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Freeman Keller

Look what just crossed my work bench

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A couple of weeks ago a friend dropped by my house and said he was in the Navy Reserve and was shipping out on a 6 month deployment. Would I look after one of his guitars while he was gone? Oh, and would I refret it and do a couple other things? I said sure...

 

It is in the back left, a 1953 Guild X175.

 

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It was straight forward pulling the frets and the f/b was dead level. One thing kind of interesting was that the inlays all stood about 10 thou proud of the f/b, yet the f/b didn't seem to be shrunken or particularly dry.

 

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New frets went in nice

 

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and leveled [ATTACH=JSON]{"alt":"Click image for larger version Name:\tIMG_4847.JPG Views:\t1 Size:\t109.8 KB ID:\t32420532","data-align":"none","data-attachmentid":"32420532","data-size":"full"}[/ATTACH]

 

Edited by Freeman Keller
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His dad dropped by the shop with a more correct tail piece so I filled a dozen holes in the tail and installed it.

 

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This guitar is absolutely amazing. Stop and think about it, it is 65 years old. The fretboard is dead flat, tension pulled 4 thousands of relief with almost no tension on the truss rod nut. The nut action is 12 to 14 thou, the 12th fret is 50 to 70, the intonation is dead on with that funky ancient bridge. Unfortunately the bridge is set for an unwound third, otherwise I would put some flatwounds on it,. Might do it anyway.

 

Took it in the house put it next to my little jazz box

 

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Nice...why did he want to get rid of the Bigsby? Other than they are a PITA to re-string...but it does look good with the harp tail piece. Many years ago a buddy of mine had one of those [and I had a Starfire II], and the tone on the X175 was just killer. I can imagine what that one there sounds like now, like honey mixed with creamery butter on a warm day...;)

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I've heard and watched him play and can't remember ever seeing him use the Bigsby. And I think he wanted to get the guitar as close as possible to original.

 

"Honey mixed with creamery butter on a warm day" I need to remember that.

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. . . This guitar is absolutely amazing. Stop and think about it' date=' it is 65 years old. The fretboard is dead flat, tension pulled 4 thousands of relief with almost no tension on the truss rod nut. The nut action is 12 to 14 thou, the 12th fret is 50 to 70, the intonation is dead on with that funky ancient bridge. Unfortunately the bridge is set for an unwound third, otherwise I would put some flatwounds on it,. Might do it anyway. . . .[/quote']

It's an amazing guitar for sure and in incredible shape. Is the bridge permanently attached or is it held down by the strings? If the latter you might be able to replace it and intonate it for flatwounds.

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It is a floating bridge. When it came to me it had a more modern rosewood style bridge, the owner wanted to change to this one because he said it is period correct. The guitar came with round wounds on it so I need to ask him exactly what he wants when I restring it. Right now its settling in with the old strings, I'll change them when I finesse the frets.

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Somewhat reminds me of a '51 Epiphone Zephyr Regent that I played for many years.

There is a strong connection between the two companies .

 

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I got an e-mail from the owner (I had sent him a link to this thread) and here is something he said

 

" I ran across a good deal and I was weak. I bought a 1954 Epiphone Zephyr Regent on eBay. It's another charity case that I don't need. $xxx is not easy to pass up. I can tinker with it when I get back from this crazy mission. It's a blonde!"

 

Gardo, have you got some sort of power?

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freaky

If you ever work on the Epi. I would like to know more about the tone circut. The 51 had concentric pots for tone and did not use a cap,It somehow used an iron coil resistor . It worked great but I never understood how

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If you're still thinking of putting flats on it, GHS makes a flatwound .009-.042 set with a plain third but they might be too light for your purpose: http://www.juststrings.com/ghs-750.html. LaBella makes a similar .009-.039 set but they're more expensive: http://www.juststrings.com/lab-20pxl.html. Curt Mangan makes a flatwound .010-.046 set with a plain third but again they're a bit pricey compared to the GHS: http://www.juststrings.com/man-14003.html. You could always buy a set in your preferred gauge and simply replace the third.

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The jazz players that I work with seem to like heavier strings on their hollow bodies - 11 or 12's normally. They don't do big bends and seem to like a bit more tension. I think I have 11's on my blond - I know they were darn expensive.

 

I'll let the owner tell me what he wants when its time.

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they are darn expensive up front but last forever and some think they actually improve with age

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Okay then, since you've mentioned that you normally install D'Addarios unless the customer specifies otherwise you could get a set of Chromes in .011-.050 or .012-.052 and replace the 3rd with a .020 or .022 plain. An extra single plain string ought to cost about a buck.

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I have a Hagstrom Viking wth a harp tailpiece like that. It came with 10's but I found I kept pulling the high-E string off the fb while playing. My tech said for some reason that is a common problem on guitars with that type of tailpiece and suggested heavier strings to compensate. I put on 12's and the problem went away. I normally don't go that heavy but it works on that guitar so all is good.

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