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Can This Be Done?


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I've got an old kimbara 6 string acoustic guitar that i accuired from a friend. This may be a stupid question but forgive me as i am new to this stuff, i want to refurbish it but i was wondering if instead of fitting a standard bridge if i could fit an elevated bridge with a tailpiece ( something like this http://www.levoi.freeserve.co.uk/Hardware.htm ) like an archtop, Can this be done? could this piece work http://www.highlystrung.co.uk/acatalog/Onl...lpieces_63.html , see 3071S - Tailpiece. Its just purely for cosmetic reasons but would this affect sound? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by garymouse
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Yes, but it's not a good idea.

The bracing of a steel; string accoustic is intended to withstand the force of a glued down bridge. The string pull on a glued down guitar bridge wants to rotate the bridge, and pull it towards the nut. The forces acting on a archtop style bridge and tailpiece are quite different - the string pull wants ot pull the tailpiece towards the nut, and push down on the bridge.

Replacing a glued bridge with a floating bridge and tailpiece can cause serious damage to your guitar, and even if it the top survives it, it will sound bad (or at least, it won't sound as it was intended to). The pull on a steel string bridge is part of what effectively transfers energy to the top, and substuting a different bridge is unlikely to produce good results.

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In his book “The Luthier's Handbook”. Roger Siminoff describes an experiment were he replaced an glued bridge with a floating bridge and tailpiece. The result was, among other things, noticeable lower volume. As Setch said, an archtop is made for a bridge that vibrate up and down on the arch and a flat top with glued bridge is made to rotate the bridge to get the top to act like a air pump and thus amplify the vibrations from the strings.

The Siminiff book is very interesting reading. I’m basing my first acoustic around some of his ideas.

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