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Thread: Buzzing with new strings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    1

    Default Buzzing with new strings

    Hello,

    I have a Kala KA-MC (Curly Mango Concert). I've typically used Aquila nylgut strings but recently decided to try something different, so I bought a set of the Martin fluorocarbon strings. After restringing I noticed that my E string now buzzes on top of the saddle (both when played open and when playing a chord). It definitely wasn't an issue before, and it's driving me crazy.

    I'm pretty sure it isn't an issue of something else vibrating... I can push on the string where it meets the saddle and it stops buzzing. But if I push only on the saddle to test if the saddle just isn't sitting correctly in the slot that doesn't do anything and it still buzzes. No frets are being hit by the string, I can tell that just by looking. I tried taking the saddle out and lightly sanded the bottom down a little to ensure it was sitting flat. I even tried sanding the top of it a little bit to get rid of any weird edges or uneven surfaces with no luck. And I have no idea what the saddle is made of. Definitely not real bone, I think the specs just say synthetic bone or something.

    I suppose I could just buy another set of Nylgut strings and hope that takes care of it, but it really bothers me that I can't use any other kind of strings... I'd rather fix the issue than just mask it (and spend extra money). Is there anything that anybody can think of that I could try or check? I haven't actually tried buying another set of the fluorocarbon strings yet, but I really don't understand how there can be a "bad string" that'd cause that issue.

    Thanks in advance, and sorry if this has been asked before! I read through the "buzzing" sticky post but wasn't able to find this specific issue... it seems like most posts dealing with saddle buzz end up being related to the saddle not being seated well or too low.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    1,658

    Default

    The Martin strings are thinner then the Nylgut strings and are probably loose fitting into the slot in the bridge saddle. Actually, there should be no slot into the saddle at all. The string should fit over the saddle with a smooth edge, no slot. Try replacing the saddle first. If the buzzing continues, it is not the saddle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    4,000

    Default

    Chasing down the cause/location of a buzz can be difficult. You could try fitting a small piece of paper between the string and saddle, and increase the thickness/layers until the buzzing stops. If it does stop, it may mean the saddle is a bit low. If so, you could raise the saddle height a bit by installing a thin shim under it. If the paper thing doesn't work at the saddle, you could try it in the nut slot too. As I've found, the source of a buzz is sometimes not where I thought it was.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 10-28-2020 at 08:13 AM.
    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    on a sunny FL beach
    Posts
    1,459

    Default

    Agreeing with the last 2 posts. Every time I had a buzz it was after a string change to a thinner string. The string then sits too deep in the nut slot. A quick effective fix would be to slack up the offending string and slide a thin piece of paper under the string, at the nut. Then tighten up the string to pitch and check. I use “cigarette” paper, as it is quite thin and allows for minor adjustment. Repeat as needed. You could fill the slot in a more permanent way, but this works great if you may want to go back to a different and thicker string.
    Last edited by bunnyf; 10-28-2020 at 09:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Wow, I hope you get it fixed. That can be very frustrating.
    I once got rid of buzzing by changing from Aquila strings to thinner ones....go figure.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    1,390

    Default

    To emphasize that it’s hard to track down a buzz, I had a uke that developed a buzz after a string change. I got a lot of good advice here, tried all or most of it, no change. Which, I’d add, it could be a tuner is loose, so check the screws that hold those in. But I took mine to a pro and he vacuumed out the body. It was a bit of something, maybe string I had snipped off, rattling around inside.

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