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JohnnyReb

I've got a Buzz!

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Ok maybe not the buzz some of y'all first thought, I gave up the booze a long time ago lol

 

My 2010 AJ has a buzz though and not in a pleasant way. I've just about nailed down the problem but could use a second opinion. So let's start at the beginning. Guitar played well with factory setup. No buzz no nothing. Decided to have saddle lowered a little bit, still played well. Neck is pretty flat but never has been a problem so I left it alone. Bridge pins fit nice and snug and all hardware is good and tight.

 

About a week ago I noticed the G string has a terrible buzz when played open. A metallic bzzzz that just goes down your spine ugh. Fretting the string anywhere down the neck it plays fine, but open its a mess. Now the nut slots have never been fooled with so I thought surely it can't be the nut. Not having any tools handy I ran my pick between the strings and first fret to check clearance. E,A,b,e seem fine, but G and D are pretty much laying on top of the fret. So why are the two middle strings all of a sudden too low when they was fine before????

 

My theory: it's been very humid here lately. My house has been at 55% for the past few weeks and not giving up. 55% is not dangerouse but I think maybe it's been just enough to swell the fretboard a hair. So the arch in it is contacting the strings in the center. I could very well be wrong. But I've moved it to my dads house where humidity is at 42% to see if any changes occur.

 

Any thoughts???

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If the buzz is kinda sitar-ish, and just occurs with the open string as you wrote, it could be the nut. Clean the slot carefully, maybe with a fine sandpaper.

The solution could be that easy.

At least in my case it was...

Had the same problem with a Martin. It took me days to find out...

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If it buzzes played on the open string and goes away when you play the first fret, the pretty much tells you without doubt the problem is the nut is cut too low.

 

As for the cause, I don't think it matters too much, because it is a rare problem that is likely to happen again, and the fix is obvious. But for curiosities sake, I would guess that the reason it didn't happen before and is happening now is the nut was probably not cut well.

 

Ideally, you want the nut to have the slots cut to take different gauges of string equally well. So perhaps it was cut to take a thicker gauge and started when you put thinner strings on it? The other possibility is that it wore down...perhaps the nut was working fine, as in not binding or rattling, but there were actually burrs in the slot that the string was resting on that got wore down quickly?

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Does sound like a nut slot too deep. Put a small piece of paper under the offending string in the nut slot...... Buzz gone? There you go. Nut material does wear and perhaps the G string has cut the slot just enough to allow the string to buzz on the first fret. Fix? A new nut. Or some luthiers can fill the slot with powdered bone and super glue, then recut the slot.

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Id guess that the nut slot was prob about at its lowest without buzzing at the first fret with the higher action. Lowering the saddle would have an effect on string height at the first fret, maybe ever so little, but still enough to now cause the buzz at the first.

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