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Author Topic:  Buzzing High Strings
Alan Watt


From:
Graton, CA, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2021 5:29 pm    
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Hi, I'm working on an old MSA S10, closest to a Sidekick model.
The higher strings-E, G#, D#, & F#-don't ring clean, and in bar positions higher on the neck, sound almost like a guitar with frets, "fretting out". It's a old style pull/release changer,and the top of the fingers that curve are a flat surface; there's no little groove for the string to sit in. Could that be the issue that's making them buzz?
It appears the buzz happens on open strings, and when I use the bar. I'm using a brand new bar, and either moving the bar over a bit onto those strings, and/or applying a bit more pressure. That helps a little, but I can tell they are still not Cool ringing true.
Any help would be appreciated...
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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2021 6:46 pm    
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The first thing I would check, How old is the strings on the guitar? Where the strings flex over the changer finger, The string will work harden, Which will make the strings stiffen and pick up off the changer finger a little, Will have a near Sitar sound to the string. Next thing after the buzzing sound they will break.

The top of the changer fingers need to have a smooth ark for the strings to contact the changer fingers, When in open position or when the string is raised or lowered.

The first rule to changer fingers is perfect flat smooth surface, If aluminum changer fingers get small groves in them from the strings. This itself can cause the problem you are describing.

Good Luck in finding the problem and a quick solution and back happy Steelin.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2021 12:41 am    
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Yes, try new strings first. Even on a new guitar, the high strings will start to buzz when they're nearing life's end. It may not solve the problem but it'll narrow it down.
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Danny Letz

 

From:
Old Glory,Texas, USA 79540
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2021 9:03 am    
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If it has nut rollers, make they are not vibrating in their slots. A little oil on them might help.
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Edward Dixon

 

From:
Crestview Florida
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2021 9:35 am    
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I was having a similar problem. I tried more pressure on the bar but that didn't eliminate the problem completely. I found that using my fingers to mute the strings behind the bar fixed my problem. I'm actually using a shorter lighter bar now.
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Alan Watt


From:
Graton, CA, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2021 10:53 am     Buzzing High Strings
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Brand new strings...
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2021 10:53 am    
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You should mute behind the strings anyway, but not doing so would highlight a nut roller problem.
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Alan Watt


From:
Graton, CA, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2021 1:20 pm    
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Ian Rae wrote:
You should mute behind the strings anyway, but not doing so would highlight a nut roller problem.

thanks; helpful. I'm pretty sure do just that, but when I sit down to attack the problem again, I'll make sure I do.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2021 2:48 pm    
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Of course I meant behind the bar, but you obviously got the message! Smile
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Vic Chaney

 

From:
Vallejo, CA, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2021 10:06 pm     Nut rollers are critical
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I think it is extremely important that the bar touch all of the strings evenly at the lower frets. The higher frets are not so critical, because a little pressure on the bar will get them all touching.

Many steels are not completely even at the lower frets.

My solution:
First, decide on the proper string gauges for each string. If one string is holding the bar off of other strings, then a finer gauge on that string may help the problem. But you can’t fudge the gauges of the strings too far.
Next, the nut rollers need to be reduced in diameter for strings that are up too high, meaning for strings that hold the bar a little distance from other strings. Clean and oil all of the nut rollers. For a string that is up too high: Loosen the string a little and pull it off of its roller. With a carborundum disk in a Dremel Moto-Tool, put it in the groove and reduce the diameter of the groove. The roller will spin very fast, and the diameter will be reduced evenly. Do it just a little, put the string back on, tune it up and see where you are. If you get every string touching evenly on the bar with it at the first fret, you have succeeded. You shouldn’t have to rely on bar pressure to eliminate buzzing. The weight of the bar plus your hand should be enough. There are different thicknesses of carborundum disks, so be sure not to use too thick of a disk for the thinner strings. Your dentist may have what you need if you can’t find it elsewhere. If he buys 100 at a time, he might just give you a couple. Use a rag and some masking tape to keep the dust away from other rollers and other important mechanical parts when you are using the disks. This is a bit of work, but in the long run you will have a steel that doesn’t buzz and is easier to play. And don’t ever vary from the string gauges that work. I started with a set of SIT strings, got the rollers all adjusted, and I always buy the same set with the same gauges.
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