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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

harmonic ringing on G string

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Bullfive, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Bullfive

    Bullfive NEW MEMBER!

    Dec 28, 2009
    I'm new to the site. I have a Jerry Donahue tele, and this year it developed a high harmonic ring on the G string. No other string has the problem. Pickups are fine. Changing strings makes no difference. It can be heard in a quiet room without an amp. When recording the Tele it's very noticable. It appears as an after tone, not when the string is initially struck. The string doesn't buzz anywhere. General string tone is fine. Adjustment at the bridge appears fine.
    Anybody ever had this issue? Anybody have an idea how to fix this? No obvious source of the harmonic is evident.

  2. Jakester93

    Jakester93 Tele-Meister

    Jul 4, 2009
    Dacula, GA
    I had a ringing at the top on the part of the string between the nut and the tuner. It was on the G string too. I don't know if you're experiencing the same thing, but I just put a rubber band around the high part of the string above the nut and that fixed it. Its probably a problem with the nut, but I don't know how to fix that.

  3. Wardpike

    Wardpike Friend of Leo's

    Feb 16, 2008
    St. John's, Newfoundland
    +1 on Jakester's comments. You can also try installing another string tree for the D+g strings.

  4. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    Mine does that above the nut too.

    I'll either install the extra string tree, or cut a new nut.

    The rubber band trick stopped it. Playing with a capo stops it too.
    It did not do it with the last nut. I suspect I've made this one with a bit of a knife edge so the upper string vibrates rather too freely in sympathy on some notes. And this Baja vibrates like a live animal when played.

    The nut cannot be re-cut higher, it shall have to be replaced.

    If it persists with the next one, it will receive a G/D string tree.

  5. Telesquire

    Telesquire TDPRI Member

    Oct 19, 2008
    Eastern L.I. New York
    FWIW...My daughters Tele we built last Christmas developed what your talking about soon after a bit of playing. I layed a finger on the nut over the G string and it muted the harmonic...I removed the nut and lightly resurfaced the mating surfaces with a small file and reglued with a dab of elmers, problem solved.
    If you've got a three saddle bridge be sure the screws going through the saddles have good contact with the bridge plate....that was a minor problem on mine...drove me NUTS!
    It can't just be "contacting" should have a bit of a load on each adjusting screw.

    Good luck~Hope this helps!

  6. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

    Two things to try....recut the nut slot w/ more of a back angle....install a New G-string with many more wraps on the tuner post, so it exits much lower on the post.

  7. cotecj

    cotecj Tele-Holic

    Feb 18, 2008
    Sounds like the slot for the G is cut with too much angle. I have found that on guitars without a string tree on the D/G strings, the slot for the G needs to be almost flat on the bottom, i.e. very little down angle.

    The problem is the real shallow angle from the nut to the G tuner post. If the nut slot is angled too much on the bottom, then the string is only supported on the edge of the nut closest to the frets. When you play the open string, that tiny point of support is like a node, causing the string from the nut to the tuner to vibrate. Having an almost flat bottom to the nut slot damps the vibration above the nut.

  8. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    that's the first thing i'd try. i do this routinely for all strings just to be on the safe side. cut the string to where it winds all the way down and comes off the very bottom of the post.

  9. Bullfive

    Bullfive NEW MEMBER!

    Dec 28, 2009
    A big thanks to all who posted a reply! :>)

    Thank you all. It really helps to know I'm not the only Telecaster with an issue!
    I'm going to let Mellecaster who lives in my region take a close look at the situation, and one of us will post the solution. I'm not technically savy enough to tackle this issue without possibly making it worse.
    Mean time, I'm going to try some of the simple fixes (rubber band, sponge, etc) for a temporary intervention.
    The harmonic is much like one would hear when rubbing a finger tip on a crystal glass with water in it. It's actually a beautiful sound, if only I could turn it on and off and control it's duration. It's almost angelic, but very out of place when "shred comes to crunch"........
    Thanks again to all, and Happy New Year! May 2010 rock all of your worlds!! :>)

  10. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

    Bruce...I just looked at your Profile and saw that your birthday is 4 days away from mine...Two "Picky" Virgos....this will be an interesting Meeting....;)
    ps. I'm Sept.14, 1946 (Same age as Fender)...maybe that's why I like em so much...??

