Danelectro doesn't like high G#

charlie chitlin

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My '61 Dano is in semi-retirement (as am I...but not by choice!), but I decided to treat it to some care and new strings.
It still had 11s from my pre-tendonitis days, so I put on a set of 9's.
I'm goofing around and G# on the high E string (16th fret) goes "dunk".
It's clearing the next fret just fine.
When I pull the B string down, it doesn't do it.
Head scratcher.
I go up a few frets on the B string and bend it up to a G#.
DUNK
If I go all the way to the end of the neck on the G string, I can bend it up to G#.
It's fine until I get to the demon pitch, and the note dies.
Anybody ever encountered this?
Like an UN-sympathetic vibration...or something.
Masonite gremlin?
 

redhouse_ca

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My '61 Dano is in semi-retirement (as am I...but not by choice!), but I decided to treat it to some care and new strings.
It still had 11s from my pre-tendonitis days, so I put on a set of 9's.
I'm goofing around and G# on the high E string (16th fret) goes "dunk".
It's clearing the next fret just fine.
When I pull the B string down, it doesn't do it.
Head scratcher.
I go up a few frets on the B string and bend it up to a G#.
DUNK
If I go all the way to the end of the neck on the G string, I can bend it up to G#.
It's fine until I get to the demon pitch, and the note dies.
Anybody ever encountered this?
Like an UN-sympathetic vibration...or something.
Masonite gremlin?
I am no expert but I have two vintage danos (well, one is a silvertone and the other is a dano, '65 and '64) and I set them up (I set up all my guitars and at least to me they play great). Curiously do you still use the stock aluminum nut or has that been replaced? Also, is the neck straight? The necks have two steel bars in them (non-adjustable) and they hold up pretty well, but I have seen some with twists or a bit of bow in a way that is more or less of an issue based on neck tension, but I'm guessing it just needs a set up. I think 9s are light for that guitar, I think the original steings that came with them were insanely high gauge (I have a set but can't say if they were stock dano).

Setting up those bridges is an art form, but you actually can adjust lot between he height screws and the rosewood (string length and height). I hope this helps. I understand that it seem to clear the fret but those gremlins are crafty little critters and they only come out them the stings are vibrating.
 

charlie chitlin

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First thing I'd do: run a fret rocker over the entire neck with the strings on and tuned to pitch to see if there are any high or low frets.
It's not fret height.
It's the actual note causing the problem.
The last fret on the B string is a G# and it goes dunk.
 

tomasz

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It might be, that a particular guitar has some cancelling resonances with a specific pitch. That's a well known problem and is sometimes called wolf tones. It may just come with a certain design or a simple thing like loose elements. Here is a nice little read if you are interested:


Check every screw and bolt, sometimes adding or removing mass from diverse parts can shift the tone to another place, which maybe you don't use (thing 1/8 of a tone for example)
 

glenlivet

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loosen the g string, take a little tiny bit of rolled up paper (just a couple folds) and stick it in the g string nut slot. Trim the paper so it doesn't hang out (much) over the edge of the nut. Pack it down good. Put the g string back in the slot (on top of the little piece of rolled up paper). See if the problem goes away, or moves.
I had to slightly shim my Dano's nut, just a small piece of trimmed up metal, enough to raise it *just* a little. Made a world of difference on those first few frets.
Your Miliage May Vary.
 

charlie chitlin

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^^^Check that 'dunk' fret to see if it's loose (moving up and down as you press against it). A loose fret can cause this.

Sometimes a neck will have dead spots. It's rare, but it does happen.
I'm saying that the note goes dunk no matter where it's played on the neck.
If I play F# on the E string and bend up 2 frets, the note dies; and it's not fretting out.
I can play the note on 2 other strings, by fretting or bending, and it dies every time.
I'm lessening the problem by moving the saddle back (Intonation? It's a Dano!) and increasing the angle of the bridge.
It seems to want more down-pressure on the saddle.
 

charlie chitlin

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"I'm saying that the note goes dunk no matter where it's played on the neck."
--- gotta ask....does it unplugged as well as plugged into an amp?
I'm assuming an acoustic dunk is also an amplified dunk; going on the assertion that a dunk is a dunk.
But I WILL check it out in the interest of thoroughness.
 

twochiptele

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Anybody ever encountered this?
Like an UN-sympathetic vibration...or something.
More a sympathetic vibration, it means your guitar likes that note so much, it sucks it up wholeheartedly. A more pronounced deadspot so to speak. Every guitar has some (or one) in some degree , but some might be more present/ irritating (YMMV) than others.

The area around G is most obvious at all my bolt-ons, be it on the G string (most), D string and B string (less) . Even on my setnecks, but to a way lesser extend. I have to pay close attention to hear it, so it's not a big deal for me, it doesn't bother me.

