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Thread: Buzzing Tailpiece - Help!

  1. #1
    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Buzzing Tailpiece - Help!

    This post relates to an Eastman MD305.

    So, I have had a good look around on the forum and from what I can see, all of the questions regarding buzzing at the tailpiece end relates to string buzzing against the tailpiece cover, with a recommendation to add a strip of felt, leather etc.

    However, I can tell that my buzzing E string is due to slight contact with the actual tailpiece when I hit it fairly hard, or I go above the 3rd fret. I removed the cover in case it was that, and it carried on (in fact got slightly worse).

    My issue here is that when I push down on the bottom of the tailpiece it gives slightly, and I think it is microscopically lopsided. This only started yesterday, and a few hours after I put on my McClung armrest. Can that be a coincidence? Is it possible that the armrest is on too tight and is affecting the shape of that tailpiece end of the instrument, pulling the tailpiece down at the G end, and therefore rising up slightly at the E end?
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

  2. #2
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buzzing Tailpiece - Help!

    It sounds unlikely. But the armrest, in any case, should be no tighter than necessary. I'd loosen it or remove it completely, then see if that makes a difference.

    The advice about the piece of leather or fabric applies to your problem too. If you can insert something between the string and tailpiece, that may help.

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  4. #3
    Eternal Beginner Seamus B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buzzing Tailpiece - Help!

    Thanks Gelsenbury - I did try without the armrest and it made no difference which made me alarmed about the possibility that this could have been permanently warped. I have put in some material (thanks!) and it has sorted out the buzzing, but I do need to keep an eye on the plate to make sure it isn't tipping.

    I do think I may have initially put the armrest on too tight, which perhaps pulled the tailpiece by just the hundredth of a cm required to create a small amount of buzz when the strings are hit hard. I have loosened the armrest so it is tight enough not to slip but only just, and would probably come off if tugged.
    Eastman MD305 - set-up by Simon Mayor.

  5. #4
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buzzing Tailpiece - Help!

    That's probably about right. My armrest is only just as tight as it needs to be to stay on.

    Regardless of how the problem was caused, it may be best to get it checked. Do you have any music shops near you?

  6. #5
    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buzzing Tailpiece - Help!

    I have my McClung on my Yellowstone just tight enough so that I can slightly move along the rib. I also have a piece of leather, I cut up from one of my wifes' old wallets, to protect the finish.
    2010 Weber Yellowstone

    I maybe wrong, but it is highly doubtful.

  7. #6
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buzzing Tailpiece - Help!

    Seamus - If you haven't done so already,get a piece of thin leather & place it between the metal turnbuckles on the armrest & the side of the mandolin. That way,if any undue pressure is put on the turnbuckles when you put the mandolin in it's case,it'll protect the finish.
    I bought an armrest for my first good mandolin,didn't think of any damage happening until it was too late. The turnbuckles pressed against the mandolin side & in one place,flaked a tiny piece of the finish off,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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