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Dampening a new Cigano GJ-15

Hi there, new to the forum.

I've just bought a GJ-15 from Thomann.de (good service btw, I recommend them). It plays pretty nicely but I have put a couple of pieces of thin folded cardboard under the bridge to raise the action by about 1mm as there was very very slight buzz in a couple of places. I've been playing a dreadnought with high action before so I've become quite fussy about even the slightest bit of buzz. I've moved the bridge forward slightly to improve the intonation (which is now very good up and down the neck, I've checked with my chromatic tuner and have been quite impressed) This means that the bridge is now not flush with the "moustaches" which doesn't bother me much as it's purely an aesthetic concern. I also cut a triangle of felt and put it under the part of the tailpiece which is on the soundboard. This has dampened the extraneous metallic noise somewhat but I'm wondering if there's anything else that I can do. Basically I find the sound a little too "wet", especially when playing rhythm softly. It is less noticeable when striking the strings hard.
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Comments

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,786
    Hi AW,

    Wetness, in my experience, is more of a problem for leads than rhythm.

    For rhythm you should be mostly able to damp any ringing with the left hand (and you should be damping a lot anyway, even with a dry guitar).

    But be sure you are not creating any harmonics when you are damping with your left hand.

    Also, if there is any ringing of the strings between the bridge and tailpiece you can wrap some string thru the strings there or put some Velcro around that area to damp that if necessary.
  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    Hi!
    sorry, what is your problem here? the extraneous noise or the sound being too "wet"? if it´s the later, and if you´re handy with woodworking, you could try making an ebony bridge (or buying one ready-made) - it should dampen the sound and diminish the sustain a bit (at least theoretically, as every guitar is a different beast) - provided your actual bridge is rosewood, which it should be.

    good luck!
  • awellesawelles New
    Posts: 10
    Well I was initially concerned with extraneous noise but after installing the felt under the tailpiece that has been eliminated. The sound the guitar produces is much wetter than I'm used to but maybe that's just the way these gypsy guitars are? Also still working out the best way of dampening strings which are sympathetically vibrating. I think I was just a little shocked as to how live this guitar is when compared with my dreadnought which is a lot heavier and has old phosphor bronze strings. I'm beginning to get used to it I guess. I have a dell arte d-hole at the moment also which I'm thinking of selling and that sounds a little different; less washy, a little more refined, but slightly less projection. This is possibly because it is heavier and has a thicker gloss finish? It also has a schatten passive pickup installed so maybe that has altered the sound. Anyway thanks for the responses!
  • awellesawelles New
    Posts: 10
    Hmm sorry to revive this post but I think I can be more specific now after spending more time with the guitar. There is buzzing in various places on the fretboard and even on the bass strings when played unfretted! The neck looks fairly straight although I'll check again when I have it to hand. Should it be dead straight or with a little (forwards) bow? I have raised the bridge higher with some folded cardboard about 1-2mm but this hasn't had any noticeable effect. The strings are about 2 weeks old. I hadn't noticed the buzz until recently. Could it be the dry and cold affecting it? I've only had it a month!
  • StevearenoSteveareno ✭✭✭
    Posts: 349
    You can raise the action of your bridge by using popsicle or ice cream sticks as shims, cutting them to the size of your bridge with a razor knife. They're just the right thickness. If you paint them brown (I used a felt tip wood grain touch up marker), they're almost indetectable. Better looking than cardboard or picks, unless you like that funky look. You can buy them at Rite Aid or supermarkets. The wide ones are best and only cost a dollar or two for a whole package. I think they're made of maple. Raising the action helps eliminate buzzing, produces a stronger tone and feels better for bends IMHO.
    Swang on,
  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    don´t forget that if you raise your string height at the bridge by any amount, it will raise the action by just half of that at the 12th fret.
    doesn´t your guitar have a truss-rod? maybe you should check the relief and adjust accordingly. usually fretboards are slight (but only slight) concave length-wise, to accommodate string vibration.
    you should also check the relative humidity in your place. the fretboard was cut and assembled to the guitar at a certain humidity, if the humidity in your place is higher, it will swell and that tends to lower the action. you could try seeing how the fret ends are relative to the fretboard edges - if they protrude, the neck is drier than it should; conversely, if the fretboard is "wider" than the frets that means it has swelled.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,283
    Bones wrote:
    Hi AW,

    Wetness, in my experience, is more of a problem for leads than rhythm.

    For rhythm you should be mostly able to damp any ringing with the left hand (and you should be damping a lot anyway, even with a dry guitar).

    Just want to give a +1, as this is my experience as well. I have a (soon mothballed, except for banging around town) DG-300, and you'll see me asking here a ton of questions on how to dampen it.

    It took awhile, but I finally learned - uh, it's me. I would say this guitar now plays rhythm as dry as I want it, as dry as any guitar I've played or heard. That doesn't mean it doesn't have its faults - it does tend to really imbalanced color, in my opinion, bass tends to be over the top (especially in first position; so I adjust as I play, knowing my guitars tendencies), and it is otherwise nowhere near as sweet as what I'm looking forward to in my coming guitar - but the "wetness" thing was, for me, a matter of a million hours of trying to emulate my rhythm heroes.
    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • awellesawelles New
    Posts: 10
    Thanks for the responses guys. I'll invest in some ice cream sticks and check the relief again. I'm not sure what the humidity is here (I'd better get one of those LCD clocks which tells you) but I think it's probably too low so I might look for a humidifier, anyone know of a good cheap one?
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,283
    awelles wrote:
    Thanks for the responses guys. I'll invest in some ice cream sticks and check the relief again. I'm not sure what the humidity is here (I'd better get one of those LCD clocks which tells you) but I think it's probably too low so I might look for a humidifier, anyone know of a good cheap one?

    The Graco 4-gal Cool Mist isn't cheap, but I like them - used them to control caves I built out of reefers to make and age fine French alpine cheeses (requiring humidity of 95-98%). They're digital, so you just punch in your desired RH up to 95%, and let it go - tougher work to do, an entire room, but they've done me decently well. Large tank, so I don't refill that often. I augment with pans of water on the radiator.
    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,786
    You can get a humidifier for instruments that goes in your case assuming that you keep it in a hard case.
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