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Old 03-30-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
IcarusLives
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Guitar sounds like a Sitar

This has been driving me absolutely insane for like 2 weeks, and I have no idea how to fix it. I cannot get over to the city to get my guitar looked at by anyone, so I'm stuck trying to fix it myself.

I have a B.C. Rich Mockingbird from approximately 1984, and the High E string is horrid sounding.


I tried giving a turn of the truss rod (left) and it had no effect, so I turned it back and maybe a little bit to the right? and left the strings off for a day. When I put them back on it seemed a little better, but half a day later and it went back to that. I don't have any idea what else it could be, other than old strings?


I would really appreciate help!

Last edited by IcarusLives : 03-30-2013 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #2
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Replace the strings first.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:49 PM   #3
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The groove in the high e is too deep or wide. The po'strummer's way to fix it would be to block off the open ends of the high e nut slot and fill it with a mixture of sawdust and superglue (or other nut filler, many recipes to be found across the interwebs), let cure for a day to be sure, and then carefully give it a fresh filing with an old high e string (or nut file if you happen to have one lying around )
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:16 PM   #4
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ain't the saddle height is it?
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:27 PM   #5
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Check your action before ****ing with shit
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:28 PM   #6
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Sounds like the nut slot isn't cut right. When you hear a sound like that, it usually means something is rubbing on the string and causing it to mute a little bit. This is really common with the 3 high strings on lower-end guitars.

I would suggest taking it to a tech and have them look it over and set it up. Chances are you'll probably need the nut filed or some burrs filed off the saddle.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:30 PM   #7
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that I adjusted the action both higher and lower to no avail. I also checked to make sure the string(s) were not touching the frets. I'm thinking it's probably the nut is the problem (as suggested by Stony, and tukk.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLives
Sorry, I forgot to mention that I adjusted the action both higher and lower to no avail. I also checked to make sure the string(s) were not touching the frets. I'm thinking it's probably the nut is the problem (as suggested by Stony, and tukk.

Fret the string at the 3rd fret. Look for a gap between the string and the 1st fret. Is there one? If not, then it's too low. Ideally, they gap should be about the same distance as the gap between the 4th fret and the string when fretted at the 3rd fret.

Last edited by W4RP1G : 03-31-2013 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:58 AM   #9
IcarusLives
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So that fixed it for the most part, but my problem is that the action is now really high beyond the 10th fret. Would this mean I still have a nut that needs replacing? I can't really do any fast picking with fluidity now, because I have to push a lot more.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLives
So that fixed it for the most part, but my problem is that the action is now really high beyond the 10th fret. Would this mean I still have a nut that needs replacing? I can't really do any fast picking with fluidity now, because I have to push a lot more.

I already told you how to check the nut. If that checks out, then it's not the nut.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:09 AM   #11
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Via the 3rd fret? I did that, it's just really hard to tell because the neck is rounded. I am pretty sure there is a tiny gap now, but like I said, the action above the 10 fret is ridiculous - nothing is even at all about it. I don't pretend to know anything about guitars beyond what I taught myself, but it seems like the nut should be higher than it is. Strings shouldn't be on such an angle?
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLives
Via the 3rd fret? I did that, it's just really hard to tell because the neck is rounded. I am pretty sure there is a tiny gap now, but like I said, the action above the 10 fret is ridiculous - nothing is even at all about it. I don't pretend to know anything about guitars beyond what I taught myself, but it seems like the nut should be higher than it is. Strings shouldn't be on such an angle?

You're gonna have to lay the guitar down on a table or something and check that gap. If there is a gap, I'd leave it alone and move on to trouble shooting other things. It doesn't have to be very high, just high enough to not buzz against the 1st fret when you play the open string, which doesn't take much.

Are you only getting the sitar sound with the open string?
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:19 AM   #13
IcarusLives
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Okay, I will do that, and thank you for the quick responses, it's much appreciated.

It doesn't buzz when it's played open, it only buzzes when I press down frets. I'm not positive which strings do it, except that B and E do it. (2nd-8th frets being the worst) High E being the exceptionally annoying one.

Last edited by IcarusLives : 03-31-2013 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLives
Okay, I will do that, and thank you for the quick responses, it's much appreciated.

It doesn't buzz when it's played open, it only buzzes when I press down frets. I'm not positive which strings do it, except that B and E do it. High E being the exceptionally annoying one.

Sounds like it could be a high fret. The nut only affects the open note, so once it's fretted, the nut slot depth doesn't matter.




You can use a credit/supermarket card as a rocker, but you'll need to trim it down to check the high frets. And to check the last fret, you'll just need to look at it, since a rocker won't rock if it's high.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #15
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So I quickly tried that and there appears to no frets that need filing on the High E strings location anyway. The low E has one spot but I don't see how that would affect High E?
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLives
So I quickly tried that and there appears to no frets that need filing on the High E strings location anyway. The low E has one spot but I don't see how that would affect High E?

Could be a number of high frets. Sometimes the fretboard will develop a hump, which will create a slope effect in the frets. This makes the higher frets too high. Look down the neck and see if you can notice a slope in the fretwork, or some sort of wavy effect.
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:54 AM   #17
IcarusLives
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I see no slope. It looks pretty much perfect. Could it possibly be that it's simply old strings? They don't even stay in tune for an entire song anymore. I have no access to them so I have to wait to get some.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:56 AM   #18
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i'm probably wrong but after reading this whole thread i'm inclined to think it's the saddle.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:01 AM   #19
IcarusLives
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I read elsewhere that it could be. I lack the tools to do it myself, so I think I'd just take it in if that's the consensus. (when I can take it in of course)
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcarusLives
I read elsewhere that it could be. I lack the tools to do it myself, so I think I'd just take it in if that's the consensus. (when I can take it in of course)

Could be. Makes less sense to me, but I'm running out of ideas.

Also, this might seem fairly obvious, but the string isn't hitting one of the pickups, is it?
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