You are here

Help taming brightness/buzz of archtop guitar when releasing finger

For all things relating to guitars, basses, amps, pedals & accessories.

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat May 11, 2019 7:10 pm

zenguitar wrote:It is looking like the resonance is emphasising what would normally be a subtle buzz as you lift off the fret. It could be that it is an inherent quality of the guitar due to the materials used and construction.

Ok, so how do I tame that?
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby zenguitar » Sat May 11, 2019 8:56 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:
zenguitar wrote:It is looking like the resonance is emphasising what would normally be a subtle buzz as you lift off the fret. It could be that it is an inherent quality of the guitar due to the materials used and construction.

Ok, so how do I tame that?

That's the problem, the guitar is just being what it is, which is the sum total of it's parts and construction. It's not a single thing that has cause and effect. You can't unmake it and put it back together without the resonance.

The things you can consider are things that you can change. Like trying different types/makes/guages of string. You might want to see if you can work out a fretting technique that minimises the buzz. You could try a combination of the two.

Alternatively you could decide to live with it, or you could shop around and find a new guitar and fund it by selling this one.

It all comes down to how much time, effort, and expense you are prepared to go to in your efforts. But with no guarantees you will find a suitable compromise.

Sorry I can't offer anything beyond pragmatic advice.

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 9516
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Yogi Berra

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun May 12, 2019 12:55 pm

Some success.

Tried different strings, but no change in the zingies.

But while swapping strings, I accidentally moved the floating bridge to a weird place and the zingies all but ceased.

The weird place is back towards the tail about 1" but tilted 30 degrees so that the low string end is closer to the tail than the high notes.

I only have the B string on. Have not tried the full set yet.

In this position, the guitar sounds different. Sort of more hollow, and a bit like a banjo. But there are no more zingies when removing a finger. It responds like other guitars when muting with the fret finger.

So it is definitely the way the bridge couples vibrations into the body that is changing and making the zingies change.

This is the first thing that has actually made a change!

The 30 deg tilt is the key. Straight across at any position still gives zingies. Tilting it helps in any position. But has the most benefit when the bridge is back towards the tail and tilted. That puts it behind the sound post.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun May 12, 2019 1:29 pm

But that will bugger the intonation :frown: how about moving (or even removing) the soundpost? They are usually only wedged in place.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11545
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun May 12, 2019 2:13 pm

View from the inside.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tUK66 ... cdqlX2FTfF

It looks like it is glued in there.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun May 12, 2019 5:48 pm

Yup, sadly I think you're right. Not really surprising given that archtops don't usually have them anyway :frown: Looks like the thinking is as JohnE suggested and based on the precursors of the solid centre block.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11545
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun May 12, 2019 6:22 pm

John Egan wrote:DC,
Have you tried raising the action slightly to see if that makes any difference to the buzzing ? The change in string to fret angle might just have an effect.
The sound is a bit like the dreaded piezo "quack".
Regards, John

Changes in action have no effect, even extreme changes that I have tried.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun May 12, 2019 6:40 pm

I am trading emails with some other folks who have sawed the sound post off of their Peerless Monarch for an improvement in tone. But nobody mentions the zingies. Just that after post removal, it is louder acoustically and has a fuller hollow body tone.

If I was sure that removing the post would eliminate the zingies I would be more willing to take a saw to it.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby John Egan » Mon May 13, 2019 9:43 am

DC-Choppah wrote:View from the inside.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tUK66 ... cdqlX2FTfF

It looks like it is glued in there.

Are you sure it's glued in ? They usually aren't. As I understand it, the main function of a sound post is to limit the movement of the top and back to decrease the likelihood of feedback. Moving it even slightly can change the tone of a guitar somewhat. Removing it should make the guitar louder in most cases (though apparently not all). Removing it may also decrease treble (tough, again, not in all cases). Even changing the shape of the post can change the sound. If you could move it, you may be able to experiment to find a more satisfactory position.
Regards, John Egan
User avatar
John Egan
Regular
Posts: 365
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Staffordshire, England

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon May 13, 2019 10:00 am

Removing it will definitely increase volume, I modded a cheap acoustic for use in a rock band with two 'sound posts' wedged between the top and back under the bridge, made a huge difference and with a sound hole bung was pretty feedback resistant. Easily reversible too when I sold it later.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11545
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed May 15, 2019 3:03 am

My Luthier says that removing the sound post will damage the guitar. Peerless says the same thing, that on this guitar the 'sound post' is also a structural thing that keeps the front of the guitar from collapsing over time.

Oh dear.

I am going to have to trade this guy in.

Thank you all for your detective work. I am convinced that the sound post is causing these zingies. When the bridge is moved away from there the zingies cease. That sound post is kind of weird. Has a huge affect on the instrument, at least it does on mine.


I think a 175-style archtop guitar. Feels good to me. Something to plug into my Polytone amp, and play standards, but also be able to record some contemporary jazz.

But I also really liked the feel of a Hoffner Jazzica too I played once.

No more zingies. I am tired of fighting with it!
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue May 21, 2019 12:20 am

Traded in the Peerless for this!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yO98d ... fngUWRD9GK

No more zingies!

I love this guitar.

Gibson ES-195
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby adrian_k » Thu May 30, 2019 6:17 pm

Too late to be of much help but I asked my brother if he’s ever come across anything like this, he’s seen enough guitar problems in his time.

In literally hundred of repairs and restorations he’s only seen it once, where you get a buzz when releasing the note. This was on a classical guitar, and the problem in this case was the frets.

Although they looked ok, they were not actually fully bedded into the fret slots and the fret ends were not glued down. As the string was released the fret end was somehow allowed to vibrate at a certain point as the pressure came off.

Slightly deepening the slots and gluing the fret ends cured the problem.
User avatar
adrian_k
Frequent Poster
Posts: 857
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Gloucestershire
getting better all the time..

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

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:41 pm

adrian_k wrote:Too late to be of much help but I asked my brother if he’s ever come across anything like this, he’s seen enough guitar problems in his time.

In literally hundred of repairs and restorations he’s only seen it once, where you get a buzz when releasing the note. This was on a classical guitar, and the problem in this case was the frets.

Although they looked ok, they were not actually fully bedded into the fret slots and the fret ends were not glued down. As the string was released the fret end was somehow allowed to vibrate at a certain point as the pressure came off.

Slightly deepening the slots and gluing the fret ends cured the problem.

I blamed the frets too at first. So I had it refretted! That evened it out so that it happened equally over the fretboard, but did not remove the zingies. :sick:

The new guitar did cure the problem. ;)
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

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

Postby adrian_k » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:32 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:
adrian_k wrote:Too late to be of much help but I asked my brother if he’s ever come across anything like this, he’s seen enough guitar problems in his time.

In literally hundred of repairs and restorations he’s only seen it once, where you get a buzz when releasing the note. This was on a classical guitar, and the problem in this case was the frets.

Although they looked ok, they were not actually fully bedded into the fret slots and the fret ends were not glued down. As the string was released the fret end was somehow allowed to vibrate at a certain point as the pressure came off.

Slightly deepening the slots and gluing the fret ends cured the problem.

I blamed the frets too at first. So I had it refretted! That evened it out so that it happened equally over the fretboard, but did not remove the zingies. :sick:

The new guitar did cure the problem. ;)

Weeeird!
User avatar
adrian_k
Frequent Poster
Posts: 857
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Gloucestershire
getting better all the time..

Previous