Howling wolf note on high E (Full Version)

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Austris -> Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 29 2012 20:21:45)

I just finished my first flamenco (still in the white) and I've run into a problem.
Open high E sustains like crazy, same at the 12th fret. Even when I pluck the string and then mute it completely, the guitar keeps resonating at that note.
It is also doing the same thing on the B string but to a slightly lesser extent.

Interestingly enough, when I remove the other strings, leaving just the top 2 - they act completely normal. No wolfing.

Anyone experienced something like this?
What are my options for fixing it?
Can I hope that with some french polish and a different set of strings the problem goes away?




estebanana -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 29 2012 20:42:23)

How did you brace?

Did you check your set up for problems? Nut fits, strings properly seated, saddle fits, etc.
Go through the check list of set up items am double check to make sure it's all correct. Sometimes these are set up problems.

Finish will provide some damping that quiets "noise" in a guitar, but not usually a strident string.

After set up you might check to see if the back and the top are coupling at some note. The cure may be to work over the back braces. Or even do a little judicious sanding on the top. But don't try any of that until you check over the set up.

Always go through the least invasive checklist first when have wolfie or false sounds, most of the time it's nut saddle related.

Does the high E string have a different tension, (higher, tougher to play?) than the other strings? If it does I would be interested in how you braced the top. There could be some unevenness causing the E string pull up harder. That does not actually mean the area adjacent to the E string on the face is the problem.




Gimar -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 29 2012 20:45:12)

I have also experienced this problem on 1 of my first steelstring guitars, what I did was changing the mass on the top by removing a very tiny ammount of wood from the braces. This didn't eliminate the problem completely, but if got much les snmoticable.

I noticed that the wolf tone I experienced was the same pitch as the pitch the top was tuned to. Can you tell us how this is in your case??

I did some research back then, and alot of people sayd there isnt much that can be done to fix it, in some cases the problem solves itself once the guitar starts to settle in, others spoke of working the bracecs or thickness of the top, or even gluing patches of wood inside the top to eliminate wolf tones. I remember searching for some articles that would tell how to determine where to glue those patches but I haven't found anything back then.

so If you happen to find something please post [;)]

If I were you in this case I would finish the guitar, play it for a while and see what happends, if nothing changes you can still try any of the above mentioned methods.

also curious to hear the opinions from other luthiers




Sr. Martins -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 29 2012 21:19:29)

If you arent muting the other 4 strings while playing the other two, they will always ressonate.. harmonics.




Jeff Highland -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 29 2012 22:04:38)

I think Rui is on the money here
Other strings will vibrate sympathetically with the open high E and open B
Specifically the low E both open and the third of string length harmonic at the 7th fret which is B.
It is a natural occurence nothing to worry about it is normally controlled by damping strings not being played with right or left hand.

Prove it to yourself by muting the bass strings before playing and stopping the high E




Austris -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 29 2012 22:29:33)

Ok, so it might be the sympathetic resonance. I'm just surprised that it is so strong and obvious. None of my 6 previous guitars had this effect so noticeable.
But then again - the were a bit heavier built classicals.

Perhaps the light/responsive construction makes this more obvious?




Sr. Martins -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 29 2012 23:29:52)

Just stay away from playing any E's, A's and B's and you should be fine [;)]




estebanana -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 30 2012 1:17:45)

Do you mean damping the E string by itself or damping all the strings an the E rings? I read it to be the later scenario.




keith -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 30 2012 12:06:20)

austris--i wonder if you have a problem similar to a conde i had a few years ago-- a note that over resonates. i had my problem resolved by al carruth. here is the procedure he did. take some modeling clay or something similar and place a few grams on the bridge wing and add more clay until the over resonating note disappears. if this resolves the problem you will need to take off an equal amount of weight off the struts behind the bridge. as i recall you shave the strut behind the area where the modeling clay was placed that removed the over resonating note.

al explained to me that what was going on is that too many components were resonating at the same frequency which was almost exactly the same frequency of the errant note (in this case, "a"). the shaving off of wood reduced the body frequency just below the "a" note so when i played the "a" note it did not over resonate.

since i am not a luthier it would be good to have one of the luthiers pipe in on this.




Ricardo -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 30 2012 16:41:40)

quote:

ORIGINAL: keith

austris--i wonder if you have a problem similar to a conde i had a few years ago-- a note that over resonates. i had my problem resolved by al carruth. here is the procedure he did. take some modeling clay or something similar and place a few grams on the bridge wing and add more clay until the over resonating note disappears. if this resolves the problem you will need to take off an equal amount of weight off the struts behind the bridge. as i recall you shave the strut behind the area where the modeling clay was placed that removed the over resonating note.

al explained to me that what was going on is that too many components were resonating at the same frequency which was almost exactly the same frequency of the errant note (in this case, "a"). the shaving off of wood reduced the body frequency just below the "a" note so when i played the "a" note it did not over resonate.

since i am not a luthier it would be good to have one of the luthiers pipe in on this.

