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Thread: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

  1. #1

    Default My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Well, now that Iíve got my Blueridge BR60T restrung again and in tune, I find that I am faced with still another battle. Iíve learned now about sympathetic vibration or resonance.

    I think that was part of what started my woes. It made my first string change sound awful (to my ears), and then it made me cringe with disappointment when my second change sounded almost as bad. I never noticed it on any of my other string instruments.

    Iíve since read up on sympathetic resonance and understand what I learned, but Iím not sure that I know how to deal with it. The resonating strings need to be dampened, but Iím not exactly sure how thatís done. So, I would appreciate some information about how to dampen vibrating strings.

  2. #2
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Wow!
    I am no expert but isnít sympathetic resonance something to do with matching the frequencies of certain notes so one string will pick up the vibrations of another string?
    I know some folk actually enjoy the effect and make use of it but most folk would never notice it happening at all?
    I thought this was something that could happen on very high end classical guitars especially ones with big bodies but like I say I have no real knowledge .

    Are you sure you donít have a high fret or low string that is causing a buzzing?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    First thing is to work out which bit of the string is sympathetically resonating. Try winding a bit of felt or leather through the strings above the nut.

    If itís the open strings or that part of the string between the nut and the fretted note, youíve got a problem. Itís probably going to be down to playing technique.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    No, Fox, I don’t think it’s a high fret. Funny, I never heard it at all when the guitar was new. I dunno what the original strings were.

    And, Ray, it seems to sound when I fret the fourth or fifth frets. The fourth string rings a lot and is the loudest. It sounds for a long time too, but I do know how to stop it.

    It is certainly annoying now that I’ve heard it. I suppose I’m listening for it as I try to play. Some of the articles say that there’s a bright side to the phenomenon, but I’ll still have to learn what that is.

  5. #5
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Well that is annoying for you!
    I have set up a fair few Blueridge tenors and to be honest it has always been very straight forward , personally I think they work much better with GDAE strings.
    All the ones I have come across have been factory set for CGDA so the nut need a little bit of attention and once i had to play with the trussrod.
    I have also spent many hours playing with strings and found 12 20 30 45 works very well on a standard Blueridge tenor (with nut slots re cut)
    They are well made and strong, they are in my opinion quite over brassed, factory states 100 max string tension.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Yeah, Fox, I wanted it in GDAE because I often play in that tuning, but perhaps I jumped the gun when I changed it. I did put some pencil lead scrappings in in G’s nut slot though.

    Maybe I’ll change it again when I get everything (including my self) straightened out.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Well, my Blueridge 60T is pretty much okay now. I got to thinkin’ that maybe it was the fifths tunin’ that caused my woes. When I first got it, it was tuned to CGDA, which I don’t care for, so I tuned it to DGBE. However, I wasn’t completely happy with the sound. I wanted a deeper tone, and one that would fit in with most of my other instruments so I re tuned it to GDAE and that’s when my woes started.

    Anyway, it’s back to DGBE and pretty much playable. It still makes a lotta mistakes though.

  8. #8
    Harley Marty
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    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    I haven’t noticed this thread before now. My first guitar was the good old Harley Benton. Because it was a totally new experience (I’m a former accordion/sax player) I didn’t notice that it had an odd sympathetic resonance, but it gradually became annoying. When I clapped my hands close to the soundhole the ringing of the strings was totally at conflict with the gdae tuning, when playing tunes the open strings were ringing at clashing frequencies to what I was playing. I ended up just tuning it to cgda (which sounds really nice again) & getting another guitar for gdae.
    Since then I’ve taken up banjo & found that if the skin is not turned correctly this can occur with banjo. I think you could be just unlucky with that individual instrument. Have you tried changing string gauges, it probably needs to be a significant change to make a difference.

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  10. #9
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Quote Originally Posted by Picking Dick View Post
    . When I first got it, it was tuned to CGDA, which I don’t care for, so I tuned it to DGBE. However, I wasn’t completely happy with the sound. I wanted a deeper tone, and one that would fit in with most of my other instruments so I re tuned it to GDAE and that’s when my woes started.
    .
    That sounds like you used the same set of strings?

  11. #10

    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Yeah, Harley, my experience with sympathetic resonance with GDAE was pretty much the same as yours. When I changed strings again, CGDA was also annoying. That’s why I thought it was the fifths tuning, so I retuned it to DGBE. That almost solved the problem. The fifth fret on the E string (A) still rings the D string, but I can live with that — so far.

    Thanks for posting. I appreciate it when someone tries to help or at least commiserates with me.

  12. #11

    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    No, Fox, new strings.

  13. #12
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    The descriptions cause me to wonder what fundamental frequency the box is tuned to. You can set a tuner near the top or clip it somewhere other than the top, mute the strings, tap the top on the lower bass side bout with your knuckle, and see what note the tuner reads. It's not a precise method, but it's close enough.
    Tom

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  14. #13

    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Well, Tom, I finally got around to trying your suggestion. I got an F once and an F# once, but i’m not sure I did it correctly.

    However, I’ve been checking my other instruments and most also have some degree of sympathetic resonance. I never noticed it before (however, I certainly do now), but the Blueridge seemed pretty much alright today. Perhaps I was better at ignoring it.

    I guess I’ll just play it as it is, and see if I can find out more about the SR and what to do about it.

  15. #14
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    It makes more sense to me that a string is vibrating more loudly sympathetically with the box than with another string, though the strings certainly will vibrate sympathetically. The clue was that it showed up more noticeably when you lowered the B string to A in the DGBE tuning which the tenor guitar is traditionally designed for, that playing the A on the E string is creating something noticeable, and that it is also noticeable in the GDAE tuning. The box design theoretically should vibrate to a "note" (frequency) that is not part of the more common chord tones that you might play, otherwise you will get annoying wolf notes too often. If the box fundamentally resonates at "F" for instance, the note A is in the F chord and may vibrate the box more strongly due to it's harmonic overtone relationship, setting other strings in motion as well. The notes C and F could do the same thing. These are all notes in commonly played key signatures. If the box vibrates fundamentally at "F#", the main harmonics will be Bb and C# - less likely to be played in common key signatures (at least the F# and C# notes). Tapping the box a couple of dozen times helps to see what "note" shows up most on the tuner, and it helps you see on the meter which note it tends closer to. At this point, I think that the box is tuned to a fundamental helmholtz frequency between "F" and "F#", but closer to "F".

    You will find some version of this issue on most every string instrument, more or less noticeable depending on the design and what music you play. It can change some with the wood moving due to changes in humidity.

    This is something that I look closely at when designing a string instrument. I am a fan of Blueridge but have not played their tenor, so I have been curious. Thanks for your observations. My opinion could be wrong since I don't have this one in hand to listen to.
    Tom

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  16. #15

    Default Re: My Blueridge Woes - Part III

    Thank you, Tom, for your very interesting info. I enjoyed reading it.

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