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Oct 24, 2021 - 3:13 AM
17 posts since 12/10/2018

Hi All

I’m stumped with this one

When I play the 3rd string at second and 3rd fret I get a rattle coming from the pot end and I’ve looked at all the usual things like Nut slots, bridge slots, high frets (all level), and every nut is locked down

There is neck relief and string on first fret are good height

Any help appreciated

Thanks

Oct 24, 2021 - 3:35:51 AM

2057 posts since 2/4/2013

What sort of tailpiece do you have? Sometimes a new string can help.

Oct 24, 2021 - 6:29:18 AM
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leehar

USA

25 posts since 2/18/2018

What kind of tailpiece do you have? The Presto on my new Gold Star was making a rattle if I pushed the cover all the way down. I put a few pieces of electrical tape on the back of the cover and the problem went away.

Oct 24, 2021 - 7:21:55 AM
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beegee

USA

22513 posts since 7/6/2005

Are the frets properly crowned? Sometimes a slight flat spot on the top of the fret with cause a buzz.

Oct 24, 2021 - 8:02:14 AM
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1648 posts since 2/9/2007

Check your head tension. If there's a buzz only (or mostly) on the 3rd string, the first thing I suspect is the bridge is sagging in the middle.

Oct 24, 2021 - 8:18:25 AM

141 posts since 2/16/2015

This is unrelated to your exact situation but in case other people experience buzzing, it's good to know other causes as well. I had buzzing for the longest time and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Finally after a few months I noticed some "wear" on the tension hoop just below the 4th string. Turns out that when I had replaced the original white frosted head with a black head, supposedly of the same height, the black head had slightly less height than the white head. This caused the tension hoop to sit slightly higher than the end of the neck. Almost unnoticable. Since the 4th string is a little thicker than the others, it was buzzing by hitting the tension hoop. I put the white head back on and sure enough, I could tighten the head enough where the tension hoop was below the edge of the neck. Lesson learned: not all head heights are exactly the same even though the specs might say they are.

Oct 24, 2021 - 9:25:02 AM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Hi Guys

Thanks for your comments and advice

It’s a presto tailpiece with new strings on and I have felt inside the cover so can’t see it being that TbH

Also their is a few flat spots on the 2nd 3rd frets but they are already around 0.33 so not sure if it’s feasible to recross or get a partially refret or full refret with taller and wider frets ??

Oct 24, 2021 - 9:26:54 AM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Claude Grassley i have put a new head on and it’s all tinged down to around 90 on the dr dial with no apparent loose nuts ??

Oct 24, 2021 - 10:29:23 AM

2057 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by ping182


It’s a presto tailpiece with new strings on and I have felt inside the cover so can’t see it being that TbH
 


Presto covers are a known rattle source. Some put some felt in and some remove the cover entirely. I had a bit of rattle and removed the cover. No more rattle.

Oct 24, 2021 - 10:49:23 AM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Thanks GrahamHawker i might try removing it but I do have felt inside

Who do you use in the UK to setup your banjos if you do use anyone that is ??

Oct 24, 2021 - 11:10:48 AM

2057 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by ping182


Who do you use in the UK to setup your banjos if you do use anyone that is ??


I do it myself. I think being able to do basic setup goes with the territory of banjo ownership. In about ten years I'll really know what I'm doing.

Oct 24, 2021 - 11:21:44 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1133 posts since 8/9/2019
Online Now

if you banjo has co-rods, make sure they are snug so as to not cause rattling

Oct 24, 2021 - 12:06:39 PM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

GrahamHawker i feel like I’m getting there with setups but this has stumped me

I’m ready to try a refret but don’t want to on my pre war, Yates or Greg rich ESS

I have made sure every nut and rod are snug so my only guess is the fret ware on the 3rd fret

Oct 24, 2021 - 12:25 PM

rcc56

USA

3844 posts since 2/20/2016

These buzzes can be hard to find. Try tapping the banjo all over with your thumb and see if you can localize the source of the vibration.

Also, try the process of elimination. If it has a resonator and/or an armrest, remove them and see if the vibration goes away. Sometimes an armrest is touching or almost touching the tension hoop, and causing a sympathetic vibration.

And if it's a fairly new banjo, the truss rod adjustment nut might be loose. I have seen many new instruments that were made over the last five years where that nut was not snugged up before it left the factory.

Banjos have so many metal parts that it's a wonder that any of them don't rattle.

Edited by - rcc56 on 10/24/2021 12:26:55

Oct 24, 2021 - 12:30:53 PM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

rcc56 hi Bob

I have tapped around and nothing obvious but will try the trust rod nut and taking off the arm rest

Thanks

Oct 24, 2021 - 2:24:17 PM
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Alex Z

USA

4556 posts since 12/7/2006

Have to look at the evidence:

"When I play the 3rd string at second and 3rd fret I get a rattle coming from the pot end"

"Also their is a few flat spots on the 2nd 3rd frets but they are already around 0.33"

"my only guess is the fret ware on the 3rd fret"

 - Unless the 3rd string is very heavy, it will be the string with the least tension.  Therefore largest wave envelope and most likely to rattle against the fret.

