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PolarBear / Ken Swanson 9 days ago
These guys really do it. Hey & also, .. on a guitar topic. Probably most of us live in variable humidity condition areas. And, I belong to the "If aint broke, don't fix it" club, .. but, I noticed that one of my favorite guitars was sounding tinny (string buzz), in the middle of the neck, especially when using some force, striking the strings .. so checking out this subject online, if one has a capo on the first fret, and hold down on last fret (the other side of fingerboard) .. in the middle fret area, there should be a slight gap, of .008 to .015 of an inch, for the best setting. And, I didn't have anything, of a gap. When I got to loosening the truss rod nut, .. I was distressed to find that trying to loosen it, (thus allowing the string pressure to pull the neck in more of a bowed way) .. it was already pretty loose. So, .. I loosened it completely, .. and let it set overnight. This morning, I believe that the neck had changed a bit, .. the tune had dropped, being a bit on the flatter side. So, .. tuned it back up, .. and I checked the gap. (I do have a feeler gauge, in my box of music goodies) .. and I rechecked for gap, .. and I've got around .008", now. The truss rod nut, being totally loose. I think, if I hadn't lucked out, .. I would have to resort to changing to thicker strings, and hopefully would have achieved the right result. .. ? .. I don't own a capo, .. so I used a plastic lined hand clamp, that worked well enough, as a capo substitute. And if you don't have a feeler gauge set, .. I measured Post-It notes, .. and 2 notes = .008". So, that's how little this gap is. If you're a thrasher, .. you probably want to be at .015" gap. Results will vary, .. :) Anyway, .. I can hear the difference, now.


     

2 people like this: Teek, sriracha

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ucantx   commented 6 days ago


Ken, this may get lengthy.... I don't know in what area you live, but I'm in Florida, and the very high heat and roller-coaster-ride humidity this summer is whacking all my acoustics... You are correct on your assumptions about causes for the buzzing, and corrections. Two things...you need to put a quality capo on there, with proper "pad" for neck radius of your guitar....all this you already know...but here's something you may NOT know....and I'm assuming you're right-handed. After capo is carefully on, slowly and carefully (evenly and equally) pressing on all strings, just behind (whichever) fret, NOW, at the bridge end of your guitar, take the HEEL of your RIGHT hand (picking hand) and push down sharply, with a little force, on all strings at once, like you are trying to push them all down into the sound hole. That re-tensions all the strings, gets them ALL back in tune (with the capo now on) and should reduce or eliminate (most times) any buzzing. (Press firmly with right hand heel, like a sharp, stout quick push/punch.....but not so hard as to damage the instrument). This procedure is standard practice for pro's on stage, live performance, or in studio work. Hope that helps... Got a feeling your makeshift capo had an uneven bottom surface, and buzzing came from under that capo....guessing. Doug (aka "Crossbow")

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PolarBear   commented 6 days ago


You poor guy, .. Florida's a sauna now, isn't it? Minnesota's no picnic, either .. but, I do now have a room specific A/C unit, just this season, so that helps ALOT .. that, and what I mentioned above, the adjusting.. I'm good, for now, .. for that instrument. Yes Doug, .. I agree, .. a clamp, though it was padded is/was crude, .. I plan on getting a capo, the next I stop into my music store, .. or Amazon, (if it comes to that) just to have it for this kind of operation. The clamp (in lieu of a capo), was just because I didn't have enough hands to do everything, at one time. It was used just for obtaining a gap measurement, .. in my case, I had no gap, in the beginning. In other words, the neck had no bow. If there were another person in the room, .. I could have had them press down the string on first and last frets, at the same time, .. and I could have done my feeler gauge measuring thing, well enough, .. without clamp/capo assistance. It does make sense, to me .. it's the fret that's one closer to the bridge, than the one you pressing down on, .. that is the one that is closest to buzzing, if not outright buzzing, right? And as you enter the middle zone of the fingerboard, and use a fret there .. furthest away from the vertical support of either the bridge or nut, .. it becomes more & more possible, to buzz .. thus, the need to induce a neck bowing of .008" or more, to remedy this. Most of the time, I play in the 6th through 13th fret area for what I do, .. and that was OK, even before I reset the truss rod. But, for whatever reason, I recently dropped to the 3rd to the 5th fret (roughly) for a bit .. and whoa! .. this tinniness was prevalent,. OK, .. just to be clear .. these are NOT new strings, that I've got on this guitar. TO ME, .. reading through your routine, .. IF new strings were just put on .. then yes, .. this extra stressing will speed up the process the inevitable stretching that is going to happen from the normal playing, of new strings, anyway. And, possibly too, if one is having a mis-set problem like I was, (older strings, that are all stretched out) .. you MIGHT be bending the neck, and changing it just like adjusting the truss rod does, through the pressing of the strings, as you've suggested? Like I said, .. presently my truss rod isn't pulling on the neck at all, the wrench spins freely, no tension, in other words .. I was lucky to have just enough string tension, in normal tuning, .. to bend the neck to the right amount of bow, in the middle. Maybe, .. the neck will move yet, some more? I've never watched this kind of thing, this closely, til now, .. so, I don't know if that will happen or not. Finally, .. I like finer strings. So, .. I'm pretty sure that bumping everything up a gauge thicker, on a new set of strings, should pull at the neck more, .. and yes, .. probably, I will readjust the truss rod, again. Hey, thanks for the feedback, .. nice talking shop, sometimes. ... :)

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ucantx   commented 6 days ago


Ken, that's what I get for hurriedly flying thru messages, collabs, etc and responding to your post... I had a tight window of time yesterday..... Anyway, now I fully see your dilemma. More of a luthier problem. Well, I have a similar problem with one of my acoustics here. Done all the tests you've run on yours etc. I know what the prob is on it: I put new nut and saddle on it...slotting each for heavy strings, played it now and then, with about a dozen string changes, over time..... and then changed to light strings. When I tuned up, there was the buzzing.... Slots in the nut were wide enough to allow those skinnies to drop too close to fret one. My problem is I want light guage strings on that guitar, so gotta put a new nut and saddle on it, and BONE, this time... You might have a similar situation on yours. Ya know, you'd think with everything computerized all around us, we oughta be able to just push a button or give a voice command to fix every problem....except on guitars, right? Good to meet you, Ken and I've enjoyed the chat. Let us know what you do to get that guitar "un-buzzed"..... Doug

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PolarBear   commented 6 days ago


Yup, .. I think I'm good, now .. and as you were saying, .. good to keep in mind .. if you change anything, even something as innocent as string sizes, .. there maybe consequences.