1. #1
    Hello, fine folks of JazzGuitar! I’ve lurked on these forums for years, but just registered.

    Now, I’ve seen a lot of players sing praises about Mr. Wu, and I am in the process of finalising the specs on an 18” S400 CES like guitar, with two set humbucking pickups. This is because i would only play unamplified during practice sessions, or intimate sessions with one more guitar. For the most part, this would be played through a chinese imitation of a fender 57 tweed amp, or a roland jc40.

    Now here’s my question for the Mr. Wu guitar players here: How much difficulty do you have with feedback when using an amp or playing in a band with other instruments? Note that i play jazz, but also blues and blues rock.

    Thank you!


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    My original Gibson Super-400 CES (1963) is not a light guitar, built with a rather thick top and therefor not as susceptible to feedback as a lighter-built instrument. I have little trouble using it with a larger band including horns and drums or with an Organ-Trio. However, if you dial in a lot of bass on the amp and sit too close to it (worse, when it's an open back amp) you're in for a headache. Under more controlled circumstances you should be able to control your guitar - experiment with your setup, every room will be different and a parametric EQ pedal (or a 10 band graphic EQ) between the guitar and the amp will help with dialing back those frequencies that cause the most feedback.
    All this pertains to practically all hollowbody guitars.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    They are carved solid woods. They will feed back very easily.

  5. #4
    That makes sense, Gitman. I think the top’s thickness is 5-6mm, but I don’t know if this is considered thick or thin compared to the standard archtop.

    Spook, that is true. I guess it would be worse with a floating pickup and a free vibrating top. I don’t know if it is still the case with two heavy humbuckers bolted to it, so i wanted to ask.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Lots of posts on how to avoid feedback. Solutions include

    • body, guitar and amp positioning
    • roll off some bass
    • adjust eq
    • stuff something inside the sound holes (not practical to do regularly if you play lots of unplugged)
    • temporarily seal the sound holes (Doug's Plugs are my solution, but quite expensive)

  7. #6
    Thank you Ray175. I’ll look into Doug’s Plugs.

    i wanted to see if any Mr. Wu archtop owners were on and could tell me if they thought the feedback was more manageable, or less for them (and if low gain or low overdrive was at all possible)

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by poetonthemountaintop
    Thank you Ray175. I’ll look into Doug’s Plugs.

    i wanted to see if any Mr. Wu archtop owners were on and could tell me if they thought the feedback was more manageable, or less for them (and if low gain or low overdrive was at all possible)
    Of course some overdrive is "possible" - it all depends on whether you need to play LOUD, competing with heavy drums and electric bass etc. The very young Robben Ford used a 60's super-400 CES for a while when he played in Jimmy Witherspoon's band, through a Fender Super Reverb combo. AFAIK he did not stuff anything inside his guitar. Kenny Burrell taped up the F-holes on his Super400 , so does Henry Johnson (he uses a Heritage Golden Eagle/L5 CES type guitar) and I never had a real problem with my Super. You'll have to see for yourself how your particular guitar reacts and go from there. My guess is that most owners of "Wu Guitars" have chosen a model with a floating pickup and a correspondingly lighter build/thinner top plate ...

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I have a Wu Super400 copy. It came with a floater, but I routed it and installed an SD Benedetto A6 pickup in it. I have no use at all for a bridge pickup. I've had no problems with feedback, but I don't play it that loud, nor with a tube amp. Do not play in front of the amp, and try not to be in front of the bass amp nor the drums. Avoiding feedback is, in my somewhat limited experience, more a matter of positioning than anything else. That and not having the amp turned way up. I prefer having the amp volume rather low and the guitar volume up, which seems to help prevent feedback and allow quickly lowering the volume on the guitar and stopping any developing wail.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I had a wonderful L-5 copy made by Mr Wu. His archtops are like Eastman made of a thin top. I didnt notice that they were more or less prone to feedback in comparison to a Gibson L-5. I would never consider such a guitar to play with overdrive neverthe less. But if you will too then a 2 pickup version surely is better. Also you might ask Mrs Lora to copy the exact thickness of the GIbson archtops which i think are a little bit thicker and that makes a fatter amplified sound.
    That being said: it aint possible a all in one guitar... if it plays great unamplified then with a Humbucker it sound thinner because (probably...) the energy of the string goes to the wood and not to the pickup? the reason i really don`t know.
    I would consider a laminate guitar if i were to play louder at live places.
    Have a good luck with your buy.