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DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 07:51 AM
Hey everyone. Got my new Kamoa concert model in right before Christmas and i'm loving it so far. But i'm having issues with a recurring buzzy c string. Its supposedly in tune. But for some reason the C string almost always sounds kind of off and buzzy. The other strings aren't giving me the same problem. Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this?

dkcrown
12-28-2010, 08:08 AM
Could be a number of things. The action could be too low at either the nut or the saddle. The slot at the nut could be filed a little too wide for your C string. Or the slot at the nut could be angled in the wrong direction. musicguymic has information about this on his website.

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 08:10 AM
Thanks. I'll check that site out. I went to a local uke meetup last night and someone said they actually thought the action was too high. Sadly I hadn't noticed this problem in time to ask anyone there for advice about it. I really hope its not a defect with the uke itself. I don't trust myself at all to try to make any modifications to it.

peewee
12-28-2010, 10:00 AM
Hey Dustin - step one is new strings. Some strings just buzz, and strings that have been on too long can get buzzy too. Why? I donno..but it's the cheapest and simplest fix.

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 10:09 AM
Do you think this is possible on brand new strings peewee. I just got this uke in Friday. It came strung with Aquilas. I didn't figure i'd need to change them out for a while.

janeray1940
12-28-2010, 10:10 AM
Seconding the new strings. Any idea what kind of strings are on it? A lot of ukes come with GHS strings as stock, and in my experience, these tend to buzz. The C string on my Ohana did this until I put Aquilas on it.

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 10:16 AM
The uke came with the aquilas. Not sure which ones if there's a difference. They appear to be the same white ones that seem to come standard on some lanikai ukes that i've seen at the stores lately.

peewee
12-28-2010, 10:44 AM
I acquired a new uke in November that had a pretty annoying C string buzz going , new strings were the cure. Both the original and replacement strings were aquilas. It's the cheapest fix. If that doesn't work..
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?10546-Buzzing-on-String-Instruments-Causes-and-Cures

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 11:37 AM
The main thing i'm worried about with changing strings is that i'm not too familiar with how to do it. And also i'm sure if I make any changes like that it will void my warranty in case it is a defect and needs to be traded out.

OldePhart
12-28-2010, 12:00 PM
Changing strings shouldn't void your warranty especially if you replace with the same kind of strings.

The first thing to do those is carefully lift that string out of the slot on the nut and move it to the side (you really don't even need to loosen it to do this). Brush the front face and the slot of the nut with something stiff but not to scratch (i.e. a toothpick or a long fingernail, if you have one). The idea is to clean out the slot and the front face of the fret around where the string rides. Often, during manufacturing there will be a tiny bit of flashing or what have you there and it will make the string buzz as it vibrates. Often just the handling of changing strings will knock something like that loose, which is why people often think they cured the problem by "replacing the strings." (Not that strings aren't sometimes bad.)

If that doesn't fix it then try the old trick of lifting the string out of the slot and putting a tiny piece of paper in the slot, with the string back over it. Tear off any excess paper (or it will buzz!) and see if your buzz goes away. If so, you know that slot in the nut is a little low. You can do a permanent fix with a tiny dab of superglue or (better) epoxy in the slot.

Most often, though, on an entry level uke the action is going to be high - which means if you've got a buzz and it isn't something simple like a bit of flashing on the nut or a bad string, the frets need to be leveled. Once the frets are sanded level you can then work the nut slots and, if necessary, the bridge down to get a really slick action.

This is where guys (and gals) like MGM and so on earn their keep - they set ukes up before they leave the store so you don't have to!

Since you're not terribly far away, if you can't get this worked out let me know and I can take a look at it maybe next weekend. Chances are, though, you can probably find somebody east of 360 that can help you more quickly - check out the Dallas Ukulele Headquarters gang and see if maybe somebody there can at least point you down the right path.

