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donquardo

The cure for Gitanes' wetness?

After owning and selling many Gitane guitars (500, 250M, 300, 320), I got another 300 last week as I discovered the updated (huge) neck and liked it a lot. However, I found myself facing my old nemesis, the 'wetness'/sympathetic ringing on the guitar. As I was aware of this, I had no issue with it, as I had fought hard to fix it via the usual methods: leather in tailpiece, shoelace behind the bridge, etc. But on a clever state of mind, it just came to me that the problem is mechanical, hence the solution is to inmobilize the strings when not used.
Just added a capo on top the zero fret...problem is gone.
It is no invasive, and I can still play first position. Of course, open strings sound muted, but ...that works for me!
Anyway, I looked around the web and this forum for a similar tip, but haven't found anything so...at risk of discovering the wheel again, here is a short video I shot. I hope someone would find it useful :)

https://youtu.be/2VbFIfkgMIs
Tagged:
Appel

Comments

  • JehuJehu New Zealand✭✭✭
    Posts: 77
    A lot of (electric) jazz players will use a scrunchy or hair tie for this. George van Eps patented a string damping device that attaches to the headstock and can be instantly raised and lowered to control open string ringing.
    pfarrand1.jpg

    You can see Herb Ellis using one in a lot of old videos and pics, and I believe he gave one to Barney Kessel as well.
    van04_herb.jpg
    hotclubdebramptonAppelBuco
  • hotclubdebramptonhotclubdebrampton Brampton, Ontario - Canada✭✭
    Posts: 22
    Correct, I'm a huge Herb Ellis fan and I have seen this device on his videos; beats me that using the concept behind it has not been a more popular idea for this common issue
  • AppelAppel ✭✭✭
    edited June 2015 Posts: 78
    The Van Eps String Damper! I've been looking for one of those since 1986. Dropping into this thread embarrassed me sufficiently to take another look - and it seems Jennifer Batten has re-worked the idea a bit - and has a damper distributed through Allparts. Here's a link to the promo kit if you're curious.

    I like the lighter design that George came up with - at least with his you could still fret a low F - but it's nice to see the idea is still out there.

    Regardless - I think a capo applied lightly to the zero fret is a great idea and probably unbeatable for a GJ guitar.
    hotclubdebrampton
  • Keith MurchKeith Murch Ontario Canada and Naples Florida✭✭ Dupont MD50 and several archtops
    Posts: 49
    Appel wrote: »
    The Van Eps String Damper! I've been looking for one of those since 1986. Dropping into this thread embarrassed me sufficiently to take another look - and it seems Jennifer Batten has re-worked the idea a bit - and has a damper distributed through Allparts. Here's a link to the promo kit if you're curious.

    I like the lighter design that George came up with - at least with his you could still fret a low F - but it's nice to see the idea is still out there.

    Regardless - I think a capo applied lightly to the zero fret is a great idea and probably unbeatable for a GJ guitar.

    I recently sold my original Van Eps string damper. It definitely reduced feedback when playing loud with an Archtop. I don't play loud venues anymore, so I don't really need it these days. I guess it would eliminate unwanted sounds on an acoustic instrument, but that seems like an odd thing to want to do with a gypsy guitar.
    Keith
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    Damn, you made your case. I wonder why cheaper guitars have the problem to begin with? I'm playing my Lebreton and the difference between open and fretted strings is almost unnoticeable. Is string energy somehow avoiding-escaping the top (where it belongs) and ringing the headstock? If so, some "shoelace" or felt just beyond the string tree (nut) might get the same effect without needing the bulky capo on your playing surface. There's a couple chords I love that that require my hand to be where the capo is, these wouldn't be possible with the capo. Just a thought
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
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