Greetings, I have a j-40mc Jumbo Martin with an interior pickup. My problem is the low e strings sustains to much causing what is close to feed back. I tried eq-ing it out but lose the sound. I'm new to NC, relocated from Laguna Beach, CA, and don't have access to a guitar shop as of yet. Is there some thing I can do to make this tolerable until I can get it professionally fixed. Thank you for your input.

Ed Fry

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Hi Ed,
(first of all I'm guessing you've tried a feedback buster?)
I've had the same problem myself with a customers Gibson jumbo that fed-back in A at the slightest sign of amplification - it was pretty much unusable to the guy.
A friend had the same issue with a top o' the line Martin, he called them and they effectively said "what do you want us to do, tell our luthiers to make less resonant guitars? ...'fraid not!"
fair point!

The easiest way out i could think of is 'in ear' monitoring, but you could experiment with adding mini braces etc....i feel you may be on a hiding to nothing, and its obviously undesirable to mess with a nice guitar in that way.
Tricky problem...
my customer had his guitar changed for free by the distibutor, so i never go the chance to try and fix it...i'd have started by trying a brace jack in different places and gone from there.
let us know how you get on,
good luck,
Hi Ed,

If I understand the problem correctly, the low E wants to howl when the guitar is amplified and you are happy enough with the guitar unamplified.

One idea might be to rig up a mute, like the Van Eps string damper, that sits on the E string just past the nut. Perhaps this could mount under the tuning machine washer so no permanent ugliness is inflicted.

I went looking for an image of the damper and look what I found:

Also, might this be a resonance of the internal pick up? If so, maybe a different pick up would work better. If not, maybe better (read that more expensive) EQ would help. Raven Labs is out of business, but they used to make a little parametric EQ that might not totally decimate the E string.

Good Luck,

Ed, did you mention type of pickup you've got in there, is it the thinline? Or did you have the Aura preamp everything put in? If it is simply the passive thinline with no onboard preamp, you might put a high quality bridgeplate pickup on. I switched a friend's Thinline (that he had installed into a beat-up Gibson, HA!), to a K&K western. It made a lot of difference. Since you've got problems with the bass, if you were to switch to K&K I'd go with the mini, since it is more midrange focused. Oh, just thought of this, do you have a phase circuit on your preamp/EQ? You might try switching the phase.
Just my ideas

Haven't heard of the Van Eps string Dampener. I'll look into it.

Thanks for getting back.

Ed Fry
Thanks Steve,

I love the sound of the guitar accousticly and through the PA except for that E string. The pickup has been in there since 97 and It didn't do this until about a year ago so I though it might be the bridge? Great forum, appreciate all the insightful responses.

Ed Fry
Ah... this has just started up. My thought then is that (if it is the thinline, the undersaddle jobby) it might be that somehow the underside of the saddle has become uneven, thus putting unequal preasure on the low e or that the saddle channel is getting bunky, and causing the same situation. I'd check those out.
That makes sense, I found a shop in fayetteville and will pass that along when I take it in. Until then it's the pool party guitar on the gig.


Ed Fry


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