How do I resolve the buzzing sound coming from my guitar?

From our experience there are a limited number of factors that cause buzzing on our carbon guitars. Here they are in order of occurrence.

1) A loose tuning machine. When the hex nut on the tuning machine loosens the washer underneath ends up rattling against the carbon. This is by far the most common occurrence. Simply check the tuning machine nuts are tight and that there are no loose washers rattling. Then tighten if needed. 

2) A loose pickup endpin washer. This is the same principle as above. When the endpin nut loosens, the washer rattles against the carbon. Simply check the endpin nut is tight and tighten if needed. There’s a rubber bushing inside so it should be able to tighten snuggly. 

3) A Piezo pickup wire is rattling against the inside of the guitar. This is rare (less than 2% of complaints). To fix, you can take a flashlight and look inside the guitar and make sure the wires aren’t touching the soundboard. If they are, you can tape them together and it usually addresses the issue.

The above 3 issues account for the usual causes of buzzing on our carbon guitars. Other causes are as follows in order of the rate of occurrence.

4) The saddle is worn down. If the saddle is worn down, you can temporarily use a shim under the saddle, or just don’t tighten the bolt fully for higher string height – which should alleviate buzzing.

5) One or more nut slots are worn down (usually causes a buzz on one of the first two frets.) If a nut slot is worn down, you can try the baking soda (or chalk) and super glue trick to fill it in a bit: This usually is a good fix until you can replace the nut.

6)You need to adjust the truss rod because there’s no proper neck curve. I’d say try this after earlier issues.  If you tighten the truss rod to add curve to the neck on a carbon guitar, we recommend removing the truss rod cover, and turning it clockwise 180 degrees to add relief – then test the frets. Repeat this with 180 degree turns until the relief is appropriate. (If adjusting relief on a wood guitar, we recommend 90 degree turns because wood is softer and adjusts more quickly than does carbon.

7) Frets are uneven and need filing. This is very very rare – less than 1%.  As long as you’re using newer strings you should be able to strum pretty heavily with no buzzing and an action around 2.7mm at the 12th fret on the low E string. If you play lightly or fingerstyle, you should be able to bring action to just under 2.5mm, but you may need to adjust the truss rod to achieve appropriate neck curve.

8) The latch or latch bolt springs are buzzing. This is literally the rarest occurrence as we’ve never had an issue yet. Our recommendation here is to check all the above issues. If the buzzing still persists, we can send you latch hardware to replace along with an instruction manual. It’s pretty straightforward.  

Categories: 2. Collapsible Guitar Questions, 3. Carbon Fiber Guitar Questions

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