Treble strings not amplified well

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
Russell Walker
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Location: Peterborough, UK

Treble strings not amplified well

Post by Russell Walker » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:02 pm

Howdy.

I recently played a gig at a pizza parlour, with an amplified Raimundo 660e. When practising at lower volumes, it sounds OK amplified (nowhere near as good as the natural sound, but passable). But a gig volume the trebles just dropped off a cliff. I had to try and compensate by playing the bass and mid notes softly and attacking the 1st and 2nd string with gusto, but even then it barely made a difference - I could hear the trebles more clearly from the guitar than from the amp.

No problem you might think, just turn down the bass level and turn up the treble level - job done. Not so fast - now it sounds scratchy and quacky, but still no extra volume on the treble strings. The tone changes to a more 'trebly' one, but the volume of the treble strings is still far too low. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what could be causing this or what can be done about it? Would swapping my Imperial red trebles for high tension wound trebles help perhaps?

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guitarrista
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Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by guitarrista » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:25 pm

Could it have been the speakers, like a malfunctioning tweeter component?
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Bill B
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Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by Bill B » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:11 pm

Did you adjust the saddle? If the saddle slot and the bottom of the saddle are not perfectly matched this is exactly what happens. The saddle doesn't press on the piezo as hard under some strings and they are quiet as a result. There is no fix other than making sure that the saddle properly fits the slot.
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

Russell Walker
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by Russell Walker » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:40 am

Thank you for the suggestions. I don't think it was the speakers, as my steel string guitar sounded OK with the same speakers. You might be onto something with the saddle though Bill. I haven't adjusted it, but I just took a closer look, and it does seem like there is a bit of a gap at the treble end.

Here is the bass side:

Image

And here is the treble side:

Image

Would I be right in thinking I just need to loosen off the strings, push the saddle in further, then re-tighten the strings?

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petermc61
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Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by petermc61 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:36 am

I think you need to either sand the bottom or the saddle
flatter or get a new saddle that is a touch thicker.

Just taking it out and reseating it will likely do nothing if the bottom is not flat or the whole saddle is rotating forward under string tension ie it will likely do the same thing again. Before sanding I would check the thickness to make sure it is a snug fit in the bridge slot.

Russell Walker
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by Russell Walker » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:57 pm

Thanks - I removed the saddle, and it did look like it was at a bit of an angle, so I sanded it flat. I also slid in a paper shim alongside to make it a tighter fit (it was already fairly snug though). There is a woven cable directly under the saddle, which I assume is the pickup - it looks a bit frayed at the treble end, and it moves about a bit. I had to hold it in place with a small screwdriver while sliding the saddle back in. The pickup still works (phew!) but I can't really tell whether it has improved the volume of the trebles yet, as my amp is not working properly anyway (I've been using someone else's for gigs).

Thanks again for the replies. :)

Bill B
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Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by Bill B » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:24 am

is the bottom of the saddle now flat? It is very hard to get it flat enough hand sanding. I would buy a new one and work only from the top keeping the factory flat bottom. how about the saddle slot?. if those are flat your problem will be solved.
2013 Angel Benito Aguado
2005 Ramirez R-2

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rojarosguitar
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Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:59 am

hinterglem wrote:Thank you for the suggestions. I don't think it was the speakers, as my steel string guitar sounded OK with the same speakers. You might be onto something with the saddle though Bill. I haven't adjusted it, but I just took a closer look, and it does seem like there is a bit of a gap at the treble end.

Here is the bass side:

Image

And here is the treble side:

Image

Would I be right in thinking I just need to loosen off the strings, push the saddle in further, then re-tighten the strings?
This saddle seems to be ill adjusted in several ways. Actually it looks terrible maladjusted and not well done at all. First of all it doesn't have full contact with the bottom, secondly it seems to be too thin for the slot so that it's tilting forwards. Both problems can also be interrelated but do not need to. Thirdly it's not even evident form the picture that it is a bone saddle. If it's plastic, it's well worth to spent a few $$ on a bone saddle.

A well adjusted saddle has to 1stly be just right in size so that you can bring it in into the slot without exerting any force but it wouldn't fall out easily when you turn the guitar upside down, secondly, the bottom side has to touch the bottom of the slot in full length and width, so they have to be exactly parallel, If the slot is well cut, this means the bottom of the saddle bone has to be exactly perpendicular to the sides, if the slot is not well cut, you will always have problems, so you might consider to take the guitar to an experienced luthier for further adjustments.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

Russell Walker
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by Russell Walker » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:33 pm

Thank you for the comments. The bottom is flatter now than it was, but it is only hand-sanded, so not completely flat. Also, the woven cable that runs along the slot is what is stopping the saddle from sitting flat in the slot - the bottom of the slot is not flat, it is rounded (and movable) because of the cable there. I should probably get a luthier to look at it, but I can't afford that right now.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Treble strings not amplified well

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:21 pm

hinterglem wrote:Thank you for the comments. The bottom is flatter now than it was, but it is only hand-sanded, so not completely flat. Also, the woven cable that runs along the slot is what is stopping the saddle from sitting flat in the slot - the bottom of the slot is not flat, it is rounded (and movable) because of the cable there. I should probably get a luthier to look at it, but I can't afford that right now.
I'm sure if you take a good look at how the things fit together you'll be able to improve the situation at least. Maybe you can afford a bone saddle and make a new one that is fitting just right without slanting and having as much contact as possible with the grove bottom.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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