Case Studies

Case Study 7

Here is a Gibson Epiphone PR 350 SN that Edward Johns brought to me after he purchased it on ebay. Ed has brought me a dozen guitars in the last year to set up and recondition.

The Action was over the top and I mean over the top. It reads higher than my gauge can go and it goes to .140 so I estimate it was .155 at the 12th fret. My job was to lower to around .070.

Even though the bridge is too tall there wasn't enough wood on the wings to take the bridge off and sand it down from the bottom to get the action low enough which is the standard method. I came up with a solution of routing the bridge down from the top. The important thing is to keep structural strength in the bridge and for the saddle.

Once I smoothed off the rough edges, I restained the fresh cut rosewood to match the aged rosewood and conditioned the bridge about 3 times to get it stable from taking on too much moisture. Once the guitar was strung up I was able to cut the saddle to the proper height.

This guitar was only good for a slide player with string height at about .155 – far too high to play for anybody. But now it has a custom string height that plays like a dream at .075 on 12th fret low E and .070 on the high E. Factory spec is .090 on Low E and .075 on the high E.

Need Lower action on your acoustic? Most guitars may be able to have just the saddle lowered and that is well under fifty dollars. But if the bridge is too high I can do what I did to Ed John's guitar with my new method for half of what it would cost to remove the bridge and sand it down.