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Rattly Nut!

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by BluesGuitarMart, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    Hi everyone,

    So I have this 2017 Bernie Marsden PRS SE that had a terrible stock nut on. About a year ago I had it changed to a Tone Ninja which is much better cut although the tone hasn't changed one way or the other. In the past few days though I noticed a rattle coming from the low E right at the nut. The rattle disappears though when I press down lightly between the sixth and fifth string. I took a quick video to illustrate the issue. Is this just a case of the nut needing to be reglued?

    Excuse the video, tough to do one handed whilst also playing the guitar! Hopefully you can hear the difference though, the rattle disappears the second I touch the nut.

     
  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    A nut that's loose in the slot doesn't buzz like that unless the nut is cracked.

    There's something else going on, like a poorly-cut string slot. What's interesting to me is the buzz on the E string goes away when you press against the A string.

    1. Does the A string buzz?

    2. Does the buzz go away when pressing the E string behind the nut?

    3. How about when simply touching (not pressing) on the strings behind the nut?

    4. Do you notice this buzz when the guitar is in the playing position--or only when it's laying face up?

    5. How much relief do you have between the strings and the top of the 1st fret?

    The answers to these questions will help us zero in on the cause of that buzz.
     
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  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    -Did you glue the nut?
    -Those nut slots should be finished. I prefer to carve away the slot a bit on the headstock end of the slot, in theory so the string only touches the nut where it exits to the fretboard.
    -Is it possible it's on the headstock end, like it needs a tree? Try weaving something in the thin strings up there.
     
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  4. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    Check the truss rod cover. Mine was vibrating on my SE 245. I pulled it off and filed the end a hair.
     
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  5. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

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    Very good suggestion. I've also had that issue on an SE and that rattle sounds familiar. The truss rod cover screw had to be very tight and the cover tweaked just right to keep it quiet.
     
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  6. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the help, answers in order below:

    1: No buzz at all from the A string when played open
    2: Buzz is still there, only touching the nut itself stops the buzz
    3: Same, buzz is still there but maybe slightly less so
    4: It's there in the playing position but is worse when the guitar is on its back. I had to have it this way for the video though, I wanted to show it in playing position but I had one too few hands
    5: Honestly I'm not sure but it seems ok. If I hold down the E at the first fret the string just lightly bounces off the second fret.
     
  7. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the help. I did glue the nut with just a couple of drops of glue. I didn't touch the slots at all, I know I probably should have but they seemed ok. All I did was sand the bottom of the nut as it was too high when I originally got it.
    I might take a look at the slots though in case it's that.
     
  8. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    I never even thought of this! I'm changing the pickups, tuners and strings this weekend so will take a tiny bit off the truss rod cover too in case it's that!
     
  9. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

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    Just remove the cover right now and see if the buzz guess away.
     
  10. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for the answers...it appears there's something else going on.

    Chasing down buzzes and rattles is a matter of the process of elimination. You must systematically check every component to rule each out, and proceed to the next. One of the most mind-numbing experiences I had with a client's Stratocaster was caused by a stow-away pickup spring, magnetically stuck the the back of the neck pickup inside the cavity. This was before Fender switched to the rubber tubing, and was obviously missed during assembly at the factory.

    These sorts of buzzes can be puzzling to track down because even though the sound appears to be coming from one specific area, the actual source of the noise can be somewhere else.

    For example, a buzz or rattle heard near the bridge can be caused by a loose tuner mounting nut on the headstock, a strap button that's a bit loose, or a string tree's spacer rattling on its mounting screw.

    I mention this because it seems counterintuitive that if pressing a finger against items near the apparent source of the noise does reduce the noise, how can the origin be elsewhere? The reason is pressing a finger anywhere on a guitar affects how that part resonates, and resonance travels throughout the entire structure.

    If it's not the truss rod adjustment cover plate (1 21 gigawatts, GREAT suggestion) causing the noise, replicate the noise and try all of the following (click on it to enlarge):

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Not saying this is your issue, but I just became aware of 'tuner button rattle.' A slightly loose plastic tuner button may rattle. Just pluck the string and then gently grab each tuner button in turn, see if it stops. If you find one, a drip of super glue drizzled down the shaft into the button will stop it.
     
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  12. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Holic

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    Try putting a small piece of paper under the Low E on the nut. See if it helps at all. May be the nut slot is cut too wide ?
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, a long unrelieved nut slot can often be fine, but sometimes there's that one string and it's often the G or B for some reason.......
     
  14. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Totally not what I initially thought this thread would be about.
    Nice tag line.
     
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