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Thread: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

  1. #1
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    Default Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    My Ibanez M522 top has started to collapse (bow) at the upper part (towards the fret board)of the F hole. I have borescoped the body and do not see any reason for this. The sound bars are still attached no cracks in the top can be seen. The top does feel springy as in I can feel it give when I press on it.

    I was looking at the interface between the fret board and the body and thought it had a strange gap.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I looked at a Loar mandolin and this gap is filled.

    Am I missing something? Can this be the lack of support on the top?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    I cut the back off of this mandolin and didn't see any cracks/breaks/failures. What I did see was the top was not fully shaped. The area around the neck is pretty flat. I would have expected more "dome". I am taking it to my luthier buddy tomorrow to smoke over some options.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    We looked it over and decided the top was misshaped and needed a stiffener. See picture.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The brace has yet to be shaped and fitted but you can see the location.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    Quote Originally Posted by neilca View Post
    We looked it over and decided the top was misshaped and needed a stiffener. See picture.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The brace has yet to be shaped and fitted but you can see the location.
    I would imagine this repair cost more than a new M522??

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
    I would imagine this repair cost more than a new M522??
    Yes it would be. That is why I am doing it myself. I figure it is an excellent time for me to learn how to do this stuff. If I blow it, I am not out much.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    The gap you reference is normal. This is called an elevated fret board. A mandolin with this feature allows more of the top to vibrate. In the case of your Ibanez the elevation seems crudely fashioned and a bit skimpy for fretboard support. It has nothing at all to do with the support of the top.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

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  8. #7
    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    Can we see some photos that show what indicates the top sinking?
    Shade Tree Fretted Instrument Repair
    Now located in Nevada City, California
    http://www.shadetreeguitars.com

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Ibanez M522 top collapsing

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Mirken View Post
    Can we see some photos that show what indicates the top sinking?
    I did try to get some pictures but it was difficult to photograph. What got my attention was one side of the "F" hole was lower than the other side of the same hole, by about the thickness of the top.

    BTW we measured the thickness of the top. It was varied randomly from about 0.130-0.145 inches.

    Thanks Don for that info, I thought that looked weird.

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