I put down my Gibson A4 for a few months, enamored of my new Eric Darnton OM and even more enamored by the sweet ringing of my new Weber Aspen I (little flattop made of maple). I've played these new instruments like mad while my Gibson was out for a fret job (nothing could be done for the original frets, they were really rutted!)
Have my Gibson back and when playing it near my Weber, I hear lots fewer highs than I expect and less sustain on the high end. It has killer lows and volume, but does not ring nearly like the little Weber.
So impressed, I changed out the Elixers on the A4 and put on the same GHS strings as my Weber. A little brighter but not a big increase in highs and sustain up there. I changed out the bridge for a quick comparison (to an old cheapie rosewood bridge I used once) just to give it a listen, no big difference. I know the nut has broken loose and now floats. I know I have much lower action than before and the original bridge is almost flat on the wheels (and no buzzing, amazing action now!)
I put a mirror inside with a light and don't see anything loose or broken (I didn't know that Gibson put one little brace under that top, and not even under the bridge :-)
I'd like an opinion, likely I've become accustomed to the sweet, ringing highs of the flattop and just noticing the difference? Or are there other things I might check that would damp the highs / sustain on the Gibson? I know there is a local guy who has a similar instrument and I plan to find him in the coming weeks to compare mine to his just for a reality check.
Background (may or may not be interesting) -
I used to have very good hearing, I know its changed some amount, I got to my 50's now (as my friend once said, "that's what happens if you don't die, you get old...") My top range is not nearly what it used to be, but I still enjoy hearing it (at more volume, perhaps).
I have my Gibson A4 (1926) since 1972, lucky enough to receive it as a gift when all I had was a crummy plywood mando with warped neck at the time. Changed my life. All original, I've played it off and on for the years, in and out of the rain, snow and sleet. I've even taken it hiking up the Appalachian Trail (Delaware Water Gap, top, to play a few tunes for a friend there.) It has done me well and still looks good. The case shows all the aging, its done its job.
Clark Savage Turner
Los Osos, CA.