Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
4 years ago
67 posts

I haven't checked the dulcimer since I got back last Christmas, so I'm not sure if the buzz is still there.  If it is, I will try your suggestion @jan-craigI was thinking of getting a different travel dulcimer with regular tuning pegs instead of one that requires using a tuner wrench. However, money is tight this year, so I if I can easily fix the problem, I'll give it a try.

Jan Craig
Jan Craig
@jan-craig
4 years ago
8 posts

Though this is a bit late for Coleen, I have fixed a buzz with a tiny bit of computer paper in the string slot.  That was after I checked the frets and the string still buzzed.  In the end, it did the job and did not show.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
5 years ago
1,745 posts

There are many possible reasons for buzzes, but there are some 'seasonal' buzzes that seem to arrive with the winter indoor heat and disappear in the more humid Spring.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
5 years ago
67 posts

Update--the buzzing is intermittent, not with every strum, so I guess that I can live with it enough to take it on vacation after all.  It really does have a lovely tone, outside of the buzzing sound.  I'll worry about getting it fixed after vacation.

Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
5 years ago
67 posts

Yes, I was in Oregon last year when I took it on vacation, but it has been in a drier locale, especially since the heat came on this fall.  Does the buzzing tend to go away?  I'm going to try it again tonight to see if it is as bad as I remember.  If it is still buzzing I may not take it on vacation, which kind of kills the purpose of having a travel dulcimer.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
5 years ago
1,745 posts

Hmm...the only thing i can offer is that it's a known thing that 'mystery' buzzes appear most often when the seasons change to dry Autumn and indoor heat.  When you played it on vacation last year and it sounded fine- were you in a humid climate on vacation?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
5 years ago
67 posts

It's been kept in the same room as my other dulcimers. Same tuning as last year and same old strings. It was really out of tune after being unplayed for a year, so I did retune it.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
5 years ago
1,745 posts

A couple of quick questions first Colleen-

Where was it being stored?- in a location that has different temperatures and humidity than your normal living areas?  If so, has it had time to adjust for a day or two?

Also, have you changed the tuning from what you were using a year ago?  Or have you put on new strings since last time you were playing it?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
5 years ago
67 posts

New question to an old thread!  I have a little travel dulcimer that I bought last year.  I took it on vacation and it worked and sounded fine.  Fast forward a year and I'm heading off to Christmas vacation again in a week or so.  So I hauled it out and tuned it up and I noticed buzzing.  I haven't narrowed down which string/fret is causing it.  I haven't played it since last December, but it did work ok when I first got it, so I'm not sure what has happened in the meantime. Is there some obvious-but-not-to-me fix for this?  Could my fingering be causing buzzing because I am used to playing a regular sized dulcimer?

Sally Pena
Sally Pena
@sally-pena
11 years ago
35 posts
Thanks Lisa... good idea! When I bought the dulcimer, it had the standard set of McSpadden strings on it. I called my guru "The Dulcimer Doctor" and he sold me a set of strings that he thought were better, with the melody string being .10 ga. and at the time, I wondered if that would suit me, I kinda like heavier melody than the others in my group (I think it's cause I'm bolder!). I'll get back with him soon to see if perhaps that will cure my problem. He's easy to talk to.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
11 years ago
1,745 posts
You might try the next up string gauges- just one size heavier all around- string buzz can come from the strings being a bit to floppy combined with low action. A slightly heavier set of strings will tighten the tension a little bit and keep the strings from moving so much when they vibrate. Its a cheap fix that's worth a try before paying a luthier for stuff.


--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Sally Pena
Sally Pena
@sally-pena
11 years ago
35 posts
Well... I'm fortunate enough to live within spitting distance (actually, about 35 miles) of "The Dulcimer Doctor", Joe Shelton. I'm sure if I take my instrument to him, he'll do something like that too. I have another dulcimer, lovely instrument which was built specifically for me...) and it had some tone issues, which Joe fixed. I do like this McSpadden, though, and would like that small fault to not be there. The mellow tones just call to me. I'll give him a call, see if I can take my dulcimer down to him... he's always wonderful to visit with and his studio is something to behold.I see you live in Myrtle Beach... we have a friend in N. Myrtle and my golf friends and I go to Ocean Isle for occasional outings so, I'm relatively familiar with the northern extremes of your area.Thanks, Carson Carson Turner said:
I had some string buzz on one of mine and my string-things friend adjusted my frets (with a little hammer - I was so worried watching that) and sanded down the bridge some and it fixed it right up. Lowering the action really helped with finger-dancing too.

Then he worked on the sides of the frets - seems they were hanging over the edge a little and was causing some discomfort since I do mostly noter and use my finger to guide along the side of the fretboard. Spent about an hour with a fine file on those.

Oiled my machines, conditioned the fretboard, totally tweaked it up for me. Cost me a dinner is all.

Your mileage may vary though - I trust this guy to know his stuff. You need a tweaks strings-things friend.
Sally Pena
Sally Pena
@sally-pena
11 years ago
35 posts
My McSpadden dulcimer sometimes has a problem with the strings "buzzing". I already posted this to the dulcimer builders but thought maybe someone here may have the same problem. Seems there should be a cure for it.
updated by @sally-pena: 06/08/16 09:24:05PM