  11. Blank

    Blank TDPRI Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Burnaby, Canada
    It's really strange that you're only getting that on the G string. All my guitars do that on every string. a note and it steps up to a harmonic after the original note fades away

  12. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    I very much suspect that this is exactly what I've done - cut the nut with too much angle. There should be some angle, but like the last half a dozen nuts I've made have been for angled headstocks. Otherwise it is a good sounding nut. Plus I always cut my strings a bit long so they are wound down a good long way, except the top two which wind up because of their string tree. Yet because my slot is a bit wide, I had to make the nut from an oversize bone blank. Making a new one will have to wait for another tuit. The blanks were not the best pieces of bone I've ever seen, the first went wrong, the second split down the face, the final one has got black dots in it and one slot crumbled and had to be repaired with epoxy putty, mutter... Fortunately it has stopped its nonsense for now, I suspect it has either bedded in or got a bit dirty, perhaps it was just new strings. Me, I like to know how things work, I'll take things apart just to find out.

  13. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 28, 2004
    Maryland (US)
    My MIM Classic Series '50s Tele and '69 Thinline Tele tend to do that because the angle of dropoff of the string behind the nut is very shallow. I maximize the number of wraps on the tuner post and it eliminates or reduces it to barely noticeable.

    Having only a single string tree is a big factor.

    I don't have this problem on Teles like my Squiers which have two string trees. Looking in the Duchossoir book 49 I see the 1973 and later Teles (other than the reissues which came later) had two string trees. So when I set up the Mighty Mite neck on my partscaster, I chose the later style, 2-tree configuration:


  14. wragen22

    wragen22 TDPRI Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    I have this same issue, but on my b-string. I have been working with my guitar tech to try and get this figured out. Thus far, we have installed a new bone nut to ensure the strings have good seating. We have also experimented with rubber bands behind the nut as well, but still no avail...

    Next steps we are going to try and pot the bridge plate to the body..

    I realize this was an older thread. did the OP find a solution?

  15. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

    If Memory serves me correctly, the OP did bring the CS JD Tele

    by my Shop, (can I still say that ?) and the very 1st thing I noticed was that all his Strings were

    Coiled up "Hippie style" on the Headstock...hence the overtones.

    A few minutes w/ some wire cutters solved the problem.

  16. SynMike

    SynMike Tele-Meister

    Mar 22, 2013
    Vancouver BC
    Thank you telectaster forum and google for bringing me here. I'm relatively new to guitar but played keyboards for many many years. My new telecaster had this problem with a string D note always ringing. i had figured out that it was the G string but not that the strign above the nut was the problem. Dampening the string above the nut fixed it. I probably would not have found it on my own and I was worried that my now-difficult-to-find black paisley tele was a lemon. I'm so relieved.

    I will try the extra string winding trick.

    I'm going to also try a short length of narrow rubber tube over the string to dampen it.

  17. JonesKY

    JonesKY Tele-Meister

    Dec 3, 2003
    In The Bluegrass KY
    as previously noted, the problem is the shallow angle, easily solved by add'l wraps on the tree. I'd suggest not adding a string tree (irreversible) or dampening material like foam (will affect tone). a little extra wrap on the D & G will solve the problem without choking the overall resonance of the guitar.

  18. Pantone 333

    Pantone 333 TDPRI Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I own three Teles and eventually, all three developed this problem. It's an artifact of the design and break angle. Sometimes getting a new nut doesn't help. You'll never have this problem on a Gibson ... but I prefer Teles.

  19. Ramblin Ray

    Ramblin Ray Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    New York
    Very well said. I just dealt with this problem on my new G.E.. Just used a .020 nut file and changed the angle a bit to match the travel of the string to the post. A tricky problem to solve without using a string tree.

  20. SynMike

    SynMike Tele-Meister

    Mar 22, 2013
    Vancouver BC
    As I just wrote in another thread I was able to solve this problem without doing anything with the nut. Eventually I will probably just get a bone nut put in there so the problem will probably go away. But in the mean time...

    I fixed it by cutting a 1-1/2" long tube of heat shrink wrap and putting it on the string between the nut and the tuner. It adds just enough dampening to cut the undesired ringing. I bought colorless clear so unless you look very closely you don't even see that it is there.

    I put 1mm diameter piece over the string and shrunk that with a cig lighter. The resulting diameter is just big enough to slide on the string so I might even be able to get it off there and put the same piece onto a replacement string.

    Problem solved.

    Only $1 including shipping on ebay gets you 2m (6ft) of the stuff - enough to last a life time. So I cut a few spare pieces and keep them in my case with the spare strings. This is the item I bought:

    I just ordered some 0.6mm on ebay and next time I do a string change I will try that. I'm guessing it will shrink tight enough that it is fixed in position. I'm not sure whether I will like that more than the 1mm that can slide. Or it might be just the right size to slip over the string and slide into place without having to shrink it.

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