View Full Version : Help - question about faulty bracing

06-02-2017, 01:09 AM
Apologies in advance if this is the wrong forum.

Anyway, about 9 months ago I commissioned a luthier built instrument. It arrived and I've been playing it daily for around 6 months. The other day I removed the pick-guard (see-through plastic, removable) to give it a wash, placed it back on the top of the instrument, and gave it a very gentle push to secure it (and I mean gentle). I heard a slight crunchy sound. Alarmed, I gave another slight push, and the crunchy sound returned, as well as a kind of sound of something brittle (possibly the glue). There is now a lot of movement in the top of the instrument, and a grating sound like wood-on-wood.

The following day, I looked at the top of the instrument, and saw that the area between the bridge and the sound-hole was dipping slightly, and the and area below the bridge had a slight bulge. When I contacted the luthier he told me that there was nothing wrong with this, and that this was natural/normal, and might even become a bit more pronounced over time and that there was nothing to worry about. Now the problem is that I don't know if the instrument was like this when it arrived (I never thought to check), or is a direct result of what I think is the bracing coming away from the underside of the top of the instrument. There is also a bit of a buzz now coming from the 4th string.

Now I know without seeing the instrument it's hard to advise, but in short, is the luthier right and this is a normal feature of instrument tops, or do I need to loosen the strings right away and find a luthier to look at the instrument.


06-02-2017, 01:58 AM
Sounds very like a glue failure on the bracing. Loosen strings and get it checked.

06-02-2017, 02:51 AM
The dishing is "normal" on some instruments, but only to a degree. The crunching is only normal (though most undesirable) under heavy pressure. You should have a professional look at the bracing. Not knowing your builder, I guess I'd recommend taking it to someone else for a look-see, first. If it requires repair, then you contact the builder. (Then pitch the pick-guard)

Pete Howlett
06-02-2017, 10:32 AM
You don't get this if you pre-stress the front with a radius...

Michael Smith
06-02-2017, 01:31 PM
Please post some decent pics. We are just shooting in the dark without being able to see what is going on. If you have a small mirror take a look inside and see what is going on. Put new strings on before you think of addressing the buzz if those strings have been on for the 9 months.