View Full Version : Occasional buzzing on my Kamaka C string...

07-08-2009, 10:47 AM
Anyone out there who has had buzzing problems: have they been constant or do they come and go?

I ask because I just noticed yesterday that I am having some buzzing on my C string (and very rarely on my E string). It doesn't sound when I pick the string upwards with my finger, and it doesn't sound when I fret the string. But when I pluck downwards with my thumb, and it is an open string, about 50% of the time now I'm getting a buzzing sound.

I had some Kamaka strings on it, took those off and put a new set on -- still buzzing. I put on some Hilos -- still buzzing. I put on some Worth browns -- still buzzing. I never noticed it when my D'addario Pro Arte were on there, and I'm on the verge of changing back to those, but before I keep restringing this uke, I'm wondering what might be the cause of it.

I did a quick search but didn't really see people who said the buzzing was not constant, and I also can't hear it when I strum a chord (though it could be the other strings are drowning out the buzzing noise).

I sent an email to Kamaka asking them about it, but I also noticed that the C string doesn't sit flush with the other three at the nut (or really anywhere else on the fretboard) -- it rides a bit higher. The first owner of this uke had it strung with Kamaka strings that had the old wound string, which I think was about the same thickness as the current nylon C string I have on it.

Anyway, just wondering for you fellow buzzers, was it constant or intermittent? And if intermittent, how did you solve it (obviously, other than by changing strings). :confused:

07-08-2009, 11:36 AM
The C may be designed to sit higher since the C vibrates more widely than the the others.

Do you humidfy your uke? Dryness can cause the wood to bend. You can get a cheap humidifier at most music stores and store your uke with it in a case at night. That may do the trick.

Ahnko Honu
07-08-2009, 11:43 AM
Try put a small piece of paper in the C string nut groove under the string like Dominator did on his Seeso 'ukulele. Sounds like a nut grove problem.

07-09-2009, 05:02 PM
I don't humidify...maybe I should.

Thanks for the suggestion about the small piece of paper, but I tried it and unfortunately it didn't work.

The E string has started buzzing just as much now...and it is flush with the nut so I guess I don't know what is wrong.

I emailed Kamaka to ask for advice but haven't heard back. I'm planning on taking it to a luthier on Saturday to see if they can look at it.

What is so frustrating is that it isn't constant - it happens about 30 to 50 percent of the time I pluck an open C or E string. If I was fretting, I'd think it was me. But it literally sounds when plucking the open string, and it is driving me absolutely crazy.

I am really into my Kamaka (it is the one I play now, as the Kanile'a languishes on the side) and it now makes me want to pull my hair out every time I reach for it. I don't fault Kamaka, I just don't know what happened, it was playing fine and now this insane buzz is driving me crazy. I suppose my Kanile'a is secretly laughing inside and waiting for me to return to her...

07-10-2009, 04:44 AM
I've noticed that I have to hold the strings closer to the next fret to not get the intermittent buzz on my hf-3. The frets profile is lower than my kala and koaloha that finger placement makes a big difference. At 1st, I also got frustrated when switching to the Kamaka because the c string would buzz intermittently.. but Im used to the adjustment now and get no buzz.

hope this helps