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Old 04-29-2019, 01:24 AM
dv5140ca dv5140ca is offline
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Default D String Buzz fretted at 1, 2 and 3 - nowhere else

Hi all,

I have a fairly new Martin D Jr E Sapele (2018 not 2019 model). I can't seem to get rid of a buzz on the d string. Here are the details:
[LIST]
  • Open D, fine
  • Fret at 1st, 2nd, and 3rd - audible buzz.
  • Any other frets, fine.
  • No other strings buzz anywhere.
  • Guitar came strung with mediums, currently it has EJ17 Phosphor Bronze, Medium, 13-56.
  • I have had EJ16 Lights on it as well, same problem with buzz
  • Only if you do the most light, quiet, gentle of strums does it not buzz. Strumming anything harder than crazy gentle, and flicking with a thumb or finger will cause a buzz.
  • Guitar was labelled as plekked when bought new in the summer.
  • Humidity in the house measures around 50% constantly.
  • We live in a compound in the middle of nowhere in the Middle East; there is zero chance of getting it setup anywhere...I have read lots of different suggestions online from AGF for setting up guitars and do a decent job with them based on taking my time, measuring multiple times, going slow etc.
  • Action at 12th: Low E just under 2.5mm, High E just under 2.0mm
  • In general, it is my 11y.o. daughters guitar, but I have found myself playing it a tonne over the last few months as it is downstairs and my D-18 lives in the bedroom. She doesn't care, or doesn't even process the sound, but the buzz annoys me and it is clearly audible when strumming.

I have looked around online, and haven't seen the exact problem I have. I have carefully adjusted the truss rod to see what happens...not the solution as it takes the action up too much, i.e. the Low is is like 3.1mm or more at the point the buzz goes away.

What does the population think the problem/solution might be?

If it is a high fret(s) does it seem weird that it only occurs on one string in three positions?

If we go with high fret, how might you suggest I fix that? Jerry rig something with a wood clamp? Rubber Mallet?

Thanks for any help or suggestions. Bear in mind, it is impossible to take for setup anywhere, so it will be me following through on stuff...

Derek
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:55 AM
Athens Athens is offline
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Default Fret Buzz

Congrats on your new guitar.

It doesn't sound like a relief issue so adjusting the truss rod probably won't cure it. It sounds to me as if it's a fret issue and/or the nut slot for that string isn't cut properly or combination of those?

As it's new to you I'd take it back to the shop where you bought it and, politely, insist on a proper set up.

Let us know what you find out.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:01 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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My guess is that the 4th fret is just a bit high at that string. I wouldn't try to do a repair (rubber mallet!) yourself.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:19 AM
mercy mercy is offline
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you could mail it to a tec for work but that adds $150 to the cost of the fix. Taking back to where you bought it is the best idea to start with. If not you could mix up some superglue to raise the nut slot of the string and then file it to the proper height but thats not recommended for the average person. You could buy a nut from the mfg or get a Tusq from ebay or Stewart Mcdonald etc.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:51 AM
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DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dv5140ca View Post
....What does the population think the problem/solution might be? ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
My guess is that the 4th fret is just a bit high at that string. I wouldn't try to do a repair (rubber mallet!) yourself.
This is likely the culprit, or very similar. It’s likely just everything “settling” in. It’s time for a good set up.
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:40 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Take a metal straight edge long enough to straddle only the 3rd, 4th and 5th frets. If the straight edge rocks on the 4th fret, it's too high. (You can also try laying the straight edge on frets 1, 2 and 3 and sliding it along until it reaches the 4th. Does the end of the straight edge bump into the 4th?)

Look carefully at the juncture between the bottom of the 4th fret and the surface of the fingerboard. There should be no gap. If there is a gap, the fret isn't fully seated and can be squeezed or hammered down. If the fret is fully seated, hitting with a hammer won't accomplish anything.

If the 4th is too high and fully seated, you'll need to remove a small amount from the top of fret 4. There are a number of ways of doing that: we can discuss that if that proves to be the issue.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:23 PM
dv5140ca dv5140ca is offline
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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

I did the measuring with the straight edge trick that charles Tauber suggested. The fret was high, just the slightest amount right around the d string area, which I don't know how it happens when pleked, but whatever!

I asked a colleague of mine who has been playing decades, and whose opinion I trusted, about it. We first tried a clamp jig he had, to make sure the fret was seated properly. It was. He then suggested very fine sand paper and simply go over the D string area very lightly a few times, then test, repeat as necessary.

I am happy to say that this did the trick and now the buzzing is gone.



Thanks for all the suggestions.
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--------------------------------------------------------------
Matin D-18 -Dad's newest toy
Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood Concert Hall-Daddy's Toy Part II
Martin Dreadnaught Jr-E Sapele - Daughter's Toy
Yamaha FG JR2S - Son's Toy
Gretsch Jim Dandy - Seafoam Green - Everybody's Toy
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