String sort of rattle when fretted on the 4, 5, 6 strings mainly at 10+ fret

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DW4LesPaul, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    I had my Taylor set up when I bought it and it was done really nicely. I had no problems fretting it and the action was low enough.

    After about 3 years, I started seeing my string getting higher and higher off the frets. The fret board began to have a slump in the middle, so I used the trusts adjustment to take it out, leaving just a little in it, and lower the strings back.

    That worked, but now when I fret the bass strings (the wrapped strings), especially at the 12th fret area, I hear a metallic like "ching" sound. It can be heard on the 4-6th strings when letting off or fretting therm. There is no string buzz after they are fretted, and I only hear that strange metallic like "ching" sound when letting off or fretting the strings. Going up the neck, after about the 8th fret, it goes away.

    Any ideas? It's so much easier to play like it is right now, but that upper fret metallic like ching sound is really annoying when letting off of fretting the string.
     
  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Sounds like the frets could do with a lookover.
     
  3. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    ^ Agree, sounds like a rogue fret.
     
  4. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Could it be I am using 12s instead of what it came with, which is 13s?

    Also,what would cause a fret to increase in height?
     
  5. mux164

    mux164 Senior Member

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    Could be a high fret, as the others said, I've once had a kink in a string that was causing buzz as well
     
  6. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Guys,

    Just wanted to say that when the strings are fretted and plucked, I get no buzz at all, none, on any fret. So if the frets were the problem, wouldn't that also show up when the string is fretted and actually played?

    The only time I hear this sort of 'clanking/shing' noise is when I first fret the strings in question, from the 8th fret down, such as hammering on, but also when the string is not being fretted at all, and I fret it. It just gives out this "shingie" sound. Once the string is fretted and played, no buzzing at all anywhere on any fret.
     
  7. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    If you have lower action now then there is a good chance you've been unused to the level of 'fretting cleanliness' required. The string passes way closer to the adjacent frets and indeed the fret you are about to utilise.
     
  8. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    I don't understand what you said:(
     
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  9. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    I can't see any of the fret being irregular, and none of them buzz, as stated above, when actually fretted. All frets are clean all the way to the very last fret on all strings.

    My Taylor comes with 13 Medium strings from the factory. I changed them to the Elixer 12 light. When using the 12 lights, the B string had this rattle to it, like it was coming from the bridge, and the high E string never sounded right either. I never could track it down. I got sick of it and thought it might be because the string was too light and was causing some sort sort of vibration from the nut.

    So I took a pack of 12 light-mediums and replaced the 1 and 2 string with those. Problem solved. (I didn't change the 4, 5, and 6th strings because they are the same as the 12 light gauge, as you can see in the image, and for some reason, the light G string never gave me any problems). But, then I adjusted my truss rod because the action seemed higher than with the original strings. This is normal because the original heavier strings put more tension on the fret board. As you can see by the image, the medium 13s, which the Tailors come with, is identical to the 12 light-medium, except for the 4, 5, 6 strings. The 4, 5 and 6th strings are the same for both 12 light and 12 light-medium gauges.

    I adjusted the truss rod and took the bow out of the FB, leaving just a little dip in it, and the action got lower and again the guitar was so easy to play, except I got this crappy "shiiing" sound coming from the 4, 5, and 6 strings when fretting the strings past the 8th fret. In order to get rid of that sound completely, I have to loosen the truss rod too much and the guitar becomes far to hard to fret and play the further up the neck you go, and barre chords are almost impossible anywhere except on the 1-4th fret.

    So, this string deal leads me to think that because the nut is cut for the 13 gauge strings, the strings sit just a little higher in the nut than the 12 gauge strings do. This would raise the strings and perhaps prevent that "shing" sound when the truss rod is adjusted properly.

    What do you think?
    MyLesPaul.JPG

    For some reason the thumbnail is not opening the original size file, so here is the link to the Elixer page--scroll down to the section titled "
    Acoustic 80/20 Bronze with NANOWEB Coating"
    : https://www.elixirstrings.com/guitar-strings/acoustic-80-20-bronze-nanoweb-coating
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  10. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Well, if the frets are indeed the source of the buzz, but don't buzz when they are properly fretted and only buzz when you in the process of fretting them....then it is your technique that is the issue.

