Can’t resolve Sitar sound on open b

leispat

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 9, 2022
78
Greenville, SC
When I hit the open be sometimes it sounds almost like a sitar. I’ve tried adding graphite to the nut, adding more neck relief. Setting a high action, and swapping the strings.

I have 0 knowledge and experience in fixing the nut. Is that what I need to do here?
 

Della Street

Parasite
Platinum Supporting Member
Jan 9, 2022
1,457
USA
one thing is that both saddle screws have to have tension against the bridge plate. sometimes the buzz can occur from one of the screws being looser than the other. after the action setup i usually thoroughly tap all the saddles to makes sure there is no ticking sound that would indicate a wobble.
 

leispat

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 9, 2022
78
Greenville, SC
one thing is that both saddle screws have to have tension against the bridge plate. sometimes the buzz can occur from one of the screws being looser than the other. after the action setup i usually thoroughly tap all the saddles to makes sure there is no ticking sound that would indicate a wobble.
Ok thanks, I’ll try that and report back!
 

marksound

Strat-O-Master
Mar 8, 2010
896
OK
More often than not the nut slot is cut wrong.

I'd fold a piece of 1000 or finer sandpaper in half and work the slot at an angle down toward the tuner. Straight line, slow and easy. Don't rock your sanding motion, go back and forth at an angle. You don't want to make the slot deeper, just angle it back a hair.

In my experience that fixes the problem 9 times out of 10.
 

Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
16,288
State of Disbelief
one thing is that both saddle screws have to have tension against the bridge plate. sometimes the buzz can occur from one of the screws being looser than the other. after the action setup i usually thoroughly tap all the saddles to makes sure there is no ticking sound that would indicate a wobble.
+1
And while you're down there check the saddle for burrs where the string passes over it.
 

leispat

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 9, 2022
78
Greenville, SC
More often than not the nut slot is cut wrong.

I'd fold a piece of 1000 or finer sandpaper in half and work the slot at an angle down toward the tuner. Straight line, slow and easy. Don't rock your sanding motion, go back and forth at an angle. You don't want to make the slot deeper, just angle it back a hair.

In my experience that fixes the problem 9 times out of 10.
802AF486-E709-45DF-B148-F37121E8E3B5.jpeg

This seems to be helping but before I do any more sanding I want to make sure I’m getting the angle right. Essentially I’m angling it at maybe 30 degrees toward the bass side.

Or do you mean to angle it toward the tuning machines?
 

SpeedKing

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 9, 2015
2,369
UK
No, what you're doing is just right if you're going front to back (from the body side to the headstock side) and trying to go lower at the back of the stroke... although some do slightly widen the rear (headstock side) of the slot to prevent any binding as the string moves through it.

Go easy though since if you remove any material from the slot on the body side you'll lower the string placement and may find it hitting the first fret when played open and thus your problem is back again and you have to build up the slot again (with a mix of baking powder and superglue) and refile it. I know 'cos it just happened to me whilst trying to get a G slot as low as it ever could be.

Go slowly and keep away from the leading edge. You should see that each slot sits slightly lower and thus closer to the first fret as you move from bass side to treble since each thinner string requires less room to vibrate across but once you've cut it too low it's redo yourself with the repair mentioned above or new nut time so concentrate on the slope or 'break angle' as it's called and not the overall height.

The other thing it could be ultimately is just cut too low from the factory so it is the height that's the issue... if so you could just take it back if you bought new.
 
Last edited:

jvin248

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014
5,933
Michigan
.

You want the bridge side of the nut slot to be left alone -- that sets your action at the first fret.

You want to angle the tuner side of the nut slot down faster than the string drops down, leaving a gap.

Another test you can do is add a spacer under the string tree or remove the string from the tree and see if that changes the problem.

Sometimes strings can sitar on saddles, the grub screws rattle, saddles rattle against each other -- but those are all much more rare than nut slots.

.
 

leispat

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 9, 2022
78
Greenville, SC
No, what you're doing is just right if you're going front to back (from the body side to the headstock side) and trying to go lower at the back of the stroke... although some do slightly widen the rear (headstock side) of the slot to prevent any binding as the string moves through it.

Go easy though since if you remove any material from the slot on the body side you'll lower the string placement and may find it hitting the first fret when played open and thus your problem is back again and you have to build up the slot again (with a mix of baking powder and superglue) and refile it. I know 'cos it just happened to me whilst trying to get a G slot as low as it ever could be.

Go slowly and keep away from the leading edge. You should see that each slot sits slightly lower and thus closer to the first fret as you move from bass side to treble since each thinner string requires less room to vibrate across but once you've cut it too low it's redo yourself with the repair mentioned above or new nut time so concentrate on the slope or 'break angle' as it's called and not the overall height.

The other thing it could be ultimately is just cut too low from the factory so it is the height that's the issue... if so you could just take it back if you bought new.
Thank you for the clarity. I believe I got it sounding almost 90% better. It’s a lot better than before.

When you say leading edge, what does that mean?

I do have an extra Tusq xl nut I’ve yet to use.. is it best practice to keep the strings on while changing nuts?
 

Scotto9

Strat-Talk Member
Silver Member
Dec 29, 2021
62
Minnesota
This… fixed the issue for me in minutes. You do however, need to have the right size nut file, and make sure you don’t actually make the slot deeper. Your local guitar tech should be able to take care of this with his eyes closed.
More often than not the nut slot is cut wrong.

I'd fold a piece of 1000 or finer sandpaper in half and work the slot at an angle down toward the tuner. Straight line, slow and easy. Don't rock your sanding motion, go back and forth at an angle. You don't want to make the slot deeper, just angle it back a hair.

In my experience that fixes the problem 9 times out of 10.
 

leispat

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 9, 2022
78
Greenville, SC
Ugh, the more I mess with it’s it the worse it sounds. I’m afraid I cut the slot too big. Also the intonation seems all off and I’m having to run the action high to avoid fret buzz currently low e is at 2 and high e is at 1.65

I had to take the b string off the string tree, the buzzing was worse after the filing.

What is the best route? I’d like to be able to set up my guitar myself, but I just don’t know where to begin.

Should I just install the new nut and start fresh? If so, should I lower the action to a more standard height? How do I go about installing a nut? Do I keep the strings on it?

@SpeedKing
@jvin248
 

leispat

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 9, 2022
78
Greenville, SC
Take it to a tech
If the nut can be saved, let him
If it can't, have him put a new one on
I'm all for diy and learning but the cost of the files alone is enough for me to not want to do it
I ended up finding a local guy who can do it tomorrow. Sounds like a real nice guy. It’ll be good to have a solid tech I can count on. Price seems reasonable too!
 

leispat

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 9, 2022
78
Greenville, SC
Update: I found a local tech who’s been setting up guitars for years.

He even makes his own buffalo bone nuts which he’s making one for me at a great price. He seemed genuinely excited about the CV50 and commented on the white blonde finish.

He was a great guy and I told him to take his time and no rush.

I’ll be playing my sunburst Affinity in the mean time! Thank you all for the advice.
 


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