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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,guitarfixer Help: Improve guitar sound.... (14) RE: Help: Improve guitar sound.... 07 Jun 02


A proper setup makes a guitar sound much better and somewhat louder. The reason is simple. The physics of music. When the harmonic overtones and fundamentals are in close alignment they re-enforce each other. When they are slightly off, they fight each other. A bone bridge saddle will improve harmonic structure and make the sound richer, not necessarily louder. Lighter braces will make an instrument louder. Better to attack the bracing than the top. Go no further than coarse sandpaper. Compare your guitar's braces to others first. Wood bridge pins sound better than plastic, but any pins need to fit well. "Ramping" the strings at the bridge will give more volume. Make a handle from a 4 inch long dowel, cut a 3-4 inch section of a coping saw blade. Stick it in the dowel and Superglue. Now you have a handy saw. Use it to cut a slot from the center of the bridge pin hole back toward the saddle. Enlarge the cut slightly with a needle file. With the string "ramping" more sharply off the saddle down to the pin hole, the string tension (and volume) is increased. Don't use this technique on valuable instruments. Check out the C.F. Martin Road Series and 14 Series guitars. Look at the angle of strings over the saddle. See how they achieve that angle. Freshness of strings is as important as brand. Get your strings from a store that orders often. Big stores often stock up and buy strings in huge quantities, but don't buy often. The most popular brand at a small store is probably fresher from the string factory. If the store buys strings from "jobbers", not the factory, they will be old before their time. GHS sells direct to dealers only, no long pipeline to the store. If the dealer doesn't buy a 6 month supply at a time, those can guarantee "newer" strings. Check out their "Contact Core" guitar strings. Some string brands like John Pearse have greater tension than the others. They will give you more volume. Pearse Lights will please many players who think only Mediums will provide the big sound they want. String tension will directly affect guitar life. Many fine Martins get new tops when the owners could have switched to Lights and enjoyed the sound of the old, aged wood.


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