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How to fix buzz at the bridge?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by adjason, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

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    hey folks- I've got a guitar I built with a 72 Mexican reissue telecaster deluxe bridge on it. The problem is that the high e string really makes a loud metallic buzz when played open. When fretted it sounds fine. The string is not hitting the first fret so the nut seems to be the right height. The buzz seems to be coming from the high e saddle but it has me perplexed. It does not sound like fret buzz but is louder and more metallic. It seems to occur if I tighten or loosen the string. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. dr_zaius

    dr_zaius Tele-Meister

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    I have this problem on TuneOmatic bridges all the time, never experienced in a Fender bridge. Try tightening the string saddle screw or the saddle height screws. Sometimes they come loose and you never notice it because the tension of the string keeps the saddle in the same place. Happens all the time on tuneOmatic bridges.
     
  3. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    As it only sounds when open does rather suggest the problem is at the nut end.

    I had a problem buzz there, it was not hitting the first fret but the wood of the fretboard itself was like a ski-jump ramp onto the nut, little distance between slot and wood. Check there, scrape.

    Another one is iron filings on the pickup pole. For which there is Blu-tak.

    Nut files are also useful for adjusting saddle slots, they will cut steel as easily as bone.

    String slipped and resting on height screw, or slipped into its hole? - this buzzes, and why I like grooved saddles.

    +1 Loose screws already covered.

    Btw ToM like a tiny drop of oil. Also often their saddles do not sit on the floor of their seat and have to be dismantled and the exit hole gently Swiss filed (the screw holds them up in the air).
     
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  5. dr_zaius

    dr_zaius Tele-Meister

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    The one that I always have problems with is one I got from ebay. I think its just cheaply made. It might even be the screw retainers...
     
  6. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks guys - it does seem like it might be the nut because it only sounds when open-any fretted note on that high E string does not make the sound BUT my ear says it is the saddle. I stuck a different saddle on there and got the same result so I am at a bit of a loss. thanks again
     
  7. dr_zaius

    dr_zaius Tele-Meister

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    do you have the proper string retainers on the headstock? That could be a buzz source too.
     
  8. jonal335

    jonal335 Tele-Holic

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    As dr z says - make sure the string has enough of a down angle on the head stock to sit tight in the nut slot, otherwise it can sound like a sitar...
     
  9. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks again folks- yes I have a string retainer on it and it sound no different if the string is under the retainer or up higher and out of the retainer.

    "I had a problem buzz there, it was not hitting the first fret but the wood of the fretboard itself was like a ski-jump ramp onto the nut, little distance between slot and wood. Check there, scrape."

    Jeffrs can you please explain this better -sorry I can't visuialize what you are saying-are you saying the nut slot was too wide and there was a gap at the headstock end of the nut?
     
  10. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The one problem I had was the rw fretboard rose up to meet the nut.
    I had cut the nut correctly to clear the first fret just-so, indeed all of them, but the string was buzzing on the wood of the fretboard near the nut. The bottom of the nut slot was not far from the wood - the fretboard was not level. I scraped the fretboard down at that point with a Breizh Sabot knife, a heavy bladed, very sharp knife for carving wooden clogs. One could scrape with a broad chisel, a cabinet scraper or Skarsten scraper (scraping is accurate and requires no sanding)
    [​IMG]
    Another problem I had was where the nut slot sloped away from the string at the back of the nut, headstock side. This allowed the string to buzz on the nut on the headstock side, strange sympathetic buzzing on 3rd string. A string tree would have cured this, but I made a new nut. The string must rest upon the the bottom of the slot for its entire length, it should slope down towards the headstock is a slight natural curve.
     
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