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Ed Pitts

New Hummingbird bad string buzz

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No one else think it's the pick ?

Not sure, but you gotta watch 'em close all the time! Slippery rascals, they are, and always prone to disappear just when you think you have enough backups. Would they cause string buzz? I believe they'd do most anything to confound us innocent players. I saw one escape from the fingers of none other than the late, great Bill Monroe. They have no respect for anyone!!

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I could hear the pick buzzing

It does buzz with a pick if I use a thin one. thicker pick still have the buzz but a different tone.

But you are correct, you have to be very careful not to create some buzz.

the thing is with this if you pick very deliberately on a single string and pull away as you pick so as not to give the string time to slap the pick you still have a buzz.

We all should be familiar with the buzz we get from careless fretting.

The thing that really bothers me is I can pick my Takamine 541 or my old Washburn D100 using the same picks and I get a tone just like a bell.

So, why pay $3000.00 + for a Gibson?

I guess because I have a 97 Hummingbird that is really responsible for me wanting another Hummingbird.

And I have a ES-175, ES-330 and A Les Paul that all have good tone. So, you know, I just really expect more from a Gibson.

And a Gibson EB0 bass which is another animal.

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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 haven't picked it without a pick but when I get it back Monday I will try that.

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No one else think it's the pick ?

The pick should be suspect because I can produce that sound on most guitars if I really try.

The thing that bothers me is I use the same picks with 3 different guitars and only the Gibson regularly has the buzz

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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.

The dealer changed the strings on the last trip.

But, thanks for the link. I'm not sure I string then up correctly.

I watched the video. Good information. Everyone should watch it at least once.

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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

 

Thanks for the pointers. these are all things I can check by self except the slot in the nut, I don't have proper tools for making a new nut or filling and adjusting the slot. But I can certainly check it.

I would be interested to know where you obtained the string clearance when fretting at the third? Don't think I have found that before.

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Great news. NO MORE BUZZ.

I felt I should report back since everyone has been so helpful.

There has been lots of good points brought out and all were valid possible culprits.

I am very happy with the sound now. It was something about the way the slot was cut for the B string.

 

But I have a confession, I know some of you heard the buzz on the video but what I was hearing was probably a lot worse than what you heard.

You see, I had just recieved a digital hearing aid for my right ear. these little gems are quite remarkable. It seems that when we get older (I'm 83) we lose the ability to hear a wide range of sounds as we once did. These engineers make up for that by filtering and amplifying the higher range (think more treble)

So even after they repaired the nut I was disappointed with the over all sound.

 

Solution: removed the hearing aid and relied on my left ear which is still normal. BAM! There was my Hummingbird sound.

So, next time we have to try to help someone let's be sure they can hear(Big GRIN)

 

Many thanks for all the time you spent troubleshooting the problem.

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Wow- 'don't think any of us saw that second part coming!

 

Very good, glad you got it sussed out.

 

Enjoy your new, new Hummingbird.

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Hah ! Whoda Thunk ? I experienced a similar thing 8 or 9 months ago. Got a new hearing aid - the kind that sits behind your ear with a little wire that goes a bit into your ear with a little 'speaker/transmitter' on the end. As soon as I got it home I found all my guitars sounded terrible. Not a rattle. sort of a tremolo with feedback. Only on certain notes. I had to go back 2x to the audiologist (with guitar in hand) and have him adjust the programmed settings to attempt to get rid of the problem, He never could get it to sound completely right. I just don't wear it when I play.

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I gave some guitar lessons to a gentleman who wore hearing aids a few years ago. He had a new Martin HD-28 that he swore was the worst-sounding guitar he'd ever played. Now I can understand his opinion and, also, why he spent about a third of his lesson time trying to adjust the hearing aids.

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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 and they said the head tech will be in tomorrow.

So, I wait and see.

 

It stayed in the shop for a week and still has a problem.

It is not constant but if you play for a couple of minutes you will hear it.

I see people stroke the strings so hard it seems they are trying to break the strings.

I pick more of a single note melody underneath the chords so when that B string is called on it needs to produce a single clear tone.

(My other Hummingbird does)

 

I don't know what's going on. I can use a thick pick and strike the string at an angle and get a clear tone most of the time.

It is very sensitive to the pick.

The thing that really bothers me is neither of the two other guitars i keep out to play have any problem.

All of them exhibit more treble with a thin pick and a soft/dull sound with thicker picks.

I looked at the output with my scope and I see the B tone with another tone riding on it. (Those of you in electronics will probably know what I mean)

 

The dealer is sending it back to Gibson. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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So it was not merely an adjustment to the hearing aid? Thought this was found to be the culprit.

 

Emin7: there are long scale 'Birds around '97 that are long scale? Wouldn't want to accidentally fall into one of those.

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Emin7: there are long scale 'Birds around '97 that are long scale? Wouldn't want to accidentally fall into one of those.

No, not sure, , , maybe they stopped earlier in the decade.

 

 

 

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No, not sure, , , maybe they stopped earlier in the decade.

They aren't quite the same, for sure. I lean toward the long scale.

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No, not sure, , , maybe they stopped earlier in the decade.

Gibson switched to the 24.75 in '97. From what I have been able to cipher the Grover Rotos came with the short scale change. I have had both long and short, currently long. I actually prefer the long ( I know, I know here come the purists w/tomato). I often tune down and with capo at 1st voila short scale but power available if needed.

 

Edit: I have short scale covered BTW. J30, J45 and J50.

