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Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun May 05, 2019 9:37 pm

I have a Peerless Monarch that has a quirk that I would like to adjust.

The problem is when releasing my finger from a note, the bright buzz sound is very noticeable. This is much louder of a buzz than on other guitars when releasing a finger. This is not fret buzz due to a bad setup. That has been adjusted. This is the resonant sound of the guitar body being very bright and picks up and amplifies that buzz sound as the finger is released.

The guitar has been setup with a new nut and frets and leveled by a Luthier and plays and feels great.

The guitar has a wooden floating bridge.

When my helper puts a finger on top of the string where it sits on the bridge and pushes down, the zinginess associated with a fret-hand finger release is greatly reduced. The zingy buzzy sound is reduced down to the normal amount I am used to on other guitars. I like the tone, but this reduces the sustain.

So it would seem that some adjustment to the bridge could cure the finger-release-zinginess problem.

It's like a momentary buzz that resonates the guitar as the finger comes off the fret.

I can also duplicate the buzz by plucking an open string and touching the string lightly with the pick. On this guitar. I can wake up a very loud buzz for a moment doing that. Other guitars (including hollow bodies I have) don't resonate that way. So I would like to cut that zingy-buzz down.

Does anyone know of this problem or how to address it?

Perhaps something under the feet of the wooden bridge?
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun May 05, 2019 11:06 pm

Do you have round wound or flat wound strings on it? I have flat wounds on my arch top and, not surprisingly, I don't have that problem, nor on my gypsy jazz guitar which has Argentine strings (silver plated copper roundwound). Putting something under the bridge feet will probably kill the sustain but is easy to try.
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun May 05, 2019 11:45 pm

Flat wounds.

I've never tried round wounds on this. I wonder if that will make the zinginess better or worse?
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon May 06, 2019 2:14 am

The zingy sounds happen on the unwound strings too. Especially B string just above the 12th fret.

Here is a little noodling around. First I make the zingy sound on purpose on the B string and then the D string so you can hear what I mean.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lSy0v ... T6-8FhGhX1

Then I play a bit and you can hear when it happens sometimes.

This is recorded with the guitar unplugged with my portable stereo recorder 1' away from where I pick, with the mics in XY.

Zingy - see what I mean?


You can feel the guitar body resonate when it hits a strong zingy resonance. I would like to find a way to dampen this.
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon May 06, 2019 9:23 am

I can't access the file on the dodgy internet here, will try when I get home tomorrow.

Just a thought though, could it be the non sounding part of the string between the tailpiece and bridge resonating? Easy to try damping that. Both my archtop and gypsy guitar do so, just weave some fabric or thin foam through the strings.
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby John Egan » Mon May 06, 2019 9:51 am

DC-Choppah wrote:The zingy sounds happen on the unwound strings too. Especially B string just above the 12th fret.

Here is a little noodling around. First I make the zingy sound on purpose on the B string and then the D string so you can hear what I mean.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lSy0v ... T6-8FhGhX1

Then I play a bit and you can hear when it happens sometimes.

This is recorded with the guitar unplugged with my portable stereo recorder 1' away from where I pick, with the mics in XY.

Zingy - see what I mean?


You can feel the guitar body resonate when it hits a strong zingy resonance. I would like to find a way to dampen this.

Is the break angle over the bridge steep enough? Sometimes a shallow break angle can produce unwanted resonance. What kind of tailpiece does the guitar have ? Is there any opportunity to increase the break angle ?
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue May 07, 2019 3:03 am

Sam Spoons wrote:I can't access the file on the dodgy internet here, will try when I get home tomorrow.

Just a thought though, could it be the non sounding part of the string between the tailpiece and bridge resonating? Easy to try damping that. Both my archtop and gypsy guitar do so, just weave some fabric or thin foam through the strings.

Thanks for that.

I already have a piece of felt that I weave between the strings there to dampen that high pitched ringing from that effect.
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue May 07, 2019 3:26 am

John Egan wrote:Is the break angle over the bridge steep enough? Sometimes a shallow break angle can produce unwanted resonance. What kind of tailpiece does the guitar have ? Is there any opportunity to increase the break angle ?
Regards, John

You may be on to something.

Here are some photos.

Image

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkcTXoLsDqKlm2NgLSSmbyszjs_h

Image

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkcTXoLsDqKlm2L-mpTSBmrUIzzG

Image

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkcTXoLsDqKlm2E9tSY66q37-Nb_

Image

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkcTXoLsDqKlm2AUQocx47gB3hCu

It looks like the break angle is very shallow at the bridge.

Can you see a way to increase the break angle?
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby John Egan » Tue May 07, 2019 9:25 am

DC-Choppah wrote:
It looks like the break angle is very shallow at the bridge.

Can you see a way to increase the break angle?


Unfortunately, I can't access the photos.

