[realmusicians] Re: Guitar buzz.

  • From: Tom Kingston <tom.kingston@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: realmusicians@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 09:59:56 -0500

Eh, what a let down, man. I thought you were gonna give me a 4 page geek report on every last detail about the creation and manufacturing process of elixir strings. Ha!


On 12/22/2011 8:27 AM, Chris Belle wrote:
I used to buy those at stringthis.com

and get a pretty good bulk price.

Those elixirs aren't cheap.

But they're worth it for slimey paws like mine 'grin'.

At 09:33 PM 12/21/2011, you wrote:
Yeah, I had the tech put them on the guitar I just had setup because
the Taylor comes with them. And I was surprised to feel the
difference. Of course I have no clue as to exactly what the deal is,
but the strings just feel more smooth and easier on the fingers.


On 12/21/2011 5:35 PM, Chris Belle wrote:
Those strings have the added benefit of not squeaking nearly as much
like regular bronze wound.

You'll like them.

They feel good on the fingers.

Kind of like a hybrid between metal and nylon strings, and they come in
two different thicknesses of coating, lightly coated for brighter, or
thicker coating for more protection.

At 01:46 PM 12/21/2011, you wrote:
Thanks for all this great information, Chris,

Yeah, I figured that not having been tuned for years, other than the
one time I did it a year or so ago before giving up after a couple
days, and the fact that it's never been setup probably contributed
rather generously to this whole adventure.

Otherwise I'm not going to worry any more about this little beast.
It's certainly playable enough for me to keep working, and when I
return it to my nephew it will probably never again do anything but be
a decoration. But this is a lot of good info to store away for future

And I'll try to remember to use those Trojan strings you mentioned.


On 12/21/2011 12:25 PM, Chris Belle wrote:
yes, yes, and no all at the same time 'grin'.

See, that guitar hasn't been played in a while and it might be
a bit.

Also, sometimes fretts need to be filed.

when you have a low action, this is a common problem, you give up some
ease of playing to be able to avoid frett buzzing easily, and lighter
strings are more likely to buzz.

Also new strings before they're stretched out will do that sometimes,
and round wounds and flat wounds act differently too.

I stretch hell out of my strings, bending them hard when I put on a
sounds like a dying cat around here, but this insures I'm not
having to
fiddle with it all the time while they stretch slowly out.

Well, that guitar probably isn't the top dog, and sloppy machine heads
are a sign of a guitar that corners were cut in, but I have bought
inexpensive guitars and outfitted them with new machine heads and a
nut, and they played like champs.

YOu can bet your new taylor will have first class machine heads.
I like grover heads myself.

That's why i put on an inexpensive alvarez I liked that came with
machine heads.

Part of the fun of being a guitar player is the incessant tinkering,

Well, your problems are probably part of all three, cheap guitar, low
action, and maybe a frett filing will solve it, sometimes a guitar
a couple trips to the luthier to get it just right, even the expensive
girls 'grin'.

and yes, something inside the guitar could indeed be resonating
a buzz, guitars that don't have pick-ups or junk inside them actually
sound better recorded, that's why my old toc sounds so sweet,
nothing to
interfere with the sound inside the guitar.

they can minimize this with miniature electronics, but still, when you
have stuff glued and screwed to the guitar, it's another part of the
equation you have to consider.

Yeh, you have to tune those things more than once a week 'grin',
even with locking machine heads, with as much as i bent and such
even on
my custom stratt, once a set does it.

See, strings stretch as you play them, and even if your machine heads
are rock solid, temprature changes, humidity changes, the amount of
thick smoke in the air, the cheap perfume on the bar-maid, and the
of the planet and moon and stars can modify a guitar's tuning.

It's just a hunk of wood and metal and glue after all.

YOu know how hard it is to keep a piano in perfect tune, and your not
touching the strings, even, but if your bending, and depositing
oils and
sweat, etc on strings, for guys like me who exude copious amounts of
sweat and oil elixir coated strings were invented 'grin'.

they're like putting condoms on strings, some say they're not as
but they last a lot longer than regular strings.

I can wear out a set of strings in a few hours of playing, no kidding.

they literally rust while I'm playing them.

so, welcome to the real world of guitar 'grin'.

You'll get to where you can hear a string slightly out of tune and
tweak it and do it on the fly, and remember, sometimes tuning to the
piano because of stretch tuning and such, you have to compromise, like
if you tune a fifth perfectly then your thirds might be sharp, so
tuning once you get past electronic tuners is all about compromise and
give and take 'grin'.

You think g;uitars are a pain in the butt, try tuning a twelve
string or
a mandolin.

What's the joke about mandolin players, they spend half the time
and the other half playing out of tune?

I must admit my little honer mandolin is sweet as honey, she stays in
tune well.

I used her for the first time on a track recently and she records
like a

Sweet and clear, and so very pleasing to the ears.

At 08:44 AM 12/21/2011, you wrote:
Be it that I'm a newbie virtuoso on the guitar I've been getting a
healthy dose of buzz. But I expected that. But now, I seem to be
getting a lot more, especially on the low E string. I even get it
plucking the string open. It has to be a pretty hard pluck, but I
can't get the same out of any other string other than a little tiny
bit on the D string. And that requires a real yank. Yet popping the
open E doesn't cause it.

I don't know if this has anything to do with the setup that was just
done because this guitar was impossible to play prior to that. But
tech did say to bring it back if I had any problems or just wanted
string height adjusted.

The strange thing about it, at least to me, is that it happens even
when I pluck the string open. So I can't blame my weak left hand on
that. And it's amazing how difficult it is to track down sound, even
on an instrument this small. When I'm playing I'd swear it's coming
off of the saddle. Yet if I put my ear down to it there seems to be
part of it in the saddle, part up in the nut, but most of it seems to
be coming right out of the sound hole as if something inside the body
is resonating. This guitar does have a pickup. So there are some
floating around in there.

Now this morning I decided to try and track it down some more. I had
to tune it the day after the setup. I expected that. And I was
able to
tune it very quick and easy with my piano. Then I had to do the same
again a couple days later. Probably normal, I thought. But this
morning I decided to stretch that low E string to see if it solved
problem. So I tuned it up about a step, let it stretch for a few
minutes, then loosened it quite a bit and let it relax for a while.

Then when I went to tune the whole thing to my piano I had a heck
of a
time getting the low strings, E, A, and D, in tune. I finally tuned
from the high E up to the low E and that seemed to get me closer. But
still I had to really battle with the low strings compared to the
tunings I've done, even before it was setup and grossly out of tune.
It only took a few minutes then.

And now, finally, the open string buzzing is gone. So is this normal,
a problem with the setup, or just a flimsy guitar? The tuning keys do
feel a bit sloppy to me, as if the slightest little bump would move
them, which I assume is not the norm.

I'd appreciate any thoughts, words of wisdom, and experience on this
aspect of the guitar.


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For all your audio production needs and technology training, visit us at

or contact
Chris Belle
Stephie Belle
for customized web design

For all your audio production needs and technology training, visit us at

or contact
Chris Belle
Stephie Belle
for customized web design

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