1971 Guild D-25 Dreadnought Guitar

I always like D-25 models when they come in the shop for repair or sale. They're some of my favorite dreadnoughts. They're not flashy, they're not bluegrass-bright or punchy, and they're not river-deep like a rosewood-backed Martin, but they've got a good, mids-forward, even voice and a comfortable, modern feel to their necks.

A lot of Guild dreadnoughts from the '70s suffer from being underbuilt in the top, though, and this customer's guitar certainly did. It arrived with a sprung bridge, damaged bridge plate, and "fault line" across the bridge pins. While "regular procedure" would be to yank the original bridge plate, fit a new one, and reglue the bridge, I think it's a lot more work than is justified on a guitar of this pay grade.

I taught my guy Ancel how I fix something like this and then he did that part of the job, leaving the level/dress and setup work for me to do. My fix for a "fault line" break and warped bridge plate, in this case, is to cap the plate with a same-sized fresh plate made from soundboard-thickness spruce. I try to keep the spruce's grain going the same direction as the top or at an angle to it rather than cross-grain, as this helps stabilize the top in that area, which was underbraced to begin-with.

It worked like a charm and now this guy is sounding and playing spot-on and healthy. My only suggestion to the owner would be to yank-off the awful original tuners in favor of something like Kluson-style Gotohs. I've never liked the originals on these old Guilds...