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10s or 11s on DuPont?

Hi all. I’m looking into getting this MD-50B set up professionally but I’m not sure if I should ask for 10s or 11s during setup.

ive read some on this forum where people swear by 10s with higher action, but others saying that duponts are built to be their best with 11s.

what are your thoughts? Would the neck not Respond to the difference in tension between them enough to warrant needing adjustment?

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Comments

  • ChristopheCaringtonChristopheCarington San Francisco, CA USANew Dupont MD50, Stringphonic Favino, Altamira Chorus
    Posts: 186

    10's are classic, and where I'd start.

    My Dupont uses 10's, and I've played a few others... all 10's. You'll be fine if you want to change up to 11's in the future.

    richter4208alexhunterbillyshakes
  • CraigHensleyCraigHensley Maine New Barault
    Posts: 73

    This is purely personal preference. You won't really know until you play both gauges on the guitar and decide what works best for yourself. Lots of players use 10's but swap the the high e string with an 11. Some will also swap the 14 for a 15 on the b string. I find a full set of 11's to sound too dark and feel too stiff on a 670mm scale guitar, but I like them on a 660mm scale. The setup and neck relief really shouldn't be any different between the string sets.

    alexhunter
  • edited November 2023 Posts: 4,713

    If you look at pics in Craig's for sale thread, he had it strung with 10s.

    Edit: wrong, red wrapping correlates to 11s

    alexhunter
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • alexhunteralexhunter Fort Worth TxNew
    Posts: 17

    Are you able to tell from the colored wrap on the strings near the tailpiece? In those pics they are red. It is currently stringed with Argentines with purple wrap. The action right now is also less than 2mm on the treble strings and barely over 2mm on the low-E, which is making me think I need the setup evaluated.

  • CraigHensleyCraigHensley Maine New Barault
    Posts: 73

    Yes the colored wrap indicates string gauge, 10's are purple, 11's are red. Your action must be low. The norm is usually 3mm at the low E string 12th fret, though everyone has their preference, some prefer lower, some prefer higher.

  • alexhunteralexhunter Fort Worth TxNew
    Posts: 17

    Yes, seems like I need to get things set up higher. Especially with 10s. I’d assume this would help with acoustic volume and making the treble strings sound less “plinky” when playing them hard.

  • CraigHensleyCraigHensley Maine New Barault
    Posts: 73

    Yes, slightly higher action would help with volume and tone. You can shim under the bridge with a solid veneer shim of 1mm(+-) on each bridge foot, preferably of the same type of wood as your bridge (rosewood or any hardwood). Or depending on your current neck relief, you can slightly loosen the truss rod which increases the action, or you can purchase a new bridge which is the most expensive option. I'm actually surprised your guitar doesn't have another bridge in the case, some Duponts have more than one bridge.

    I'm a big proponent of swapping out the high e string for an 11 to eliminate that plinky sound. Lots of guys do that. Some even use a 12 on the high e, and a 15 on the b. You can buy sets of single strings and experiment.

    I'm sure your setup guy can get the job done if he's accustomed to working on gypsy guitars.

    Buco
  • alexhunteralexhunter Fort Worth TxNew
    Posts: 17

    thanks for the info! I’m guessing the previous bridges were lost or discarded by previous owners. I know Josh made his own bridge for it when he had it, then Dan at DRH made one for Jack Soref, then the guy that bought it from Jack had another bridge made by DRH with a bigtone type pickup in it, and that’s the current bridge.

    Luckily for me, I’ll be jamming this Friday with some people experienced in this type of music, so they should be able to give their input on whether or not they think i need a new bridge or not.

  • Posts: 4,713

    Oh, I thought packaging color correlates with the wraps (I use different strings so I needed to look for it, packaging color refers to loop vs ball end). Ok, sorry for confusion, I'll edit that response.

    Either way, action is what you like. 3mm on the high E isn't uncommon but for me that's too high. Both Bob and Craig are below that when they set up, I think Bob goes for 2.8 and Craig is often below that. His last one he set up right around 2mm since that's what Brad Brose asked for.

    If the guitar plays without major buzzing (saying that because while any buzz bothers me, you'll usually hear mild buzzing on the records of top players who often prefer very low action) and you like how it plays, then nothing else is necessary other than fresh strings as needed.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,277

    then the guy that bought it from Jack had another bridge made by DRH with a bigtone type pickup in it, and that’s the current bridge.

    If that is the case, then the bigtone is probably connected via the cable to your endpin jack and you can't really freely change bridges. But, you can still shim underneath it. As Craig mentioned, I use thin pieces of wood veneer for mine. I just cut a little notch in the one side where the cable goes through.

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