John

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 12:21 PM
Thanks for the tips John. I actually went to one of their meetups last night. Met some good people. Maybe i'll try to get in touch with one of them and see if they can look at it. Everyone there seemed impressed overall with the Kamoa. But now that I think of it, one guy that seemed pretty knowledgeable mentioned that the action was pretty high. Wonder if I should have ordered from MGM instead in the first place.....

Mim
12-28-2010, 12:23 PM
I WISH YOU LIVED CLOSE TO ME!!! Come in on a slow day and I would fix it up to you no problem, but a trip to Charlotte, NC is a little far for a buzz fix ;)!

Ok... so tell me this. Does it buzz when the string is open or when you fret it?

If it buzzes when you are not fretting it, such as when playing a C or Am... chances are it is the nut and the superglue and a bit o' dust can fix that.

If it buzzes when you are pressing on the fret, that is a whole other issue that would be the frets or the saddle. This can be fixed by fret leveling or getting a taller saddle. But someone has to look at it and you would be amazed at what some people charge. I am sure if you get up with a uke group in your area there would be someone who can fix it.

It is true that the set-up process is so important. Basically a lot of fret and nut problems are found in this processes and can be fixed. Oooo... and one more silly thing to check. I dont know if your uke has this, but some of my Kalas and Lanikais have a "nut" looking (like my technical language) piece around the tuner at the top. They get lose and buzz like heck. I had to do that with a uke today, all 4 were lost and it twanged like there were metal strings on that thing. But a little renching and vio-la! Sometimes it helps to lean your ear really close to the uke... I mean really close, and try to see where the buzz is coming from.

But most imporant... is it buzzing when fretted, when open, or both. Troubleshoot, and then let me know and I will give you a couple more ideas to try if I can think of them!

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 12:58 PM
It was kind of doing both. I loosened all the strings and tried to clean the nut out a bit. That seemed to help some. I can't really tell. Haven't tuned it right yet. I do have those nuts on my tuners, but they seem to be fine. Maybe when I eventually take the strings off i'll try to mess with that a bit. I should probably try to get one of the local ukers to have a look at it. If you want I can take photos of the headstock and saddle area so you can actually see those parts.

OldePhart
12-28-2010, 01:08 PM
If it's buzzing both open and fretted then you probably have an issue around the bridge (it's less common, but you can sometimes find a bit of flim-flam under the string there, too) or a high fret - if a knowledgeable uker described the action as high you don't want to go raising the bridge and making the problem even worse.

At this point I'd say try changing the strings (Aquilas do have a thin layer of gut applied over the nylon and I've heard of that loosening and buzzing - but not usually on new strings). But, if new strings don't help I'd return the uke and order one from somebody like MIM or MGM - or buy locally where you can try them out. Come to think of it, I think there is actually a uke shop over on your side of the metroplex - never been there and don't know their reputation or if they have a setup tech. Search for Ukelady in Dallas - I think she's one of the supporters of the group I mentioned earlier.

John

Mim
12-28-2010, 01:10 PM
It was kind of doing both. I loosened all the strings and tried to clean the nut out a bit. That seemed to help some. I can't really tell. Haven't tuned it right yet. I do have those nuts on my tuners, but they seem to be fine. Maybe when I eventually take the strings off i'll try to mess with that a bit. I should probably try to get one of the local ukers to have a look at it. If you want I can take photos of the headstock and saddle area so you can actually see those parts.

Photos couldn't hurt. May not help, but it couldn't hurt.

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 01:21 PM
Good call on the Uke Lady Dallas. Maybe i'll see what she offers. Possibly take it over and see if she could restring or look at it. What other kinds of strings would you recommend for a Mahogany Concert? Also here's the photos. Didn't turn out very well, so i'm not sure how helpful they'll be.

http://img573.imageshack.us/img573/239/headstocknuts.jpg (http://img573.imageshack.us/i/headstocknuts.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/6121/saddlepic.jpg (http://img338.imageshack.us/i/saddlepic.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

OldePhart
12-28-2010, 01:29 PM
Good call on the Uke Lady Dallas. Maybe i'll see what she offers. Possibly take it over and see if she could restring or look at it. What other kinds of strings would you recommend for a Mahogany Concert?

