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  #1  
Old 04-20-2018, 10:50 AM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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Default Eliminating D string saddle buzz on a new guitar after string gauge change

So... I just got this new Bourgeois, and it is really an incredible sounding instrument. Digging it a lot.

However - I switched off the stock strings (I believe their dreads come w/ .013s?) for my preferred gauge, .011 - .052 (D'Addario custom lights).

Most everything is fine, except for the D string (and maybe a little bit on the G?), where I get a harsh tone from the open string and the first few frets.

Here is a clip illustrating this:

http://www.boblefevremusic.com/temp/d_string_issue.mp3

I believe this to be an issue at the saddle end. You can hear it improve and then eventually disappear as I get to the 4th fret (5th note). Hopefully it comes through in the clip - I tried to approach the mic in a way that accentuated it.

I suspect this is due to the string gauge change, and that what needs to happen is that the leading edge of the saddle needs to drop away from the string more abruptly. I'm wondering if this is the sort of thing I could accomplish on my own, as I live a fair distance from any luthiers (yay Wyoming?), and if so, the best way to go about this to alleviate the problem w/o making things worse/introducing new issues. I'm fairly handy...

Any help would be appreciated!

Last edited by LookerBob; 04-20-2018 at 01:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2018, 01:05 PM
LeightonBankes LeightonBankes is offline
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your link is wrong, here is the right one though
http://www.boblefevremusic.com/temp/d_string_issue.mp3
Sounds to me like the string is brushing the fret just barely. Not uncommon when you go to lighter strings because they have less tension. Easiest solution is to go up a guage and comprimise on 12's, other than that you could loosen the truss rod a tad or raise the action
Edit; thinking a little harder, the lighter strings aren't pulling on the neck as hard and you need to back off the truss rod (100%)
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2018, 01:23 PM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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Thanks for the link fix... Not sure how I did that.

Pretty sure it is not the frets, and I did back off the truss rod to start. Very audibly at the saddle end, so it is either the saddle, or there is some bizarre acoustic trickery at work that is very much making it sound that way.

I have a set of 12s I will try and see what that does for me.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:00 PM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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Also, flexing the neck does not alleviate it at all, which also makes me think it is not the fret. If I fret the 1st and check space between fret and string at the 2nd, there is quite a bit of room.
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:37 PM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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.012s on there now... still noticeable. Plenty of string clearance for the first fret and on up. Pretty sure it's at the bridge.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:56 PM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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Is the string seated properly? the ball end especially?
How about the break point of the saddle? Does it come to a point or is there a flat surface where the string could sizzle off of?

Perhaps try to put back the 13s on the guitar to check its the strings themselves, and not another issue that rose when you removed the strings
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:11 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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I believe you are on the right track. It should be a simple job.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2018, 06:46 PM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
Is the string seated properly? the ball end especially?
Yes, for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
How about the break point of the saddle? Does it come to a point or is there a flat surface where the string could sizzle off of?
This is my feeling on what is going on, though it doesn't look particularly flat to me... pictured:

http://www.boblefevremusic.com/temp/...ois_saddle.jpg
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:49 AM
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Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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I'd guess it's the middle two strings, based on the photo. It's not so much the total break angle, which is fine, but how it rolls over behind the point of contact. I can''t see the bottom two, the top two look fine, but the middle two may not roll over fast enough to prevent some vibrations "seeping" past the point of contact and producing an unwanted tone. I listened to the clip, and I'm not really sure I could hear what you're talking about, my hearing isn't that good, but there may have been a little saddle rattle. I'd start with the middle two strings. Try slipping a piece of paper between the string and the saddle.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:17 PM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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Yeah, it is the middle two.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:55 AM
LookerBob LookerBob is offline
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Slipped a piece of paper in there just to see - definitely makes things no better/possibly worse (ensuring it isn't sticking paper out into the string):

http://www.boblefevremusic.com/temp/...ng_issue_2.mp3

I think I need to increase the sharpness of the fall away on the leading edge of the saddle - in the pic that seems like the difference between the E/A strings and the D/G strings, and jives with what I'm thinking is going on - but I'm nervous enough to maybe drive it to Colorado and have someone else do it.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:06 PM
Peegoo Peegoo is offline
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Swap that buzzing string for another one and see if that clears things up.

Seems goofy until it happens to you and you discover it's a simple fix.

Sometimes you get a bad string and it vibrates in an odd way.
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2018, 12:34 AM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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Could you post a closeup of the saddle's contact points? Side view preferably.
Filing away at the extra part of the saddle is simple.

And just thought of this too. Is there enough of a break angle? The string length behind where it leaves the saddle and the bridge pin may be rattling
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