The buzzing D string

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.

Re: The buzzing D string

Post by yooper » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Yes, there is a reason (outlined above) for the buzzing described here to occur, and this buzzing does not necessarily imply an incorrect setup. This is not the usual string buzzing folks talk about when the action is too low, or the string tension isn't high enough, or there is a tall fret. I have encountered this problem on several guitars on D at frets 2/3/4 where the setups were fine. As it turns out, I asked about this very issue on this forum two years ago to this day, and at that time I received some good information that matches what's described above. The info offered here is very useful. Thanks.

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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by Ramon Amira » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:00 pm

Well, then the only other answer is that there is a bee on your D string. :D

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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by swugar » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:48 pm

I had a Taylor NS72 for a while that had this problem (my luthier called it an overtone buzz). I tried everything including bees wax and buffing.
Taylor techs also came up blank. Several guitars in different stores all did the same thing to varying degrees. Interestingly, the lower
end guitars were less prone to this problem. This string winding trick is the first thing that actually helps, that, and high quality strings. I play a
Breedlove Bossa Nova and it sounds much better now... thanks to Steven and Les.

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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by PatD » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:40 am

Finally an explanation of why an otherwise perfectly set up guitar will occasionally exhibit this weird "buzzy" resonance on the 4th string. Thanks to original poster!!



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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by ChristianSchwengeler » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:22 am

Godina wrote:Is anyone anoyed with a buzzing D string, even with all frets well leveled ? I had standard tension strings on my guitar and replaced the D one with a high tension one, which greatly reduces the buzz. I do prefer low tension strings on that guitar but will I have to deal with bying two sets of strings (one high and one normal tension) to get rid of the buzz ?

A part of string buzzing on the 4th string has to do with the frequencies (as on the 6th!), most guitar have basic and other resonances within F, F#,G and G#. In this range the string acts in a different way, and the resonance response of the instrument will add an excess of excitement. This brings the string in a chaotic vibration which has more amplitude than it would have in another frequency. In this case you are playing in the lower positions and this is exactly where distance between fret and string is smallest. To solve the problem : higher setup, higher string tension, playing techniques to avoid the buzz, local fret leveling in a specific sector of the fret board to add some space for string oscillation for certain notes. There are also some chaotic resonances, with vibration feedback thru the fret board – this happens most often with very new strings and when you are not pressing the string really close to the fret. This happens most often with 2. and 3. position the 4th string and only on some instruments.

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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by jhapgood » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:48 pm

Thanks to Les and Steven D'Antonio for that information on the D string buzz. I've had the problem intermittently over the years and never could figure out what the problem was until now! I'll try that little "twisting" trick and see how I get along. Could be some good preventive medicine... :merci:

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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by zupfgeiger » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:53 pm

This thread is very helpful as I have an issue with a buzzing d string on my new Christopher Dean Santos copy. It is a wonderful guitar in every aspect apart from the unpleasant buzzing on d string between 4th and 8th fret. Buzzing only appears with rest strokes and barree chords, in pieces which require a bit force like Capricio Arabe or BWV 996 Prelude. As playability and action of this guitar are great I won't touch the saddle for the time being. But after heaving read a lot about string buzzing on delcamp I will do three things: exchange my regular Hannabach 200 silver-plated wound basses and find another brand that may be less prone to buzzing. Try out hard tension d string instead of medium tension. Lift the d string from the tuner roller and re-fix it as this might be a remedy as well.
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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by tomv » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:31 am

Looks like this post has been up for awhile. I currently have this issue with a set of Labellas I just put on. D string is buzzing on the 2 and 3 frets but is more pronounced on the the 2nd. Going to take the string off and see if I can follow the advice here to quiet it down. Never had this issue with other strings before.

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Re: The buzzing D string

Post by Mark567 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:20 am

I'm quoting myself from a post I wrote a little while ago on this "buzzing D string" issue.
I did edit it a little in the last section. I hope this helps.
I've had a lot of string buzz issues recently (both the A and D) and have posted about them a few times. A couple of times I thought I had solved the problem, but I was wrong.

UNTIL, I found a post about twisting the strings in the direction of the winding to increase the mass of the string, but that only seemed to make matters worse. So I tried twisting them COUNTERCLOCKWISE, and it WORKED!

My theory is that the windings on strings are the same as springs, if you wind a spring in the direction of the coil its flexibility reduces, twist the spring in the opposite direction and it's flexibility increases.

It was easy to do, I tied them to the bridge then rolled them between my fingers maybe 10 to 15 times. Without letting them snap back I threaded them through the tuners, brought them right up to pitch and they play perfectly.

I've had this problem on three guitars this year alone, I returned one because I thought it was the guitar, I'm now sure it wasn't. I've tested this twice on the two guitars I have now and it has completely resolved the problem.

NOTE: On some of the stiffer strings I've tried this on like the Aranjuez silver and golds and D'addarios, it was hard to twist them with my fingers. I put a pair of forceps on the end of the string and then turned the the forceps as they griped the string. It still is difficult to get the stiffer strings to unwind though.

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