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High pitched ringing/harmonic in electric guitars


(@ausguitar33)
New Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Hello,

I have a strange issue that has arisen with my electric guitars. I have been noticing a high pitched, ringing sound (possibly harmonic) coming from my guitars whenever I play the top 2 - 3 strings. I first thought it was my new amp, as that's when I first noticed it, but I've since tried through different amps and DI with my computer, and the problem is still there.

I made a soundcloud account and have uploaded some recordings which demonstrate the problem: https://soundcloud.com/guitar-stuff-716906348 , including a track through a high pass filter at around 3khz which I think shows the problem.

I have been playing for nearly 12 years and have never heard this on these two guitars before (which I had had for 7+ years each). I have gone back and listened to both studio and live recording with both guitars, and cannot find any evidence of this problem occurring, yet both guitars started doing it at the same time.

One guitar is a fender strat (split coil dimarzio pickups), the other a 70's les paul copy (seymour duncan hot PAF pickups). I haven't made any changes to the guitars since I bought them.

Things I have tried:
- new strings
- new leads
- different amps/DI/brand new valves in the amp I have
- deadening the strat springs with cloth
- lowering the pickups
- deadening the strings behind the bridge and behind the nut

I am hoping someone may some ideas, as I feel out of options other than to buy brand new guitars!

Thanks


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(@jonahpeacock)
Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 7
 

I have experienced this as well! And everyone said it was just a new string fix, but that never seemed to solve the problem. I have discovered the issue though, and it happens at the bridge nut.

Although the bridge nut/nuts (for the individual strings) is metal on electrics, it still wears from the strings just like on an acoustic bridge nut. The difference is that on an acoustic bridge nut, the wooden or plastic nut absorbs the vibration form the strings, whereas on a metal piece, the metal doesn't absorb it, but instead can cause this harmonic interference.

And why it hasn't happened until recently for you, is because your bridge must have worn a groove underneath the strings recently, causing this frustrating sound on top of your higher strings.

And that is one last point of discussion, why just the high strings? A simple answer, because they are thinner and so as a result will wear through your bridge must faster. (especially without windings on the string)

The solution can be as simple as making sure that when you put on your strings, they don't fall within this groove. Unfortunately, you can only pull this off maybe 3 times max until the strings will always fall into one. At this point it just becomes a matter of a new set of bridge nuts for your guitar, which could seem like a hassle but its just like changing strings, you have to do it eventually.

Hope this has helped you in some way :)


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