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Ed Pitts

New Hummingbird bad string buzz

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Brought the new bird home and sat down in a quite place to enjoy the new guitar.

Sadly disappointed when I heard the open B string making a noise best described as a rattle.

This was on Saturday so I waited until Monday to take it back to the dealer. One of the workers took it and tinkered with it for a while then suggested that I leave it for a day. Didn't hear from them until I called on Thursday. Picked it up on Friday. Didn't play it in the store because the store was full of Christmas shoppers.

When I got it home I found that there was no change.

Short story is that they kept it most of the next week. when I picked it up it seemed better but still had a tendency to make the noise.

I brought it home and have tried to play it several times. The sound is just not right. I have several other Gibsons and a few other guitars and this is this is the only one that shows this trait. I hate to think that I spent that much money for a pretty piece of wool then am forced to play a cheap Takamine to get a decent tone. (The other Hummingbird is at my son's house) and the electrics are a different animal.

Has anyone else had a similar problem?

Will Gibson do anything about it or have I just wasted my money?

So far the dealer has worked on it twice and tried different strings.

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If it has a pick up in it , then stick your hand in the soundhole and check the fitting at the endpin . Countless buzzes have turned out to be a loose nut that vibrates at a certain frequency.

Usually a lower string makes it buzz but I'd check that out.

Have a fiddle with the wires and make sure they're not resting against anything ..,, though the ship should've at least checked that out.

Surprising how many dint chevk the endpin nuts are tight enough

Hope if it's not that it's something as simple. Tuning peg nuts also should be checked.

 

After that it's put the mobile phone inside and start taking pics of bracing .

 

 

Keep us posted

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If it has a pick up in it , then stick your hand in the soundhole and check the fitting at the endpin.

 

Count me as another vote for checking the endpin jack for tightness! My 2016 Bird had a maddening string buzz and this fixed it. You wouldn't think a loose endpin jack would cause just one string to buzz, but it did on mine.

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Open B string rattle.........hmmm.

 

First, if it's a Standard with the nutted-on Grover Rotomatic machine heads, make sure the nut at the string post is snug......not tight. Over tightening these nuts can crack the finish surrounding them and create "raccoon eyes". Loose machine head nuts can buzz and rattle, particularly on an open string.

 

Secondly, how's the break angle at the saddle on that B string? A low angle can cause open string rattle but also when the string is fretted as well.

 

Make sure the string ball end is seated well against the bridge plate and the endpin jack is tight in its' mounting, as Grunt suggested.

 

If the string only rattles when played open it could be a too-shallow nut slot. Slip a little piece of paper in the slot and retune to test for this problem.

 

If all this fails to eliminate the trouble, and the dealer has diddled with it already, contact Gibson Customer Service directly and see what they can do for you.

 

Regardless, it is a solvable problem.

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If it has a pick up in it , then stick your hand in the soundhole and check the fitting at the endpin . Countless buzzes have turned out to be a loose nut that vibrates at a certain frequency.

Usually a lower string makes it buzz but I'd check that out.

Have a fiddle with the wires and make sure they're not resting against anything ..,, though the ship should've at least checked that out.

Surprising how many dint chevk the endpin nuts are tight enough

Hope if it's not that it's something as simple. Tuning peg nuts also should be checked.

 

After that it's put the mobile phone inside and start taking pics of bracing .

 

 

Keep us posted

 

I followed your suggestions to no avail. Took the strings off and made a movie of all the insides. Don't see anything there.

I called Gibson customer service for their input and they said to take it to the dealed for one more chance and if that fails, call them for a RMA an they would bring it in and I would have a good guitar one way or the other.

Took it back to the dealer ant they said the head tech will be in tomorrow.

So, I wait and see.

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Count me as another vote for checking the endpin jack for tightness! My 2016 Bird had a maddening string buzz and this fixed it. You wouldn't think a loose endpin jack would cause just one string to buzz, but it did on mine.

My hand and arm will not go in far enough to check the tightness of the nut. Were you able to get your hand in all the way?

I tried to test the tightness from the outside, and could not move the end pin.

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Sorry to hear about this clouding up what should be your honeymoon period with the new Hummingbird.

 

So- you’ve had the guitar since early December? This buzz is just presenting itself now? Buzz only on the open string, correct? Did you change strings yet? Or string gauges? Hopefully the humidity level is being watched; if the guitar is getting dried out, the top can sink down, exposing (possibly) a high fret. Here’s Dan E. of Stew Mac checking for a high fret with the Fret Rocker:

 

 

All of the possible things to check already mentioned earlier in your thread are all excellent, and likely suspects. Put a capo on the neck to rule out things north of the nut (&/or tie a bandana around the strings up there, too).

 

Truss rod cover tight? (snug, only. these things can crack easily)

 

 

Sounds like you’re looking at the nut and points north, but. . .

