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ES-446 - ES 335


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When played the resonance of the body on both my ES-446 and now also my ES-335, puts the bridge humbucker in vibration, so it makes disturbing buzzing noise when played acoustic. I also think it dampens the string vibration, so it also affects when playing elctric.


How to bypass that unwanted effect of the hollow body??


My block ES-335 also started doing that when I changed the way to mount the strings. It may produce more sound?. On the Les Paul I have used to let string enter the tailpiece from the front and wound it over the tailpiece, in order not so easily break strings, and it has worked very good.


Anyone knows about these issues??

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It would be very unusual for the buzzing in that area you're experiencing to be caused by the pickup itself, though it's possible that you have it set so high that the magnets or pole pieces are interfering with the string travel. If that's the case, then just lower it until the rattle stops.


Much more common is to have a rattle caused by the tune-o-matic bridge's screw-retaining wire, which is my bet for what's causing you're problem. The two fixes I know of are:


1. place a piece of cardboard or a rag under the bridge to protect the top of the guitar in case you slip and then carefully use the edge of a screwdriver to push down on the wire between two screws to create a 'V'-shaped kink in the wire. Doing that creates tension in the wire against the screws and prevents it from rattling.


2. You can dab a little clear fingernail polish or superglue on the wire to sort of glue it to the bridge and prevent rattles, but I'd remove the bridge from the guitar before attempting that.


It's possible too that your saddles are somehow very loose, which would require a much more extensive fix or replacement... but I'd put a kink in that wire first.


Here's a photo that shows what I mean...



That photo came from here:



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I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm a long time 446 owner. I searched high and low to find the source of that buzz. It makes the guitar sound horrible acoustically and the buzz comes and goes...not always there. I thought it was the wire on the bridge too but it's not on mine. I found the buzz comes from the bridge pickup like yourself. A tech said it's the adjustment springs. Claims that is the problem with many buzzes on various Gibsons. He doubled up each spring essentially adding tension but while that helped the buzz still came and went.


I noticed if I applied pressure on the neck side of the plastic pickup rectangular housing the buzz stops everytime. I let go and the buzz returns. I'm not sure if it's the housing vibrating on the pickup cover or the pickup itself but pressure there STOPS the buzz for good. And remember that's a thin top of the 446 so it vibrates a lot which enhanses a buzz sound.


I have some flat sided thin wooden tooth picks where one end is thin and the other is fatter. Not the rounded type.

I slid the fat side in a little bit between the pickup and the rectangular guard. I carefully broke the tooth pick off there while supporting the plastic guard. This essentially adds pressure between the guard and the pickup which STOPS the buzz allowing the guitar to sound beautiful again acoustically. I use two toothpicks. One around the B string and the other around the A string. Buzz is gone and you barely see the broken off toothpick. Over time because the thin guitar top vibrates the toothpick will fall into the guitar cavity and the buzz returns. Just get out the toothpicks and do it again. Try it. Can't hurt anything. That buzz drove me crazy for several years. This problem may exist on solid body Gibsons also but it wouldn't be as noticable as on a semi hollow like a 446 or 335. The hollowness amplifies it.

Good Luck!



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Hi clayville and Dave


Thank you for replying!.


I'm sure it is the problem that Dave describes. I found out by putting a wide rubber band around the pickup. It is simply the the pickup itself, that is vibrating and clashes with the pickup rings. Due to extensive resonance of the wood. The toothpick trick will do it!.

I wonder if a rubberhose around the screw instead of the spring will work too, but will have to try it out. It is rather strong vibration it makes though.

But man, what a nice guitar it is anyway!.


Thanx again!

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Hi again guys!


While I got you around - what is to do about "dead spots"?. The G on my G-string does'nt ring for long. It's kinda like a noisegate is on and turning the signal down, but it is straight into the amp and the other strings and tones rings fine. Anything to do about that?. It sounds as it rings ok acoustic, maybe a little weaker than other tones. Electrically it is easy to hear it rings out way to soon. Something to do with the pickup height? - poles?.

I have not really been digging into that area before.


Thanks in advance!



... and clayville - me too! ;-)


it's so great that we never get too old learning new stuff

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G strings are notorious for poor sound. I used to have a site that explained why but can't find it ATM.


Try using a wound G as an experiment, you might find it sounds better, sustains better, intonates better, etc, and does what you want.



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