#1
I have been noticing a high pitched ringing/whistling coming from the bridge of my acoustic guitar. I did have bowing in my neck and had the truss rod adjusted but the problem still persists. So I took an angled mirror and looked under the sound hole right where the string balls rest against the bridge pins as shown in the photo.

(This photo is a reference of the area and not from my guitar)



And in my guitar I can see chipped pieces of wood sticking out and splintering around the holes where the bridge pins go. When changing strings in the past I've also had small pieces of wood fall into the sound hole and it's safe to assume it was from under these splintering pieces of wood.

Could this chipped/splintering wood under my bridge be the cause of the buzzing/ringing I hear near the bridge? It's definitely not string buzz. Is this something to be alarmed about?
Last edited by DudE132 at Aug 2, 2014,
#2
I doubt that the splinters are the cause of the buzzing. Most acoustic guitars have a strengthening plate of wood beneath the bridge and this is just drilled through the pin holes. Most guitars have those splinters.

That 4th from the left string has been trapped on the ball-end windings end instead of the ball being held under the top - not good.
#3
After a while, the string ball ends start to dig into the reinforcing plate.

Spruce, (the most often found material for both the guitar top, and the reinforcing plate), is a soft wood. Soft woods tend to be a bit, "stringy", and are prone to splintering.

If you are concerned about wear / splintering you can harden off the string ball contact area with thin cyanoacrylate glue, ("Crazy Glue). You would apply a thin coat or 3, depending on how much of the surface shows an adhesive covering. Spruce can be quite porous, and will soak up the glue like crazy. (Sorry for the bad pun). The glue will prevent the splinters from forming, and the string ball indents from progressing deeper.
Whatever you do, DO NOT reassemble the guitar until you are absolutely, positively certain, the glue has cured completely. And while I'm aware that crazy glue dries fast, the fluid in the wood might take a while to dry all the way through. Leave the guitar apart over night, just to be certain.
#4
I doubt it is the bridge plate, but it might be a loose brace. Try pressing down fairly hard on the top in different places, and see if there is a spot where the buzz goes away. - That would be where the loose brace is.

If the bridge plate is badly splintered I woud have it repaired or use a Stewmac Plate Mate.

Plate mate

I made my own version of it some time before it came out, using 3/16"brass washers held on by double sided adhesive tape. The ones I get just fit next to each other on the standard Martin narrow spacing. It worked fine, I thought it improved the tone a little, but they had an annoying tendency to fall off when I tried to poke the string balls through them.