 

Can’t remember the size of the internal nut for the jack, but it should be reachable with a open end wrench (1st use adjustable to get size). Important to remember that everything metal in this photo is threaded (including the knurled preamp housing), so if one component loosens, there’s your trouble. All should be snug.

 

Screen%20Shot%202017-01-09%20at%208.11.01%20PM_zpslkxo9gnj.png

 

Screen%20Shot%202017-01-09%20at%208.14.04%20PM_zpsaa5l34pe.png

 

Bailey Brothers Music is a 5 star Gibson dealer, and they’ve got the attention of Bozeman, if necessary, but always best not to risk shipping over something such as a fret buzz. Sounds like their best tech will be in tomorrow, so hopefully, this will just be a distant memory as the new Hummingbird finds it’s new home with you.

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My hand and arm will not go in far enough to check the tightness of the nut. Were you able to get your hand in all the way?

I tried to test the tightness from the outside, and could not move the end pin.

If yours has the same pickup as mine, the ring that the strap hooks onto is just a screwed on cover for the outer nut of the whole endpin/jack. You can remove the strap ring thing with your fingers by unscrewing it to expose the nut underneath, and then tighten that with a wrench. Be super careful with the finish though - you may want to tape it off.

 

I honestly don't remember if I was able to get my arm in far enough to tighten it from the inside as well.

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Hopefully, your problem has been solved by now. If not, check the TR to be sure the nut isn't loose - an infrequent, but very 'Gibson' occurrence.

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Sorry to hear about this clouding up what should be your honeymoon period with the new Hummingbird.

 

So- you’ve had the guitar since early December? This buzz is just presenting itself now? Buzz only on the open string, correct? Did you change strings yet? Or string gauges? Hopefully the humidity level is being watched; if the guitar is getting dried out, the top can sink down, exposing (possibly) a high fret. Here’s Dan E. of Stew Mac checking for a high fret with the Fret Rocker:

 

 

All of the possible things to check already mentioned earlier in your thread are all excellent, and likely suspects. Put a capo on the neck to rule out things north of the nut (&/or tie a bandana around the strings up there, too).

 

Truss rod cover tight? (snug, only. these things can crack easily)

 

 

Sounds like you’re looking at the nut and points north, but. . .

 

Can’t remember the size of the internal nut for the jack, but it should be reachable with a open end wrench (1st use adjustable to get size). Important to remember that everything metal in this photo is threaded (including the knurled preamp housing), so if one component loosens, there’s your trouble. All should be snug.

 

Screen%20Shot%202017-01-09%20at%208.11.01%20PM_zpslkxo9gnj.png

 

Screen%20Shot%202017-01-09%20at%208.14.04%20PM_zpsaa5l34pe.png

 

Bailey Brothers Music is a 5 star Gibson dealer, and they’ve got the attention of Bozeman, if necessary, but always best not to risk shipping over something such as a fret buzz. Sounds like their best tech will be in tomorrow, so hopefully, this will just be a distant memory as the new Hummingbird finds it’s new home with you.

No, I din't get in early December . It was more like the week before Christmas, and the problem showed up as soon as I took it out of the case and started to play. This was on Saturday, took it back on Monday and didn't get it back until Friday before Christmas. Couldn't play it in the store with the shopping crowd it was a madhouse. Brought it home and sadly found no change, Back to the store for another week, still not fixed. I have hopes that Joseph will be able to check it tomorrow, {he is the head tech for guitars}

 

I dure don't want to ship it to Gibson and risk the damage not to mention the cost and inconvenience.

 

I read something the warranty that is kind of unsettling. Item #4in a long list of things the warranty does NOT cover.

Item 4.The subjective Issue of Tonal Charastics.

 

Thanks for the excellent post and yes the string were changed

Edited by Ed Pitts

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You really have to hunt it down where the real noise is coming from if it's right from the string you pluck or nearby wires and or loose endpin jacks etc.

I once had a terrible of one might thought was a string buzz on the low E string? Turns out the cable wiring inside the sound hole was rattling from the vibrations of the low E string when plucked or strummed hard.

I investigated and reposition the placement of the cable/wiring inside the sound hole that I never needed to tape down etc. and now its perfectly fine rattle/noise free.

 

These add on and attachments sometimes get shaken around inside and move as you pack and store the guitar in your case let alone when it is out and about on your lap etc.

Simple things with a guitar can be a nightmare to some. SO just relax and look around inside and see/check if there is anything out of place, else return the Bird and get a new one if they cant fix a simple problem. Could also be the nut ( too loose/narrow - nut sauce/graphite pencil shavings? )Saddles?

 

Good Luck am sure its an easy fix for your guitar.

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I've had bad experiences with electronics installed in acoustic guitars, so I'm incredibly biased against them. Many have no issues with theirs, and that's wonderful for them; I'm probably just a jinx! My personal inclination is to use a soundhole pickup of good quality and avoid jacka$$ing around with conversions, factory or otherwise.

