how to warm a tinny guitar?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by chrissh, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. chrissh

    chrissh Member

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    I recently made a short-scale solid-body instrument of light-weight maple and the unfinished,acoustic results are somewhat "tinny".It is also headless and has no truss rod,so it lacks some mass common to many guitars.Can anyone think of ways to structurally attenuate the high frequencies and maybe round the voice a bit?Would a heavy finish help?This is an experiment,so I'm open to ideas.Thanks.
     
  2. Jeff Flowerday

    Jeff Flowerday Member

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    Heavier gauge strings would help.
     
  3. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    maple is famous for being bright and kind of thin, although i've never really seen maple that was light. the only thing i imagine would help is to try to voice the pickups to compensate
     
  4. has-sound

    has-sound Member

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    A lower value volume pot may help a bit. If you are using 500k ,try 250k. If you are using 250k, try 100k.

    -Stan
     
  5. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

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    use bone saddle on the bridge, and voice particularly the bridge pickup to compensate
     
  6. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    What pick ups are going in it? (what style pick ups)
     
  7. chrissh

    chrissh Member

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    Thanks for your replies.The maple is a softer western maple,rather than eastern rock maple common to guitar necks.The whole thing is 1-1/4" thick and somewhat small-bodied,the scale 22",the bridge is rosewood and brass,and the tuners are zither pins,so it doesn't have much mass anchoring the strings on either end.I'll try a bone saddle instead of the brass,see it that helps.Heavy strings did help,btw.The pickup will be a mini-humbucker,about midway between the bridge and fingerboard,so I'll try cap and pot values when it's wired up.Okay,thanks again for the help.
     
  8. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    If the action is real low, it can give you a tinny tone.
     
  9. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    To be honest I think the choice of pick up (how hot) and resistor/cap value will make a big impact on how it will end up sounding.
    G'luck love to see a pic!
     
  10. chrissh

    chrissh Member

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    thanks again for all the ideas..this thing was made from scraps,including irregular fret sizes,so leveling the all frets took the action down enough to help the sound,as did heavier strings.The wood was also "thirsty",and conditioning the fingerboard with oil and the back of the neck with wax tamed the too-crisp highs somewhat.Maybe a little funk and crud buildup in the cracks can be good for an instrument.It's halfway wired now,and it actually sounds pretty okay plugged in,considering what it is.I'll try to post a photo or two soon.
     
  11. chrissh

    chrissh Member

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    For anyone interested,here is a picture of this thing.Please note:it is not complete;I wanted the string path and basic functionality to be intact before finishing form and details,so this is still the nascent mockup stage.But it does work,and it sounds better plugged than un-.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v333/chrissh/IMG_0508.jpg
     
  12. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Extremely cool looking!
     
  13. Jeff Flowerday

    Jeff Flowerday Member

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    That is the wildest thing I've seen with strings on it.
     
  14. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    Maybe you need to stiffen up the bridge?
     
  15. chrissh

    chrissh Member

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    heh,thanks..it's informed by Sarah Winchester.I think that's a good idea,to stiffen the bridge.tnx.
     
  16. SoCalSteve

    SoCalSteve Member

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    I had a 'pingy' sounding guitar and found the vintage Original Nickel strings from www.sobstrings.com really helped warm it up.
     
  17. chrissh

    chrissh Member

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    Thanks for that idea(the link doesn't work for me..).I do usually prefer nickel strings,though I didn't use them on this instrument.I'll remedy that.I did find that really big strings helped quite a bit,.015" at the skinniest,though the opposite held true for the lower wound strings(which were too big for the short scale,and kind of thonked and barked rather than ringing like a string).
     

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