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Jul 2, 2020 - 5:09:21 AM
79 posts since 9/14/2019

My Pisgah Woodchuck seems to play fine but it has developed a small bit of buzzing as I've been playing it. I assume it's just settling in. No big deal. However, I would like to adjust the action on it, but don't know how.

I know you don't change bridge height to adjust action but I was thinking of going to a 11/16" from the 5/8" bridge I have now just to see how I like it. That would most likely solve the issue. However, if I wanted to adjust the action slightly then how do I do that? I know how with a coordinator rod but this has a dowel rod and I don't know what do with it.

Thanks,

John

Jul 2, 2020 - 5:15:49 AM

1599 posts since 6/2/2010

It might be something as simple as tightening the head. Hard to tell without looking at it.

Jul 2, 2020 - 5:20:11 AM

79 posts since 9/14/2019

I've tightened the head. I have a 6" flat edge and can barely get a dime under it at the bridge. That was the tightness when I got it. I was afraid to go any tighter.

Jul 2, 2020 - 5:47:40 AM

1599 posts since 6/2/2010

Ok - you might need to adjust the truss rod then. There are videos on-line on how to do this.

Jul 2, 2020 - 7:43:37 AM

Alex Z

USA

3878 posts since 12/7/2006

Question:  What is the action height now, measured from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the string?  To the nearest 64th of an inch.

Which strings are buzzing, and on which frets?

Then you can estimate what action height you want to go to, and what can be done to get there, and what will happen when you get there.  This eliminates a lot of trial and error.

For example, changing from a 5/78" to 11/16" bridge will raise the 12th fret action about 2/64".  Knowing that, and the present action, you'll know where the action will be with the new bridge.

Jul 2, 2020 - 7:45:25 AM
like this

Alex Z

USA

3878 posts since 12/7/2006

Say "buzz" or "rattle" on the BHO without any additional information, and you'll get 942 things to try. smiley   Have to narrow it down a little. 

Jul 2, 2020 - 8:19:48 AM
likes this

5359 posts since 8/31/2006

Sound ain’t right head ain’t right

Jul 2, 2020 - 9:20:20 AM

Nickcd

UK

218 posts since 1/28/2018

Email Pisgah for advice.

Jul 2, 2020 - 9:49:06 AM

Alex Z

USA

3878 posts since 12/7/2006

"I know you don't change bridge height to adjust action but I was thinking of going to a 11/16" from the 5/8" bridge I have now just to see how I like it."

Changing the bridge height is the easiest way to adjust the action height.  Can easily go back to the original height.  Give it a try, see if the buzzing goes away.

Jul 2, 2020 - 9:54:32 AM

301 posts since 4/3/2012

quote:
Originally posted by watercarving


I was thinking of going to a 11/16" from the 5/8" bridge I have now just to see how I like it. 
 


A .656 bridge is halfway between 5/8 and 11/16. Just another option to consider. 

Jul 2, 2020 - 10:54:25 AM

7414 posts since 8/28/2013

Please read and reread Alex's first post. These are all the most important things to consider before trying anything or asking adviice about anything. There are as many reasons for a buzz as there are banjos, so specific information is needed.

Jul 2, 2020 - 11:26:45 AM

79 posts since 9/14/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

Say "buzz" or "rattle" on the BHO without any additional information, and you'll get 942 things to try. smiley   Have to narrow it down a little. 


Sorry about that.  I should have been more specific but I got in a hurry.

There is a very slight buzzing on the first string if I fret at 1, 2, 3.  It's very slight, but after playing music for years in other contexts I can hear it.

Also, in Double C tuning it is easy for me to thump the 4th string into the fret board, especially at the scoop.  I assume that is not a sound I want.  Not sure how to fix that without a little more height.

BTW, does anyone know what standard bridge height Pisgah ships with?  This one had a 5/8" but another Woodchuck in the store had a 11/16".  Not sure which was standard.

John

Jul 2, 2020 - 12:24:31 PM

133 posts since 3/19/2018

quote:
Originally posted by watercarving
quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

Say "buzz" or "rattle" on the BHO without any additional information, and you'll get 942 things to try. smiley   Have to narrow it down a little. 


Sorry about that.  I should have been more specific but I got in a hurry.