I don't remember what kind of uke you ordered. If it's got a laminated top I'd probably stick with Aquilas. If it's a solid mahogany top then either Aquilas or else Martin or Worth fluorocarbon strings - though there are plenty of other options too - but those would be my favorites.

John

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 01:34 PM
Its the Kamoa Mahogany Concert model. Its a mahogany veneer I believe. I've been wondering about the Martin's or DiAdario's. I keep seeing them on sites, but never hear anything about them. Also what do you think about Worth browns or clears on my uke? I hear they're good. Just don't know about how they'd be on a mahogany concert. Might need to try to get out to her shop at some point this week....

Mim
12-28-2010, 02:04 PM
Did you try tightening the nuts on the tuners at the top there. Seriously had one that sounded like crap today, EVERY string buzzed and that was the problem. SAME tuners. Maybe you already did it, but if not, try tightening the nut looking part of the tuner. Like so...

http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r17/AudraFelix/UKULELEPROBLEM.jpg

OldePhart
12-28-2010, 02:14 PM
Its the Kamoa Mahogany Concert model. Its a mahogany veneer I believe. I've been wondering about the Martin's or DiAdario's. I keep seeing them on sites, but never hear anything about them. Also what do you think about Worth browns or clears on my uke? I hear they're good. Just don't know about how they'd be on a mahogany concert. Might need to try to get out to her shop at some point this week....

I really like the Martin M-600 fluorocarbon strings but they might be a bit much for a beginner, also a little too mellow for some people's tastes. The tension on all the strings is pretty close to even, which gives them the very mellow response (the thinner strings are under higher tension on most other sets, in an attempt to equalize volume). However, the M-600s are also overall thicker, higher-tension strings than Worths so they are not as "beginner friendly."

On a laminated mahogany, though, I'd just stick with Aquilas.

John

DustinCasler
12-28-2010, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. Maybe i'll try tightening the nuts when I restring it. How long would you wait to put new ones on? I guess with Aquilas though i'll need to order them.

Aldrine Guerrero
12-29-2010, 07:11 AM
If you bought it off the Ukulele Uprising, changed strings, and there's still a buzz; you can contact them here http://ukuleleuprising.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=6

DustinCasler
12-29-2010, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the link Aldrine. I ordered it by phone directly from Sam(Awesome customer service and help for a beginner by the way). I haven't tried changing the strings yet. But it appears to be a popular answer. I love the uke itself and would hate to have to send it back. So i'm hoping that changing the strings and tightening the nuts a bit might do the trick. I went to a local meetup the other night and everyone seemed really impressed with the volume and craftsmanship of the Kamoa, which was definitely cool. Hopefully I can just get someone that knows more to do a string change and take a better look at it for me.

DustinCasler
12-30-2010, 06:22 AM
I got some needle nose pliers and tried to tighten up the nuts on the tuners. I can't really tell too much of a difference yet, it sounds a bit cleaner. But I'm still haven't played it too much. Taking it over to this uke shop I found in Dallas on Monday to have it looked at. Might put the low g string on too...

olgoat52
12-30-2010, 08:32 AM
I am "so" stealing "Buzzy Seastring" as nick name on a uke forum somewhere..

DustinCasler
12-30-2010, 09:28 AM
I am "so" stealing "Buzzy Seastring" as nick name on a uke forum somewhere..

hahahahahahahahahahaha. Go for it.

llenrocs
01-07-2011, 04:06 AM
I had noticed a little buzzing on my Kamoa Pineapple soprano and I was able to trace it back to the bridge. I noticed that the closer I strummed to the bridge the worse it was and after closer inspection, I could see that the strings were moving on the bridge when I strummed hard. I don't get any buzzing at all if I strum near the 12th fret.

