This is my biggest gripe about Acoustic Guitars, which I have been playing for over 25 years. After saving to buy a HIGH END guitar I was severely disappointed that it had a buzzing “B” String, primarily when played open. I called the manufacturer several times and their advice was of no use, telling me to adjust the truss rod (I have had guitars where all, the strings buzzed and a back bow was the cause but not ONE string.) Bu I added more relief but it did not help. They told me to change the pins, I did but the problem was not solved. It was so annoying. I placed a feeler gauge under the string at each fret and plucked the string, it cleared the gauge at every fret. I tried a higher saddle, a higher nut; NOTHING made this BUZZ go away. I set everything within the manufacturers specs, relief, saddle height, break angle, clearance at nut, etc. Still no cure. They told me to talk it to their repair center. I did and the person there could not hear any buzz, all he heard was as he said, "A secondary harmonic.” Now if this was a secondary harmonic then EVERY acoustic guitar “B” string would BUZZ the same. All of the acoustic guitars I have owned for the past 25 years DID NOT BUZZ; all of the acoustics I now own DO NOT. I could hear it, my friends could hear it. This person also said it was MY playing style caused it, and yet I had many people play the guitar and got the same result; a BUZZ. I recorded the buzzing and emailed it to the manufacturer and they agreed to refund my money and I agreed not to reveal THEIR NAME.
Recently I purchased a little Martin and liked it so much and decided that it was the same as their X series so I bought a 000 X series online. When it arrived it too had this same mysterious buzzing B string. I sent it back. Then I went to GC and played a 000 X series and it too had a buzzing B sting, open and to the third fret, but the Dreadnaught X series did not. Again the salesperson could not hear the BUZZ. I am so tired of trying to buy any acoustic guitar because of this Buzz that only I can hear (But those who listen to the tape can hear it too, except repairmen and sales people.) I would like to know what on earth causes this and why on just certain more well known guitars. I am beginning to believe it is POOR manufacturing and there is either a major flaw in the neck and or bridge.
Sounds like the mystery company and the online agent both did you right by refunding your cash.
I don't get this part:
"Buzz that only I can hear (But those who listen to the tape can hear it too, except repairmen and sales people.) "
A buzzing string is either a string problem or a set-up problem, no matter the price or the brand of the guitar. Sometime, they can be really hard to pin down and, as a repairman and builder, I sometimes have to do some trials to find what causes a buzz.
On the other hand, it seems like your really are upset by all this story, and I wonder if your sentence "Buzz that only I can hear (But those who listen to the tape can hear it too, except repairmen and sales people.) " is well thought after. Please consider most of us here are professional repairmen taking some free time to answer you, and consider the fact that the few repairmen you met are not enough to define the whole "repairman" specie.
Rich, Two possibilities are; the Nut's "B" slot is too lg. for the string, and/or... the tuner 10mm nut might be loose. Both of either of these would cause an open string to buzz.
Right, a slot with a bad angle too.
I have a number of brand spanking new necks that I have removed and replaced with factory supplied replacements under warranty. They have truss rod induced resonance or buzz and the Company accepts that and replaced them with good grace. It's not common but it's there from time to time and mentioned in their servicing material. I had a customer in tears with his brand new artist signature expensive model which went nuts at certain frequencies all over the board - that was the loose press in bushing and washer making their own "music" at certain frequencies........
I also used to train people in audible sonic recognition in acoustic analysis. Once you have imprinted a certain audible sonic event or frequency in someone's brain circuits/memory it is instantly recognizable almost to the extent of being recognizable under the ambient noise or other more intense signals.
Coincidentally, I also have/had a customer who sits in a darkened room plucking the B string of his expensive acoustic bells and whistles model and drives everybody to distraction because it's a tad unruly. He has trained his brain to recognize and focus upon this almost imperceptible issue and there is no return from his predicament. I guess you can think about this stuff - I'm sure every seasoned luthier/repairman with some time up has a similar story.
Which is why I like extremely loud and messy electric guitar shenanigans........
Could it be possible that the slot is cut to deep? Put your finger on the third fret and see if you have any clearance at the first fret. If the string is touching the first fret that could cause a buzzing when the string is hit open. Just a thought.
I'm with Pierre.
I commonly find that factory nuts do not have uniform/sufficient break angles at the nut (going toward the tuners). This covers guitars from $99 value-pak instruments to $10K presentation grade instruments. Builders build them & then tech's perfect them.(:
Use a few strokes of a correctly gauged nut file to increase the break angle of the B string and it will (I bet) either fix the issue or at least eliminate that as a possible cause of buzzing.
I have to employ this fix often and routinely. I LOVE to see the look on the customer's face when they hand me their "mysterious buzzing guitar" and I hand it back to them 10 seconds later "fixed". I've been unjustly accused of wizardry. I hope this method works for you.
Hope this was helpful and best of luck(:
I apologize if any Luthier was offended, as I did not intend to do such. The Luthier I was forced to take the instrument to was not what I would consider very competent, that is why I called him a repair man. I have done much repair but on the minor side (no neck resets or brace gluing, etc) but I have replaced and cut nuts, saddles and shaved bridges as well as all electronics. As far as my statement everyone mentioned about a sound only I could hear, it was my way of expressing my exasperation over those who look at me and say they cannot hear it, because it was this person's lack of wanting to do any work by making me believe the sound was not there. And lastly, yes I am upset and obsessed with an annoying noise that ruins a perfectly good piece being played. And as I have stated I have not experienced this on every guitar just the ones I mentioned and it is the first thing I listen for when buying a guitar. Perhaps, as someone stated about the nut break angle, I always cut nuts that way, and this “repairman” in an attempt to get rid of me took a 2 second swipe through the nut and said there was a piece of dirt under the string. So I don’t know if I have the answer it may have been the nut or the tuner but it makes me leery and weary when buying a new guitar, especially an expensive one—and if I paid someone like the one I went to and he said he could nor hear the buzz I would be furious to say the least. This repair man has a contract with several Guitar Center stores and if one was purchased from there HE is what you would get to set it up, and if I trusted him and he said the guitar required a set up at my expense I would have gladly paid for it. As I stated to the manufacturer, “I have never heard a recording nor seen a performance with a guitar that buzzes like this one did.”
Hi Rich (:
"This repair man has a contract with several Guitar Center stores"...I have a theory as to why that guy couldn't resolve your issue.
If this guy simply lowered the nut slot (he actually just 'cleaned' it), he didn't go far enough. The break angle at the headstock side of the nut needs to be increased.
You've got us all curious. What kind brand/model of guitar?
So, does the issue still exist or are you still needing diagnostic specialists?
BTW: Luthier/tech/repairman. To me, too many techs and repairmen call themselves luthiers. To me, a "Luthier" can turn that old tree in the back yard into a functional, well crafted stringed instrument. I am a technician. I do not build but, I do everything else a luthier would do.
A repairman uses many lutherie skills but generally is less skilled in final setup work than a tech (I made-up that definition). These terms are interchangeable for most purposes and it's all good. I think the one thing we ALL can agree on is that we are lifelong students of this perpetually evolving craft.
Best of luck (-:
As to the brand of guitar, I'll bet it starts with a T. Ends with an R. Just my 2 pennies.
Hi Christian, see my previous post.
I didn't know that Traynor still makes guitars. :)