#1
Hey everyone,

I've been recently experimenting with string brands, and I put on a set of Martin Silk and Steels, just to see what they were like. Turns out I hate them, and replaced them as soon as I could, but while I had them on, my guitar seems to have developed a nasty buzz on the low E string. I initially put this down to the low tension, and ignored it, and ordered a new set of strings.

After I replaced them with my usual 80/20 light strings, I noticed that the buzzing had lessened, but hadn't completely gone away. I tried to locate the area of the problem, and it sounds like its coming from the nut. Should I lower the string slot of the nut, and see if this cures it? Or could this be something more serious, such as a crack in the nut?

I had no problems before putting the silk and steels on, and the problem only happens when I pluck the OPEN string, and going away when I fret the string, or use a capo.

Thanks in advance for your help,

-Bryn
#2
There can always be a nut problem but when it comes down to it, not every guitar is the same.

Lowering the slot usually worsens buzzing if it's a string gauge/fret issue. If the buzzing is from your nut, it may need to be glued back on.
#3
I've had a look at the nut, and it looks like a really small, hairline crack in the bone, which worries me a lot. I might need a new one fitting, because having silk and steels on it might not even be related to the buzz.
#4
Silk & Steel strings have much less tension than a typical set of steel strings, and if your guitar had been set up for say, mediums then this alone would explain the buzz.

Buzz is caused by the string striking a non-fretted fret. Normally halfway between the fretted note (or nut) and the bridge, the point where string oscillation is the greatest.
Cause... Action too low, a high fret or frets, neck relief not sufficient, etc, etc.

If the nut is cracked at the point of a string slot, then it should be replaced, and preferably with a better-quality item. If there's a small crack somewhere else, then a drop of super-glue may be in order.