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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Strings with pronounced highs...... more volume. ...

thumbpicker
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Apr 1st, 2019 09:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a couple of Martin guitars one is an older JM which they call a mini jumbo model. Plays well and sounds ok but doesn’t really carry the treble sound the way I feel it should. I’ve done the bone nut and saddle mod to it but still lacks something.
At an acoustic jam last week it seemed so anemic that when called to play leads it couldn’t be heard.

I switched from Martin SPs to elixirs to try and beef up the high end with little improvement. Anyone have a suggestion as to what could make this puppy bark?

I play a kind of Travis style fingerpicking method and need it to help out a bit more. Volume is down and it sounds tubby to me.
My Old D-16H is a bit better but not a lot..
Good break angle over the saddle on both but not a lot of ooommph! Out of them.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 1st, 2019 10:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

You've done all the right stuff to get more treble and bite out of the guitar...except!

Have you tried fingerpicks?

Plastic ones will add bite and high harmonics to the tone. metal fingerpicks, even moreso.

Some guitars just are dark sounding, and beyond simple mods, there's not a lot you can do.

Note: Elixir strings vary! The Nanowebs are considered an extremely bright (sometimes too bright) by many players. If you haven't tried that specific string, give it a shot.

Beyond this...get yourself an inspection mirror, put a bright (but cool) light inside your guitar, and carefully inspect it for loosened glue joints--especially between the braces and the top & back of the guitar. Loose braces can make a guitar sound dull--even if they don't buzz.

Viera
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Apr 1st, 2019 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

80/20s tend to be a little brighter, but as Peegoo noted "some guitars just are dark sounding".

I've sold a number of guitars both acoustic and electric that just didn't have enough high end zing up the neck despite otherwise having nothing else wrong.

Maple and mahogany b/s acoustics tend to be brighter than rosewood, but that's just a generalization. I currently have 2 rosewood b/s acoustics that are plenty bright up the necks.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 1st, 2019 10:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Another consideration, albeit a rarer one, is an overly-humidified guitar.

Keeping an acoustic in its case (or in a room) between 45%-55% humidity will keep the wood healthy and sounding good.

If you're over-humidifying, the swampy conditions can make your guitar more thud-like than sparkly.

Guitars that are very dry usually sound nice and zingy, but they also have that pesky problem of distorting around the neck block, cracking the top or back, and generally disassembling themselves.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
*******

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Apr 1st, 2019 12:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Fingerpicks might help . I've tried the metal ones not plastic but losing the feel of the string is something I dread.
I have looked it over inside and out even had a guitar tech I think a lot of do that . Neither one of us saw a thing. Mahogany bodies on both.
I put on Nanowebs which usually brighten up anything for quite a while. It sounds subdued to me but humidity levels are pretty stable where they are kept. 40-45 percent by 2 hygrometers. I run a humidifier for the whole music area.

I get the dig in to solo aspect of acoustic jams but this is way more than I'm used to.
Both of these guitars are mahogany back and sides although the JM is a laminate. The D-16H is a solid body.

At first I thought it was my ears but everyone there was quieting down to hear the lead stuff and still commenting on it being way too quiet.
I may have to do some shopping..

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 1st, 2019 01:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, mahogany can be pretty mellow (generally) compared to the usual spruce. Some mahoganys are fairly soft and can approach the pillow-like tones of cedar.

When you go shopping, be sure to take your guitar with you, and have someone else play it and any prospective purchases while you sit in front of them about 10 feet away.

I mention this because different playing environments can have a marked effect on the tone of a guitar, and the ears can and will play tricks on you.

Having your guitar there will allow you to know without a doubt whether another guitar is brighter and louder than yours.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Apr 3rd, 2019 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

Peegoo, good thought about hauling it along. It's just a frustrating thing for me as I mostly played out solo and always plugged in. Playing in acoustic jams without amplification is truly a different animal. In my case a quite quiet animal!

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Apr 3rd, 2019 09:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

Maybe you should take up the banjo. No problem cutting through the mix there.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Apr 4th, 2019 07:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

No,no a thousand times no.... a banjo playing friend was trying to show me how to play his once. My wife who is a very patient soul waited till he was going and when he’d walked out the door looked me dead in the eye and said” Get it out of your mind now! “.
A mans gotta know his limitations. A woman has to point them out !

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 4th, 2019 08:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

When your wife speaks to you like you're a five-year-old, you better pay attention and seriously consider the consequences.

Good job.

However! I have a couple of tenor banjos I tune like the top four strings on a guitar (Tommy Tedesco, anyone?), and that makes the chord shapes identical. These are small--like big ukuleles--and stupid loud.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Apr 4th, 2019 10:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Aaah so that’s it, I’ve wondered why my wife didn’t want to come up and live on the farm with me. Can you actually own a farm and not have a banjo?

Maybe a FDP lawyer can set me straight. Not my case but, if you bring a banjo home and your wife “Banjo Abandons” you do you have a case or can she use the banjo against you in a cour of law?

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Apr 4th, 2019 02:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have built two banjos and like them, but I recognize that not everyone feels that...

...way.

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Strings with pronounced highs...... more volume. ...




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