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Mar 21, 2023 - 12:41:40 PM
1246 posts since 6/22/2016

A bit of a shot in the dark, but thought I'd throw it out there before I take it my luthier friend, who's been making it clear for a couple of years that he's sick of doing repairs as opposed to making fiddles from scratch (and now he's trying to decide if he's had enough of that). Anyway: this morning, I found I was getting a bit of a rattling sound every time I hit the B on the A string; then, checking around, found I was getting it a bit on the lower notes on the G string. Took off the little clamped-on tuner, checked the clamped-on Fishman (IIRC) pick-up - it was tight - everything else seemed tight and in order. So - does it sound like a problem anyone is familiar with?

Mar 21, 2023 - 2:04:20 PM
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Swing

USA

2342 posts since 6/26/2007

Check and see if your fine tuners are hitting when you press a string....

Play Happy

Swing

Mar 21, 2023 - 6:12:11 PM
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875 posts since 6/11/2019

Does it happen only on a stopped string? Also on open strings?

I've traced it to the little set-nuts on fine tuners, being loose.

Mar 21, 2023 - 10:20:43 PM

Old Scratch

Canada

1246 posts since 6/22/2016

Thanks, gents - it seems okay now. I played around with the fine tuner on the A string, and also re-set that little copper piece of the pick-up that fits into the bridge; it might have been sitting a little loose in there. Anyway, between the jigs and the reels, as my Newfoundland friend says, but in this case, literally, the rattle seems to have disappeared. So, we'll see .....

Mar 21, 2023 - 11:48:31 PM
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422 posts since 6/3/2016

Coincidentally one of my fiddles is starting to make some buzzing sounds, which it has never done before. It seems to happen on more than one string. Yesterday I thought it was isolated to the A string. But then today I noticed it on I think the G string and for sure the E string. I though maybe a seam was coming apart but it looks okay. The (synthetic) strings were due for replacing, so I swapped them. That seemed to help, but not entirely.

I did find this guide, which is helpful: https://nolaschoolofmusic.com/blog/how-to-troubleshoot-your-violin-buzzing-or-rattling-sound

This particular instrument rarely leaves the house, so it's not subject to environmental changes. I can't find any obvious problems, so I'm just going to hope it magically goes away. At some point I'll take it to my luthier.

Mar 22, 2023 - 9:22:18 AM
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5823 posts since 7/1/2007

Funny you should mention! Yesterday, one of my favorite customers was over at my place with a buzz that was "driving him nuts". We both heard it clearly enough, even with my bad hearing. I looked in the usual places for anything that might be rattling, loose nuts, loose seams, etc. I took the eraser end of a pencil and tried pressing on various places along the bass bar, for example, seeing whether pressure would dampen the buzz, nothing. Way back in the day, I used to work on cars a lot, so I borrowed a couple of mechanic's tricks. I tried listening through a plastic tube, then through a rubber tube, and found the buzz was coming off the first octave anti-node of the G string, the place where it vibrated the most on the first harmonic. It was very clear that that's where the buzz was coming from. Proof: changing strings solved the problem.

Sometimes you just have to be patient and systematic. And then even more so.

Mar 22, 2023 - 11:42:40 AM

Old Scratch

Canada

1246 posts since 6/22/2016

I was wondering if new strings might be the answer, but I couldn't see any wear or tear on the strings on there - which is about all I know to look for ... anyway, as I say, the issue seems resolved, for the time being at least. If it reoccurs, I'll try new strings.

Mar 22, 2023 - 12:20:40 PM

DougD

USA

11816 posts since 12/2/2007

I wonder if some of these problems might be due to the change of seasons, and resulting movement of top plates and other parts.
Ernie, you say your instrument isn't subject to environmental changes because it stays inside, but do you monitor the environment in your house? It may be totally different in Tucson, but here in East Tennessee I'm in a house with central heat and A/C, and I have a couple little indoor/outdoor temp/humidity monitors. The indoor temperature stays pretty constant, but its surprising how much the humidity changes, not just depending on how much the furnace runs, but with the outdoor conditions. We've gone from 17° Monday morning to possible 70's tomorrow, and very dry air (20% humidity) to rain all day today.

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