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Bridge buzz on open string

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Quzumm, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. Quzumm


    Sep 25, 2000
    Trondheim, Norway

    I have a problem with E-string buzzing at the bridge on my Cort A5. The strange thing is that the string only buzzes when played open. Im sure that the buzzing is located at the bridge; the buzzing disapears when I dampen the string at the bridge. If I lift the string of the saddle for a moment, the buzzing is gone when I start playing again. But after a I have played a few notes, the buzzing is back again.

    Does anybody know how to fix this problem without damping the bridge?

    I use use Elixir Nanoweb strings, play fingerstyle with a medium light touch and have medium string heigth.

    Eirik Husum
  2. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Eirik, A buzz on an open string only on an open note usually indicates a worn nut slot.

    However, since the buzz is coming from the bridge that rule of thumb doesn't apply. Check for any loose hardware, especially the springs on the bridge compensation screws.

    Use the eraser of a pencil to apply a little pressure to the screw and spring as you pluck the E string.

    Loosen the E string and press down on the string right at the bridge saddle,(on the side toward the neck) putting a downward bend in the string where it goes across the saddle.

    Use a philips screwdriver and just snug up the intonation adjustment screw. Don't use enough pressure to move the roller, just to enough to take up any slack in the screw.

    Try these things and if that doesn't clear up the prob, let us know and we'll all brainstorm the prob. There probably isn't a buzz in existence that someone here hasn't ran into before.

    Hope this helps you,

  3. Well there was this one time.. at band camp.. :p

    Good suggestions Pkr2. Eirik get back to us with your findings. ;)


  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    It is fairly common it to get bridge buzz if you don't have enough break angle of the string over the saddle.

    If your intonation adjustment forces the saddle far forward on the bridge and the saddles are low, your break angle can be very slight.

    I have even seen basses that the saddle height adjustment posts were not touching the bridge plate at all. Whoever had adjusted the saddles had turned them in so far that the saddle was really just suspended by the intonation screw.

    You may be hearing the saddle feet buzzing on the bridge base plate, against another saddle, or the outside of the bridge.

    The feet of the saddle need to be seated firmly on the bridge plate and have significant downforce on them created by the string tension.

    When you fret the string, you are creating a bit more downforce on the saddle because you change the break angle slightly, so the open-string-only issue makes sense.

    Test the saddle by attempting wiggle it a bit. At full tension, it should be tough to move. If it moves very easily, you need to increase your break angle.

    Your options include playing with higher action, or working out a different neck relief setting that will allow the action you want with greater saddle height.

    If this is the culprit and you fix it, you may see not only the absence of the buzz, but also a stronger fundamental and greater sustain.

  5. Quzumm


    Sep 25, 2000
    Trondheim, Norway
    Thanks for the input!
    Problem fixed (for the moment).

    There's no intonation screw on the bridge, the fortress bridge adjustment is rather different from a standard bridge.

    But I took the string off, and moved the saddle a bit. When I replaced the string, the buzz was gone. Migth have been that the saddle was loose some kind of way.

    Thank you
    Eirik Husum
  6. *puts another file into the B-Files filing cabinent* hehehe



    Our work here is DONE lol!

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