Tuesday, 27 January 2009

I have a bulge

I have a bulge where I don’t think I need one.

12 string guitars – Guitarists, why do we do this to ourselves?

I have a 12 string acoustic. An old Yamaha one. The action is a bit of a nightmare – so I whipped off the strings and had a go at trying to lower it, took out the saddle and filed it down. Re-assemble and restring and the action is a bit better but still not brilliant. I think the problem is that the darn thing is bulging on the table pushing the bridge up and tilting it forward. Any ideas now? There is precious little of the saddle to file away… :-) Some little digging on the net etc. points to humidity issues, but my other acoustics, held in the same room appear fine, my LL6 could do with a slight lowering of the action but it’s not bad and the old old Fender classical frankly plays as well as it ever has and I’d have thought a light fragile acoustic more susceptible to these things than a solidly nailed together Yamaha box.

Also the bulge details on the web seem to indicate that if it’s bulging out like mine is then it’s cos the humidity is too much, it should sink back if dry. Makes sense to me – but my guitars are in a room with the dreaded central heating in, I do have the thermostat valve in that room lower than everywhere else but it’s hardly cold and surely somewhat dried out due to the radiator.

I also have decided to tune half a step down on it rather than keep it at concert pitch. But that has only marginal improvement. It’s okay up to about the 7th fret then gets worse. Shame as with new strings on it doesn’t sound bad and 12 strings do have something special – just a total bugger to tune up, keep in tune and obviously get a reasonable action on…

Any suggestions? If it is humidity maybe I should bung it in a case with some silica gel for a week and see if that helps I suppose.


  1. Have you tried sticking it in the oven, gas mark 5 for an hour...

    No... wait... that was how to fix a casserole!

    Microwave? No, probably best not to...


    Ach, I can't even imagine trying to tune a 12-string, let alone repair one!

  2. Oh, and I have a bulge, too... only it's big, brown and has Blackstar written on it! Just wanted to say thanks for the heads up on that one. Really helped!

  3. I always wondered what those silica bags were for.
    Sorry, ain't got a clue about your bulge problems. Perhaps you need to see a rock'n'roll doctor?

  4. Was that in English?

    I have a bulge too.