Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #110916  by wolftigerrosebud
 Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:05 pm
TI4-1009 wrote:But note that Irwin/Brower had Tiger's slots pretty deep- go to the Herb Greene photos. Particularly the higher strings are "way down in there", so as long as they're not rubbing or "skimming" that's not a problem in itself.

If the buzzing is there on most or all fingered frets then start with the bridge. If it's only there when fingering some frets then it could be a fret or three rubbing. You can raise the bridge on one or both sides with the adjustment screws, but you can't go up on an individual saddle once it's been cut too deep. If you don't have nut files you can use a set of welding tip cleaners to angle the saddle or nut away from being too flat (here we're talking about the bottom of the slot- the part that the string is resting upon, not the top of the nut or saddle). Cheap, and the set contains about a dozen raspy wires of just the right sizes. Check your local welding supply shop.
OK, I see what you're saying about the angle of the bottom of the saddle slot. I understand it shouldn't be flat, I'm not clear on whether it should be angled down toward the tailpiece or down toward the neck?

The buzz is there faintly (like an overtone) when it's open, and it's pretty intense when I do string bends of a whole step or more along at least seven or eight frets, so I'm thinking it may not be a fret problem.

This fretboard radius is 14 1/2". Tell you the truth, I still don't quite get the process you're describing of setting the strings to the radius of the neck, but it seems like the kind of thing I can find more information on online.

Thank you both very much for all the help. Once I know which way to angle the saddle slot, I'll try out the suggestions (thanks for the tip about welding tip cleaners, by the way), and I'll update on the progress.
 #110920  by milobender
 Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:34 pm
The saddle should slope toward the tailpiece, not the neck... in fact that may well be a part of the problem... If you have good enough eyes, or a magnifying device, you should be able to see if the string is sitting in the bottom of the slot on the neck side... if there is a small gap below the string, in the saddle, the slope isn't right.

As far as the radius goes... you understand the fretboard isn't flat, it's curved at a radius of 14 1/2"... the strings should follor that same curve, so if you put a radius gauge, a concave 14 1/2" radius cut out of paper or plastic, on top of the strings, all the strings should touch the gauge, not high, or low...

You can eliminate the possiblility of some frets being a problem, by placing a short straight-edge, like a 4 inch or somewhat less, over each set of frets it covers (it needs to span at least 3 frets), right up the neck, next to each string, and see if the straight-edge 'teeter-totters' anywhere... the fulcrum being a high fret... remember, it doesn't take much, especially as you start bending the string.

You may be able to find all the instructional video you need at stewmac and or youtube...