Jamplay.com Holiday Special

Welcome to the forums!

high E string noise

Need to know how to setup your guitar? How do you lower your action? How do you get rid of the Milli Vanilli stickers? Look here first.

Moderator: The GN support team


Postby percyguitar » May 1st, 2008, 8:55 pm

Hello everyone,
I am brand new to this site so let me first introduce myself and say hello and thank you for having such a wealth of information. I am a professionally working musician for the last 40 years and own a number of guitars from a '64 Strat (however not many original parts left on it), a '68 Gibson SG which I bought new in 1970 and a couple of Godins as well as many others. I also have many amps, from a Marshall Major 200W head, Marshall JCM800 combo, a couple of Fenders, etc. most of these I no longer use. I currently use a 2003 Fender Strat Deluxe through some old analog pedals and into both my 15W Gibson Goldtone amp and 30W Crate V3112T tube amp. The band I have been with for the last 5 years is an 8-piece (4-piece horn section) group that plays mostly 50's and 60's R&B and mostly in casinos and corporate functions, although most of my pro-years were spent playing heavy rock.
First of all I wanted to say I empathized with the writer who expressed his frustration after the guitar tech he took his guitar to for some fret noise ended up giving him a worse buzz than before.
I too have had similar experiences over the years (at one point buying a whole new strat neck in frustration after experiencing an especially bad fret job from a tech). I tend to be hard on frets when I play and thus ending up having to have fret jobs fairly frequently so it became especially important for me to find a good tech. While I do most of my own minor guitar work I draw the line at things like fret replacement, reasoning that the time spent to learn the skill required would be better spent by me honing my playing skill. I finally found an excellent guitar tech a number of years ago and he became the only tech I trusted with my guitars. Unfortunately he moved to another city a couple of years ago and even though there are many techs where I live I end up driving 185 miles to bring my guitar to him - it's worth it!!

I do currently have an issue with my 2003 American Strat deluxe that I am hoping someone might have some suggestions to:
I bought the guitar in 2003 and I love it but one of the first things I did was to lock the floating bridge down and replace the B and high E string stock fender saddles with graphite saddles. While I originally broke either a B or E string every gig I haven't broken either string now in the 5 years since I put on the graphites. I also had to file down the nut slightly because the action at the nut was so high that the first few frets were always sharp due to the distance the strings had to travel to the fretboard. Lately I started to experience a 'whiny' noise from the high E string. It's not quite a buzz, it's more of an unpleasant 'ring' sound. The sound is there when I play the string open, as well as on every fretted note. The action is fairly high and there is no touching of any other frets by the string when it's vibrating. The fact that it is present while fretting as well as open makes me think it's not related to the slot in the nut? I tried raising and lowering the string height to no avail. I tried filing the graphite saddle as it does get a groove in it but that seemed to actually make it worse. I ended up replacing the saddle with a brand new graphite one and it made it somewhat better but it's still there to some degree. I would appreciate any suggestions anyone might have with regards to this problem. I'm pretty sure it's fairly common as I've even heard recordings where you can hear that annoying sound on the E string but I've never been able to figure out the physics of what causes it.
Thanks and keep up your excellent forum!

Percyguitar
thank you and keep up the
percyguitar
newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: May 1st, 2008, 7:42 pm

Postby Rob77 » May 2nd, 2008, 6:30 pm

I have no idea about repairing guitars, but I'm interested to follow this thread - is that what they call a 'wolf' note?
"Who says you can't 'dive bomb' a bigsby?!"
User avatar
Rob77
Full Member
 
Posts: 135
Joined: April 17th, 2008, 3:01 pm
Location: Caboolture, Qld Australia.

Postby sonowilson » May 2nd, 2008, 9:02 pm

After about an hour of searching online I found this forum/topic. I have a early nineties US made peavey predator that is doing the exact same thing and its driving me crazy. I really like the guitar. It a really solid instrument that I got at a great price. Only problem is the high e string exactly like OP described. If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.
sonowilson
newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2nd, 2008, 8:57 pm

Postby percyguitar » May 10th, 2008, 11:51 am

hey Sonowilson,
it's me, percyguitar, the guy with the original problem. While I haven't yet found a definitive solution I have found several things which I'll be checking out and you may be interested in.
1. the guitar tech who I drive 185 miles to visit just finished dropping off my older Strat which required a fret re-dressing and some other work. While I didn't have my other Strat with me for him to look at I explained my problem and he feels that it must be something in the bridge or saddles. He felt it could be a burr in the saddle (although as I mentioned I changed the saddle and it made it better but not completely gone. )
2. I found this statement on a website called www.fretnotguitarrepair.com
"If the saddle is so low that the strings do not angle downward and exert pressure on the saddle before entering the bridge pin hole an odd twangy sound is heard, which I call the "sitar sound".
Creating a "ramp" in front of the bridge pin holes helps increase the strings downward angle and allows a saddle to be shortened even further in some cases. "
The statement is mostly referring to acoustic guitars but may be applicable.
3. Found this comment on www.guitarrepairshop.com

"My high E string sounds like a sitar. Any idea what the problem is?

