Recommendations for New York City luthier to reduce boomy bass on a Gitane DG-320 John Jorgenson?

Hi Everyone,

I've been playing a Gitane DC-320 John Jorgenson D-hole for about six months now. I'm pretty happy with it except that--as others have noted--the bass is extremely boomy and wet. Low B, to be precise. Then other notes do not ring out as much.

I understand getting a replacement bridge is the way to go. I do not feel I can do this myself.

Can anyone recommend someone who understands Selmer style guitars who can replace my bridge? I've had work done at Brooklyn Lutherie on my fiddle and electrics, and they are fantastic. I know Rodrigo Shopis is in my town but isn't that like asking Michaelangelo to touch up the finish on my Ikea bookshelf?

(Or does anyone have any magic tricks like shimmying the bridge on one side, or can someone recommend a specific set of strings to reduce bass?)




  • rob.cuellarirob.cuellari ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 114
    the bridge is a very important part of the guitar, and you might as well do it right if you're going to do it at all.

    rodrigo also might be able to to set up the guitar in a way that might help you find your desired sound.

    i don't recall his exact rates, but i do recall prices being reasonable.

  • AppelAppel ✭✭✭
    edited June 2016 Posts: 78
    I know Rodrigo Shopis is in my town but isn't that like asking Michaelangelo to touch up the finish on my Ikea bookshelf?

    Probably you're being a little hard on your current guitar, which, no doubt, is surely far better than any Ikea bookshelf ... the risk in seeing a great luthier like Mr. Shopis is probably not so much in offending him ~ he might be just the man to see about a new bridge; he definitely puts beautiful bridges on the guitars he builds ~ but that you'd probably see and maybe even play one of his guitars when you visit him ... and that, you will never forget ... and you might end up placing an order of your own. A guitar made by Shopis much more than a great sound, it has a vibe.

    This happened to me once. I went to visit Michael Dunn in Vancouver. All I wanted was to try a Wegen guitar pick - he had a few and was offering them for sale. He seemed very warm and open, so I asked if I might look at one of his guitars while I was there ...

    Take a bite of that apple, and there's just no going back.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,161
  • Also consider Allen Watsky.
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 358
    I don't know how long the queue is, but you might consider Tom Crandall at TR Crandall Guitars in the East Village, 179 E. 3rd Street.
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    Raging bass is common with D holes, not a lot you can do about it unless you reduce the sound hole size a lot. A lighter bridge will help a little if the one you have is heavy. Closing up the sound hole some will help because the bass you are hearing is (mostly) coming from the inside of the guitar, not off the top. The good news is the bass decays within a short distance, 3-4' from the guitar and the audience will not here it this way. What they hear will be brighter. The bad news is what you hear is not what the audience hears and that to me is a problem. The player should hear with the audience hears or at least as close as is practical.

    Closing up the sound hole is not that hard really. You can do it as a test with stiff cardboard just taped to the top. A luthier will likely do this with spruce about the thickness of a top, glued to the inside of the sound hole and painted flat black so it does not readily show. Try to cardboard with a petite bouche to see if it works for you.
    pickitjohnJim Kaznoskytheholyrollers
  • richter4208richter4208 ✭✭✭
    Posts: 525
    interesting, my bass doesn't rage at all to my ear on my altamira d hole. My Holo oval hole oddly had far more bass rage during my brief ownership as well as some really odd wolf tones on that same note (Low B on the 6 string).

    I really like Craig's comment about hearing the guitar from the audience perspective. I like to record myself playing with a decent recorder to see how my guitar sounds at a distance.
  • elropoelropo tampa bay, florida✭✭ Gitane D500 modified
    Posts: 24
    Is Craig recommending to build a sound chamber like some early maccaferri D holes came with? If so, that's very interesting. Would love to see some drawings or pics of this. Does this spark anyone else's interest?
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    Not sure why so many people think a bridge of any kind is going to change the sound?
    I changes the neck angle (a lot) on a D500. This put more down pressure on the top and helped a lot, but a 520 already has a tall bridge (I believe) so that's not really a safe option.
    Without serious changes to structure, its hard to imagine altering the sound.
    A better bridge (lighter - stiffer) usually gives you more of the sound you've got.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
  • elropoelropo tampa bay, florida✭✭ Gitane D500 modified
    Posts: 24
    Correction! I should have said "internal resonator" rather than sound chamber. Apologies.
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