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Gibson switched to the 24.75 in '97. From what I have been able to cipher the Grover Rotos came with the short scale change. I have had both long and short, currently long. I actually prefer the long ( I know, I know here come the purists w/tomato). I often tune down and with capo at 1st voila short scale but power available if needed.

 

Edit: I have short scale covered BTW. J30, J45 and J50.

 

Long Necks, Short Necks ? A.D.D. ? Maybe we need to start a new thread about the actual, original post: The New Hummingbird bad string buzz, so Ed Pitts can let us know what is actually going on.

In reading through again - I'm not clear if it was actually 'bad' string buzz, or a 'sympathetic' note, a defective hearing aid, a bad nut slot on 'B' or for that matter if the problem was actually resolved as once reported (on Jan16th - since the guitar has been returned to Bozeman, (reported on Jan. 24th). And, in one comment the existence of the 'buzz' is reported as being confirmed by looking on a meter or tuner. It is also described as a 'ghost tone'. The OP specifically said it could be the pick because he can sometimes get the same 'buzz' on his other guitars when he uses a pick - but the problem is he gets it regularly on the new Hbird. On just the B string.

As I stated above, I'm confused. I like to see issues like this resolved happily and for all of us who've been interested - to know what the final diagnosis turned out to be, and the fix.

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Long Necks, Short Necks ? A.D.D. ? Maybe we need to start a new thread about the actual, original post: The New Hummingbird bad string buzz, so Ed Pitts can let us know what is actually going on.

In reading through again - I'm not clear if it was actually 'bad' string buzz, or a 'sympathetic' note, a defective hearing aid, a bad nut slot on 'B' or for that matter if the problem was actually resolved as once reported (on Jan16th - since the guitar has been returned to Bozeman, (reported on Jan. 24th). And, in one comment the existence of the 'buzz' is reported as being confirmed by looking on a meter or tuner. It is also described as a 'ghost tone'. The OP specifically said it could be the pick because he can sometimes get the same 'buzz' on his other guitars when he uses a pick - but the problem is he gets it regularly on the new Hbird. On just the B string.

As I stated above, I'm confused. I like to see issues like this resolved happily and for all of us who've been interested - to know what the final diagnosis turned out to be, and the fix.

 

You are not the only one confused. In fact it has me doubting my sanity.

Let's see if I can list the chain of events (more or less)

The hearing aid. I bought the guitar just a few days before receiving my hearing aid, Never had a hearing aid before and this one is right ear only. All I knew about hearing aids were that they make sounds louder. So, get the hearing aid and started wearing it.

Started playing around with the new guitar and there comes this very unpleasant sound from the open B string.

To shorten the story I will just say that I took it back to the dealer twice for the better part of a week each time.

Since I was going thru a period of time where I only wore the hearing part time to become used to it, I can't say if I was wearing the hearing aid at any given time.

Called Gibson customer service and was assured that it would be taken care of so, that relieved my worry.

Took it back to the dealer for the third time (Another week). picked it up and played it without the hearing aid and listened to one of the store employees play it. I seemed better but I wasn't completely sure it was gone.

They said they would send it back to Gibson at their expense or exchange it which ever I wanted.

They don't have another of this model. (it's 1 of 50 and they didn't get the other 49)

Left with the understanding that if it continued, they would send it back.

Now, here is the mystery part.

 

I bought a humidifier large enough for the house in a effort to stabilize the environment.

Started playing WITHOUT the hearing aid to take that out of the equation.

Restricted the picks to Two, one each, thick and thin.

(A side note about picks and hearing aids. The hearing aid is designed to boost the treble because that seems to be the part of your your hearing that goes first. I note that a thin pick brings out the treble more than a thick pick.)

Played the guitar for a couple of days and although it took careful picking, I wasn't hearing the noise with the thick pick and only occasionally with the thin pick.

I came to the conclusion it must just be me. I am not a great picker in the first place

Then about 11:00 P.M i started hearing the same original buzz/rattle/noise. Thinking maybe I'm just tired, I put it away.

Next day, same problem

Something is changing, I don't know if the guitar is changing or is my hearing changing?

Remember I have a cheap Washburn and a Takamine and neither of those have a problem using the same picks,

 

I hasn't been sent back to Gibson yet but I have decided to take that option Monday,

I made a DVD to send with it since I don't have the luxury of talking to the Gibson tech.

 

This thread is getting so long and confusing that I will not reply to it anymore.

I will however, start a new thread when it is finally fixed to let everyone know the outcome

Thanks for your help/interest.

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You don’t have to reply to it anymore, Ed, the topic has taken on a life form of it’s own. Most of us here are genuinely interested to find out, and learn from, what was the cause of the problem. And most of us here would love to get our hands on that guitar, and play it- maybe even without a pick.

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Long Necks, Short Necks ? A.D.D. ? Maybe we need to start a new thread about the actual, original post: The New Hummingbird bad string buzz, so Ed Pitts can let us know what is actually going on.

Pardon if I confused you further. .

Gibson switched to the 24.75 in '97. From what I have been able to cipher the Grover Rotos came with the short scale change. I have had both long and short, currently long. I actually prefer the long ( I know, I know here come the purists w/tomato). I often tune down and with capo at 1st voila short scale but power available if needed.

 

Edit: I have short scale covered BTW. J30, J45 and J50.

Had the feeling it happened around 96-97, but got insecure. I find it important and saw mister Pitts as an opportunity to perhaps tell us about the difference.

 

Both of these are the short scale.

Thanx for the awareness ^ As said, an interesting theme, those necks.

So is bad string buzzing - roger - back to that - over. .

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