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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:10 pm 
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Walnut
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The guitar I'm having this strange issue with is Ibanez s540fm, made in Fujigen in 96'. Recently I realised my thin d string produces a strange, metalic resonance. It can be heard even without the amp, which means the problem is not of electric nature. I unscrewed all the bolts from the guitar that I could, I tightened all screws that had to stay. I dampened the bridge springs, I took all 3 pickups off the guitar (I wanted to eliminate pickups springs as potential source of the resonance). I adjusted strings action, it is not the fret buzzing. To be extra sure I put a tiny piece of folded cartboard both in the place where the string touches the nut and where the string touches the saddle - the string was ridiculosly high and it didn't have any contact with the frets, no matter how hard it vibrated, yet the resonance was still present. I tried tightening the truss rod - no results. Loosing it also didn't help. I'm using the fret wrap to eliminate harmonics made by the nut part of the string. The resonance still occurs.

I found a youtube clip, in which sb is having exactly the same issue with the resonance made by the A string - the resonance is almost identical (trust me, I'm a sound engineer :)
Here is the clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... Di3gRKqd4E

I really love my Ibanez, and I don't want to sell it, so I'm looking forward to any help from you guys.

Tom

P.S. I'm using the 11-49 strings, I tried many different string manufacturers and string gauges - to no avail, so it's not the string itself.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:46 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
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If the string isn't seated well at either the saddle or nut you can get that infamous sitar sound. You can quickly figure out if its the nut or not. Does the sound go away when you fret a note? If so its the nut, if not I'd bet it's the saddle.

This guitar has a floyd? If the nut is your problem you might want to check that there are no abrasions between the nut and the locking block. Strings can wear the metal over time and burrs can develop that will do weird things to the strings. Same thing with the saddle. The strings need to make good clean contact with only one point of the nut and one point of the saddle, if something is causing a secondary moment of contact you'll get those weird resonances.

I'd take the D string off, clean and check the saddle slot, the little black block that sits in the saddle, all the parts of the nut that touch the string, etc. for any abrasions that may cause strange vibrations. Then reinstall the string making sure its seated well at both the nut and saddle, and that the locking mechanisms make good clean contact.

The cardboard in the nut slot/bridge will only solve a buzzing problem if that problem problem is related to the height of the string, but as you mention this doesn't sound like fret buzz so raising the string at the nut or saddle with a piece of cardboard won't necessarily fix your problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:21 pm 
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Start with replacing the string. It's the cheapest part of the guitar.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:19 pm 
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Did you check the tuner bushings? Loose tuner bushings account for 30% of all buzzes I see.

Sometimes if strings are not perfectly centered in FR saddles this type thing can happen. Also check the D string saddle really close for any burrs and make sure the locking block in that saddle isn't worn. Make sure that string is completely seated in the lock pocket of the saddle and not just being grabbed by the top of the block. if the end of the string can go through the bottom of the saddle make sure it doesn't (some floyd copies have saddles that are open through where the string locks in).

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:49 am 
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What Connor said either the string is not seated well or there is not enough "break angle" over the nut slot or the saddle for that string. You can easily eliminate the nut slot from contention simply by fretting the A string and if the sitar sound goes away it's a saddle that is not properly angled.

Sometimes strings wear groves in saddles be it an acoustic or an electric and these groves may not have much angle to them. As such the vibrating wave of the string breaches the saddle (or nut slot) break spot and travels into the saddle or nut slot occasionally making contact and then not making contact. Hence the sitar sound.

This is easily repaired in a New York minute with either filing to improve the angle or replacing the offending saddle. If this is a Floyd equipped instrument it can also be a tell tale of a Floyd that's out of adjustment and too high in the back also reducing saddle break angle. Many of the "licensed" Floyds are made with really ****** metal that's way too soft and grooves are commonly worn in the saddles.

All of this is easy stuff for experienced repair men and women, do you have any in your area my friend?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:04 am 
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Walnut
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Conor_Searl wrote:
If the string isn't seated well at either the saddle or nut you can get that infamous sitar sound. You can quickly figure out if its the nut or not. Does the sound go away when you fret a note? If so its the nut, if not I'd bet it's the saddle.

This guitar has a floyd? If the nut is your problem you might want to check that there are no abrasions between the nut and the locking block. Strings can wear the metal over time and burrs can develop that will do weird things to the strings. Same thing with the saddle. The strings need to make good clean contact with only one point of the nut and one point of the saddle, if something is causing a secondary moment of contact you'll get those weird resonances.

I'd take the D string off, clean and check the saddle slot, the little black block that sits in the saddle, all the parts of the nut that touch the string, etc. for any abrasions that may cause strange vibrations. Then reinstall the string making sure its seated well at both the nut and saddle, and that the locking mechanisms make good clean contact.

