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Thread: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

  1. #1

    Default What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I'm considering buying this body for a tenor guitar project. It's $30 delivered.
    It is an old stella body.
    Seller says he found it like this in repair shop.

    Is this bracing overkill and will deaden the sound?

    Or is this about right?


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  2. #2

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Looks like it was originally a ladder braced guitar and somebody decided to make it x-braced. The work looks OK. In theory, it should improve the sound.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Thank you.

    I was concerned about the pieces by the bridge and by the neck.

  4. #4
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    The pieces by the bridge and neck look pretty standard to me.
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  5. #5
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Has converted from ladder to cross-bracing, and the pattern is pretty standard. That transverse brace above the soundhole is very substantial, especially if you are going to have a 4-string tenor rather than a 6-string guitar. The finger braces are all too short to reach the linings, si should not make a lot of difference either.
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  6. #6
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Lots of problems with those braces.
    Yes, it is someone's conversion from ladder bracing, but the braces are all look bigger than needed, the joint of the X-brace is not well done, the ends of the new braces need to be tapered, the bridge plate is bigger than needed for a tenor, looks like the top wasn't cleaned up very well so I would be suspicious of the glue joints...
    One thing, though. The back is already off, so that's a good start for removing the braces once again, cleaning up all the old glue and starting over with a well designed tenor guitar bracing pattern.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Stella was not exactly a quality outfit. I think you could find a better base for your project.

  8. #8
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I would love to get in there with a sharp chisel & reshape those brasses....

  9. #9

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Y'all are gonna love the back... I was going to use that just for a template.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I actually have the same model Stella intact, but the neck is bowed after the 8th fret.
    I use it for slide and it has a surprisingly rich sound with good projection.

  11. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    Stella was not exactly a quality outfit. I think you could find a better base for your project.
    Actually when Stella was an Oscar Schmidt brand name they were decent guitars and mandolins. After Harmony purchased the name not so much. I used to buy those 60's Stella (Harmony) tenors brand new that people rave about as having mojo these days. They were actually akin to playing a cheese cutter nailed to a baseball bat with frets.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stella_(guitar)
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #12

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I have one of them. It is a POS and probably only sounds good because of age and luck. No binding etc..
    Its pretty decent for what it is, I bought it a a thrift store for $35 and spent another $30 fixing it.

    The frets are decently thick, not wires on it... so maybe it predates what you are talking about.
    It also has a really cool STP bumper sticker on the back. I think its an original sticker with so much mojo... I left it on.
    But I regret it any time I try to do more than a little e/a/d string hammer-ons
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  14. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Look for a number inside, it will be something like F-67 or S-72. That does look like an original STP sticker by the way. I used to pour that stuff in my engine now and again in those days as well. They gave the sticker away at car shows and drag races and other events.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  15. #14

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I was joking about how the sticker adds mojo. But I left it on because it looked original and after being on there for 30 years it may have genetically combined with the finish.
    Here is the model number and a close up of the sticker.
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  16. #15
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Not a model number, that's a date of 1963
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  17. #16

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Not a model number, that's a date of 1963
    From what I can tell this is a Harmony model. Not the Oscar Schmidt.
    Decent slide guitar. Sounds great for that. Must be the original STP sticker.

  18. #17

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    That STP sticker takes me back.......In 1965, I stuck a couple of those in the corner of the rear windows of Dad's brand new 1965 Buick LeSabre -- our family car, and only car at that time. Well, Dad worked at an office building, not a race track, so needless to say he noticed the stickers before going to work one morning, but didn't have time to remove them......yep, I got yelled at if I remember correctly.....

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  20. #18
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    That Harmony date code means this guitar was built in the First half of 1963. It's a Harmony. The Oscar Schmidt's were very different and much earlier. The only similarities were that they had strings and the same name on headstock.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  22. #19

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I just did some extensive work on what I believe to be an early 50s archtop, likely out of the Harmony factory but with Stella build quality. The neck angle was way off, so I did a cheater neck reset by taking the back off and gluing it back on after pulling the neck back. You then trim the excess back that hangs over the side at the neck block. Since the binding was painted on, I bound the back with plain white binding.

    The braces in the guitar were huge, of indeterminate wood, but they were glued solidly, so I tapered and thinned them down some. Hard to say if it had any effect because the break over the saddle is so much better.

    I also glued in a set of JJB pickups while the back was off, and did my first refret. Turned into a fun guitar, especially as I bought it just to practice on before I fret and bind my mandolin build. Gotta love the fake paint on those old Stellas.
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  23. #20
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I have a '50s Silvertone along these same lines. It's been in my family's house forever. The back was cracked in several places, and nearly off the instrument anyway. So I removed it, cleaned off the old glue as best I could, closed and cleated the cracks, smoothed out the rough braces, and reattached the back.

    Total amateur hour repair work -- but darn if it isn't a fun, jangly, old-sounding axe. Neck angle was fine, probably because it's been missing strings for as long as I can remember. I just played it for a funny holiday video shoot and it gave off the perfect vibe.

    I looked it up and it cost somewhere around $9 when new.

    http://www.silvertoneworld.net/acous..._1200/605.html
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    (not mine but the most similar)

  24. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  25. #22

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    I played my girlfriend some slide on that stella and she said she felt like she was in some backwater blues bar that served moonshine.

    Best complement ever!

  26. #23
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fire View Post
    I played my girlfriend some slide on that stella and she said she felt like she was in some backwater blues bar that served moonshine.

    Best complement ever!
    Easy answer. The old blues guys didn't play the best instruments, they played what they could afford. The sound they got was from instruments like yours
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  28. #24

    Default Re: What do you think of the bracing on this guitar.

    Whatever it is. Sounds great on slide, don't use it for anything else.

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