Thanks, I'll try a new D string first. Since it didn't buzz for a couple of months after I put on the new string that seems logical.Steve Ganz wrote: ↑Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:13 amCliff,
Exact diagnosis and treatment from afar is hard, because it's hard to explain everything ... straight edge would help determine if there is a high fret. Many times the recommendation to change the D string is correct. I'd start with there. If that doesn't fix it, then trying to find a high fret makes sense. There are numerous youtubes regarding high frets.
I measured the action at the 12th fret as follows: Lower frequency E: 0.12" (3.05 mm); D: 0.11" (2.79 mm); High E: 0.104" (2.64 mm). All of these were made with automotive feeler gauges and so there's likely to be a couple of thousandths variation from actual. As for the shim you mentioned, assuming that changing the D string doesn't solve the problem, do you put it on top of the bridge at each string or under the entire bridge?OldPotter wrote: ↑Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:53 amIt might be useful to let us know the action at the 12th fret, that is the gap between the top of the fret and the bottom of the string. Usually measured at the 1st and 6th string.
The D string seems to be most prone to buzzing, often at the 4th or 5th fret. Sometimes this is as a result of generally low action and sometimes its caused by climatic change affecting the neck. A few luthiers make the saddle with a slightly raised crown around the 3rd and 4th string to raise the action at those strings.
You could try raising the action by fitting a shim under the saddle, 0.25 - 0.5 mm might be enough. If that works but destroys the tone, a new saddle is needed.
There is a list of possible causes at the Frank Ford website, frets.com.
This subject has been much discussed in the past, sometimes its not easy to find the right thread. Perhaps look at the FAQs??????
Thanks for your advice. I did some internet searching and wound up back here at the Forum at this post: viewtopic.php?t=85836 on the subject of action heights and started thinking. It turns out that the saddle on my guitar is tapered with the wider end toward the bass strings. So, newbie that I am to all this, I've got to ask a probably obvious question which is could I simply slide the saddle over to get the suggested height?OldPotter wrote: ↑Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:25 pmHi, your action looks to be quite low. (Just my personal opinion) I would be thinking of putting a shim under the whole length of saddle to check how it actually works out. Something like hard timber or hard plastic would work. A low action is about 3.5 and 3.0 mm. so you could easily put a 1.00 mm shim to raise the action at the 12th fret by 0.5mm. ( The 12th fret is about half way along the string )
We think that the whole of the saddle needs to make a good contact with the bottom of the groove in the bridge to transmit sound well. Of course if you just prop up one end then you may cure the buzzing but get a dull sound.
In the end I think you need to make a new saddle. Perhaps look on Y tube or frets.com to see how to make a saddle and get some bone blanks online or at the big luthier suppliers in the USA. If you understand engineering, I would guess you would be able to do that without a problem.
If the guitar is only a few months old, then I think its reasonable to take it back and ask the supplier to sort it out. But it is something that is not impossible to do your self. If you want to check for a high fret then you need a good quality straight edge that only covers 3 frets at a time.
Yes of course. It had not even crossed my mind that the Alvarez had a tapered saddle.......could I simply slide the saddle over to get the suggested height?
I'd like to take this in a slightly different direction if I may. It turns out that the best I can get from the original saddle is about 1/2 mm at the 12th fret so if I'm going to raise the strings 1 mm at the 12th fret to get to 4mm under the low E and 3 mm under the high E I'll have to make another saddle. That won't really be a big deal as I have a good wood shop and have built things for decades.
Thank you for your explanation, I really appreciate the time you've taken with this question, it sounds like this could be a research project if I want to chase it any farther.OldPotter wrote: ↑Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:36 amThe more questions you ask the more complicated the full answer gets.
If the string is buzzing because the vibrating string is just touching a fret, then raising the action will allow the string to vibrate without touching. (Simple?)
You may well have enough height with your present saddle to prevent buzzing.
You don't "have" to raise the action to 3mm and 4mm, these are just nominal figures that generally work. My own guitars have much lower action. But, changing the height of the saddle changes the way the saddle transfers energy and can change the sound slightly. This (to me) is impossible to measure, its a bit subjective. Measurements done By Alan Carruth show that extreme changes are audible and that, probably, a string height off the top (S.H.O.T.T.) of around 10-12mm is good. That is measuring from the surface of the sound board to the bottom of the string, at the bridge.
My own thought is, that you just need to raise the action enough to stop buzzing.
Please question my judgement as much as you like. My first response was a guess, its not possible to understand the whole problem without the guitar in your hand.
There are many full time luthiers on the forum who could explain this much more clearly, I'm not sure why you didn't get any answers initially.