Raising action on a DG-300???

Hello All -- I'm new to Gypsy Jazz and just purchased a Gitane DG-300 after playing Campfire's. I ordered 2 sets of Argentine strings for when it arrived -- a set of 10's and a set of 11's.

I put the 11's on and was disappointed to realize that the action is a bit too low. The low E buzzes if you dig in at all and the 12th fret on the High E buzzes a little.

Do I need to buy a new bridge that hasn't been sanded down too far? If so, any recommendations?

Would adding a little relief to the neck help at all?

Any other solutions I'm overlooking?

I appreciate any advice ya'll can offer. Thanks!


EDIT: After closer inspection, the entire length of the E string buzzes, it's worst from Fret 9 to Fret 13.


  • drollingdrolling New
    Posts: 153
    Got mine from Elderlys. Pretty good on-line store, but they don't really know how to setup selmacs. Mine needed work, too.

    The easiest thing to check first would be the neck relief. I like the board as close to flat as possible, but usually end up leaving a little relief because of string buzz. Capo the strings at the 1st fret and hold them down w/your fingers at the 14th. There should be a tiny gap between the strings and fretboard in the middle of the neck. If there's more, you might want to remove relief by tightening the trussrod. If the neck's backbowed, you'll need to add relief. The truss rod's accessed thru' the sound hole, but you'll need a really long hex wrench. I'm still looking for one. Before any adjustment's made, you'll want to lower the string tension first.

    But it sounds like what you really need is some shims under the feet of the bridge. I use thin pieces of cedar I got from the hardware store. If you like the feel, you can eventually replace the bridge w/a new one. Even Stew-Mac sells Selmer style bridges in 3 sizes. That's where I get mine. They need to be filed and notched, of course, but a good bridge will really improve the sound & feel of your guitar.

    It could need some fretwork, too. My D-500 had buzzes all over the place till I had my frets levelled & recrowned. Any good luthier/guitar repair person should be able to do this for you.

    Good luck!
  • Josh GibsonJosh Gibson FLNew
    Posts: 29
    Drolling -- Thanks so much for the quick response!

    I put a hair more relief in the neck and that help a tiny bit, but I can can clearly see that shimming is the way to go.

    How thick are the shims you use? COuld I cut up an old credit card for a quick fix, or would that possibly damage the finish?

    After shimming, I'll lessen the relief as much as possible.


  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    one of the best materials for shims (if you don;t want to go to a luthier) is the lowly popsicle stick - often made of spruce, so much better than credit cards or similar materials.

    keep in mind that although it is easier to play a guitar with low action like drolling recommends, the guitar's tone generally improves with higher action.
  • Josh GibsonJosh Gibson FLNew
    Posts: 29
    I completely agree that higher action improves thetone of a guitar. I typically use pretty heavy strings (12's) on my archtops, and I have the action set a bit high. That way, I can dig in without getting any buzz.

    I cut up an old credit card last night and put 2 shims under each foot. Then I tightened the truss rod a bit to straighten the neck a little more. It worked, but a little too well -- now it's a little TOO high.

    I'm gonna head out to the garage and cut up some popsicle sticks right now. One shim on each side should be thicker than the credit card, but not too thick.

    Thank for the feedback, guys! This place is a wonderful resource.

  • Josh GibsonJosh Gibson FLNew
    Posts: 29
    I used some popsicle sticks to make a few shims so I could experiment a bit. They were 1.5mm to start, so I made a few then sanded the stick down to 1mm and made a few more.

    I ended up shimming both sides a hair under 2.5mm. My action is a hair less than 3.5mm at the 12th fret, low E string.

    There are still a few tiny buzzes from the 7th fret up on the E, A & E strings, but only when I really dig in hard. I think shimming just a hair more (up to 4mm) take care of that. It's defintintely tolerable as is right now, so I'll probably wait a few days to raise it anymore. This high action will take a little getting used to! I'm hoping I can keep it at about 3.5 - 3.75mm.

    Instead of buying a new bridge, I'll wait until I can afford to get a Big Tone pickup. Until then, I'll probably try to find some hardwood shims as advised on another thread.

    Thanks, guys.

  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    I haven't had any luck with shimming my bridge. For some reason whatever material (and technique) I used was killing the tone of my guitar. I even had some brazilian shims made, but they didn't work any better than a matchbook cover. However, after reading the various threads around and (finally) heeding nwilkins oft stated advice, I finally tried using some popsicle sticks and, voila! Suddenly the guitar really sings. I can't figure it out, but I'm happy. From humble origins...
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • Josh GibsonJosh Gibson FLNew
    Posts: 29
    pallopenna -- thanks for mentioning that...I think I'll be leaving the shims as-is until I can order a Bigtone. Then I'll get a bridge that's properly sized.

  • Posts: 2

    I ve got a dg 300 and i have got the same problem ebuzz on the e string
    i put it to the luthier , now the bridge is a little higher but it 's the same ebuzz
    the luthier told me he 'll have to work on the fret in order to clean the sound

    I have another problem with the dg 300 : the moustache have been stuck
    to fit with dellarte strings and if iput argentine strings i need to move the bridge 3mm higher otherwise i play wrong notes on the 12 th fret

    Is there anyone on fhis forum who have the same problem
    is there strings similar to the dellarte strings (galli ghs ) ?
    thanks for your answer
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