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Thread: One really bad note

  1. #1
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    I have a Mid-Mo M-11 that I've had for about 1 1/2 years now and really love this instrument. It has a very nice tone and is so easy to play.

    But I've just developed a very strange problem. I was playing on Wednesday night and noticed that the 7th fret on the E string was dead. I figured it was time to change strings, so I put on a new set of D'Addario J-62's.

    I got the same result, the 7th fret of the E string is totally dead. Every other note on every other string rings out nice and clear. But when I play this one note, all I get is a dull thud.

    Any ideas on what has caused this and what I can do to fix it?

    Thanks for your help

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Lay a short straight edge (like a 6" stainless steel ruler) on the frets under the "e"s and see if it "rocks" on the 8th fret indicating that the end of the 8th fret has come up out of the slot slightly. If that's the case, it needs to be tapped back down level with the other frets, and possibly glued in place to keep the same thing from happening again.
    That's probably a job for a luthier unless you're pretty handy and have some experience.

  3. #3
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    Not sure that my guitar experience applies, however ...

    I once detected a very dead spot on a new guitar, at fret x.
    I first checked whether
    the problem was in the *frequency* of that note. I simply did that
    by tuning the string down a half-step - the problem was still there
    on the very same fret, fret x.

    Next I examined the neighbor fret, x+1, by placing a very thin
    paper against that fret, fretting and plucking. There would have been
    some kind of buzz, but there was none.
    I concluded that the problem
    lay in fret x itself, and faxed the builder about my problem.
    He confirmed my suspicion that the fret was loose. You lose a lot
    of energy rocking a loose fret. The problem was easily solved with a drop of superglue.

    Now let us hear what your local repairperson says.

  4. #4
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    This probably doesn't apply in your case, but I thought it worth mentioning: I have also had dead notes due to fret wear. That would seem unlikely at the 7th fret, but it would depend on how much you play up the neck. It looks like little "notches" in the frets. Most of the time, you can continue to play frets until the notches get really deep, but every now and then, even small notches can cause a note to deaden out.

    The real answer is to get it to a competent luthier.




  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice. Looks like I'm in for a trip to the luthier.

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