Tuner Buzz?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
mrvegas
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:53 am

Tuner Buzz?

Post by mrvegas » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:33 am

On the topic of buzz diagnosis --

I have a buzz on the G-string. Open string only. When I hold the G-string tuner button, the buzz goes away. I tightened all of the tuner screws, but the same thing happens. Buzz occurs whether or not I mute the string behind the nut. I did file the nut down some, so I suppose it is always possible I messed that up. However, if that were the case, why would the buzz stop when I hold the tuner button? (I filed the other slots too -- those strings are all fine.) When not holding the tuner button, the buzz does vary somewhat in loudness even when plucking string at relatively same strength. Buzz still there when strings were changed.

Anyway, replacing the tuners next string change would be easy enough, if that is the issue. Does anyone have any other thoughts on how to deal with this if it is just related to the tuners, aside from replacement? Thanks so much. Yet another "what is this buzz" question.
Life is too short to be perfectly in tune.

OldPotter
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Location: Channel Islands

Re: Tuner Buzz?

Post by OldPotter » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:27 am

Just wondering what brand of tuners you have? If there is a loose bearing somewhere then perhaps lubricating with vaseline rather than oil might help. Can you tell which part of the tuner is vibrating?
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

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robin loops
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Location: California

Re: Tuner Buzz?

Post by robin loops » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:44 am

If holding the tuner button makes it go away, I would put money on it is something vibrating in the tuner itself. Sometimes if the button gets a bit worn, it can be slightly loose even with the screw tightened all the way down (a tiny washer might fix that problem if it worn under the screw head/ some plumbers tape perhaps might fix help if it has wear on the inner hole that goes over the shaft). If the base plate gets bent, worn, damaged, it's possible that it is loose where it comes together (taking it apart and straightening any bent parts might help this). Sometimes, there's nothing you can do but replace the tuner. If that's the case, a rubber band placed on the tuning button and the one adjacent to it may provide a temporary fix and keep it from rattling around. I used a twelve string with six strings for a long time and I had ot do this to keep the unused pegs from rattling. Also depnding on where the rattle is coming from, a bit of beeswax (can use the stuff that comes in a wine bottle) can prevent rattle. FOr example if the button is loose on the shaft, coating the inside with beeswax can stop the rattle.

Mysterious vibrations can be a nightmare to sort out. Good luck isolating the root cause.

One thing you might try: It may be that when you hold the button with your fingers, the pressure changes something and stops a rattle from somewhere else or even just adding the extra mass to the headstock you might be affecting the transfer of a vibration that has nothing to do with the tuners. Try applying very light pressure to the button with a chopstick or some other item. If it's the button itself and not something somewhere else it should stop. If not, then try pressing in various parts of the tuner to see if that makes it stop. When probing like this, if it stops when applying a little pressure directly to a particular part/piece of the assembly, then that is probably where the problem lies. (sorry if that's confusing. It's late and this is a much easier thing to show than explain). Also check the tiny screws that hold the base plate of the tuner assembly to the headstock to make sure you don't have a stripped loose screw (probably the one closet to the G-string in this case).

If all else fails, try removing the string and putting it back on.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

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robin loops
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Location: California

Re: Tuner Buzz?

Post by robin loops » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:51 am

To rule out the possibility of a sympathetic vibration, try using a capo. If the issue goes away, it's most likely a fret buzz and holding the tuner results in a slight change in vibration of the strings which makes it stop... For example I had a weird sitar like tone caused by a bad leading edge of a bridge saddle, but any time I applied pressure on the guitar anywhere near the bridge, or strings (up near the headstock) it would stop (or at least change some). With seemingly no connection at all to a saddle edge, that one would have taken forever to sort out but I had just replaced the saddle so assumed it was the culprit.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

mrvegas
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:53 am

Re: Tuner Buzz?

Post by mrvegas » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:06 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Much appreciated. This guitar is new (to me) -- a used Alvarez Yair CY 135. Nice tone actually. The tuners are clearly not original and look like an inexpensive copy of the Gotoh (?) lyre-style tuners. I've replaced tuners on another guitar -- pretty easy, but I just changed the strings on this, so I don't want to go through the hassle if something easier works. Will try some of the suggestions, if those don't work, will replace tuners, if that doesn't work, then I guess I will have someone take a look.

I'll report back if I figure it out. All the advice is much appreciated!
Life is too short to be perfectly in tune.

Alan Carruth
Luthier
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Re: Tuner Buzz?

Post by Alan Carruth » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:54 pm

I once had a really bad buzz on a new one I was stringing up. Of course, the customer was coming by the next day to pick it up. I tracked it down to the Schaller tuners. It turned out to be a loose decorative sleeve on the tuner button shaft, and a small drop of super glue fixed it. I did all the other while I was at it. It doesn't take much.

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