Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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eno
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Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by eno » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:03 pm

Most of my guitars are slightly buzzing when I pluck the 4th and 5th strings at the 2nd fret. I don't think it's from strings touching the next fret, it seems to be independent of the action and doesn't sound like fret buzzing, it sounds more like a wooden buzz. I could not find any loose braces, it does not go away if I press on the body at any spot. If I pluck the same notes on other strings, like E on 5th string instead of 4th, it does not buzz anymore. It sounds like it's coming from the neck but it's hard to tell. I guess that must be a common problem, could someone tell me what is the root cause and whether it is possible to fix?
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tormodg
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by tormodg » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:05 pm

Do you use the same strings on all of them?
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John higgon
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by John higgon » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:10 pm

tormodg wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:05 pm
Do you use the same strings on all of them?
Or is there any other common denominator? :D :D

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eno
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by eno » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:24 pm

tormodg wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:05 pm
Do you use the same strings on all of them?
Yes, Ramirez. Good guess, that might be a reason, although I love Ramirez strings. I'll try different basses.
John higgon wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:10 pm
Or is there any other common denominator? :D :D
Yes there is, it's me :D
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mikfik
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by mikfik » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:13 pm

It could be "back buzz" from the nut slot cut too deeply on the 4th and 5th strings.
Try putting a small cardboard matchstick temporarily under the 4th and 5th strings at the nut and see if the buzzing goes away. If this works at getting rid of the buzz then it's time for a new nut or a shim under the nut to fix the problem.

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eno
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by eno » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:39 pm

mikfik wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:13 pm
It could be "back buzz" from the nut slot cut too deeply on the 4th and 5th strings.
Try putting a small cardboard matchstick temporarily under the 4th and 5th strings at the nut and see if the buzzing goes away. If this works at getting rid of the buzz then it's time for a new nut or a shim under the nut to fix the problem.
I know about the back buzz, I had it on one of my guitars. No, it's not that.
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:05 pm

Maybe your guitars all share a certain tonal characteristics (and that is the case judging by the recordings that you have published in viewtopic.php?f=11&t=111723&start=255#p1214113)and that could entail a strong top resonance around these bass notes making unduly big excursions of the string. I have this in one of my guitars, and this is what I have to live with if I want to play this guitar, because it is her character... I could raise the action, but it would have to be a lot and I don't want to do it.

One can also take a littly ball of putty and experiment with placing it on the bass side of the bridge and oving it around to see if the buzz gets less. If that would be the case, you could put a similar ball of putty at the same place uderneath the top. But this will also change slightly the tone, so one always has to find some compromise. A slightly higher string tension ar thinner but stiffer strings at the same tension could also help.

Sometimes it also helps to make the string slightly stiffer by twisting it axially so that the windings get a bit closer together, but one can easily exagerate and ruin the string (You have to find out which way the string is wound: clockwise or anti-clockwise!)
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by eno » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:11 pm

rojarosguitar, thanks for the info, very interesting. I'm still puzzled because if I touch the top with my hand it should presumably suppress the top resonance, but it does not stop the buzz. Does the buzz of your guitar goes away when you touch the top?
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Keith
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by Keith » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:28 pm

eno, is this a recent change? I use to live in boston area for many years and this time of year it gets humid so maybe the increase in humidity brought about the change. Since you say "most of my guitars" it may be the humidity since many guitars are behaving in the same manner and the variable that seems consistent with "most of my guitars" is the summertime humidity. Ebony can behave in a very bad manner when subjected to high humidity. Try slipping a piece of note book paper under the nut. If that does the trick your guitars are in the same league with JR 3 guitars he mentions in his book--a need for a humidity adjustment. I had a Conde many years ago that hated humidity--so much so it developed a slight woof note. I run a dehumidifier in my one bedroom apt. for about 10-11 hours and get about a gallon of water a day. It is either water in the tank or water in the guitar.
Last edited by Keith on Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:33 pm

I've noticed the same with new strings. Then it goes away after break in. Mostly the D.
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eno
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by eno » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:48 am

Keith , no, my Japanese guitars are recent but I got the Bernabe in March when it was still fairly dry and the same buzzing was there. It does not seem to change much with humidity although sometimes it mysteriously goes away and sometimes gets more pronounced. In all buzzing guitars the buzzing is not strong so I can live with it, although it still sounds a bit irritating.

One of my old guitar repair books says that the buzzing sometimes comes form a channel-bar vibration in the neck. I don't know much about CG neck construction. Is a channel bar used in the CG necks? At least in Bernabe the buzzing seem to sound from the neck and it gets worse if I put a capo on the 2nm fret, this makes me suspect that the issue may be in the neck.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Takamine C136S 1976
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967

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Keith
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by Keith » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:07 am

eno, might be a good time to take a road trip to see Aaron Green. how about the screws in the machine? I once had a guitar that buzzed at the 8th fret and the frets were level. turned out to be loose screws in the machines. chasing down buzzing can be frustrating. I figured if many guitars are buzzing it may have been the humidity.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

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Marcelo Barbero
Jose Ramirez III

Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:12 am

Eno, I wonder if certain frequencies register with a buzz in your ears. I'm going through months of hell with fluid trapped in my ears. Allergies brought it on. Often my strings sound thin, buzzy, like a cheap ukelele. It sort of makes sense that all of your excellent guitars would NOT manifest this same trait at the same fret at the same time.
Last edited by Jeffrey Armbruster on Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by rojarosguitar » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:24 am

eno wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:11 pm
rojarosguitar, thanks for the info, very interesting. I'm still puzzled because if I touch the top with my hand it should presumably suppress the top resonance, but it does not stop the buzz. Does the buzz of your guitar goes away when you touch the top?
Well, difficut to play and touch the top at the same time. But I did some experimentation with the little putty ball and it definitively changes the buzz patterns. Because it's a common pattern in all your guitars, I think it must have to do with the sound signature you prefer exhibiting this kind of resonances. It's very unlikely that all your guitars share the same mechanical problem like buzzing screw or standing out frets.

One issue might be that your right hand didn't yet find the optimum technique, or maybe you try to push the dynamics of your guitar too hard. I'm just guessing, of course. But watch your playing if you not try to force too much volume-wise... Projection comes more through sound clarity rather than sheer energy... just some thoughts to look at. Wish you luck finding the reason...

PS of course strings also react differently ... as I wrote in my previous post: experiment with different tension and stiffnesses. EG Luthier strings are relatively stiff to lateral bending. Personally I don't know Ramirez strings, but as Ramirez is a guitar manfuacture, I'd guess the just buy some generic strings rebranded...
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Re: Why most of my guitars are buzzing at 2nd fret?

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:37 am

You seem to have a number of guitars. You would have to be mighty unlucky for most of them to have the exact same issue. Have they all got the same type of strings? Are they all set up with the same action? Do you tend to play hard? Have you tried playing in a different room but without any other guitars in that room?
Finally try tuning down a semitone to see if the buzz stays on the same fret or if it moves down one fret.
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