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Irritating rattle


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On my acoustic (A relativly cheap but quite good quality dreadnaught) there's always been an annoying rattle that seems to come from the headstock/neck. It's not always there though, but seems to be focused around the 3rd, 4th and 5th strings when it is. I've tried everything I can think of (tightening screws, changing action etc.) but can't seem to permanately get rid of it, any ideas? By the way I bought it second hand so unfortunately there's no warranty...

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Have you checked the height of those frets in question? There are a couple of things that can be causing this. The nut could be cut too low. The frets too high. Style of playing. More info is needed. Also wait for more answers from some of the more experienced.

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i have a feeling it isn't fret buzz. He said he tried to change string action a bit. Brian i think you might be on to something.. and if it was the truss rod rattling around... well that would really suck.The slots in the nut might me too wide, so the strings are buzzin' around. I'm not sure what nut you have, but pics 'll help.

Hittin' up the easy to fix possibilities first. :D

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Tuning machines might be a bit loose. does it buzz only when the stings are played "open" or does it also, or instead, buzz when strings are fretted ?

Try to press a little on the strings behind the nut and see if it goes away. or wrap something , like a cloth around the strings behind the nut to see if that makes it go away.

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It does seem to be the open strings rather than the fretted ones and it dosen't rattle when it's shook. When I originally bought the guitar it had a furrel from the machine heads missing which is what I thought was causing the rattle but I've fitted a new one and it's still there. Perhaps a new set of machine heads?

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try tightening your tuning heads. and maybe the nut worn down at 3/5th string. actually the real nordic god had this problem yesterday with his dean bass. but that was a combination of his neck completly bowed and action messed up. so we had to set the action very high but the bridge was messed so we put dowels under it. long story short it turned out to be the bridge rattling.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The rod could be glued in place and causeing a bind that lets an internal washer float around.An adjustment may help.Also,try wiggling the nut.Some are loose and certain frequencies may cause it to rattle.

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Please don't mess with the truss rod yourself if you don't know what you're doing. It's probably not broken or the neck'd resemble a ski jump. If you tap the back of the neck you should be able to tell if it's the tuning keys or not. The rod may be too loose and rattling, which may be solved by switching to higher tension strings.

However, this sounds like a job for a repair shop. Truss rods can be fussy and overdoing it with the wrench is a good way to ruin them. If you want a good source of info, www.frets.com is the best I've seen. www.fretnotguitarrepair.com has a really good article on truss rods. Hope this gives you some idea of what you're dealing with.

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