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Sound board problems

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JoJo
Posted 2018-07-01 4:18 PM (#544280)
Subject: Sound board problems


Joined:
June 2018
Posts: 5

Recently, I acquired an Ovation steel 6 string. I wanted it because it is a 12 fret model with a 1 7/8" nut width! I got it sight unseen but I am happy with the deal.
The Ovation bracing system complemented by their pinless bridge is weak and sure enough, I have an excessive amount of bowl and belly. The bridge seems stable. Putting it back to where it was when new is just repeating a weak design. I looked at the Bridge Doctor but I like the sound quality the way it is.
I am considering installing a tailpiece....silent pause. The installation will be easy and I will reinforce the mounting of the tailpiece with a piece of wood inside the bowl as I have no idea how strong the bowl is.
I currently have a 64-year-old parlor guitar with a tailpiece and the sound board is surprisingly even.

Your thoughts? HELP!

This is is repeat of the same question that I posted on a build/repair forum. I hope this is allowed.
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JoJo
Posted 2018-07-03 9:28 AM (#544297 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
June 2018
Posts: 5

Reassement of the problem: The tailpiece is no longer under consideration because it would require replacing the bridge. So I am back to the Bridge Doctor. Has anyone here tried it. Your thoughts? I am a little concerned about putting pressure on the end of the bowl. Even with a wood block to disperse the pressure, I worry about the bowl and the top separating.

C'mon guys! Over 100 views and no responses.
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alpep
Posted 2018-07-03 7:05 PM (#544308 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 10205

Location: NJ
Did you hydrate the top?

No for the tailpiece
I’ve used bridge Doctor on other guitars never an ovation

I disagree that it is a weak design

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JoJo
Posted 2018-07-07 2:04 PM (#544359 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
June 2018
Posts: 5

I now have the top reasonably flat BUT the problem will come back when the top is under tension. I am looking for a permanent fix. I know VERY little about working on guitars, probably just enough to ruin a fine instrument. It seems that weak bracing is a common problem soooooo what would happen if I glued new braces on top of the existing braces? I can copy the shape of the top of the existing braces and apply that shape to the bottom of my new braces. Your thoughts???

If my idea is silly, what is a proven cure? I can't seem to find one on the web and I have really searched!
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Mr. Ovation
Posted 2018-07-07 2:14 PM (#544360 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 6989

Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
Can you link to a picture? If not, upon your response I'll move this thread and update you to full member so you can post in the general section.

From your description, I can't really tell what you are trying to fix. If it's the bridge pulling up the bowl a bit.. that's kinda the nature of the beast, but usually not on 12-fret models. If it doesn't affect tuning and action, most generally leave it as the sound is mostly happening on the top between the bridge and the neck.

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JoJo
Posted 2018-07-07 2:32 PM (#544361 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
June 2018
Posts: 5

The bridge looks snug to my untrained eye. The bowl and belly really are pretty bad compared to many guitars I have owned. I realize that a little b&b is normal.
I visited "alpep's" website a few minutes ago and I think I saw something different. Did Ovation drop the pinless bridge? I was really hard to tell by the small photos. Would changing my pinless bridge to a pin type help alleviate my problem. If so, how would I use a bridge plate with the bracing in the way?

Thank you are for your help!!!
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Mr. Ovation
Posted 2018-07-07 2:49 PM (#544362 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 6989

Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
I guess I don't understand the terms bowl and belly. The Bowl is the back of the guitar. The Belly is the front of me.
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FlySig
Posted 2018-07-07 4:37 PM (#544364 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems



Joined:
October 2005
Posts: 3772

Location: Utah
No, don't go to a pin bridge! That won't help at all.

How old is this guitar? Do you know about its history, such as where it lived and how it was cared for? What gauge strings did the previous owner(s) use?

The only time I've seen badly wavy tops on an Ovation is when it has been kept too dry and/or heavier strings were used, or there is a loose brace. My Patriot was getting a bit of a belly and sure enough it had two loose braces. I glued them back in and the top has been completely stable for years.

You can check for loose braces several ways. First take all the strings off. Then with finger and thumb just push/pull along each brace. Not gently but not firmly. If it moves you'll feel it. Use a mirror and good flashlight to visually inspect the braces. Finally, you can probe the edges of all the braces where they meet the top using a very thin metal feeler gauge, like the kind used by auto mechanics. Use a really thin one. If the brace is not attached tightly to the top the metal feeler will slip into the gap.

Gluing a loose brace isn't terribly difficult but you will need to get some special clamps to reach in there. Use a top quality carpenter's glue, hide glue, or fish glue. Or, take it to a good luthier for the repair.

Many have had good luck flattening a warped top by lightly moistening the inside of the top and then clamping, weighting or otherwise pressing the top back flat. Do this before gluing loose braces back down.

Worst case would be to add some additional bracing. I would do this rather than something like the Bridge Dr.
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DanSavage
Posted 2018-07-07 4:55 PM (#544365 - in reply to #544364)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1761

Location: Lake Forest, CA
It would help greatly if we knew which model Ovation you're asking about.

There were several different brace patterns, all with different characteristics.

You also didn't mention what gauge strings you're using.
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JoJo
Posted 2018-07-09 8:57 AM (#544386 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
June 2018
Posts: 5

Wow, I have been promoted! Thanks to you all.

My guitar is a 1614 Folk model. I don't know how old it is. It has what appears to be a factory pickup requiring a battery (the knobs are broken). It has 12 frets and a 1 7/8 nut width.
I removed the strings but I have no idea what they are. I have no idea of it's ancestry but I got it from a fellow in MS. After three days of hydration, the top has flattened nicely. Per your advice, today I will check for loose braces and go from there.

Thanks everyone!!!
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Mr. Ovation
Posted 2018-07-10 12:13 AM (#544396 - in reply to #544280)
Subject: Re: Sound board problems


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 6989

Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
You should be able to post pictures now that you're a full member.
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