Strange Harmonic Issue/Puzzle

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by scottrolf, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. scottrolf

    scottrolf Member

    Messages:
    1,352
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Location:
    Third From The Sun
    This one has me stumped.

    First off, I set up my Tele's neck relief, string height and attenuation to spec.

    When I pluck/thumb the bottom E string's harmonic at the 12th fret (as I do during an attenuation check) I get this fret buzz sound. Also, if I pluck/thumb an open E (same string of course) I get this weird dual out of phase sounding harmonic. If I fret the string anywhere on the neck there is NO fret buzz sound. I say "fret buzz sound" only because it's not really a fret buzz but merely has that sound.

    I don't get it. What could possibly be causing a string to react this way?
    Oh, and I did install new strings as well and I'm running this check un amplified.
     
  2. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

    Messages:
    2,345
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    Sometimes if there is no tension on the truss rod you can get weird buzzes and rattles. Also try muting all the other strings when you do your harmonic or open string test. The buzzing/out of phase harmonic could be coming from a different string.
     
  3. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

    Messages:
    14,567
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    PNW
    I've had a fender neck with a loose truss rod do something like that. The truss rod turned out to be bad.
     
  4. mhz88

    mhz88 Member

    Messages:
    505
    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    If open string sound weird, check nut is what I always do first.
     
  5. scottrolf

    scottrolf Member

    Messages:
    1,352
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Location:
    Third From The Sun
    But it's just on that one string. Wouldn't the problem be consistent with all this strings?
     
  6. ShadowCanAm

    ShadowCanAm Member

    Messages:
    1,147
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    Location:
    Tickville, Virginia
    Is the harmonic always an E ? If you play the E note on another string do you still get an E harmonic overtone ? If so, it could be built up metal stress ( like a car engine needs a harmonic balancer ) somewhere on the E saddle or part of the bridge. My superstrat was doing this with D notes on several strings and I traced it back to the D fine-tuner. A little bit of WD 40 on the exact spot fixed it.
     
  7. AdmiralB

    AdmiralB Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,072
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Central Indiana
    Me too. If you pluck the E very gently, does it still do the weird thing?

    If not, you probably have a nut slot that's too big, or insufficient break angle over the nut.

    Fender basses do this on the A string a lot.
     
  8. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

    Messages:
    3,069
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Tune the string donwn to Eb or D and fret an E note to see if it's a resonance or mechanical issue.
     

Share This Page