Veelah V6-DCE Refurbish and Setup

Worked on restoring this last week. The Veelah brand is from Taiwan and made in China.


This V6 is one of the higher-tier model that features solid top and back construction along with plenty of wood bindings all around. This one is the V6-DCE which denotes a dreadnought cutaway with LR Baggs Elements VTC.


It’s got a solid Engelmann top with solid rosewood back. Sides are still laminates probably because they are easier to work with. Doesn’t look like bookmatched back from the photo above.


Other niceties include fully bound fingerboard, body and headstock. Plus a beautiful rosewood and koa rosette. Yes, the thinner outer ring at the rosette is koa. Fretboard and bridge are ebony. All nice woods here on the guitar.

Bearclaw Special

All guitars get special TLC from Guitarbear. This one needs some attention because previous owner doesn’t believe in cleaning his guitars. 🙂

Let’s work on the fretboard. Can you see which part just got some steel wool and Ax Wax?


And we got a nicely moisturised board here. Shiny frets included. Just look at the beautiful mahogany binding with white purfling lines.


Plenty of dust and grime to remove.

From this:


To this:


Tuners were removed and thoroughly cleaned and polished.

From this:


To this:


It’s worth mentioning that we got gold Grovers that come stock on this model. Not too bad at all.

Body was given a special treatment with EternaShine Scratch Remover, plus final polish from Music Nomad ONE.

Nut slots lubed with pencil lead and we’re almost there.


Restrung with fresh Elixirs and this one is really nice.


The TUSQ saddle may be swapped out for bone soon but it will do just nice for now.

Milo was my assistant for this project. She wants to hear this one side-by-side with my No.1.


Here’s a look at the rosette. I’m loving the koa and rosewood combi.


Who likes some mahogany body bindings?


Not sure if this will stay, but it definitely holds its own among many other guitars.







Alvarez AD30 refurbish and custom soundport

Brought this back a few months ago as backup to my No.1. This post documents the entire process which took place at various times.

This AD30 came up at the local classifieds and I snapped it up thinking it’d be a good companion and backup to my No.1.


It’s got user marks all over and really needed much TLC. Look at the special mis-matched bridge pins. 🙂


And how badly wound the strings were. The low E and D look like nightmare.


Bearclaw Special – TLC for all guitars

I took time to give it a the Bearclaw Special. Entire guitar was cleaned and polished with Music Nomad ONE and Dr Duck Ax Wax.


Since one of the tuner gaskets was shot, I removed the machine heads for thorough clean and polish. New set of gaskets/washers were installed for smooth tuning.

Next, the fretboard was pampered with steel wool and lemon oil. The bridge was also given some Ax Wax to give it some sheen.


Restrung with Elixirs with a new set of plastic pins. Sure looks better than before. 🙂


Arthur came to pose with the guitar. Both boy and guitar were new in the family at this time.

While this guitar is almost identical to my AD30, it does have a satin neck instead of a glossy one on my No.1. This is a 2011 guitar as seen from serial number, so Alvarez must have changed their specs a bit from then to 2013.


No.1 on the left, newbie on the right. 

I kept the pickguard on due to the tan line on this old guitar.

As for the tone… well, my No.1 is called No.1 for a reason. 🙂

Custom soundport for the backup

I decided to take things further for this one. It’s been a while since I did a soundport so I took out my equipment on a Sunday afternoon.

DISCLAIMER: Do not try this if you’re not proficient with power tools. You may end up harming yourself and/or your guitar.

The first step is to locate where you want the soundport to be. I held the guitar at playing position for me. The light reflection shows the area I have in mind.


Next, I used my calipers and tape to mark out the exact location to drill.


The calipers measure the thickness of the guitar and I use the measurement to find the mid-point where the drilling takes place.


The tape then marks where the soundport will be along the upper bout bass side. You want the soundport to aim (ideally) straight at your face when playing.


So now I have more tape to ensure no cracks or chips during drilling. For this project, a 2-inch diameter holesaw is used.


Mark out the drill spot for the pilot hole. We’re almost ready.


I started with a 3mm hole, followed by a 5mm. This gives gradual drilling and minimises chips or cracks especially to the AD30’s gloss finish.

Next, the heavy stuffs come in. The 2-inch holesaw is all set to go.


And we have our soundport. Looks messy here with the splinters and all, but we can always clean up.


I used 600 – 1000 – 1500 – 2000 grit sandpaper with lemon oil to smoothen the edge of the hole. All baby smooth and nice.

Gave the entire guitar yet more polishing. I reckon it doesn’t look too shabby for a home-made soundport using simple tools.




Guitar Inspector came to try out the soundport today.


He says there’s barely any difference tone-wise, but the guitar looks cooler now. 🙂




Tips: Reviving a machine head

Here’s a tip if you’ve faced a screwed tuning key. Sometimes the machine head on your guitar may be “stuck” due to a dead or gasket as shown below.


If you visit a shop or tech, chances are a full set replacement (all 6 tuners) will take place. That’s typically around $50-$70 including installation. Bad news.

The good news is you actually only need to replace the torn washer. You can get such parts easily online. A pack of 6 (including tuner buttons) costs less than $2 at the time of this blog post.

Here you can see the difference between a new washer and the one that’s shot.


Use a jeweller’s screwdriver to remove and install the tuner button. This is the correct order. Headstock – white washer – metal washer – button – screw .


Tighten according to your preference (not too loose not too tight) and you’re good to go.

You’re welcome. 🙂