstance.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:59 AM
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I can't remember the model, but my first guitar (well, there's that
one I got in a department store ) was a Conn... from the mid 70s.

The bridge popped off the first year I had it, so soon that they
replaced the whole guitar. After a while that one's bridge popped
off.

-Mike
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:04 AM
Mad Max Mad Max is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post

Seeing the condition that this guitar is in, to get it fully playable again is going to cost you quite a bit of money. You might be better off keeping it as a family memento rather than getting it restored.



That will be up to you, naturally, but even though it has sentimental value for you, sentiment can be very expensive in this sort of circumstance.



Hope that makes sense.





Wade Hampton Miller
Yes, I thought this too after sitting down and really looking at it. The bridge has already been repaired once about 10 years ago which was probably the last time it had a new set of strings put on it. So it will almost certainly have to be replaced.
I have a local shop I'm going to take it to, the tech there has done good work on other guitars I have taken him, so I trust his opinion.
I am well aware that sentimental value is the only value that this guitar has, so there's only so much money I'm willing to put in.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:06 AM
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How do you define "fortune?" For that matter, what are your thoughts on the value of sentimentality vs playability? Unless I'm missing something, why not just loosen the strings a bit and hang it on the wall as a conversation piece and remembrance of playing guitar with your brother???
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:09 AM
Mad Max Mad Max is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubcapsc View Post
I can't remember the model, but my first guitar (well, there's that

one I got in a department store ) was a Conn... from the mid 70s.



The bridge popped off the first year I had it, so soon that they

replaced the whole guitar. After a while that one's bridge popped

off.



-Mike
That's what I said to my wife last night: "It's a miracle that it's survived this long!"
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:14 AM
Mad Max Mad Max is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
How do you define "fortune?" For that matter, what are your thoughts on the value of sentimentality vs playability?
I was hoping I could get it fixed for like $150-$200. But I don't know how realistic that is. It plays okay now but I'm scared to put a new set of strings on it for fear of cracking the bridge even worse than it is now.
I'll take it to my local Guitar tech and get his opinion. If it's going to cost more than a couple hundred bucks, it's probably going right back in my brother's basement.
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:27 AM
hermithollow hermithollow is offline
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You can buy a new bridge and a bridge doctor from Stew Mac for less than $50 and with a little research and care install them yourself.
If you really want to do it on the cheap you could repair the old bridge (again) and make a bridge doctor for a couple dollars (it's just a small block of wood, a short piece of a dowel and a set screw). It's an inexpensive guitar that might be headed back to someone's basement so what do you have to lose?
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:59 AM
Oldguy64 Oldguy64 is offline
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Because it holds great memories, I’d do what Wade suggests.
Decrease the tension on the strings and hang it on the wall in a prominent place.
Then when your brother comes to visit, you can reminisce, and sit down with your newer, higher quality guitars and jam.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:43 PM
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Conn F-25?


Bob
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:56 PM
rstaight rstaight is offline
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I have a Camelot with the top bowed also. It was a mail order guitar that looked nice. But was known for iffy quality.

The top bowed and I took it to a local music store. They told me a brace came loose. That could be fixed and the top straightened but would cost more than it was worth.

That was in the late 70's. I still have it and considering having it looked at. I know it's probably not worth anything but like the OP it has some sentimental value. And I have had it longer than my wife of 38 years.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:00 PM
exterra1 exterra1 is offline
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I put a bridge doctor in an old Epi PS a few months ago, it looked as bad or worse than yours, I checked it everyday, made sure that my sponge was damp, tightened the nut to add more pressure to the top about a 1/2 a turn (just snugged it up) and the top was flat after a few days. I left the strings off for a week then put a set on but didn't tune, I just let it keep straightening and today you'd never know that the top had been so bad, and it plays great! Feels good to actually be able to play it, although I don't, it was a gift to my daughter from Chris Daughtry. When I talked to the guys at Stewmac they told me that I could probably release the tension or remove the bridge doctor by now if I wanted to and the top should remain flat, it will also help the projection of the guitar.
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