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Ash'jango Lindyhopper drfretboard

Setting up my new Cigano GJ-10

Hi all,

I was given a Cigano GJ-10 for Christmas by my wife and mother-in-law. It played very well out-of-the-box, although the action was a little low and the strings a bit lighter than I'm used to. I use gauge 12 strings on my electrics, which are a bastardised Strat and an Ephiphone Sheraton.

Also, I've noticed in the last few days that some of the notes have started to choke (mostly around the 8th and 9th frets on the B and G strings). I suspect that the change of temperature and humidity have caused the neck to move a little.

Now, I was already planning to put thicker strings on to it, and probably a new bridge. What strings and bridge would people suggest? Argentine 11s?

I have made quite a lot of successful adjustments to the neck and bridge on my Strat, as well as replacing most of the hardware, but the lack of easy adjustability of the action and intonation on this type of guitar makes me think that I might take the guitar to a professional to set-up, at least first time round. I live in West London. Is there any shop/luthier that anyone here could recommend?



  • flip-guitarflip-guitar ✭✭
    Posts: 21
    Absolutely recommend Godefroy Maruejouls,
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Argie 11s would be an excellent choice, especially if you're used to a slightly heavier string. They're a bit stiffer than 10s, but the extra tension will give you more punch. Don't put anything heavier on the guitar, because that could cause damage.

    Are you humidifying the guitar? Heated winter air is brutal on acoustics, and gypsy guitars are especially sensitive. Get a good guitar humidifier and keep the guitar in the case when not in use.

    Professional setup would be a good idea. And the Saga bridges are notorious for deadening the sound. A Dupont bridge would be a good choice, or if you go to Marejouls, he could probably supply one.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    The set up on these is easier than a Martin type guitar mostly because the bridge comes off to work on. So you can sand the bottom to lower your action or put shims under the bridge to raise it.

    Your description of buzz at the 8th-9th fret sounds like a symptom pointing to a truss rod adjustment. If your already familiar with Strat truss rods, there's no difference except that the allen head on GJ guitars (those with trusses) is under the end of the fret board. You access it through the soundhole.
    These guitars are about as easy to set up as guitars get, but just have their own unique design. The problems in setting up your strat aren't different in outline. If you can do your strat, you can do your Mac in theory at least.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
  • mtdnelsonmtdnelson New
    Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone -- that's exactly the information I wanted! You've given me sensible suggestions about strings and bridge to use, and some reassurance that I should be able to give it a (careful) go myself... If I can't get things how I like them, I now have the name of a luthier local to me who looks trustworthy!

    You've all been very helpful. :)

    Incidentally, I also have a very battered and broken Washburn acoustic that I was given a few years ago. It's nothing really special, but it did play nicely before it had holes and cracks smashed into it. :( I might take that to Godefroy Maruejouls at some point and see what he suggests. I think it should be repairable, but I have no idea what a decent job would cost.
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