3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Mark567
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3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Mark567 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:31 am

This is with nylon strings only so far (any tension or make), I haven’t tried carbon strings yet.
On the 1st string 8th fret, 2nd string 13th fret, and the 3rd string at the 17th fret they ring for maybe one second or so then die.
Every other note on this guitar has a nice amount of sustain.
It’s a 640mm scale, fairly newer with no cracks of damage.
I wasn’t really worried about until now but a piece of music I’m working on has 3 quarter C notes in a row at the end of a phrase and they won’t ring longer than an 8th note. So I figured I’d use the C on the second string then the 3rd. But they’re all dead.
Have you ever heard of this and is it something that can be worked out of even fixed?
Last edited by Mark567 on Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Trevor Gore
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Trevor Gore » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:44 am

Mark567 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:31 am
On the 1st string 8th fret, 2nd string 13th fret, and the 3rd string at the 26th fret they ring for maybe one second or so then die.
26th fret? How about 3rd string 17th fret (standard tuning)? They would then be all at the same frequency, 523.3Hz. In which case it would be a coincident body resonance at that frequency causing the problem. The fix is to find the shape of the top's mode of vibration at that frequency (using Chladni patterns) and mass load the antinodes to change the frequency, whilst not shifting the frequency of other modes that matter. It's a simple fix once you know how to do it and have the gear to visualize the offending mode of vibration.

If the above means nothing to you, you are unlikely to have the equipment necessary to do the work yourself, in which case you will need to find a luthier who does understand this stuff. Unfortunately, there aren't too many of them about. It's not in the "tool kit" of your typical guitar tech.
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Stephen Faulk
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:31 am

I always have trouble with the 26th fret. I'm going to quit adding them, not worth it.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

Stephen Faulk
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:32 am

I was just consulting an Atlas, I can only find one dead c.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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Keith
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Keith » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:49 am

Mark, I see you live in NC which is the home of the luthier, John Bagdanovich, who I would bet is familiar with this type of situation. Maybe shoot him an email to see about setting up a visit or maybe getting a referral. Al Carruth has written about this (see wolf note threads) and he has provided some good diagnostic information in those posts. You might be able to temporarily work around this by getting some blu-tac putty and putting some on the guitar to change the frequency. Definitely read Al's posts if you decide to go this route.

The above may help you resolve the problem and get the guitar to produce a c to shining c. I was going to throw in a dead sea pun but was beaten to the punch.
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Mark567
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Mark567 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:12 pm

Alright, alright! lol
Before I read any more of the responses I need to stop laughing at myself! 26th fret!
I almost spit my coffee up when i read that!
I don't know how that got by!

Mark567
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Mark567 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:28 pm

Excellent!
Thank you Trevor and Keith. I will contact Mr. Bagdanovich, hopefully he is able to do what Trevor has mentioned. I probably won't attempt anything myself, I know my limitations.

Those were good Stephen! Dead C! I can't believe I didn't "C" that either!
:lol:

Stephen Faulk
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Stephen Faulk » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:11 pm

You should be proud, you extended the range of the guitar by close to an octave.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

GuitarsWeB
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:31 pm

Every guitar has dead notes. There’s nothing you can really do. It’s the nature of the beast. Don’t waste your money trying to fix the problem. You might find a luthier that can add weight or remove to different areas of soundboard that will help, but then, you’ll find another note that will go dead. This is one advantage to the lattice and double top instruments. They seem to respond better to all notes, but over all sound seems to suffer.
If you have a copy of Jose Oribe’s book, “THE FINE GUITAR,” he discusses this problem on page 94 & 95.

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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:02 pm

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:31 pm
Every guitar has dead notes. There’s nothing you can really do. It’s the nature of the beast. Don’t waste your money trying to fix the problem. You might find a luthier that can add weight or remove to different areas of soundboard that will help, but then, you’ll find another note that will go dead.
This is exactly what I was going to say, chances are you will need to live with this or sell the guitar, trying to fix these things (in my own personal experience) rarely works, and often offloads the issue elsewhere where its equally irksome.
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souldier
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by souldier » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:13 pm

A quick and free fix would be to try different tuning standards other than 440 that work for that particular song you are learning. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother trying to go to the extent of finding a permanent fix. Consider it an interesting learning experience in discovering how resonant frequencies, etc. work on acoustic instruments.
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GuitarsWeB
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:52 pm

souldier wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:13 pm
A quick and free fix would be to try different tuning standards other than 440 that work for that particular song you are learning. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother trying to go to the extent of finding a permanent fix. Consider it an interesting learning experience in discovering how resonant frequencies, etc. work on acoustic instruments.
He’s correct here. Try A-432. But, you might end up with B natural being a dead note now. Many guitars sound and feel better with an A-432 tuning.

Alan Carruth
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Alan Carruth » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:38 pm

The trick is to move the pitch of the offending resonance so that it's just between played notes, without shifting anything else into a problematic range. This can be tricky, but it's not impossible. When you get it right you can have a guitar that has no 'dead' notes, although some of the notes may have a slightly different quality than others.

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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by simonm » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:31 pm

Apart from what Alan and Trevor said, there is one other slight chance. How long have you had the guitar? If it quite new, then there is a slight chance that just playing if for a few months, especially if you play very strongly, that it may cure itself.

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Trevor Gore
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Re: 3 dead C's on 3 different strings?

Post by Trevor Gore » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:58 pm

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:31 pm
Every guitar has dead notes. There’s nothing you can really do. It’s the nature of the beast.
Charles Mokotoff wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:02 pm
This is exactly what I was going to say,
souldier wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:13 pm
I wouldn't bother trying to go to the extent of finding a permanent fix.
It's fixable, as I explained. There's even an illustrated example in the book (2nd ed), but on an A note. I also said:
Trevor Gore wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:44 am
... you will need to find a luthier who does understand this stuff. Unfortunately, there aren't too many of them about. It's not in the "tool kit" of your typical guitar tech.
Luthiers who are telling you it can't be fixed are just telling you they're not up to the job.
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