Modifications/upgrades to add bass to a Gypsy Jazz guitar?

Hi, I have owned my Manouche Guitars Latcho Drom for almost a year now, and I love it, however I would like to add more bass to its overall sound. I do not wish to take away from the highs or mids, but I would just like a little more bass response. I've tried Galli silk and steel Gsl 11's and Galli V27's in hopes the silk would add more bass but instead they just killed the guitars volume in every department. I've read that wooden resonators tend to add bass, is that would I am looking for? Thanks for the help!


  • AndrewUlleAndrewUlle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Cigano GJ-15
    Posts: 541
    have you tried heavier strings?
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited November 2017 Posts: 1,858
    As the owner of a guitar which used to have an interior wooden resonator before I had it removed, I would advise against this idea.

    Your guitar may not be like my custom-made model made by a prominent Canadian luthier, but what it did to mine was virtually eliminate the midrange.

    Admittedly, the soundbox did make the bass seem more bassy and the treble more trebly. But the overall sound was not really one you'd wish for.

    And even though the soundbox was made of super-light wood, it still added more weight to the guitar than felt comfortable.

    What was especially @#$% annoying that the interior soundbox was all my idea, not the luthier's! But somehow in the course of making the guitar, he forgot to put it in.

    He actually had it all finished and was raving about the great sound.

    He sent some JPG pictures of it to me, and I immediately said, "Wait! You forgot the interior soundbox!"

    So he graciously took the guitar back to the shop, where he had to take the back off in order to add the soundbox... which added an extra month or so to my delivery time.

    And then several years later, I had to pay a second local luthier to remove it!

    And, you guessed it, it turned out the first luthier was absolutely correct, the guitar did sound great in its original incarnation.

    What's the old saying? "A fool learns from his mistakes, while a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."

    So I urge you to be a wise man.

    Unlike yours truly.



    PS I, too, was disappointed by S & S strings. Didn't add much bass, but somehow deadened the sound. I've still got a bunch of sets kicking around here that I don't know what to do with.
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Try the Lenzer Fisoma S&S 11's
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • EduardoEduardo Valparaiso, IndianaNew Manouche Guitars Latcho Drom
    Posts: 6
    Interesting you say that the resonator ruined your sound. I probably have read more negative reviews about them than positive ones. The silk strings truly did deaden the sound. Do you have any recommendations for strings to add a bit of bass? I have used D'addario gypsy jazz strings and Savarez strings, both having an .11 high E
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 922
    I know this is a drastic measure but I would consider adding a soundport on the upper bout.
    always learning
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    Not sure how you would really accomplish an actual modification but be careful about adding bass as you might end up with a lot of unwanted overtones (ringing, 'wetness') which you will not like.
  • Joshl-mJoshl-m New
    Posts: 76
    Lately, I am really fascinated by how much the bridge contributes to the overall sound of the guitar.Is your Bridge Rosewood or Ebony? You could try using a bridge of a different material. Not nearly as drastic as adding a sound port and a lot easier to come back from if you don't like the results.

  • Posts: 4,816
    The La Bella strings have a thicker gauge:

    They even have a 12-56 set. However they're silk and steel which you may not like.
    On my guitar adding a soundport made it sort of bigger sounding but not really add more bass. Bridges do change sound as well. Try a pick with a very rounded tip. But none of these will give you bass that a large bodied Martin dreadnought has, keep that in mind. And your guitar will not change it's basic sound signature. But you might be able to get something to your satisfaction with enough experimentation.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • AndrewUlleAndrewUlle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Cigano GJ-15
    Posts: 541
    This might be a little extreme, but here's one way you could add bass:
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 472
    Soundports actually raise the lowest resonance of the guitar -- the "boom" when you thump the top (e.g., typically G on an oval hole). So although it might end up sounding deeper to the player's ear (because you hear sound directly from the port), there's less bass out in front for the listeners.
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