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FiggyPudding18

Slight Rattling Noise in J-45

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Hi All,

I bought a new J-45 about a month ago. It plays great but I have noticed something and can't tell if it's just my OCD or something that could be fixed. I have noticed that when I play the guitar in certain positions, particularly kind of slouched on the couch, or with the guitar at a 45 degree angle, the D and G strings will "rattle". It's not fret buzz, it is inside the guitar. I checked to make sure the strings are all seated against the bridge plate and they are, here is a picture of the bridge pins before I tightened the strings.   Right now I am thinking it is the pickup wiring or something (LR Baggs Element VTC) rattling around inside or something with the way the strings are seated. I'm thinking of taking it for a setup and to get this looked at but I am a little concerned they won't be able to hear the buzz as it seems to only happen every so often. Does anyone have any ideas? Is it normal for acoustic guitars with pickups to rattle occasionally/slightly? 

Here is a recording of the sound that I made. Thanks!

 

Edited by FiggyPudding18
link wasn't working

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It sounds like a bit of fret buzz to me. If it has been set up, perhaps the neck might just need a tweak of relief to remove the buzz, if you know how to adjust the truss rod on your own. Heat and humidity conditions can cause this variation. If it has not ever been set up, that would likely be quickly fixed. If it has been set up it's possible the neck or top may have changed particularly under low humidity conditions which can cause the top to sink...lowering the strings closer to the frets, causing them to buzz slightly during play.

 

 

Edited by ALD323

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That's a pretty deep pluck you're getting into there, Figgy. Do you get anything similar when you get your fingers into any other guitars like that? Open strings only, or when fretting, or using a capo, too?

We tend to be more critical of things real or imagined when still at the getting-to-know-you stage with a new guitar. Was the sound there before installing the D'Addarios? Everything looks fine with the ball ends in your photo, but the electricals running around inside are always  suspect, and just another reason for my preferring acoustic guitars without them. Even though I'm not hearing anything in the clip that couldn't be attributed to how those strings were plucked, ALD had good info/reminders of some classic culprits in causing fret buzz. You could check with a Fret Rocker (a StewMac tool), or maybe measure your string action height. Also- make sure any wires aren't too close to the top where they could rattle, and check that the adhesive wire stays are still where they should be.

 

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Blind Boy Grunt had this issue and it’s more common than many realize...

check the washers in the end pin of the pickup. Often that’s the source of the rattle.

also check the washers on the grovermatic tuners...

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47 minutes ago, 62burst said:

That's a pretty deep pluck you're getting into there, Figgy. Do you get anything similar when you get your fingers into any other guitars like that? Open strings only, or when fretting, or using a capo, too?

We tend to be more critical of things real or imagined when still at the getting-to-know-you stage with a new guitar. Was the sound there before installing the D'Addarios? Everything looks fine with the ball ends in your photo, but the electricals running around inside are always  suspect, and just another reason for my preferring acoustic guitars without them. Even though I'm not hearing anything in the clip that couldn't be attributed to how those strings were plucked, ALD had good info/reminders of some classic culprits in causing fret buzz. You could check with a Fret Rocker (a StewMac tool), or maybe measure your string action height. Also- make sure any wires aren't too close to the top where they could rattle, and check that the adhesive wire stays are still where they should be.

 

Thanks for the reply!  I just kind of dug in to illustrate the point as much as possible.  In normal playing it is very subtle and only sometimes occurs...but enough for me to wonder...it actually happens almost more when using a capo, which might be an interesting point.  It's happened with open strings and while fretting.

Unfortunately, I can't remember if it happened before the string change--I didn't have the old strings on long.

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✔️. Also what Sal said about the washer on the inside possibly being loose causing a strange noise. Bear in mind, that it is not too easy to get to that nut, though.

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last time I had a rattle in my SJ200, it was the Anthem pickup module.  Try taping (with blue painters tape) the control wheels inside the sound hole.

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Check to see if there are screws and nuts under the bridge, I had a rattle in my J 45 and one of the nuts was loose causing the washer to rattle.

 

Edit: Just noticed the link to the inside pic of your instrument. That kills my suggestion.

 

posts.JPG

posts2.JPG

Edited by gearbasher

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Does the rattle happen when you shake the guitar?

My Farida OT-22 had a rattle after I had a strapjack installed for a Baggs M1. Took the strings off and reached in there and, sure enough, the large bullet-shaped  gizmo meant to cover all the soldered pieces was loose. Screwed it down tight and no more rattle. I'm thinking the guy who did the work just couldn't get his arm in there far enough to get a good grip on it and turn it.

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Am I the only one who doesn’t hear a rattling sound.  I hear the wound third vibrating like new wound third strings vibrate.   Or, at worst, the sound of a wound third string in a slightly tight nut slot (easily remedied by taking a pencil and running it through the nut slot to reduce some friction until the new slot wears away a bit to accommodate the string width.  (Or, what I do on all my new guitars. take a thin file and slightly file down the nut slots so the strings can’t hang up in them.). Otherwise, what rattle sound am I supposed to be hearing?

QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff

 

Edited by QuestionMark

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I hear a faint and high pitched buzz. It's not metallic like fret buzz, and the frequency would indicate that it's a component with little mass or density that is loose. 

I would check that your control wheels in the soundhole for the Baggs unit aren't loose, and work backwards from there. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that it's something related to the pickup. Check the strapjack nut at the endpin isn't loose (this is the number one cause of buzzes in all pickup equipped acoustics in my experience!!) and reach inside when you next have the strings off. Check the saddle is snugged down in its slot and that no pickup wiring is vibrating against the top. 

As has been noted, also check the nuts, washers and bullet screw-over cover on the inside of your endpin preamp...this involves you getting your arm some way into the guitar but you'll manage! Just check it's all tight and nothing is flapping about. Whilst you're in there, give it a flick with your finger and listen out for any buzzing or rattling, which will help with your sleuthing.

The other possibility is loose machinehead capstan bolts (the hollow ones that go over the capstan itself from the front, and screw into the back of the machinehead through the face of the headstock). These can work loose if not torqued up properly and cause the washers between the bolt and the headstock to rattle whilst playing. 

Good luck...you'll get it sorted!

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A rattle?

Lookout for a rattlesnake!😃

Anyhow, it could be anything and you will need 4 sets of hands to find the buzz. So get a friend/partner to pluck the same string over and over while you gently touch the problem areas mentioned above - tuners, pickup parts and controls, nut, bridge. Put a biz card under the strings at the nut and then the bridge......

Good luck.

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

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I hear no rattling either in the video OP posted. Since he was digging quite deeply into the strings, I would not be surprised, though, if the strings at issue were to rattle against the frets. I don't think there is any structural or more serious issue at hand here. A proper setup goes a long way for years of use to come. It is worth shelling out a few bucks for it on a high-end instrument such as this if you can't do it yourself (which, with acoustics, might be more difficult).

Edited by Leonard McCoy

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This is a brand new instrument.

And most of the replies discuss various connectors that may be loose, causing the buzz the owner hears. The fact that these loose bits seem to be a common problem makes me wonder why Gibson's quality control wouldn't be addressing these things during assembly and set-up?

When I purchased a $180.00 (Canadian) Fender Squier Mustang for my grand-daughter, a friend who fixes guitars set it up for me and spent a lot of time tightening up all the nuts and screws. One expects this on an inexpensive mass-produced instrument, but not a $3,000.00 high end guitar.

Gibson can and should do better.

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I think I finally figured it out! The little screw on strap button where you plug in was too tight! That's right, too tight, not loose. When I first got the guitar, I noticed that the strap button was loose so I tightened it, but too much. I've experimented with it at this point and have found that it causes this slight rattle if it is too tight OR too loose. Thanks everyone for your theories!!!!

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8 hours ago, FiggyPudding18 said:

I think I finally figured it out! The little screw on strap button where you plug in was too tight! That's right, too tight, not loose. When I first got the guitar, I noticed that the strap button was loose so I tightened it, but too much. I've experimented with it at this point and have found that it causes this slight rattle if it is too tight OR too loose. Thanks everyone for your theories!!!!

That makes sense! It's likely that if it's rattling when you tighten the strapjack outer cover, what is happening is that it's snugging the endpin preamp itself nice and tightly against the end block on the inside of the guitar, but leaving the nut on the outside (under the screw-on strapjack cover) pulled away from the endpin area itself, and free to rattle a little against the washer underneath it. 

I would bet anything that if you unscrewed the strapjack cover, tightened the 13mm nut under it, then replaced the cover, the issue would be gone forever. 

I worked as a touring tech for a few different artists and was on the road with Billy Bragg for four years. We had exactly the same issue with his J45...the Baggs endpin preamps seem to work a little loose sometimes for some reason. Glad you found the solution!

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Good news then....it would explain why it rattles when you play at certain angles.

Paul Simon could have written a few more verses to his tune "Everything Puts together Falls Apart" if he started to mention guitars.

And Geldoff's "Don't Like Monday"

Put both tunes together and it is a warning not to touch your best guitars on a Monday!😁😁😁. I mean, I just finished raving madly for the 10th time about how much I like my Maton and its pickup system and I plug her in on Monday lunchtime and....and...and ...there's a buzz/rattle. And it sounded like it came from the...jackplug area. Nope, all tight, and of course it never buzzes unless you are playing the guitar...which does make fault finding a bit tricky. But by mistake really, I touched the preamp control panel somehow with my elbow or some part of my right arm while playing a chord or two...and the buzz stopped! AHA!!!!! Out with the Phillips Head screwdriver and a gentle tighten of the control panel screws...Buzz gone!!!! Phew. (Well, for now).

 

Control panel and offending screws:

 

FMgBjJ5h.jpg

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

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