The cardboard in the nut slot/bridge will only solve a buzzing problem if that problem problem is related to the height of the string, but as you mention this doesn't sound like fret buzz so raising the string at the nut or saddle with a piece of cardboard won't necessarily fix your problem.


Yes, this guitar has a floyd. The sound does not go away when I fret a note, but I don't think it's the saddle. I disassembled the whole saddle, cleaned it all as you said. It is the Low Edge Pro bridge, and it is not possible for the string to make a contact with only one point of the saddle, as you can see on the picture I took. Additionaly, I added a folded piece of cardboard once more, perfectly matched to the saddle, as you can see on the second picture. So even if I didn't manage to get rid of the abrasions on the saddle (yes, there are some), these are no longer relevant with the cardboard covering them.

I should add that the sound is not as loud as on the youtube clip, and it's best heard when I put my ear against the guitar body or the neck as well.
Do you think a truss rod can produce this sound of a metalic ping ?
The pictures are huge for some reason, to view them in normal size just right-click them, and click "show the picture" or something close to this (I'm not using english language in my browser)


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:25 am 
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Walnut
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Hesh wrote:
What Connor said either the string is not seated well or there is not enough "break angle" over the nut slot or the saddle for that string. You can easily eliminate the nut slot from contention simply by fretting the A string and if the sitar sound goes away it's a saddle that is not properly angled.

Sometimes strings wear groves in saddles be it an acoustic or an electric and these groves may not have much angle to them. As such the vibrating wave of the string breaches the saddle (or nut slot) break spot and travels into the saddle or nut slot occasionally making contact and then not making contact. Hence the sitar sound.

This is easily repaired in a New York minute with either filing to improve the angle or replacing the offending saddle. If this is a Floyd equipped instrument it can also be a tell tale of a Floyd that's out of adjustment and too high in the back also reducing saddle break angle. Many of the "licensed" Floyds are made with really ****** metal that's way too soft and grooves are commonly worn in the saddles.

All of this is easy stuff for experienced repair men and women, do you have any in your area my friend?


Thank you for your answer. Yes, this guitar has a floyd. The sound does not go away when I fret a note, but I don't think it's the saddle. The bridge is perfectly leveled and set, and to eliminate the groves you mentioned I put a piece of a cardboard between the string and the saddle, so any groves or abrasions are completely covered. Please look at the picture I added in reply to the Connor post (I don't want to spam the thread)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:37 am 
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Walnut
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B. Howard wrote:
Did you check the tuner bushings? Loose tuner bushings account for 30% of all buzzes I see.

Sometimes if strings are not perfectly centered in FR saddles this type thing can happen. Also check the D string saddle really close for any burrs and make sure the locking block in that saddle isn't worn. Make sure that string is completely seated in the lock pocket of the saddle and not just being grabbed by the top of the block. if the end of the string can go through the bottom of the saddle make sure it doesn't (some floyd copies have saddles that are open through where the string locks in).


Tank you for your answer. Could you please explain what I should do with the bushing ? Should I make sure everything is tight or something more than that ?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:29 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 521
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
I could be wrong but still think its the saddle. From what I can see in the pictures it looks like the saddle slots are pretty worn. The cardboard is just not a reliable trouble shooting device. It will compress and could introduce other issues without dealing with the original. Hesh articulated what I was trying to get at much better than I. Try and get a nice smooth space in the offending string's saddle, it doesn't take much for strange "resonances" to be introduced when we're talking about wear on the saddle or at the nut.

The fact that you've just recently started to notice the sound seems to support the theory that it has to do with string wear.

Regardless, if the sound you're hearing is bugging you enough to consider selling a guitar you otherwise enjoy, and you've exhausted all of the suggestions you find online, I'd say its worth taking to a qualified repair person and getting them to set up the instrument and deal with the offending sound.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:04 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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n0ir4 wrote:

Tank you for your answer. Could you please explain what I should do with the bushing ? Should I make sure everything is tight or something more than that ?



Yep, make sure the 10mm nuts are tight or else the washer underneath can vibrate. Could be a different string than the one giving actual issues.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:45 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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A couple things that I would like to know please:

1). Measure the action of the A string at the 12th fret with the string open, how high is the string from the 12th fret crown measured in 64th of an inch please?

2). What brand and gauge strings are you using.

3). When you cut off the string ball to install a new string where are you cutting the string just before the ball leaving the thicker wraps or are you cutting all the thicker wraps off?

4). What tunings are you using, be specific are there drop tunings in play here and if so what are they or is it tuned to standard pitch?

5). You have replaced the strings with fresh, new strings in evaluating this, right?

Like Connor I still suspect the saddle regardless of what you've put under it. These Ibanez models, some of them are well known for issues related to inferior metals used in the licensed Floyds being too soft and grooves being worn in bearing points. I would not be quick to dismiss what would be Occam's razor for this one. Part of tuning up a Floyd is to eliminate grooves and polish bearing points with good reason they are well known to groove.


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