The bridge is a fairly slippery plastic on these Kamoas and I wonder if roughing up the surface would help.

Sean

Shadowgolem
05-13-2011, 09:17 AM
Wicked buzz on the C string when held down on the 3rd thru the 7th frets. Totally quiet and sweet tone held anywhere else or left open. Much worse when played loud.
Aquila Nylagut Strings.

Any help appreciated!

ShakaSign
05-13-2011, 10:35 AM
Besides a defective string (see Mya Moe's description on the subject), buzzing can occur with either high or low action but for different reasons. With high action, buzzing usually occurs when you're fretting near the nut-side of the fretboad. High action hinders you from putting consistent pressure on the fretboard, leading to buzzing on that fret. You can correct this by lowering the action and/or improving your finger strength. With too low action, a low tension string can vibrate or flop around with a greater amplitude and lead to buzzing off a neighboring fret. You can try to solve this by using a higher tension string (for example, Worth fats or strongs). Finally, a fret on the fretboard may not be completely level with all the other frets, which would cause buzzing when playing above that fret. You can fix that by having a luthier relevel the fretboard.

OldePhart
05-13-2011, 12:20 PM
Wicked buzz on the C string when held down on the 3rd thru the 7th frets. Totally quiet and sweet tone held anywhere else or left open. Much worse when played loud.
Aquila Nylagut Strings.

Any help appreciated!

Almost certain to be the 8th fret is too high - usually that happens on all strings or one of the outside strings, but I suppose an inner string isn't out of the question.

YOu need to have someone level the frets, then set up the nut and saddle to the correct height. It won't help to try to adjust nut and saddle until the frets are level.

Edit: To clarify, what I meant is that usually when it's only one string it's an outside string and in that case it's often because that end of the fret has lifted up a bit. Where it's an inner string either the fret didn't get pressed in flat or else the frets need to be leveled.

Shadowgolem
05-17-2011, 08:23 AM
So I brought it in to the shop I got it from that fortunately also does repairs. After frittering around with it for a while (the frets were all perfect, checked with a ruler) They replaced the Saddle with no improvement. Replacing the strings helped a bit and, as it turns out, I was strumming into the uke instead of across it. When they pointed this out and I changed my strum and the position I was holding the uke (I had the top tilted back a bit towards me so I could see the face and the frets for fingering which is not good form apparently) the problem basically disappeared. I really have to wail on it now to get it to buzz and I really don't normally play like that. It is also so new (has less than 20 hours of use on it) they said it may need to time to break in a bit. The new strings helped but I'm not crazy about the sound compared to the aquilas (They are a black mono-filament and thinner than the aquilas with a warmer but not as resonant sound though they may still need stretching)

hoosierhiver
05-17-2011, 09:30 AM
The C string is the fattest string, sometimes the nut is not grooved wide enough for the C string to sit comfortably in the slot. Have a look at the nut and see if the C string seems to be sitting on top rather than resting snugly in the slot at the same level as the other strings.

mm stan
05-17-2011, 12:21 PM
Hey everyone. Got my new Kamoa concert model in right before Christmas and i'm loving it so far. But i'm having issues with a recurring buzzy c string. Its supposedly in tune. But for some reason the C string almost always sounds kind of off and buzzy. The other strings aren't giving me the same problem. Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this?
Aloha Dustin,
Try shimming the nut with a piece of paper in the C string groove of the nut....and see if that works...good Luck...MM Stan

Shadowgolem
05-20-2011, 04:51 AM
FWIW the replacements strings are Black Fremont Mono-Filament (low G set). Now that they are broken in I like them quite a bit and the buzz is totally gone.
The A string is not quite as good as the Aquilas to my ear (sounds a bit tinny) but otherwise I Love the fullness of the sound you get with the fat low g and now that it is broken in it is not too wobbly.