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Replacement bridge for Gitane DG250M

Hi all,

I have read a few posts on replacing the bridge on Gitanes but still need some help.

I recently bought a DG250M and I like the guitar for the price. Only trouble is that it is very, very wet. It also sounds a bit too 'thick' for rhythm playing.

At the moment I am still using the strings that were supplied with the guitar and I am hoping that switching to Argentines will help it sound a little more authentic. I've also been told to try putting some leather or felt under the bridge to try and mitigate the sympathetic string vibration (at least a little). So my questions are:

1: Where exactly do I put the leather under the bridge? Do I place it under the contact points, which will higher the action, or do I just fill out the gap in the middle between the bridge and the guitar body?

2: How much is a replacement bridge likely to help with sympathetic string vibration?

3: I've read on here that people have stock bridges and fitted. Can I order a 'fitted' bridge for a stock dg250m or does it need to be fitted to my specific guitar?

Any advice greatly appreciated. Obviously I intend buying the bridge on this site, hence posting here!


  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 399

    Open strings ringing all the time while you're playing is just part of the sound in this style. However you may mean something else, like strings ringing behind the bridge. This isn't something I've ever noticed.

    Unless there is a serious issue with your bridge, like it's made from blancmange or something, differences between bridges is usually subtle. Whenever I have shimmed my bridge, the sound barely changes. Whether I use wood, card or plastic. I have also swapped my bridge 3 times and again, barely noticeable differences.

    Changing to Argies is the only thing that will make much difference imho. No other strings I've tried come close (highly subjective).

  • edited October 2020 Posts: 4,109

    @JTDUK it sounds like you're talking about the tailpiece? That's where you would use leather or felt. Good quality tailpiece may help to quiet down the natural reverb, bridge too but it really comes down to the guitar. All those things are worth trying if you have money to spare. Keep the original parts. In case you decide to sell the guitar, the upgraded part aren't likely to get you better price. It might help it to sell faster though. I usually heard a difference with different bridges. It's more that they bring a different eq to the sound, changing the tone ever so slightly (but noticably to me). The guitar will sound the way it sounds. But to me that's the easiest and most fun way to get something different out of the guitar's tone. The bridge always needs to be fitted to the particular guitar. With the tailpiece, it needs to have a piece of felt or leather under, which yours probably already does. You can take a piece of velcro and weave it between the strings between the tailpiece and the bridge, people have said that helps some with the natural reverb too.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 673

    I had a Gitane DG-250 and the overtones drove me crazy. There are a lot of posts about refinishing the top of these guitars to get rid of the reverb. Unfortunately, it's not an easy task. I infinitely prefer my Cigano GJ-10 to the Gitane as the Cigano has a thin finish and I don't really notice any overtones.

  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 899

    I second that. I had a 250M too, beautiful guitar I really liked the way it looked and the neck and playability all fitted me comfortably but it did (maybe all Gitanes?) have a heavy gloss finish that will have an effect on sound. This is common to factory made guitars where they are spray finished with too much poly lacquer which in turn kills the wood such that the body of the guitar is no longer a living breathing material it may as well be moulded plastic. And yes, it would be a tough job stripping it to refinish it. Yes, leather should be under the tailpiece and no, changing the bridge will make no difference on a guitar with that heavy poly finish.

    The only thing I can suggest is to try what I do with my German archtops, which is experiment with your picking position to find if there is a 'sweet spot' tonally, I mean where exactly in the area between the bridge and the end of the fingerboard the tone is cleanest (probably NOT over the soundhole) and try to stay picking in that zone.

    Posts: 4

    Thanks for the responses guys.

    Eurgh, I can't help be a bit disappointed. I also had a Cigano a few years ago and didn't notice the issue. I know it's hardly expensive, but £1,000 is by far the most I've ever spent on a guitar and after owning it a month I already know I have to get shot of it. It's a shame because it looks great and has a good tone.

    Ah and it seems I was confused between the bridge and tailpiece. At the moment there's nothing under it, so I may stick some felt under it and see if it helps.

  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Eastman DM2v, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    Posts: 333

    I liked my 250m well enough, one thing I remember about it it was loud and Bright! Wish I still had it.

    in the same price range though I’ve got to give it to my Altamira. The sound is much more legitimate.

  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    edited October 2020 Posts: 464

    Years ago I had a Gitane 250m given to me by John Jorgensen. I felt the guitar was a bit wet and a bit harsh and took it to master luthier Paul Hostetter (RIP). Paul suggested changing the bridge so we got a DuPont number 1 bridge that Paul fitted to the guitar. The improvement in sound was dramatic. I sold that guitar through this forum a few years later and there are days when I wish I hadn't.

    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 880

    I had a 250m too and stupidly sold it. It was a great guitar and it always attracted comments about the quality of it's sound. I always put chamois leather behind all of my tailpieces. I buy the leather from the car section in my local supermarket, cut a section out and glue it to the back of the tailpiece. Once it's dried I then trim off the excess.

    Another thing I built myself is a mute which sits on the strings between the tailpiece and the bridge. This almost eliminates any ringing that can occur there.

    Can I ask what kind of bridge is on yours ? Mine had a stepped bridge but I've seen some with standard smooth type bridge.

    always learning
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