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I have a buzz

Posted by ccress on Monday, June 11, 2012

Well... my resonator has a buzz! haha..It won't go away!!! I have checked the neck out and it looks to be fine.My bridge looks fine.The buzz seems to becoming from the fourth string and on the neck.Its not coming from the tailpiece,or head area.Someone said to file some of the frets down..But ???I have heard in the past that you really don't want too do that.I do have different sized bridges.I think I have a 5/8 inch on now.Any suggestions?And I haven't messed with the head  as far as tightening or loosening. Thanks for any input..Cathy

10 comments on “I have a buzz”

n1wr Says:
Monday, June 11, 2012 @8:08:52 AM

Cathy: There is a lot of info on this site about setting up your banjo - you need to do some reading before you do anything.

Do a search on banjo set up (search box upper right). You will see lots of info. Art Hatfield has a DVD on the subject that is also very good.

There are a bunch of adjustments that will help you eliminate that buzz, so I'm not going to guess - typically you need to take a look at the clearance you have between your strings and the frets. this can be measured and you will know if the problem is neck adjustment or head tension, and whether you should be doing it yourself or going to a luthier, depending on your skills.

So - do your homework and then come back with more specifics.

Wayne in Maryland

Old Man Says:
Monday, June 11, 2012 @8:42:33 AM

Great advice

ccress Says:
Monday, June 11, 2012 @1:19:04 PM

Thanks a bunch Wayne..I will look into that.My banjo is about 35 plus years old and this is the 1st time I haven't been able to get the "Buzz" out of it.I may have to take it over to Louisville to a man I know that works and builds banjo's.He is more into open back banjo's..but I will do some neck measuring.I eyeballed it and it seemed to be fine,but I'll get the old tools hammers and such..hahha..thanks again

VancePants Says:
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @8:15:51 AM

Ummm... you sure it's not a "bee in yer bonnet" there Cathy???
But seriously folks... if you can localize it to the 4th string at such and such a fret, then likely the neck is probably OK... and you could tighten the head a bit... or use a 1/16" taller bridge... or consider filing the fret where the buzz occurs. Fret each string up the neck to localize any issues. Also, since the 4th is the thickest guage string, and if you are using a med-heavy guage... try a lighter guage. The only other element is the nut at the top o' the neck, which is an unlikely culprit.
If none of that interests ya'... just take it to any competent luthier for a fret dressing and set-up... and if it's really that old, perhaps a new head:-) Good luck!

ccress Says:
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @12:48:44 PM

Thanks Ken..I don't have a bonnet..hahha..I do have hats tho!Jeep,Harley,Banjo Hangout,ACE white water rafting,I'd Rather Be Fishing(that I wear to work when we have Hat Day)..should I go on??Back to my banjo..I do have light gauge strings on it.I am working on it.I have thought about replacing the head.But it seems to be fine.The neck was turned just a bit.I am hoping that was the problem.I haven't gotten it strung back up.Waiting on some strings.I have med.for my open back and thought about putting them on this old guy,but afraid I won't be satisfied cause I've always used light gauge on my resonator.And yes it really is that old.I purchased it in 1977.When it grows up it wants to be a Gibson Banjo..hah..I am wondering if its time for a trade.This thing is really heavy!!! As I am getting into my older years...It wears me out!! I'll get the strings back on it and see what happens.Don't be surprised if you see a video in the next few days..Thanks again Ken..and I really enjoy listening to your tunes..Take care

ccress Says:
Monday, June 18, 2012 @10:49:38 AM

Fixed the buzz in my resonator..for now anyway..Thanks for all the good advice.That is why I love banjo hangout!!

n1wr Says:
Monday, June 18, 2012 @10:57:02 AM

OK. What fixed it?


ccress Says:
Monday, June 18, 2012 @12:24:09 PM

the neck was turned a bit.My 4th string has had a buzz thats been driving me nuts!! I looked the neck over which seemed ok but then I took your advise and inspected it a little more and noticed the neck was turned a bit and the 4th string was buzzing on one of the frets.I did some adjusting and put some new strings on and its fine.Buzzing is gone.I was hoping I would find it because there is only 1 person I know that works on banjo's and he usually only works on open backs..and hes downtown Louisville(which I don't like going there)! I don't play my resonator like I do my open back,but its sounding fine for now..Thanks for asking

n1wr Says:
Monday, June 18, 2012 @12:36:20 PM

Cathy: That's great that it turned our to be a relatively simple fix. I know there are some of us that go bonkers trying to find a buzz!

I used to live out your way - in northern KY (Edgewood). With my job I frequently traveled out to Louisville and Owensboro. Really nice country out that way.

Take care, Wayne

ccress Says:
Monday, June 18, 2012 @4:43:58 PM

Oh yes..I know where Edgewood is..Nice area and yes it is pretty country.We are about 25 mile west of Louisville..over here in southern In...maybe a little farther.We're off the main path out in the country.I live on whats left of my dad's farm.I love it out here,but a lot of up keep!! Its hard to find time to do the things I enjoy doing.I'm off for the summer which is great so I tend to think I have to get this done and that done before I go back to work in August..which I am already dreading!! Well..thanks again Wayne and have a great week..

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