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had a rattle when I got a 2015 j 45, turned out the tuner washer wasnt tight, no issues scince - good luck and my hope and guess is you get unrattled, j

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I had a similar problem a little while ago. Open G kept buzzing. It was dependent on temperature. Cool of the day , no buzz, warmer part of the day, buzz. I tracked it down to a loose screw in the machine head. So the question is if you hold each of the screws down and play the open string, does it affect the buzz? It was a simple but tedious fix of filling the screw hole with matchsticks and glue. Haven't had the problem since.

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It's still in the shop. I talked to Joseph, he is the head guy on guitars there. I feel that he will find the problem.

Here is a link to a youtube clip I made. Nothing professional just made with phone.

 

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That doubled up ghost note sounds like maybe a nut slot is cut too low, or filed at a bad angle. After all of the fretboard’s measurements are taken, something will be revealed. Hang in there, a fix will be coming soon.

 

Still a really nice guitar.

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Hey Ed, I'm curious if the buzz is heard without a pick?

I have a 2013 modern classic hummingbird. I bought it new. Before I had the action lowered, I heard a weird buzz on the B string. After the action was lowered, I still heard somewhat of a Buzz using a pick. I use Dunlops .73 or .88 nylons. I have found that response of the string is so sensetive to the touch and a buzz was heard due to how I hit the string/strings with a pick. I hope your situation will be resolved soon. Hummingbirds, to me only, are the finest sounds I've ever heard in acoustic guitars. However, congradulations on your Bird. To add, many folks may not ever hear the sound of the Bird, unless one, actually posses one.

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Hey Ed, I'm curious if the buzz is heard without a pick?

I have a 2013 modern classic hummingbird. I bought it new. Before I had the action lowered, I heard a weird buzz on the B string. After the action was lowered, I still heard somewhat of a Buzz using a pick. I use Dunlops .73 or .88 nylons. I have found that response of the string is so sensetive to the touch and a buzz was heard due to how I hit the string/strings with a pick. I hope your situation will be resolved soon. Hummingbirds, to me only, are the finest sounds I've ever heard in acoustic guitars. However, congradulations on your Bird. To add, many folks may not ever hear the sound of the Bird, unless one, actually posses one.

 

I could hear the pick buzzing

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Had a good listen on YouTube, I don't know if this has been covered . When you fret the B string on the third fret you should have a slight clearance under the first fret . If the string is touching the first fret the slot is too low . Also is there a clean surface on the bridge under the B string Thirdly is the B String seated under the bridge plate correctly Lastly is the nut slot clean and not left with any sharp edges Finally any loose windings on the string at the ball end

Good luck with that fine guitar

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Never should the dealer have offered that guitar with such a glaring string buzz to a customer in the first place. If the dealer can't offer a properly working guitar, one would assume you'd have the right to return it and ask for a full refund.

 

I read something the warranty that is kind of unsettling. Item #4in a long list of things the warranty does NOT cover.

Item 4.The subjective Issue of Tonal Charastics.

First up, the defect should be covered by Gibson's warranty. String buzz isn't a "tonal characteristic" -- that itself would amount to a rather subjective statement in the lines of "the guitar sounds too bright/warm." Rather, it's a mechanical, objective defect in the setup of the guitar, the way the nut was cut, or in the height of the saddle or the like. If you seriously consider going that route, I'd give Gibson customer service a call prior to be sure this problem be really covered by your guitar's warranty.

 

Next, it seems to me that, for how strongly you pick each string (not saying you pick too strongly in general), the strings be too low in general. Now, it could be that the truss rod is just a little too tight, but I find it more likely, going by the video you posted, that the nut slots were cut too low and that the strings at the nut don't break at a great, sharp angle either towards the tuning pegs so that the strings don't put enough pressure on the nut. More unlikely but possible, this could also be a saddle problem or even an amalgamation of multiple issues. One would have to check the exact string heights first regardless.

 

This looks to be an easy fix for a professional luthier. A learned eye should at least be able to find the cause of the string buzz, if not fix it himself entirely.

 

PS. Another thing I just noticed is that looking at the tuning pegs in your video, the strings on your guitar are poorly installed. For instance, the bass-side tuning peg is covered head to toe with wound string (2 1/2 winds are ideal here!), while the treble-side one is lacking the sufficient amount of string winds altogether. Improper stringing can cause string buzz, mess up string breaking angles from nut to peg, and can even lead to string fatigue (strings become old much sooner and won't stay in tune). Here is how (see link) to do it right.

Edited by Leonard McCoy

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Mr. McCoy - thanks a bunch for the link to that Elixir/Taylor 'how to' video on changing guitar strings. I had no idea !

No idea it could be so easy, there were so many pitfalls, and that I need a new accessory for my Dremel! Thank you.

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