But if it does...I had a MIM Tele that had two of those bum notes, and no, setup was just fine, as with al my gear.
Those two bum notes were so present that I sold it after a couple of years. Well, and the fact that the guitar had a liveliness of Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy..
 

Telecaster88

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People argue about it online, but in my experience dead spots are real. It's like the guitar soaks up certain frequencies. I've used a Fat Finger on the headstock to move them, and it works pretty well. Also applying vibrato to the bum note can get it to sustain.

My favorite Strat has a dead spot on the fifth fret D string G. It only becomes an issue if a song I'm playing requires that note to sustain. If I'm recording and need it to ring out, I'll use the Fat Finger or add some vibrato to the note. Otherwise I've learned to not let it bother me.

(It also seems like seasonal environmental changes will affect how pronounced the dead spot is. I'm not a physicist, so I don't understand the science too well!)

Good luck!
 

wabashslim

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People argue about it online, but in my experience dead spots are real. It's like the guitar soaks up certain frequencies.
Absolutely. I had an ESP 300 Strat in the 80s with some dead spots that got fixed with a heavier steel Callaham sustain block. Dano's building technique & materials can be more prone to issues like this. Maybe add some metal someplace like under the bridge. I got a bit more sustain out of a cheap poplar Strat copy by putting an extra neck plate between the neck & body.
 

plusorminuszero

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My '61 Dano is in semi-retirement (as am I...but not by choice!), but I decided to treat it to some care and new strings.
It still had 11s from my pre-tendonitis days, so I put on a set of 9's.
I'm goofing around and G# on the high E string (16th fret) goes "dunk".
It's clearing the next fret just fine.
When I pull the B string down, it doesn't do it.
Head scratcher.
I go up a few frets on the B string and bend it up to a G#.
DUNK
If I go all the way to the end of the neck on the G string, I can bend it up to G#.
It's fine until I get to the demon pitch, and the note dies.
Anybody ever encountered this?
Like an UN-sympathetic vibration...or something.
Masonite gremlin?
I have had these troubles several times.


First point...every instrument has a vamp zone.
With solid bodies it's a crap shoot where this lands.
Usually it is on account of something in the neck.
I have handled several Fenders wherein changing the
'bad' neck to another body just served to bring
the party to the new body. The way I remember the
ones I tried to love is by the things they swallowed.
My paisley tele would eat the G. Just destroyed it.
Or was it open A? Plastic buttons helped but not enough
and it was bye bye. A duo sonic neck ate G#. Nice looking neck but metal klusons look stupid on them and didn't improve the vamp...may have made it worse. My Sparklesounds is getting lighter tuner buttons as soon
as I can find something to fit there wo alterations to the holes there. It's close but iirc it is slightly dead in one spot
and I like lighter tuners so it's on my fix list.

The main thing you want it spread the weak zone
over a few notes,
not zeroed in on any one note.

The most elusive one was with a Mustang.
Not only was the truss rod loose within the cavity,
there was a vamp from springs in trem.

To determine if the truss rod is loose
I suspend the guitar from the upper horn
and rap on back of neck. Usually a loose rod can
be felt vibrating like a very low note which may
not be audible, it will thrum throughout the body
and neck. Sometimes, even when drawn tight,
you can hear it clack.
This can devour a tone or range of tones.


It may be necessary to strip down the guitar to the bones
in order to distinguish culprit or cause. Usually undoing or muting strings is enough.

An easy fix is to remove a fret dot near end of neck
and remove the truss screw at other end...then using a vacuum you draw some chair loc through the channel.
It isn't a glue, rather, it swells the wood. In the case where
you cannot remove neck, I suppose you might pull
another dot instead. Make certain you have a good clear path
for vacuum draw bc if too small, this stuff might clog up your clearances, thus abbreviating your attempt to let the fluid penetrate the whole channel. This happened when I did it
to the Mustang, I would have preferred to get a little more flow, however the small amount that was drawn in
did do the job.

Other cases I experienced with woof notes proved to be
an inherent resonance in neck. In some cases changing the
shape of the neck, particularly near headstock transition region, with the object being to reduce weight of neck,
has been successful in escaping the vamp zone.
Thinning the headstock as well, if possible and if necessary, can help (there's only so much you can fix this way).

This isn't for everybody, but some Fenders have grossly fat
headstocks and I won't think twice about making it like I want, especially when I am seeing tonal improvement
with weight reduction measures. Using tuners which
weigh less (or more) is another measure which can be taken. ie.,
switch out metal tuning buttons with plastic. I haven't weighed the difference between Metal klusons or plastic
as of yet, but there is a significant difference in weight.
Tbh...if weight change is the goal toward moving the vamp,
I would do the plastic to metal or vice versa before reshaping a neck (removing mass).


It's possible that you will improve tone response but not enough to escape the zone. Experiment w adding some mass
to the neck while listening to the G#, which note, btw, is heavily factored in standard tuning, being the 3rd interval
of an open E. It is an important note on a guitar.
 
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