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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Strange resonance or warble like tremolo

Eclipse59

FL

Electrical Guitarist
Aug 19th, 2010 08:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a MIM Strat that has a strange warble or resonance issue. It sounds similar to a light tremolo setting on an amp--best way to describe it.

To troubleshoot I have tried dampening strings behind nut with finger and various materials, replaced nut, dampened springs, changed strings, checked intonation, swapped out cables, tried different amps. I am going direct to amp without any pedals and no effects settings on the amp. I can also hear this acoustically and it is on all strings but most noticeable on the G, B and high E. Is this just a guitar with a bad natural resonance? I am baffled.

littleuch
Contributing Member
*******

Michigan

Aug 19th, 2010 08:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Does this happen when picking on the hard side? Try adding a spring to the trem, or even dampening them with some foam (I've actually used a napkin). It could also be that your pickups are too close to the strings.

Edit to add-I see you already addressed the springs.

(This message was last edited by littleuch at 08:50 AM, Aug 19th, 2010)

littleuch
Contributing Member
*******

Michigan

Aug 19th, 2010 08:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Also, knock on the back of the neck like you're knocking on a door. Could be a trussrod issue.

Fistfull of Clams

Wales

Bethesda, Land of Song
Aug 19th, 2010 09:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds like "stratitis" to me - try lowering your pickup heights. Serious cases can cause severe dissonance in addition to the warble you describe.

Eclipse59

FL

Electrical Guitarist
Aug 19th, 2010 09:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't think my pickups are that high and I did lower them a bit already to test, but I didn't notice a difference. Maybe it would be good to lower them way down to just eliminate this as a possibility.

I usually start my pickup adjustment using the one nickle/two nickle method and then adjust to fine tune. But I find that I usually prefer them lower than this starting point. Definitely worth a try.

I will work on this tonight and report back with my findings. Thanks so much for the input.

Fistfull of Clams

Wales

Bethesda, Land of Song
Aug 19th, 2010 09:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hmmm, interesting!

Pickup heights are definitely worth a try, strange things can happen with guitars sometimes. The truss rod suggestion is also a good one.

Let us know how you get on.

Te 52

'52 Tele + Delirium

= Tellurium 52
Aug 19th, 2010 10:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Does it sound this way on open strings only, or open and fretted?

Jon S

Houston

Blues & Jazz....mmmm tasty!
Aug 19th, 2010 11:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If the trem springs are noisy there are several videos on you tube showing how to quiet them down a bit.

good luck!

:)

Eclipse59

FL

Electrical Guitarist
Aug 19th, 2010 11:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I get this tremolo effect on fretted notes as well as open strings.

I doubt it is the springs because I dampened them pretty well already.

One thing occured to me, I recently switched from pure nickel to nickel plated steel strings. I wonder if the nickel-steel are more sensitive to the pickup magnets?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
******

That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Aug 19th, 2010 03:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Back the neck pickup down so the top of the pickup cover is almost flush with the pickguard, and try again to see if you can replicate the problem.

Te 52

'52 Tele + Delirium

= Tellurium 52
Aug 19th, 2010 06:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes, strings with nickel-plated steel wrap wire will be more strongly attracted by the magnets than those with a pure nickel wrap.

We should also have asked earlier if these are reasonably new strings in good condition. Old, worn strings can cause any number of tone and intonation problems.

I concur that pickups too close to the strings is the mostly likely source of your problem.

The other possible source is the saddles. The "witness point" on the saddle, that is, the contact point that defines where the vibrating length ends and the afterlength begins, must be clearly defined and unambiguous. If, on the vibrating string side, the saddle rather has a ramp-like surface that slopes down towards the body, the effective vibrating length of the string varies as the string oscillates, which can cause a warble. It's a very common problem in pianos.

Eclipse59

FL

Electrical Guitarist
Aug 20th, 2010 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It was the pickups. I lowered them all and the warble was gone.

I then started experimenting by gradually bringing each pup up a bit and then testing. Overall, they are set lower for these new strings I am trying but the guitar sounds great.

Thanks so much for the advice. I was really frustrated by this problem.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
******

That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Aug 20th, 2010 03:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Bingo! Great work!

myshka

Canada

Aug 20th, 2010 06:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

ON the other hand ...

there are people that pay a lot of money for pedals
that make weird warbles.

Eclipse59

FL

Electrical Guitarist
Aug 21st, 2010 10:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

After testing a bit more...

Oddly enough, I think my bridge pickup is causing the problem. I have a Dimarzio DP420 Virtual Solo and it seems to have powerful A5 magnets. The other two pups are Fenders from a 70's RI Strat and they don't seem exert as much magnetic pull. I wrote to Dimarzio to see if they have any advice. They are very good about responding.

Anyone else notice this with the DP420? Right now I have it over 1/4" from the strings. Pretty low for a bridge pup.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Strange resonance or warble like tremolo




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