Interesting. I would have to say that EVERY guitar I have ever played in my entire life has such a note. I never thought it was a big deal, just part of the top tuning process and final character of the guitars "voice". Sympathetic vibration of harmonics makes it more pronounced....that's why it disappears when other strings are removed. I would say I never had a guitar do it with an E NOTE, but the E's wll resonoate over a pronounced A note. Guitars I have played seem to range from F# lowest to Bb highest. MOST hover around A or G#.

On studio recordings, compression flattens the volume of the pronounced note, but it's still part of the voice overall. When Miked up live, or with on board pre amp, the NOTCH FILTER can remove the exact frequency. What happens is instantly the entire voice of the guitar becomes anemic or bodyless or souless sounding. sometimes it's necessary to do it then add tons of volume and bass and mids back in. Then the note is heard again...its a see saw. I have learned to accept that the pronounced note is simply part of what makes a guitar sound good. I am sort of surprised people feel such a strong need to eliminate it by sanding wood or braces or what not.

Ricardo




keith -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 30 2012 17:07:58)

ricardo--yeah usually it is the bass notes that have the over resonating note and the less noticable on the last two strings. some guitars seem to have it worse than others and those can drive a person crazy. i was blown away by al's intervention--dropping the frequency of the guitar by a few hz did the trick.




Jeff Highland -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 30 2012 21:38:49)

Yeah wolf notes can and do happen but in this case the OP seems to have accepted that it was just sympathetic vibration on the bass strings.
That is just going to happen on a responsive guitar if you are not muting unplayed strings.

Wolf notes are unlikely to happen on the open high E anyhow. they are more prone to happening around F# to G# on the low E string and the same sort of range on the D and G string, depending on the air and top resonant frequencies.

Moving one or other of those frequencies away from the exact scale note as Al did to Keith's guitar is the solution.




Tom Blackshear -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 31 2012 19:18:29)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

I would have to say that EVERY guitar I have ever played in my entire life has such a note. I never thought it was a big deal, just part of the top tuning process and final character of the guitars "voice". Sympathetic vibration of harmonics makes it more pronounced....that's why it disappears when other strings are removed. I would say I never had a guitar do it with an E NOTE, but the E's wll resonoate over a pronounced A note. Guitars I have played seem to range from F# lowest to Bb highest. MOST hover around A or G#.

Ricardo



Most guitars are going to be uneven to some extent but the key to getting toward a better balance is to find where there are sympathetic vibrations and fine-tune them out.

This is part of the search we guitar makers go through, to create better synergistic communication with the notes.. that produces a bloom rather than a wolf note.

I use a certain system of chords and open strings up and down the fingerboard, as well as certain flamenco traditional rhythms to structure voicing the way I want it.

Once this is done, then the guitar will usually stay in its center of equilibrium if you use the original string brand that it was fine-tuned with.

But I must emphasize that another string brand can, on occasion, pull the voicing off center and cause all sorts of balance problems with the voicing, like wolf notes and uneven sounds that drive you crazy.




Pgh_flamenco -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 31 2012 19:43:06)

I refretted a guitar and leveled/crowned a few others recently. I learned how to do this from YouTube videos and websites. One of the techs suggested tapping each fret along its length while listening for hollow spots. He claims these form sometimes and are the cause of wolf tones. What do the foro luthiers think of this theory?




jshelton5040 -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Aug. 31 2012 22:49:21)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pgh_flamenco
He claims these form sometimes and are the cause of wolf tones. What do the foro luthiers think of this theory?

Nonsense.




Tom Blackshear -> RE: Howling wolf note on high E (Sep. 1 2012 5:07:47)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pgh_flamenco

I refretted a guitar and leveled/crowned a few others recently. I learned how to do this from YouTube videos and websites. One of the techs suggested tapping each fret along its length while listening for hollow spots. He claims these form sometimes and are the cause of wolf tones. What do the foro luthiers think of this theory?



Guitars have very interesting vibes and they are open to all kinds of problems that nobody thinks is associated with wolf notes. But checking out all aspects of a guitar can bring us very close to understanding that there are some things that effect the sound, even to the point of thinking it may be black art, when it is nothing but a maker's individual technique that no one else can emulate. But the point still is, that wolf notes come from an imbalance of fan brace to top mass. And it's up to the maker to erase as many imperfections as possible.




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