Acoustic Guitar

Gibson Hummingbird and J-200 Pickguards​

The pickguard art featured on the Gibson Hummingbird, as well as the “flower and vine” pattern used on the J-200, are defining features of the respective models. Originally the most expensive guitars in Gibson’s catalog, their unique pickguard’s make these instruments instantly recognizable.

In part due to the flexible material used, these pickguards are more likely to lift and curl around the edges than other modern pickguards.

Acoustic Guitar Bridge String Ramping

An acoustic guitar’s bridge and saddle work together to anchor and suspend the strings on the guitar body. During a setup, raising or lowering the saddle is one of the key adjustments to an instrument’s action. However, there are limits as to how far the saddle can be adjusted in either direction.
An acoustic guitar’s bridge and saddle work together to anchor and suspend the strings on the guitar body. During a setup, raising or lowering the saddle is one of the key adjustments to an instrument’s action. However, there are limits as to how far the saddle can be adjusted in either direction.

Acoustic Guitar Neck Resets – Martin Mortise and Tenon

A mortise and tenon joint is a centuries old method for connecting two pieces of wood. The “mortise” is a hole or recess cut into a part which is designed to receive a corresponding projection referred to as the “tenon” on another component so as to join the two pieces together.

The Martin Guitar Company has been using this style of joint to secure the neck onto the body of their student and player grade model instruments for decades.

Acoustic Guitar Neck Resets – Hybrid Neck Joints

Oftentimes, action adjustments can be made via the instrument’s truss rod and saddle. This process is commonly called a setup. However, proper setup is only possible within a limited range. If the geometry of the instrument is not within certain specs, proper setup will not be possible. Given the substantial demands placed upon it, it is not surprising that, sooner or later, even the finest instruments will require a more substantial overhaul. Often, this will involve a neck reset. A neck reset is the process of readjusting the angle at which the neck is joined to the body.

Traditionally, an acoustic guitar neck is attached to the body using a glued joint called a “dovetail”. While strong and reliable, these types of joints require a substantial effort to separate and reassemble once required. As a result, neck resets on dovetail style neck joints require an experienced hand and carry a considerable price tag. Since most acoustic guitars will require a neck reset at least once over their lifespan, many manufacturers have sought to redesign their neck joints in a variety of ways with the goal of making assembly and neck resets less labor intensive and more cost efficient to perform.

Mitchel’s PlateMate

The bridge plate is an integral part of the internal support structure of an acoustic guitar. As part of the bracing system, it helps to support the instrument top and resist the pulling force exerted upon the instrument by the strings.

Mitchel’s PlateMate is designed to protect your guitar’s bridge plate from damage caused by ball-end strings. It is made from solid brass and installs in minutes. Should the need arise, the plate can be removed almost as easily!

Acoustic Guitar Bridge Reglue

The bridge truly is the heart of an acoustic guitar. Typically made from a piece of wood such as ebony or rosewood, it is glued to the guitar’s top, where it serves several critical functions. When strung to pitch in standard tuning, a set of light gauge acoustic guitar strings exerts about 160lbs worth of tension upon the instrument. Since the strings are attached to the bridge, this pulling force is partially transferred to it. Though guitars are designed to be able to resist that force, if there is any weakness in the glue joint connecting the bridge to the top, it can fail.

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