 -  A string rattle always sounds like it is coming from the pot end, because that's where the vibrations are amplified.

 - 2nd and 3rd frets typically have the smallest "next fret clearance" (unless the relief is excessive), so if a string is going to buzz because of low frets, it will buzz there.

 - Fret height of .033 is very low, in the refret range.  If there are flats spots on the 2nd and 3rd frets, then the effective height is even lower. New frets might be in the .040 - .043" range, for comparison.  

I'd agree with your guess.  But before deciding on a refret, what is the measured amount of neck relief and what is the measured string height of the 3rd string above the 12th fret?

Oct 24, 2021 - 3:17:25 PM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Alex Z Hi

Great explanation and my thoughts also but really not experienced enough to fully determine that it is most like the 3rd fret causing the issue

There is neck relief at .12 at the 12th and action if anything is slightly high at the moment

I m contemplating getting a full refret but where I am there are very few luthiers who seem to want or know about banjos

Thanks

Oct 24, 2021 - 9:36:29 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

5073 posts since 1/5/2005
Online Now

It would help if you describe what you mean by "rattle." Usually, we take "rattle" to mean some mechanical noise (possibleyin "fast-motion") like the kind you get when the button at the end of your shirt sleeve  touches the head, or the spare thumb picks stuck on one of the tension brackets, or the screw holding/tensioning the tailpiece being loose.

"Buzzing" is more like the sound you get from sounds you get when one of the frets is taller than the next/previous one, or a worn-out string or string slots on the bridge/nut that are too tight - those nasty sound usually are called "twang."

When you say the "rattle" comes from the pot end then perhaps it could be the banjo strap lugs are getting "overly excited."

Rattle "rattle" usually refers to something mechanical so, please elaborate as there really aren't any clearly defined definitions for the many kinds of noises that banjos can "treat" us on smiley

Added: please record that "noise" for us and post that sound bite so we know beyond question as to what you're taliking about.

Edited by - Bart Veerman on 10/24/2021 21:48:07

Oct 24, 2021 - 10:19:31 PM

Alex Z

USA

4556 posts since 12/7/2006

Terminology comes into play here.

So all can compare, measure "neck relief" like this:

    -- press the 3rd string down at the 1st fret and after the last 22nd fret.

   -- measure the gap between the top of the 7th fret and the bottom of the 3rd string.

Measure the "action height" with all the strings open, and measure the distance from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the 3rd string.

Mr. Bart has a good point about distinguish the type of sound -- metal on metal "rattle" or string buzz.  A string buzz typically occurs  loudest immediately when playing the note, then tapers off;  and if the string is played more softly, the buzz is less.  A metal rattle can start after the note is plucked, and may last a little longer, but cuts off more sharply.

Oct 25, 2021 - 7:58:35 AM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Hi Guys

Sorry about the playing in the vid in advance but hope you can here the rattling

youtu.be/e8VZGbjfKDU

Thanks

Oct 25, 2021 - 10:06:47 AM
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304 posts since 9/25/2006

Sounds like fret buzz to me.

Your 2nd fret has worn low and it's causing the string to slightly touch the third fret causing the buzzing. The reason it sounds like it's coming from the post is because the pot is amplifying the sound.

Try ever so slightly bending (choke) the string at the 2nd fret as you play it, just enough to get it out of that groove that has worn in the fret. That should push the string up on a higher portion of the 2nd fret and should stop the buzzing. If it does, then you know that's the issue.

You could slightly file down the 3rd fret, but then you might find a buzz appearing when you fret there caused by the higher 4th fret.

Oct 25, 2021 - 10:53:18 AM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Hey Ryan

Thanks for that I have tried the bend on the 2nd like you suggested and it does get a little better but still there but when I move to the 4th fret taking out fret 2/3 all is fine

Oct 25, 2021 - 9:37 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

5073 posts since 1/5/2005
Online Now

So, not a rattle, it's a buzz (us banjoeys have a secret languagesmiley). To me, your sound byte sounds muffled on the offending note. I quite agree that the dimple on your 2nd fret, 3rd string is probably too deep and needs to be replaced. Before you do though, replace the 3rd string and see what happens.

Also, the 3rd string slot on your bridge might have some "fuzzies:" clean the 3rd string slot with a set of welding tip cleaners - check this page on how: https://banjobridge.com/br-06b.htm

Do let us know how you make out with this issue,

Bart.

Edited by - Bart Veerman on 10/25/2021 21:38:35

Oct 25, 2021 - 11:12:06 PM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Hi Bart

Thanks for that and apologies for saying Rattle just didn’t know how else to explain it ??

I will try the bridge slot clean as you mention and see what happens

Oct 28, 2021 - 7:28:55 AM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

Here we go new frets on the way


Oct 28, 2021 - 7:30:19 AM

17 posts since 12/10/2018

For the record the frets that came out are Medium frets size #148 StewMac

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