Two things spring to mind :
Is it possible to wrap the strings under the tailpiece bar ? I realise that this might not be possible, depending on the design, but it's worth mentioning.
How much relief do you have in the neck ? Are you able to reduce the relief and then raise the action slightly to increase the break angle ?
Is the hinge on the tailpiece adjustable for angle ? This is probably unlikely.

Maybe the experienced luthiers here could make better suggestions.

Regards, John
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue May 07, 2019 9:44 am

John Egan wrote:Unfortunately, I can't access the photos.

I've inserted them directly into the post above.

H
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue May 07, 2019 9:49 am

It doesn't look possible to increase the break angle though it doesn't look too shallow to me TBH. WRT passing under the tailpiece bar with a floating tailpiece that would make no difference other than to make the tailpiece sit higher above the body but is not possible with the design. of tailpiece on this guitar anyway.

Nice looking guitar BTW :thumbup:

edit :- I still can't access the audio file BTW
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby John Egan » Tue May 07, 2019 11:23 am

Thanks for the help with the photos, Hugh.

As Sam Said, the break angle looks OK to me. What gauge strings are you using ? I am trying to think of ways to increase downward pressure on the bridge.
It is a nice looking guitar and sounds good too.
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed May 08, 2019 1:58 am

John Egan wrote:What gauge strings are you using ?

11's

http://www.daddario.com/DADProductDetai ... ght__11_50

I would certainly consider changing string type and gauge if that would help. I like the tone of heavier strings and wold consider that next if it might help with the zingies.

Heavier strings = more tension right? Pushing down harder on the bridge? I am used to playing 11's or 12's.
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby John Egan » Wed May 08, 2019 12:54 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:
John Egan wrote:What gauge strings are you using ?

11's

http://www.daddario.com/DADProductDetai ... ght__11_50

I would certainly consider changing string type and gauge if that would help. I like the tone of heavier strings and wold consider that next if it might help with the zingies.

Heavier strings = more tension right? Pushing down harder on the bridge? I am used to playing 11's or 12's.


I would have thought that 11s or 12s were quite heavy enough to put the right pressure on the bridge.
You said that a luthier had made and fitted a new nut for you, so I would turn my attention to the bridge itself. Is there anything unusual about it. When removed does it rattle or is it cracked. Are the adjusters secure.
I'm running out of things to suggest now - sorry.
Regards, John
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu May 09, 2019 1:52 pm

John Egan wrote:You said that a luthier had made and fitted a new nut for you, so I would turn my attention to the bridge itself. Is there anything unusual about it. When removed does it rattle or is it cracked. Are the adjusters secure.

Well, the bridge is glued to the guitar! I can't get it off. Could that be an issue?
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu May 09, 2019 2:58 pm

Well, it's very unusual (I've never encountered it) but shouldn't be causing the issue you have......
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby John Egan » Thu May 09, 2019 3:04 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:
John Egan wrote:You said that a luthier had made and fitted a new nut for you, so I would turn my attention to the bridge itself. Is there anything unusual about it. When removed does it rattle or is it cracked. Are the adjusters secure.

Well, the bridge is glued to the guitar! I can't get it off. Could that be an issue?

I can't see why it should cause a problem, although I expected the bridge would be a floating one. Anyway, does the top of the bridge look look OK - nothing loose or rattly, as far as you can see ? And the height adjusters ?
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby zenguitar » Thu May 09, 2019 3:26 pm

OK, this is a long shot, but the symptoms are reminiscent of a problem that would sometimes appear in early shallow drilled Strat trem blocks.

In the Strat, the length of string inside the trem block could vibrate in sympathy and on occasion would buzz against the sides of the hole. That's why Leo revised the design to drill the trem block so that the ball ends were deeper inside.

Looking at your photos, I see that the tailpiece has a deep section between the front edge and the string retainer. And that leaves a row of 6 deep drilled holes. Looking at the photo taken from the endpin you can see that the ball ends are all in a straight line. It's harder to tell from the other photos, but it appears that the strings exit the tailpiece in a straight line as well. However, the top of the bridge and saddle isn't flat, it has a radius. That means that each string is coming out of the tailpiece at a slightly different angle, and that might be enough to bring one or more of the strings close enough to buzz against the sides of the holes through the tailpiece.

The best way to check is to get 3 wooden cocktail sticks or toothpicks. Cut them in half so you have 6 short sticks with pointed ends. Then push one in each of the exit holes from the tailpiece so you wedge the string against the hole.

If that does fix the buzz, the fix is to remove the tailpiece and re-drill the holes with a slightly larger drill bit.

As I say, it's a long shot. But it is a known cause of hard to trace buzzing.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu May 09, 2019 3:34 pm

Just a thought WRT the glued on bridge, it may just be double sided tape holding it there? Fairly easy to remove if it is and you ever need to adjust the intonation (like when you put the 12s on it.....)
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Re: Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

Postby John Egan » Thu May 09, 2019 6:36 pm

Thanks for that tip. Andy. It's one I haven't heard of, and certainly worth tucking away for future reference. I hope it sorts out the problem for the OP.
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