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Re-topping A Nylon String Acoustic


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Hey guys I could really use some help here, not sure where to start! I want to remove and replace the top and back of an old nylon acoustic I have laying around that has a nice neck but sounds pretty bad. I was planning to use my favourite timber silky oak (http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j101/natwalk/Silkyoakgrain.jpg) for the top and back and leave the sides as they are, maybe a vaneer on the sides as well, not sure yet. Where my problems begin is I'm not sure that this would improve the sound of the guitar at all and secondly I'm not sure how to dismantle the thing without damaging the sides and neck etc. I've seen the threads around for removing the fretboard would the same techniques be able to remove the soundboard and back? Would the binding survive? I am willing to risk this guitar because it sounds bad and it cost me the princly sum of AUD$15.00 (was given the guitar and had to buy a set of tuners as it was missing them). I would appreciate any help or constructive abuse anyone was willing to offer,

Thanks

Nathan

:D

P.S- here are some photo's of the guitar I'm planning to work on an Emperador model 1122 from Korea

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j101/nat...uitarbridge.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j101/nat...arsoundhole.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j101/nat...arneckjoint.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j101/nat...tarneckheel.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j101/nat...gguitarback.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j101/nat...tringguitar.jpg

Edited by natwalk
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It will be more work to do this than to build new(just so you know). I would recommend that you not remove the back if you can avoid it and if your real goal is to make it sound better. Actually You could try a few external mods to change the sound if that is the goal. Try bridge modification (weight of the bridge plays a huge role in the sound). If you do decide to remove the top. You will need to expose the soundboard (remove the fretboard). You will trash the binding. So if it were me I would route it away with a binding cutter and guide. The top will be secured around the edges where it is attched to kerfing. A little heat around the edges will soften the glue and you will be able to remove the top (sides will be safe because you routed away the binding cleanly. Now you will have to figure out how to make a top that will sound better than the original. That is a whole new subject(do research and a good book would be helpful). Note: Keeping the back in place is going to help maintain the shape of the guitar while you re-top it. If you remove it you will need to build a jig/mold to maintain its shape. Hope that kinda gives you a little better picture. You will still have to deal with all the building you normally would in attaching a top from scatch and placement/setup.

Peace,Rich

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sounds pretty bad

In what way does it sound bad? Dull? ie. lacking in sustain and resonance? If that is the case then maybe a bone nut and bridge saddle is the solution. You will be pleasantly surprised on how much of a tonal difference that can make. If there is nothing wrong structurally with the guitar soundboard, internal bracing or bridge mounting then I see no need to replace the entire top. Thats also a very attractive rosette, it would be a shame to just chuck it out. :D

Edited by Southpa
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sounds pretty bad

In what way does it sound bad? Dull? ie. lacking in sustain and resonance? If that is the case then maybe a bone nut and bridge saddle is the solution. You will be pleasantly surprised on how much of a tonal difference that can make. If there is nothing wrong structurally with the guitar soundboard, internal bracing or bridge mounting then I see no need to replace the entire top. Thats also a very attractive rosette, it would be a shame to just chuck it out. :D

Thanks for the advice, the guitar sounds dull lifeless and basically 'plunky' and seriously cheap and nasty overall. Thanks for the advice about the bridge and nut, I'll try that first, maybe I could veneer the body for looks (would that make the problem worse?) the top is seriously thin and the nice looking rosette is actually a sticker of some sort it's not an actual rosette, that and I'm just not really a butterfly kinda guy!!

Thanks for all your help,

Nathan

:D

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