Acoustic guitar geeking—shaving braces and other severe mods



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Acoustic guitar geeking—shaving braces and other severe mods

Postby Gone Fission » Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:11 pm

So I’ve been so out of the loop on acoustics for so long. I’ve had a six and a twelve string (both Seagulls) that I’ve been happy with for literally decades and have been so electric-focused that it’s been fine.

But I happen to have had a new Epiphone J-200 fall into my lap and it’s really, really nice. But I can’t leave well enough alone and start thinking about “better” as in, no shit, it’s not quite the same as the Gibson model for several thousand more. For as big as it is, it’s a bit bass shy and could maybe be louder. I should just be happy that this keeps it from being boomy and too loud to play do that I would be annoying the fam and neighbors. But I wonder if these guitars are a bit overbuilt and over braced do that a luthier scalloping them could open things up. It’s maybe a bit like Taylors tending to be overbuilt to cut down on warranty repairs but ending up stiff and bright as a result, and I could see Epiphone leaning that way due to the market segment. But brace shaving has a tradition—it used to be the way to get a post-WWII Martin to sound like a pre-war model that came from the factory with scalloped braces.

Anyone have experience with this brace shaving/scalloping stuff and have some thoughts?

Or does anyone want to tell me not to fuck with a nice guitar?

(At some point the bog standard under-saddle pickup is going, though. Dave Matthews piezo crap tone plugged in.)
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Re: Acoustic guitar geeking—shaving braces and other severe

Postby Blackened Soul » Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:36 pm

Wellllll I don’t see a reason not at least look into modding it.. as long as it isn’t a vintage thing who cares..

Things to think about and many take to someone to look at if you aren’t sure
Is the top solid wood or plywood? A lot of stuff under a k can be.
What string gauges are you using and at what running? You mind can be blown when you start experimenting with string tension on acoustic instruments. The easy way is to get a capo tune down to lessen tension then use the capo to keep the pitch the same.
Is the top bulging or belying already? Look at you to behind the bridge at tension, how much higher is it than at the edge? Loose all the strings, check again…
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Re: Acoustic guitar geeking—shaving braces and other severe

Postby Gone Fission » Fri Aug 13, 2021 10:45 pm

I dunno, there are cautionary tales in the world. Jimmy Page’s #1 sunburst Les Paul was sold to him by Joe Walsh, who couldn’t stand it after he had the neck shaved. Which side of an irreversible mod would I feel like I’m on?

It really is a very excellent guitar as is, all solid wood, high quality construction, thin nitro-feeling-but-not semi matte finish, and plays great. I’m just suffering from a flash of “it’s a lesser copy” instead of just taking a good guitar for a good guitar. I should mess with finding the right strings for it, though the stock phosphor bronze 12-53s are okay.

So I think I’ve already decided to leave the bracing alone, at least until there are credible reports for this model.
D.o.S. wrote:Broadly speaking, if we at ILF are dropping 300 bucks on a pedal it probably sounds like an SNES holocaust.
friendship wrote:death to false bleep-blop
UglyCasanova wrote:brb gonna slap my dick on my stomp boxes
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Re: Acoustic guitar geeking—shaving braces and other severe

Postby Blackened Soul » Fri Aug 13, 2021 11:37 pm

Again really think about string tension, some work well with heavy strings some choke up.
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