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Dupont question

I just got my Dupont MD-50E yesterday and have a few questions. First off, the guitar is really sweet in a lot of ways but the guy I got it from really didnt have it set up well. Initially there was a lot of buzzing so I switched the bridge that was on it (I think a #1 dupont) to a #2 dupont. While it did improve, there is still a decent amount of buzzing around the twelth fret and up, especially the g string. I did wedge a hunk of leather under the tailpiece because, to my ear, it sounded like the buzzing was coming from that area. The leather also improved matters but still, it's not right yet.

What bridge are you guys using on your MD-50's? Also, this is my first dupont I've played before, and I am aware that it is supposed to have a certain amount of banjo-like sound, but the higher frets are very tinny and buzzy, especially when I play it with a thicker pick and dig in. The sound below the 7th fret is just wonderful, I hope to set it up for the whole guitar.

The frets appear to be level, in my amatuer opinion. I checked them out as described on another post, they seemed good. the guitar is a 2004, so the wear is very minimum.

I think my best options are to get a higher bridge, like a #3 dupont, or to take it to my local guitar shop. The one thing that I'm a little hesitant about is that the local guitar shop here is Elderly Instruments and while they have done excellent work on my Martin I don't know how much experience they have with Duponts or GJ guitars. My main reason for concern is that I have noticed most of the GJ guitars in their showroom havent been set up very well.

What do you guys think?


  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 456
    Hi TH,

    I have a #2 bridge on my Dupont. No buzzing anywhere and the action is at about 3mm. The notes are sweet throughout.

    You may be able to fix the situation with a trussrod adjustment and/or a fret mill. I recommend sending your guitar to Paul Hostetter (a great luthier and former importer of Duponts. He works on Sammo's guitars, Paul Mehlings's guitars, and many others).

    Some Duponts are duds (like with all guitar makers, a few are less than stellar). Lets hope that your guitar can be fixed!


    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    I've got a MD 50 E too. My neck is perfectly straight and with a 3 mm action at the 12 fret I have very little or no buzz at all. But I discovered I prefer to lower the action a bit , put a 011/046 set of Argentines on and live with a little buzz. Well, if Bireli can... :)
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Congratulations on your new guitar!!

    There seem to be basically two kinds of setups for Duponts:
    -The "traditional": higher action (3.5 -4mm) with lighter (10s) strings
    -The "modern": lower action ( 2.5 -3mm) with heavier strings(11s).

    I play my MDC 60 with a #2 bridge and Argies 10s and I get 3.5 mm.action. With absolutely no buzz anywhere. I've got a bit of relief but I could probably do without it.

    Sometimes I use the #1 bridge and use 11s and get the action at about 2.5mm (the "Bireli" setup). with very little buzz. This setup definitely needs a little relief.

    Check out this page:

    And this talks about the problem you seem to be having:
    Here's a quote from that page,
    "Buzz in high frets only:

    If there is buzzing only from the seventh to the body, then I can assume there's too much relief. Now, the cure is to raise the action at the bridge, and tighten the truss rod. That way, the action will remain the same at about the twelfth fret, and the string won't have to be displaced downward so far to meet the tenth or eleventh."

    I think you can keep the #2 bridge and remove some relief and see if things improve.
    Use new strings, make sure that your bridge slots are properly cut and put leather or felt under the tailpiece.

    Anyway, be very careful when adjusting your trussrod, especially when tightening it. If you have doubts take your guitar to the local shop and tell them exactly what you want.
    Hope it all works out and you can get on enjoying your Dupont.
  • TimmyHawkenTimmyHawken Lansing,MINew
    Posts: 118
    Thanks for the advise everyone!

    After work yesterday, I went home and put a shim under my #2 bridge bringing the bridge height to about 20.5mm and it sounds great! I couldn't put it down for about 2 hours. My set up is Argies 11's with the action being about 3.5mm for the low E and 3mm at the high E.

    I think the answer is to go bigger on the bridge. I'm gonna order the #3 bridge and then have Elderly fit it and then check out the truss rod and frets while their at it.

    anyways, thanks again. I'm so happy now, it was a little scarey after getting an expensive guitar that I didnt have the opportunity to play before I bought it, and then it buzzes really badly.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    Glad you got it to a somewhat playable setup.
    However you should really check the relief and fret evenness.

    As others and I said previously you should be able to use the #1 and #2 bridges and play with little or no buzz... 3.5 mm with 11s seems to be a really heavy way to go, not only makes it harder to fret notes but sometimes with thin toped guitars the extra tension makes the soundboard "close up".
    Plus it's good to have the flexibility to be able to play with whatever kind of action you like best and not be forced to have to have it high.

    I suggest trying to get it buzz free with the bridges you have now before ordering a new one, but in the end if higher action with heavy strings works for you, go for it.
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