Acoustic Repair Review

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by photoguy, Mar 12, 2006.


  1. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Everybody's gotta be somewhere.
    I have a '65 Gibson J 50, that I've owned for about 15 years. When I purchased it, it had suffered a broken headstock and had been repaired by a *friend*. While the repair was stable, it was ugly as sin. You could clearly see the two splines that were inserted, and it was covered with some black spray paint from a can that had been tapered to a pretty sever "V" in the back. Additionally, the front of the headstock had been covered with a piece of rosewood. Trust me when I say that it was butt ugly.

    The guitar also needed a neck re-set and a re-fret wouldn't hurt. Consequently, despite it's booming Gibson sound, it didn't get played very much.

    I searched around for someone to repair this and finally found a local guy...Bill Tippin of Tippin Guitars http://www.tippinguitar.com/ Bill makes some very high end guitars, the likes of which I could never afford...but also has a repair business as well. I called him on the phone and he invited me and my guitar over. Bill spent a good amount of time with me that first day, showing me around his shop, letting me play some of his finished guitars, and just "talking guitars". I left the guitar with him, and he promised a good repair.

    Despite my calling him regularly, I knew that this would take some time, and I also knew that he wouldn't let me rush the job. When I walked in his shop last week and saw my guitar lying on the bench, I couldn't believe what a great job he'd done. He made a backstrap of rosewood that he inserted into the back of the headstock, and blended it expertly into the neck. If I didn't mention it, no one would ever guess that this had been repaired. In addition, he re-did the front of the headstock, applying a period correct Gibson decal and shot the whole neck with laquer, blending a darker color on both ends, with a nice warm color in the middle.

    The neck re-set and fret job made this guitar sing like I suspected it could...now, I can't put it down!

    Just wanted to pass on a public "thanks" and a big thumbs up for his talents.
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Good to hear, good to know. Thanks for passing that along!
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I've played a couple of his guitars.......VERY nice!!!

    Glad to hear the the repair went well and you have your friend back in good health.
     
  4. ceyuh

    ceyuh Member

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    I am so Freakin' jealous. Are there any great guitars you haven't tried? You lucky dog :AOK
     
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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  6. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Everybody's gotta be somewhere.
    You're very lucky to have a source like that close by. My most convenient store is a GC...not the best place to see and try instruments.

    When I was looking for a person to repair my guitar, I found Bill through:

    http://www.dreamguitars.com/index.htm They seem to have a nice collection and present it well

    I *wish* I were local to that place!
     
  7. billv

    billv Member

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    Hey, the guys at DreamGuitars are great. I got my Lowden from them via mail order. They worked with me over the phone to identify my playing style and needs, and then let me audition a few different guitars, sending them to my home. Took the risk and anxiety out of a long distance purchase.

    Bill V.
    http://www.billvencil.com
     
  8. Grun

    Grun Member

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    Nice to hear some good news. I've been aware of Tippin guitars for a while but have not actually seen or played one. The closest possiblity for such an encounter (Acoustic.org in CT) is not on one of my regularly travelled paths. After hearing what a great guy Bill is and the quality of his work, I may endeavor to seek one out.

    I second that you are fortunate to be located in close proximity to such a great resource. I would not have thought Mr. Tippin would have much time for 'outside repairs'. Good story. Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    wow, so lucky! love the tippins i tried at mandolin brothers. practically dream worthy.
     

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