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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Strat resonance problem


Cincinnati, USA

Apr 10th, 2018 07:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

My 2007 MIM strat has a weird resonance that only happens with the open G string. It's most prominent when the string is picked over the middle pickup - apparently that emphasizes the right harmonics. This is an acoustic phenomenon.

If I tune the string sharp or flat, it goes away so it seems the problem is linked to the G pitch played on that open string.

I have used my hand to damp the strings behind the nut, no change. I put a little slip of paper in the nut slot to see if it was too loose, no change. I have removed the pickguard to make sure nothing internal is vibrating and to insure the problem is not pickup-induced stratitis, no change. The bridge was floating so I decked it by tightening the springs, no change. Putting my hand on the trem springs caused no change. Putting my hand on the saddle and the length of string behind the saddle caused no change. Adjusting the saddle higher and lower, no change. Tightening and loosening the truss rod, no change.

The bridge has an aftermarket steel inertia block from GFS and I think the problem may has started when I changed to this block. The only other thing I can think to try is to swap the factory block back in (if I can find it) and see if that makes any difference.

What am I missing?

Contributing Member


pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Apr 10th, 2018 08:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

On a couple of occasions I had this issue and it was caused by the saddle. One of the two screws wasn't making full contact with the bridge plate.

Contributing Member

Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 10th, 2018 08:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Spot on. Best way to rule out a buzzing saddle is to place a fingertip against each saddle, behind the string's breakover point, and try to replicate the noise with your finger on the saddle. Do every saddle--not just the one for the offending string.

Other possible causes...

-Loose hardware on the headstock. Check to make sure the tuners' hardware is all snugged down (mounting nuts, screws, removable buttons). Also check the string tree(s)

-Loose truss rod

-Loose hardware inside the cavities. Be sure to check the pickup bottoms for stray hardware stuck to the magnets

But before you do any of the above:

Does the problem happen when you play a G note on the D string's 5th fret? If the resonance does not occurr--it's a pretty good indication that the problem is specifically with the G string and it's not somewhere else on the guitar. Replace that G string and see if the issue is resolved. Sometimes a wonky string can cause this.

Contributing Member

Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Apr 10th, 2018 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

The only thing I could add to that is that when I last had a similar problem, it was a saddle screw and I couldn't see a gap under it so I thought it was OK. It looked like it was touching the bridge plate, but it wasn't. I only found it by pressing down on the saddle, as Peegoo suggests.

Contributing Member

Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 10th, 2018 01:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Check the strap buttons too. I had a Gretsch Jet in for weird buzzing noises that sounded like something going on at the headstock, but it was a jiggly upper strap button causing the weird noise.

I've also found 'extra' screws and springs stuck to pickups inside the cavities that create weird overtones.

Sympathetic vibrations in a guitar (electric and acoustic) can be maddening. I mentioned checking the headstock hardware because more than a few times I've had guitars in for buzzing that appeared to be coming from the bridge area--but I traced them to loose headstock hardware.

A stethoscope is a really good tool for tracking down these weird buzzes and tones, because the noise gets louder as you get closer to the source. Same goes for chasing down noises in guitar amp chasses and cabinets.


Cincinnati, USA

Apr 11th, 2018 07:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for all the ideas. I've check and don't think any of these suggestions solve my problem.

Touching (damping) each tuner individually has no impact but pushing my hand on the back of the head touching all six does make a difference and makes the string go slightly flat too due to minor neck movement. This has not been noticeable while playing.

I pulled one of the neck screws at the heel and it seems the body was not drilled clear of the threads, making it difficult to really snug the neck into the pocket. My next step will be to clear drill the body so the screws only bite into the neck and see what effect that has.

I guess it could be that the mass of the neck/body naturally resonates at the G frequency. If so, I will need to add or subtract mass.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Apr 11th, 2018 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

I would revisit the G string nut slot. It must terminate sharply at the fretboard side tapering back to the headstock. Basically a ramp down to the tuners. Before I drove myself crazy looking elsewhere I'd run a file through it and clean it up and make sure it is not the issue.

The slots do wear from string vibration and mostly at proper pitch when played open. You can't see it but it's there. Sometimes even the slightest wear can cause funny noises on the open string.

If other fretted G notes don't cause the resonance the slot needs just a touch of work or the string could be defective, maybe. Yeah I know, tough one.

Contributing Member

Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 11th, 2018 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Good advice as always, Hammond101.



Apr 12th, 2018 03:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

amphead4: When you find and fix the problem, please report back and let us know the details.


Cincinnati, USA

Apr 13th, 2018 02:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

ejm, hope to get to it this weekend.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Strat resonance problem

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