There is a very slight buzzing on the first string if I fret at 1, 2, 3.  It's very slight, but after playing music for years in other contexts I can hear it.

Also, in Double C tuning it is easy for me to thump the 4th string into the fret board, especially at the scoop.  I assume that is not a sound I want.  Not sure how to fix that without a little more height.

BTW, does anyone know what standard bridge height Pisgah ships with?  This one had a 5/8" but another Woodchuck in the store had a 11/16".  Not sure which was standard.

John


Not sure which height is standard, but I build banjos and you can get some deviation in ideal bridge height as the instrument settles. I end up using 5/8ths most of the time but occasionally use 11/16 depending on what is best.  I'm guessing either Pisgah does the same thing during the set up; or, if you bought this from a store, the store set up the instrument and used a different bridge.  Just a guess!  Outside of what folks have already suggested, you can test for high frets (sometimes they can wiggle out of the slot every so slightly).  Lay flat edge across three frets at a time to determine if there is a high fret.  If there is, you need to tap the fret into place.  Just one ideal.

Edited by - QuailCreekBanjos on 07/02/2020 12:27:21

Jul 2, 2020 - 12:26:52 PM

Alex Z

USA

3878 posts since 12/7/2006

"There is a very slight buzzing on the first string if I fret at 1, 2, 3.  It's very slight, but after playing music for years in other contexts I can hear it."

That's useful information.  And good ears too! smiley

Low fret buzzing -- but clear on higher frets -- is typically an indication of a need for a little more "relief" (bow) in the neck.  We're talking a few more thousandths of an inch.

Since only one string is buzzing, it is possible (not definite) that the 4th fret is a little high on one side.  To check this, fret the first string between the 4th and 5th frets, and see if there is clearance over the 3rd fret.  The tiniest bit of clearance is OK.

From the symptoms, and since you asked, and since you want to try a high bridge, what I'd do if it were me is place a very thin piece of something, about 1/32", under each foot of the current bridge to raise it up.  A little rectangle cut from a credit card or business card (maybe two layers) for each foot is OK.  Then check the buzz -- forgetting the tone.  If the buzz goes away, then obviously a higher bridge will solve the problem.

If the buzz doesn't go away, that at least eliminates pure action height as the solution, and we're back to looking at neck relief or high fret.

Interesting situation.  Let us know what you find.

Edited by - Alex Z on 07/02/2020 12:28:56

Jul 2, 2020 - 5:50:13 PM

79 posts since 9/14/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

"There is a very slight buzzing on the first string if I fret at 1, 2, 3.  It's very slight, but after playing music for years in other contexts I can hear it."

That's useful information.  And good ears too! smiley

Low fret buzzing -- but clear on higher frets -- is typically an indication of a need for a little more "relief" (bow) in the neck.  We're talking a few more thousandths of an inch.

Since only one string is buzzing, it is possible (not definite) that the 4th fret is a little high on one side.  To check this, fret the first string between the 4th and 5th frets, and see if there is clearance over the 3rd fret.  The tiniest bit of clearance is OK.

From the symptoms, and since you asked, and since you want to try a high bridge, what I'd do if it were me is place a very thin piece of something, about 1/32", under each foot of the current bridge to raise it up.  A little rectangle cut from a credit card or business card (maybe two layers) for each foot is OK.  Then check the buzz -- forgetting the tone.  If the buzz goes away, then obviously a higher bridge will solve the problem.

If the buzz doesn't go away, that at least eliminates pure action height as the solution, and we're back to looking at neck relief or high fret.

Interesting situation.  Let us know what you find.


I appreciate it.  I've never adjusted a tension rod and I don't my first one to be this banjo.  The Pisgah is very nice and I'm afraid to mess with it.

I may try a .656 bridge anyway and that might take care of it.

 

John

Jul 2, 2020 - 9:26:10 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4674 posts since 1/5/2005

We first need to know where your action is at right now - some folks have a hard time with fractions so millimeters would be much easier to relate to for this exercise...

Another way to get at the proper bridge height, for you AND for your banjo, is to tackle this simple routine:

https://banjobridge.com/sizingabridge.htm

Yup, the .656 height for a bridge does exist, but it's not near as common as some folks might think...

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