Overtones on archtop

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by swingman, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. swingman

    swingman Member

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    Hi - I'm just getting back into jazz guitar after decades in the wilderness and would welcome your advice. I've just got a new Aria FA70 archtop - not quite up to the high $$$$$$ some of you talk about but it can handle all I can play for now and looks good - excellent finish (honeyburst).

    I've adjusted the action and intonation and put on new strings (Thomastik flatwound) but I now get an overtone/harmonic when plucking B on the top E string. It's causing a vibration in the B string. It's variable (? room temperature). Is it the strings - vibration through the bridge/pickguard?.

    Many thanks for any help.

    Swingman
     
  2. einstein

    einstein Member

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    dump the flatwounds get roundwounds and listen to pat metheny and tuck andress
     
  3. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    huh?!? Metheny used flatwounds for 20 years for what it's worth. What does that have to do with the guy's problem?

    The buzzing is likely the tailpiece or the pickup screws or a wire touching the top or back...
     
  4. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    When I first got my ES-175 I was going nuts becuase of some odd overtones I heard, especially from certain intervals. I tried different strings, setting intonation, etc., and was about to send the guitar off to be checked out thinking it must have some lose bracing or something. Then on a whim I lowered the pickups a bit. All the weird overtones went away and it sounds great now. I guess it was magnetic pull from the pickups making the overtones. You might want to try lowering the pickups.
     
  5. gitman

    gitman Member

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    these appear when some moving/vibrating part on or in the guitar picks up the string's energy and vibrates sympathetically. Jack Zucker is right : try turning the pickup-height-screws a bit, check the tailpiecee, check the screws in the pickups - that sort of thing. tying together the cables inside the guitar ( coming from the pickups to the controls ) might also be a good idea. it's definitely not caused by the type of string you use. my 2¢:D
     
  6. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    I wish I could think of a polite way to respond to this post but I can't so I won't. :)

    Moving on....

    My experience with archtops is that most odd buzzes come from the tail piece. One short term solution is to insert some felt between the tail piece and the top. In the longer term, my ultimate solution was to give up on archtops all together. This type of nagging little issue combined with the feedback problems and the size were constantly driving me crazy until I finally gave up.
     
  7. nek

    nek Member

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    This came to mind based on your recent new strings and set up of the guitar... I don't know the specifics of an Aria, but if its got a tunematic bridge, that's a place where wierd resonances can come from. Its got to do with play that works itself into the little moveable bridge inserts. The fix is very easy... Lift the string off the bridge with one hand and push the moveable bridge insert toward the neck with the other hand to take any play out of it and lower the string back down. Good Luck. Have Fun.
     
  8. swingman

    swingman Member

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    I'm staying out of the string discussion - it could run and run ....

    Dump the archtop - no way but

    Many thanks for the other tips - especially about vibrations from screws, pick ups, tail piece and so on. I'm working on these now and will keep you posted. Also thanks for the advice about the bridge - the Aria bridge is the standard wooden one but I have another archtop with individual saddles and will check them out.

    ;)
     
  9. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I have an FA 71. Incredibly well built Korean box. Try shifting the bridge around and check the intonation. It just slides. Also, I assume the overtone shows up under amplification? Try moving the amp. Hollow bodies pick up vibrations like crazy and can erupt into bizarre howls even at what many consider low volumes.
     
  10. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    Using strings with the silk wrap at the ball end solved most of the funky vibrations I had on an ES165. Pyramid and Gibson VR strings were 2 Brands that had this. If you don't have luck with the other suggestions you might give these strings a try.
     
  11. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    I know, I got overtones too! I was using a benaditto into a Tripple rectifier and turning the gain and bass all the way up... I don't understand it!;)

    Serriously, the pup height or a loose part are most likely the culprits. I love hollow guitars.
     
  12. swingman

    swingman Member

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    Hi daddyo - what's a senior member? I'm very senior in years!

    I checked out reviews and so on before buying the Aria. In the UK there's a fair choice of archtops up to about £500 tnen a big jump to around £1000. Anyway the Arias - I think the 70 and 71 are similar/same bodies? but the 70 has a bridge pickup as well. I agree about the finish - also the neck suits my hand very well. The finish on mine - honeyburst - is very smart. Which is why I'm shedding buckets over these overyones.

    As it happens the intonation was the last thing I altered and I too found the bridge easy to adjust. I made quite small changes (twisting) at each end of the bridge to get high and low E right, then the others have to follow.

    How accurate are tuners? I used my son's line6 pod?
     

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