Over vibration - new nylon string guitar

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Boneuphtoner
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Over vibration - new nylon string guitar

Post by Boneuphtoner » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:07 pm

Hello Folks - although I posted a little more about my background, I'm a former avid brass player who only recently got into guitar playing. I had been mostly playing steel string acoustics because I liked the sparkle in the tone on G, B, and high E strings - even though my favorite pieces to play are the Cello suites of J. S. Bach. Very recently I found a Taylor nylon string guitar, a 114ce-N, that had improved resonance with these strings, and of course it was easier to play than a steel string acoustic. I just got it yesterday, and just like my original play test in the store, I was immediately impressed with this hybrid instrument, especially with the treble resonance and the feel of the fingerboard.

One annoying thing that I'm not happy about is an "over vibrating" tone that I notice on the A and D strings - specifically when playing a 3rd fret C and F, respectively. I have found that if I don't have my finger placed PERFECTLY behind the fret, this over vibration occurs that often times causes the pitch to waver slightly. My question is - are nylon guitars more prone to requiring perfect finger placement compared to steel string acoustics? My steel string acoustics do not seem that picky in this regard. I can play in the middle of the frets and not notice anything like this. I know this seems like a very elementary question, but I wanted to hear the forum's thoughts on whether this is normal for nylon stringed instruments - or whether I received a lemon that I should send back. This guitar has a truss rod, and I did attempt adjusting it - no difference either way! I do love the treble response, and it is a handsome instrument, but if this is a lemon, better to send back now during the trial period.

Thanks so much and have a great day!

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Over vibration - new nylon string guitar

Post by rojarosguitar » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:32 pm

I'm not sure if I understand right, but if there is a wavering of pitch, I would first suspect a cheap string or one gone bad. Or the guitar might be built too lightly.
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Boneuphtoner
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:37 am
Location: Washington DC, USA

Re: Over vibration - new nylon string guitar

Post by Boneuphtoner » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:02 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:32 pm
I'm not sure if I understand right, but if there is a wavering of pitch, I would first suspect a cheap string or one gone bad. Or the guitar might be built too lightly.
Yes this is what happens with the pitch when I don't place my finger perfectly right behind the fret - the pitch will sound, drop ~5 cents, and return - all in less than a second. But the odd thing is that if I place my finger perfectly, it will sound completely normal. I suppose my concern is that with my steel strings, I don't have to be so careful with finger placement.

I hope your idea of bad A, D strings is a good one - I like the instrument otherwise, and the treble resonance is really great. I have read this instrument is built with a modified steel string guitar X-brace - I would guess that being built too lightly would be unlikely

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Over vibration - new nylon string guitar

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:11 pm

Try go higher quality of strings and possibly a higher tension as well...
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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Christopher Langley
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Re: Over vibration - new nylon string guitar

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:06 am

When having any problem with a guitar, a string change is always a good idea :)
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Derek Hasted
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Re: Over vibration - new nylon string guitar

Post by Derek Hasted » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:26 pm

It's a well documented effect that really slack strings don't keep to pitch when plucked really forcefully because they depart from the laws of "Simple Harmonic Motion" - but in this case the extra string excursion causes the string tension to rise so the string is sharp until the string excursion settles. For a string to go flat when played with a "loosely fretted" note, it sounds as if the string is lifting off the fret wire (which it can do if the finger is not against the fret wire), and presenting a longer vibration length in the top half of its vibration.

Whilst you've already got the solution (the fret wires aren't there just to "make the pitch correct", they're also there to wrap the string around), there are always occasions when a finger can't get up to the fret wire. If this "flopping about" is the cause of your drop in pitch, a slightly higher tension string will not swing as much and can be held against the fret wire more easily with a finger that's not placed optimally. I recommend D'Addario EJ46C as a good string - it's marked "Hard Tension" but it really isn't all that hard. It's also VERY consistent....
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