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Folk music? I don't know no other kind but folk music. Did you ever hear a horse sing it? - Big Bill Broonzy

Author Topic: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??  (Read 2226 times)

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Offline Steve Pajik

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Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« on: April 02, 2015, 06:43:37 AM »
Howdy, y'all!

Been a Weenie member for about 5 years, but more as an interested lurker than an active participant in the discussions. So on that note, I'll say "Hi!" again in the (likely) event that nobody recognizes my name.  :)

I just picked up a $200 (CDN) Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy. It's a lovely little instrument and the price was right. To my ears, it really nails that retro sound I love so much. I slapped some D'Adarrio electric flatwound strings on it (yeah, I'm weird, but I can't stand string squeaks!!) and it is pure delight to play.

Here's a pic I found on the internet:


The only thing that's bothering me about it (more than it should bother me, probably!) is that, at standard pitch, there are "wolf tones" around the D notes (open d string and 5th fret A string in particular). These notes ring out noticeably louder than the other notes. I've tried tuning the guitar up or down a half step, but there seems to be some wolf tone leakage into the note directly next to the primary wolf tone, too. That is, if I set it up so the 4th fret on the A string is the wolf tone, the open D string still rings out noticeably louder than all the other notes (except the 4th fret on the A string, of course).

I've tried using a capo at the 1st or 2nd fret, but that just moves the problem to a different fret (plus, I love the thicker sound of the guitar sans capo). Does anyone have any ideas, tricks, etc, about how to "tame the wolf" so to speak? Would it be worth my while to take it to a luthier and explain my situation to him? I'd rather not have to change my fingerpicking technique to accommodate the wolf tones, mostly because I'm not talented enough to do that!!

Or will I [gulp] just have to accept the darn wolf as a fact of life? hehe. I realize wolf tones are often the consequence of a poorly made instrument, one that doesn't resonate properly. Did I simply get what I paid for and thus too bad for me?  :(

Thanks in advance for any and all responses!

Stephen

« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 06:46:54 AM by Deaf Steever »

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 08:56:10 AM »
If the wolf tones are caused by the resonance of the body of that particular guitar than that's going to be a difficult problem to eliminate. In bowed instruments they often attach some kind of attenuator to the instrument to change the natural frequency, usually by clipping something to the length of string between the bridge and tailpiece, but I'm not sure what analogous alteration could be easily made to a pin-bridge guitar.

Offline Slack

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2015, 10:52:14 AM »
Quote
I realize wolf tones are often the consequence of a poorly made instrument, one that doesn't resonate properly. Did I simply get what I paid for and thus too bad for me?  :(

Wolf tones are the stuff of luthiers.  Maybe you could take this as an opportunity and start a luthier career!  ;D 

the advantage of cheap poorly made instruments is that you can experiment.  I think if i had this instrument I'd try to stiffen the top with additional bracing, maybe some tall thin bracing. you might consult a luthier and they may have a way to temporarily stiffen certain parts, so you cold test and listen - otherwise it is kind of a crap shoot.  Repeatedly gluing and shaving off braces is tedious through the sound hole.  Kind of thinking out loud here....

Offline harriet

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 11:41:53 AM »
I'd return it for exchange if possible - its probably just that particular one, or find out from Gretche if this is covered in their warranty. You might try shaking it a little to see if a brace is loose.

If not exchangeable I'd do a test that I read online where it was suggested that you attach some blue tac to the underside where the vibration is the loudest - but I am small so my and and arm can reach.

I'd also try low tension strings - dr brand probably and use some nut lube to see if I could influence a change in the dynamic.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 11:43:27 AM by harriet »

Offline Bed Bug Bill

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2015, 02:46:22 PM »
Stick a tee shirt inside it,Rizla cover ,across the saddle,and/ or nut.....saddle,nut or loose brace.If you  suspect a loose brace....trap it,with a couple of rare earth magnets.Get inventive...and you'll find it.
Because it's there ,when you capo,best bet is the saddle. Try graphite,pencil,on the nut and saddle.

Offline Steve Pajik

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 06:29:06 AM »
Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas, folks!  :)

Stephen

Offline blueshome

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 01:18:18 PM »
Try different strings?

Offline Steve Pajik

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2015, 02:22:05 PM »
Try different strings?

Good idea. Even though I love the strings I have on there, I must admit that I didn't notice any wolf tones when I first brought the guitar home (that is, when it still had the strings from the factory on it). Maybe I'll experiment with different string brands, gauges, etc, before resorting to anything more drastic!  :)

Thanks!

Offline frankie

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2015, 02:28:45 PM »
Could it also be the room you're in? Maybe it's too "live" and you need something else in it that will absorb sound rather than reflect it...

Offline pete1951

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Re: Wolf tones on Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy - any taming tips??
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2015, 08:44:32 AM »
Been on holiday , so late reply...
You could try a set of brass bridge pins, I have never used them, but they will be much heavier than wood and may change the wolf-tone to a different note
PT

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