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Rattle When Playing Certain Notes on G String

#1 User is offline   Little Jerry 

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 05:11 PM

I have an Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Guitar. There is a soft, but ever present rattle when playing several of the notes on the G string. The sound does not come through the speaker, but I can feel it and hear it when I play. The rattle is most present between the third and ninth frets, but is not present on any notes on any of the other strings. The rattle has always been there, but I guess it is becoming more and more annoying now that I own and play other guitars, none of which have this problem. The Riviera is my only semi-hollowbody guitar. The others are solid bodies.

When I initially bought the guitar, I had it set-up by a professional luthier in my area. During his initial inspection, he told me that the guitar had several uneven frets. I have since confirmed the uneven frets with a fret rocker I purchased from StewMac. Could the uneven frets be causing the rattling? If so, would a fret level fix the problem? If not, any other ideas about what might be causing the rattling? The rattle does not sound like fret buzz and I think the action is set properly on the guitar. I had a custom bone nut installed and I replaced the stock bridge with a Wilkinson Roller Bridge. The rattling was there before these mods, so I do not think the nut or bridge is the culprit either.
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#2 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 05:40 PM

It's probably the tail piece, and vibrations. wrap some painters tape around it at various places temporarily to see if that stops it. My 135 did this. I put a bigsby on it , and well.. no more rattles for me.
/Ray
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#3 User is offline   Little Jerry 

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 07:38 PM

View Postkidblast, on 07 May 2017 - 05:40 PM, said:

It's probably the tail piece, and vibrations. wrap some painters tape around it at various places temporarily to see if that stops it. My 135 did this. I put a bigsby on it , and well.. no more rattles for me.

Thanks kidblast. I probably should have noted in my original post, but the guitar came stock with a Bigsby tailpiece. I kind of suspected it may be contributing to the rattle, but I've checked it every which way and it appears to be pretty well buttoned down.
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#4 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:37 AM

Ah!.. I see.. I was thinking it was the stock Tail piece, on my ES-135 that was a rattle trap.

Have you had someone still with you while you're to put some pressure on some of the hardware points when you're playing what the source could be?

these can really be a pain to find!!!

Good luck!
/Ray
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#5 User is offline   Little Jerry 

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:40 AM

View Postkidblast, on 08 May 2017 - 07:37 AM, said:

Ah!.. I see.. I was thinking it was the stock Tail piece, on my ES-135 that was a rattle trap.

Have you had someone still with you while you're to put some pressure on some of the hardware points when you're playing what the source could be?

these can really be a pain to find!!!

Good luck!

Thanks again kidblast. I hadn't thought of having someone press all the various points while I play to see if we can isolate the rattle that way. If that doesn't work, I may also take the guitar back to the luthier who did the various mods for me. I know he would take a look free of charge and has probably seen this type of rattle many times over. I guess I was just hoping it would be something easy that someone on the Epiphone Forum may have dealt with before.
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#6 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:42 AM

it could be any one of a dozen various things. they are annoying as he11...
/Ray
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#7 User is offline   flyingarmadillo 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:23 PM

I've been chasing the same sort of problem with my MIK Casino. It sounds like it's coming from inside the body, but I haven't managed to isolate it yet. I suspect it may be a wire routing and sympathetic vibration, but so far no luck.
2007 Gibson SG '61 Reissue (Classic White), 2006 Gibson Les Paul Vintage Mahogany, 2007 Gibson SG Faded Bass,

2010 Epiphone Elitist Casino (VS), 2005 Epiphone Casino (VS),

2004 Fender 5oth Anniversary American Deluxe Strat, 2005 Fender American Deluxe Telecaster (Cherry Burst), 2009 Fender Strat XII (Lake Placid Blue)

1993 Rickenbacker 360-12 (Fire Glow),

2000 Alvarez AD60S, 2001 Alvarez AD60S12, 2011 Yairi FYM – 95, 2011 Yairi WY-1TS, 2012 Yairi CYM-95, 2009 Alvarez MSD-1,


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#8 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:03 AM

I once read that the G strings is supposedly extra sensitive to string pull from pickups, hence the "Strat-itis" in Strats. I get that warble on the G-string of my Dirty Fingers V, which has hella strong magnets (can be tamed by turning down the bridge pup just a notch, so I'm OK with it), so maybe check your pickup height?

As to the physics behind why the G-string should be more susceptible to string pull: not a clue. Even less of a clue why a slight volume change in the bridge pickup basically cures it.
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#9 User is offline   Mysterblues 

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:49 PM

I am gonna say it's a vibrating pickup. I had a neck pup vibrate with certain notes it must have liked 🙂 And it, too was not heard through amp. I believe the springs were weak and rattled at the right frequency. I have since upgraded pickup and no vibration. The new pickup and springs were noticeably more solid. Just my experience
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#10 User is offline   Little Jerry 

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:03 AM

Thank you all for the ideas. At first I thought the rattle might have something to do with the bridge based on where the sound appears to be coming from, but I have checked and tightened all the screws and the posts. It may very well be the pickups. I need to take one of my son's guitars to the luthier we use, so I think I'm going to bring my Riviera and have him run down what he thinks the issue is. I was going to upgrade the pickups at some point, but if the rattle is coming from somewhere else and can't be identified or fixed, then I don't want to invest the money in new pups for this guitar. Thanks!
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#11 User is offline   Little Jerry 

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 05:56 PM

So I took my guitar to a luthier and he helped identify the culprit for the unwanted rattle. The base problem is that the frets are uneven and worn on that part of the guitar. The next two causes exacerbated the fret problem and took the rattle to another unacceptable level (at least for me). The biggest contributor was a defective string. I recently changed strings and noticed a kink in the G string when I took it out of its package. I guess I thought it would stretch out when I strung it and then forgot about it until the luthier said the string was defective. The other problem was that I strung the guitar incorrectly. The guitar has a Bigsby vibrato. The strings are first wrapped around the “string bar” and then they need to go underneath the “hold bar”, which adds the proper tension to the strings. I incorrectly had the strings go above the hold bar, so they did not have the proper tension.

The combination of all three resulted in a nasty rattle. The fix was easy. I changed strings and made sure the strings went under the hold bar. New strings and correct placement reduced the rattle by about 80%. I still get some rattle, presumably from the uneven and worn frets, but the rattle is manageable and I can certainly live with it. Maybe someday I’ll invest another $100 in the guitar to get the frets leveled and crowned, but for now I’m good.
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#12 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:08 AM

Cool. All's well that ends well.

Kidblast: nice nod to "Seinfeld" :D
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