High e string produces echo/sitar-like noise on some frets, when others are in tune.

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by zuhairreza, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. zuhairreza

    zuhairreza SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    Hello sevenstring community!!! :hbang:

    Well, I am a new user and I have been playing guitar for 2 years by myself. Yesterday I changed strings on my Gibson Flying V, tuned up to standard E and went to check it out, only to realize that the high e (1st string) gives off an unwanted feedback, like a "sitar"/echo noise, when I play several middle frets together (frets 4-8). This happens when I play several notes, not one only.

    I checked my tuning, intonation, truss rod, action, pickup height, etc, etc, anything that came to mind. Those seemed fine. However, later that day I noticed that the high e plays perfectly, no echo/sitar like noise or any type of unusual feedback, when the other five are not in tune. Whenever I tune up strings 6 through 2, the high e sounds like that. :scratch:

    What's happening here and how can I fix it?!! :wallbash:
     
  2. atticmike

    atticmike SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Green
    huh ? Still sounds like a mechanical issue. Did you try to adjust the saddle of the highest string?
     
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

    Messages:
    25,914
    Likes Received:
    2,772
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Sounds like a neck bow and/or fret level issue. Check your guitar's neck relief and then check to see if any frets are higher than others.
     
  4. zuhairreza

    zuhairreza SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    Yeah I adjusted the saddle of all the strings when I was fixing the intonation, and I am pretty sure the fret levels are fine. I fixed the truss rod myself recently. The neck has a slight relief, which is what I usually prefer. Anyway, I went both ways, tightened and loosened it just to see if that would help. No luck. The strings are 10-46 Di Addarios. I think I used 9s before, but I am not sure.

    Is this an "overtone" or a "sympathetic vibration" problem? I am not familiar with those terms and recently saw them during my constant searches through Google... :mad:

    One person at Ultimate-Guitar.com said this when I mentioned that it happens only when the other five strings are in tune, "The E string is tensioned at the exact resonant frequency of the guitar when the strings are in tune".

    Any ideas? :nuts:
     
  5. atticmike

    atticmike SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Green
    yeah but usually, if it was a neck bow, the highest string would be affected least of all...
     
  6. in-pursuit

    in-pursuit SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,216
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    Rosewood, QLD, Australia
    does your guitar have a trem? if so, try sliding a thin piece of fabric into the coil of the springs of your trem, they may be vibrating sympathetically to the notes of your strings.
     
  7. zuhairreza

    zuhairreza SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    New York
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

    Messages:
    25,914
    Likes Received:
    2,772
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    If the relief is dead straight, with no back or forward bow, then I'd highly suggest using a straight edge and/or fret rocking underneath where the 1st string sits across the fretboard and see if the frets are raised at all. A very small variance such as 1/2 mm can cause buzzing on guitars with low action and no relief, as the clearance over the next fret is incredibly small, and strings vibrate in an elliptical pattern when struck.

    It could be a resonance issue, but those don't just magically appear and disappear. Unless you're done something to the guitar to add a significant amount of mass, or remove a significant amount of mass, then the resonance of the guitar is the same as the day it was built. A quick test to rule out resonance is to attach a pair of heavy vice grips or a C-clamp to the headstock, this adds mass to the guitar. If the weird sound disappears or moves to another set of frets then it's a resonance issues.

    Also, have you tried looking at your bridge saddle? Could there be a burr the string is vibrating against?
     
  9. atticmike

    atticmike SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Green
    You're not dealing with trem or any other elaborate tuning / locking device and what MaxOfMetal just said covers mostly everything that'd fall under the issue's topic.

    What if you put on a set of new strings or swap the highest one if you got single strings lurking around?

    Try to cut down possible causes of disturbance in order to root out the issue by having a small set to select from.

    If you don't find an answer here around, try and ask on gibson boards where the issue may seem more familiar.
     
  10. zuhairreza

    zuhairreza SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    New York

    I just used my long ruler to check fret levels my friend. The fretboard is almost dead straight; there is very small relief, the thickness of a credit would fit through there. I put the ruler between the 1st string and the fretboard, and fret levels seem fine (I could see the relief). Anyway, it's not a buzzing issue. I know what buzzing sounds like. This is more like, imagine playing frets 5-7-8 on the high e, but after the 5th and 7th frets, the 8th can barely be heard; an echoic aftermath is present from the previous frets. Any notes I play after is "far-off" and lost in all the noise, and cannot be heard at all unless I pick really hard. It sounds like "double notes", as if I am playing 2 high e strings at the same time. The UG people called it a "sitar" noise.

    You are right. Resonance issues don't just appear and disappear. I am sure the resonance is fine as well. I didn't add or remove any amount of mass from the guitar. Only yesterday the old strings on it sounded perfect. I don't see how resonance problems (and fret problems) can occur in one day, just like that. :scratch:

    I am going to check how I can fix it. Thanks a lot for the help and advice. =)
     
  11. zuhairreza

    zuhairreza SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    New York

    Exactly what I did, from an entirely new pack. It's the same thing.

    This is almost magical!! I wonder what's wrong... =(

    I will try to fix it somehow man. Thanks for the assistance a lot. :)
     
  12. atticmike

    atticmike SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Green
    sounds like an action problem to me. I mean man, what else could it be? :D

    A dwarf sitting in your now hollow body v and doing these weird noises ?^^

    Anyhow, there is rubbing shoulders, quite sure :p
     
  13. BrianUV777BK

    BrianUV777BK Riffmiester General

    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    48
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    My Own Universe

    Fix it? Screw it, go with it!:lol:
     
  14. brootalboo

    brootalboo My boo

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I actually have the same problem, and as soon as I read the thread title I knew exactly what you were talking about. In for answers.
     
  15. ibbyfreak13

    ibbyfreak13 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    72
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    las vegas nv
    I recently had what sounds like the same thing on my rg7321. It was on the 4th string on the 13th fret and up, checked everything, but I overlooked something simple that I dismissed as not something that would cause, but when you check all it can be with no result go for what it couldn't be. In my case I raised the action just a hair and instantly no problem, rang out as 1 clear note, no more echo or warbble sound. Try that it might work, though on your v you don't have individual saddles like a fixed bridge, but on the high e you should be able to raise it a bit without affecting the too much
     
  16. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle
    Sitar-like sounds result from a string hitting a fret - there is nothing else that causes it.

    Saddle adjustment first, but if it's still there get a true straight edge and adjust your fretboard flat to see if you've got high frets. A ruler isn't the right tool.
     

Share This Page