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Thread: Buzz is back

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Buzz is back

    I put Oasis warm nylons on my Pono MTD, and every now and then there is a buzz on the e string. I checked the saddle and there does not appear to be a notch for the string like on strings 3 and 4. If I take a file and notch it a bid would that resolve it?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2020
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    Default

    Where is the buzz coming from? The saddle?
    Are new strings a different diameter than the old?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by plunker View Post
    I put Oasis warm nylons on my Pono MTD, and every now and then there is a buzz on the e string. I checked the saddle and there does not appear to be a notch for the string like on strings 3 and 4. If I take a file and notch it a bid would that resolve it?
    I don't see why that would fix it. So I'll go with "no". Although some instruments (not usually ukes) use notches in saddles on purpose, normally they are there because of the tension of the strings down on them causing wear. They can even cause issues if they get too deep, etc.
    If that string is lower tension than the strings you had on it before, that might explain the buzz as the string would have more movement to it. Buzzes are pretty hard to zero in on sometimes though.

    If this is when the string is played open only, it could also mean the nut slot is too wide if you've gone to a string more narrow than what it was setup for. You may also try to clean that slot, make sure there's no debris in it, etc. Lightly run something through it, even a folded piece of paper.
    Correct break angle there is important too.

    If it happens on random fretted notes, that's a whole other thing...It could be my first guess up there. It could be revealing some frets that weren't quite level that wouldn't show up with a higher tension string.

    Before doing anything, give it a few days to settle in with the new strings.
    Of course there's a possibility that there is something wrong with the particular string too.

    Those are all my guesses I think. I hope you get it figured out.
    Last edited by jer; 05-23-2021 at 08:28 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default

    As jer mentioned, those little notches on the saddle are usually wear from the strings. Wound strings can cause this very easily but I've seen them happen with plain strings as well, particularly fluorocarbon since they're so thin. They can cause quite horrific buzzing sometimes, so no, the issue definitely is not the lack of those notches. Under no circumstances should you make notches in the saddle yourself.

    I'd urge you to follow jer's advice above. Try to isolate the reason for the buzz. When you fret the E string, does the buzz go away? If yes then it might be something to do with the nut slot. Maybe too low action at the nut or a nut slot that's not properly cut for the gauge of the string, although a buzz caused by the latter issue is very distinct, usually less of a buzz and more like a chime. If not then the string is probably hitting a fret somewhere because of unlevel frets or too low action at the saddle. Sometimes these buzzes can just come and go simply because the wood is still moving because of temperature and/or humidity changes (or sometimes just because of no particular perceivable reason). Give the strings a chance to settle for a week or two, and if the buzz still persists you can tackle the nut and/or saddle if you're comfortable with that or alternatively bring the uke to a luthier.

  5. #5
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    you can put a capo at the first fret to eliminate the possibility that the buzz is coming from a problem with the nut slot. If the buzz is still there after the capo, then there is another cause. If the buzz disappears, you can further troubleshoot by putting a piece of paper in the slot to see if the buzz is still there. good luck.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    you can put a capo at the first fret to eliminate the possibility that the buzz is coming from a problem with the nut slot. If the buzz is still there after the capo, then there is another cause. If the buzz disappears, you can further troubleshoot by putting a piece of paper in the slot to see if the buzz is still there. good luck.
    Never thought of that. thanks.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice and that admonition on what not to do. Comes and go, at first IU though I had let my technique slip, but the open E was the culprit, I think.

  8. #8
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    I have had a periodic buzz on one of my ukes as well. The culprit - a tuner that was folded down and barely touched the head and created a vibration.

  9. #9

    Default

    3 possible ways to mitigate.

    1. Different strings
    2. Give more relief on truss rod (if your uke has one)
    3. Saddle needs to be a little higher. Either get a new saddle or shim the existing one.

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