    And when you go to lighter strings like you say in the above post, you have less tension and the action will be lower. Its only when you go for thicker strings than the TR is used to countering that you get higher action.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  11. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    I want to help, but your numbering of the strings is confusing me. The image you posted shows the 1, 2, and 3 strings being the same gauge between Light-Medium and Lights. The 4, 5, and 6 strings are heavier on the Light-Medium. So, you're having this buzz on the Low E (6th string) and A (5th string)? So, if you're having buzz on the 1st and 2nd strings (high E and B), I don't see how changing from Light to Medium-Lights would really fix that since they both have the same gauges for the 1, 2, and 3 strings. *Maybe* the added tension from the slightly heavier 4, 5, and 6 strings could add enough relief to eliminate the buzz, but I'm not sure about that.

    I think it's probably a technique issue, or you are a bit too heavy handed for light strings.
     
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  12. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    It's not when the string is fretted and then struck. It's when they are initially "pushed down" onto the fret and BEFORE they are struck that you can hear the "chingie" sound. After the string is pressed onto the fret wire, there is no buzzing when struck.
     
  13. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    I know, the explanation above was convoluted.

    It's not a technique issue because there is no technique in pressing the string down onto the fret wire BEFORE the string is struck. I take my finger, set it squarely on the string, and then push quickly down to the fret wire, and that's when I get the "chingy" sound--no playing involved.

    The 13 gauge "medium" strings are heavier on the 4, 5, and 6th strings vs. the 12 gauge light-medium. The 1, 2, and 3 strings are the same on booth the 13 gauge medium and the 12 gauge light medium. The problem is with the 4, 5, and 6th strings and I am currently using 12 gauge light medium, which are not as thick as the 13 gauge medium.

    Code:
    11102   
    11077 Light-Medium .012 .016 .024 .035 .045 .056
    11102       Medium .013 .017 .026 .035 .045 .056
    
     
  14. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Yes, you've mistakenly read my plain language twice now.....twice I have mentioned it could well be technique in the process of fretting, yet you have deflected that seemingly by mentioning after the string has been struck. We are talking about the same part of the process.
     
  15. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    The 4, 5, and 6 strings are identical between the light-mediums and mediums. The 1, 2, and 3 are lighter on the light-mediums. Strings are numbered from highest to lowest in pitch. High E is 1st string. B is 2nd string. G is 3rd string. D is 4th string. A is 5th string. Low E is 6th string.

    It still sounds like a technique issue. You're probably using too much force, so the strings rattle against the frets when you press down before they settle into tune. If you use 13s, they're not going to be as floppy on the treble strings, so you can fret them harder without buzz. If you hit the strings hard enough, they will rattle regardless of how well the guitar may be set up. Try fretting more softly, or go to 13s because they are more forgiving for heavy playing.
     
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  16. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Have you tried playing with a lighter touch? Lighter strings should have a little more travel (increasing the likelihood of striking a fret-top somewhere), and your fingers may be used to the heavier strings, meaning one or both hands may be using too much force.
     
  17. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

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    is the "clink " sound coming from behind the fretted note ? in otherwords towards the nut. strings clinking on frets behind the fretted note can sometimes indicate more neck relief is needed.

    although tweeking the truss rod does lower the action, its not really its intended purpose. Maybe slacken it off a touch to put in a little more relief and then if it works, lower the action at the saddle.

    without seeing the guitar this is only guessing but its worth a try before thinking more deeply into the cause
     
  18. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Guys, look, it's not about how I fret the string, seriously, okay? It doesn't matter if I fret it gently or snap it down. Increase relief removes the problem, but makes the guitar hard to play.
    I actually got a set of measuring devices and made measurements at the 6th fret using a capo and the 14th fret, and adjusted the truss rod accordingly.

    I have measured the 6th string at the 12 fret now and it's 4/32s, just a tad high, but the FB is perfect, so now if I want to go lower, it's saddle time.

    I actually ended up releasing all tension on the truss rod for a few hours then incrementally increased it to get the FB straight, with just a little relief in it. The 6th fret space is perfect and as I stated, the 12 fret 6th string is at 4/32nds, just a tad high. I may take a little off the saddle, but it plays a lot better now and and I am not getting that chingy sound anymore, either.

    I think what helped is that I used 1/8 turn on the truss bolt instead of 1/4. I was going either too far either way trying to use 1/4 turn. It seems the truss rod in my guitar is very sensitive. Anyway, I think the problem is solved using the 1/8 turn until I have the truss adjusted perfectly, without the chinging sound.

    Thanks for hanging in there with me.
     
  19. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Yes, that would be my guess, but the rod was still showing relief.
     

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