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How can I fix that acoustic Epiphone Casino rattle/buzz?


capn_gaz

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Loose saddles? Check the retainer wire(if the bridge has one) that hold the saddles in place. Sometimes they loose their flexibility. You can bend them back with a little patience.

What happens if you dampen the strings behind the bridge? Not the most elegant solution but try weaving some big elastic bands or a piece of rubber or foam through the strings.

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For me my Casino had a buzz coming from the Neck Pickup when i played on the 3rd 2nd and 1st string, i've found the problem after a couple of weeks!

It was the wire connecting my bridge pickup to the volume pots that was loose and touching other things inside that was creating the buzz.

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My Casino has been a mess of buzzes and rattles since I got it a few months ago. Pretty much everything I've done with or to it just seems to chase the buzzes and rattles around. If I think I have fixed one, something else starts making noise. The resonant nature of any guitar can make it hard to pinpoint where noises are really coming from.

 

The stock bridge is horrible. Not only does the loose retainer wire rattle, the saddles move around when you change strings or even just tune it, affecting intonation. Also, the posts that the bridge mounts on are rather loose in the guitar and also can move and rattle. Solution: Gotoh makes a drop on replacement bridge. When you replace the bridge, run the nuts down against the guitar body, don't overtighten but snug them up against the body. This will keep the posts from shifting and help keep the bridge located more positively. Then just use the nuts that come with the new bridge to set the bridge height.

 

A poorly made nut can cause buzzing also. If slots are too deep, too wide or angled wrong the string can buzz in the nut. Mine make kind of a zing sound. I replaced the crappy stock nut with a pre-cut Graph-Tech nut. Note that this was NOT a drop in piece. The grooves in the nut were level with or slanted ever so slightly towards the neck so the strings rested back in the nut instead of on the edge towards the neck. Even if the nut slot is level with the fingerboard, the string can lift up a bit when vibrating and buzz. It must slant or roll back away from the neck.

 

When I inspected the nut I took off, I found this to be a problem with it, too. This allowed the string to buzz in the slot and also effectively made the scale slightly longer, which affected intonation and tuning. Just to make this worse, I found that the slot the nut sits in also slanted slightly towards the fingerboard so the replacement nut had to be filed a little extra to sit flat. The Graph Tech nuts I bought for my other guitar are properly shaped but the one made for the Epiphone needed more work. Just because a nut is new or has been replaced doesn't mean it isn't suspect for problems.

 

I should be getting my nut files from Stew Mac today. Hopefully, this will allow me to cure the nut buzz. As it is, I can stop that buzz by pushing down on the string in the nut with my fingernail.

 

Rattling wires inside the body are a pain in the rear. I have inspection lights and mirrors and have spent a fair amount of time going cross-eyed and poking wires around. While some wires were in suspect positions and I could hear them tapping against things when I shook the guitar, I never managed to stop any buzzes by repositioning or securing wires. I do suspect some occasional buzzing from inside the bridge pickup but I don't want to attack that until I'm sure the nut is good.

 

I also took a piece of foam and wove it through the strings between the bridge and tailpiece. It stops that portion of the strings from ringing but I don't think it stopped any buzzing. I am curious whether that affects the sound of the guitar at all and will play with that if I ever get rid of all the buzzing.

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A more radical solution, but one that might have unexpected benefits, would be to replace the bridge entirely with a Tru-Arc bridge. These are made by a fellow in the midwest and are available through the Gretsch Pages forum. They're a more refined version of the Gretsch "rocking bar" bridge and are available in several metals (aluminum, brass, stainless steel and copper), each with its own tonal character. As a solid bar, there are no moving parts to vibrate or rattle, and I replaced the adjust-o-matic bridge (similar to TOM on a Casino) on my Gretsch 5120 with an aluminum Tru-Arc and am delighted with the results. I recently acquired a brass one, which I'll try out on my Casino and Sorrento.

 

I believe someone on this forum had one made for their Epi Joe Pass with favorable results as well.

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