It could be a low bridge saddle, it could be a flat or backbowed neck. It could be a low nut, or a high fret. It could be a pitted fret or series of frets, it could even be a dirty or bent string. You really have to take it to a repairperson who can give it a thorough evaluation. "

I'll let you know what I find.
percyguitar
percyguitar
newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: May 1st, 2008, 7:42 pm

Postby percyguitar » September 1st, 2008, 4:27 pm

PROBLEM SOLVED!
me again - percyguitar - since I last wrote about this high e-string noise problem it got worse until I had to do something about it. I finally picked up a new strat-style nut - actually picked up a few - they're cheap - bought a plastic one, one made of tusk and one made of bone. All of them were pre-cut, meaning basically the position of the string grooves have been cut but may still require some filing to adapt properly. I decided to use the tusk one and as soon as I knocked the old nut out and put the new nut in and re-strung the guitar the noise was gone! Then I was able to lower the action of the high E-string at the bridge back to where it should be and voila! it's perfect again!!.
I figure the open string noise was definitely due to groove in the nut being worn down too low and the similar noise when the guitar was fretted was due to the action being set to high to try to reduce the noise caused by the groove too deep.
I think I've fallen in love with the guitar again!
percyguitar
newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: May 1st, 2008, 7:42 pm

Postby Ricochet » September 1st, 2008, 4:43 pm

Reading through this thread (which I don't recall seeing before), I wondered if the slot in the nut that string passes through might be cut too wide for the string gauge. That can cause funny noises as well.

Glad you got it sorted, in any case!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
User avatar
Ricochet
Guitari Lama
 
Posts: 8056
Joined: July 20th, 2003, 4:48 pm
Location: Bristol, Tennessee, USA

Postby onetimeusername » November 12th, 2010, 3:55 pm

Hey guys, just stopping though, trying to fix a guitar I bought two days ago. E string sounded like a sitar. Based on the advice on this forum, I figured that the groove in the nut had been worn down too far, and the string was buzzing against the sides. So, I figured a quick fix would be just to fill that extra space with something.... I had a piece of paper in front of me, so I ripped off a tiny flake, loosened the E string, put the paper over the worn out nut and BAM. Noise GONE. 3 second fix.
Thanks guys!
onetimeusername
newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: November 12th, 2010, 3:48 pm

Postby Syrinill » December 6th, 2012, 11:45 am

Hi percyguitar

I am a student in South Africa and I'm looking for advice on a new electric I want to buy. I'm sorry if I'm troubling you, but I really would appreciate it a lot. I had the same problem as you and coming across this post, you seem like a reliable source! I saw an Ibanez which is of course not bad quality, but the salesman is the kind of guy that would just tell you a story to buy his product. I know little about the guitar, but is an Ibanez with the same shape as a '59 Les Paul and is a strat, but only having had one guitar, a cheap Gibson Epiphone, I do not know what to look and feel for in a new one. It costs about R3900 ($450) and that is what's troubling me most about it. I do not have a lot of money to spend, but $450 is very cheap for a proper electric that would last me a lifetime and with which I can perform on stage, isn't it? The salesman promises me the moon and the stars, but I can't afford to buy a dud. I know not having more information on the guitar itself will make it impossible for you to tell me if it's any good, but any advice on what I must look, listen and feel for when playing it will help a lot. Sorry for any inconvenience with this message, but having the love for guitars that you do I would appreciate your advice so much!

Kind Regards, Paul
Syrinill
newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: December 6th, 2012, 10:51 am

Postby Derek Wilkerson » December 31st, 2012, 6:27 pm

Syrinill wrote:Hi percyguitar

I am a student in South Africa and I'm looking for advice on a new electric I want to buy. I'm sorry if I'm troubling you, but I really would appreciate it a lot. I had the same problem as you and coming across this post, you seem like a reliable source! I saw an Ibanez which is of course not bad quality, but the salesman is the kind of guy that would just tell you a story to buy his product. I know little about the guitar, but is an Ibanez with the same shape as a '59 Les Paul and is a strat, but only having had one guitar, a cheap Gibson Epiphone, I do not know what to look and feel for in a new one. It costs about R3900 ($450) and that is what's troubling me most about it. I do not have a lot of money to spend, but $450 is very cheap for a proper electric that would last me a lifetime and with which I can perform on stage, isn't it? The salesman promises me the moon and the stars, but I can't afford to buy a dud. I know not having more information on the guitar itself will make it impossible for you to tell me if it's any good, but any advice on what I must look, listen and feel for when playing it will help a lot. Sorry for any inconvenience with this message, but having the love for guitars that you do I would appreciate your advice so much!

Kind Regards, Paul

play every kind of music you know how to play on it and if something sounds odd or out of place to you. tell the sales guy to fix it or you're going to buy somewhere else.
bassist for the crux
Randall RB-125-115 120 watt 15" eminence spk.
Randall RBA 500
2X Acoustic B115's
Peavey T-40
Indiana P-bass
Derek Wilkerson
Full Member
 
Posts: 111
Joined: November 20th, 2010, 10:25 am