All my Collings guitars are acting up!

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Silly Moustache
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:58 am

All my Collings guitars are acting up!

Post: # 764Post Silly Moustache
Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:35 pm

I've been having problems with my '98 DS2h and my '03 0002h for some time.
Had them set up, adjusted, even had the dread refretted (again!)
Still horrible buzzing - mostly between 4th and 8th frets.
Had them "pleked" over Christmans but problems still.

Spent a few hours with the only official tech for Collings in the UK on Monday, and while we still have a ways to go, we seem to be getting there so, I'm using my other Collings.

Today I took my 2007 DS2h to rehearsals - horrible - buzzing all over.

One of the things he did, which seemed counter intuitive to me, was to tighten the truss rods. Hmm!

Came home this afternoon, and picked up my Waterloo WL-12 which has been pretty stable. Horrible! So I took it into my workshop and tightened the truss rod, very slightly. Mmm Better but stillsome buzz - took it back did another slight adjust - Fine!

So took the DS2h and did the same thing. Better.

Neither temps nor humidity is the issue here - I'm monitoring closely and whilst both change from day to night and if the widows are open it is a fairly stable 70 degrees with RH going from 38% to 50% and mostly around 45%.
My Martin 12 string - fine. My Santa Cruz - fine. What is it about Collings? I'm thinking they are built like F1 cars or pedigree race horses or sump'n?

How can tightening the truss rod stop buzzing ??

Any observations?

Frank Sanns
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:38 pm
Real Name: Frank Sanns
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: All my Collings guitars are acting up!

Post: # 768Post Frank Sanns
Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:52 am

I thought about this for a couple of days. Unless you are in a drop tuning from where your Collings were set up, or you did saddle or nut work, or you are using lower tension strings after setup, there is not a good explanation for what you are experiencing.

There is not substitute for a guitar guitar tech but here is a good video to maybe help with your diagnosis. The access to the truss rod adjustment is in different locations for some Collings but the rest of the parameters are the same.

Silly Moustache
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:58 am

Re: All my Collings guitars are acting up!

Post: # 774Post Silly Moustache
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:12 pm

Hi Frank, thanks for your input.

None of the variables that you mention apply here, Standard tunings, Ej17s on dreads, EJ16s on 000 and Waterloo.

I have my own (Larrivee) truss rod adjuster, and make my own adjustments from time to time and id so on my Waterloo and my later DS2h, although I tend to make only 1/8th turns at a time, "help" the neck in the appropriate direction, and give it about ten minutes to exert tension on the neck.

Collings suggest a relief of .005" but I have typically given my guitars a little more, - about .006-.008" (measured on 7th fret, with capo on 1st and pressing down at highest fret) as I'm an old bluegrasser.

I expect a little movement on my guitars seasonally, but despite RH being within normal parameters, the only variable is that the guitars (in cases) tend to be at about 60 rather than 70, and not playing over the last 12-18 months as per usual (cancer treatment and recovery) I can't think why they are acting like this.

However, tightening the truss rods slightly seems to reduce if not resolve the buzzing ... seems odd.

Thanks for your thoughts, Andy

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Re: All my Collings guitars are acting up!

Post: # 969Post pto
Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:39 am

was the truss rod LOOSE? i know you are aware of all this... only other thing i could think of is the frets involved in the buzzing. too much relief, buzzing on the higher frets, say above 6. otherwise, out of ideas. none of the above would suggest why all the instruments had problems at the same time.:)

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Re: All my Collings guitars are acting up!

Post: # 970Post elambo
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:20 am

That was my thought: maybe it's not the strings hitting the frets, maybe the sounds is coming from somewhere else. The location of buzz can deceiving sometimes, a frustration situation I've run into a few times.

Andy, I assume you've verified that it's the frets somehow, but could it possibly be a nut, or saddle, or bridge, or one of the tuners? I swear, a quarter of the time when I thought I needed to adjust the truss rod, or bridge (this is more of an electric guitar thing), etc., it turned out to be a loose tuner.

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Re: All my Collings guitars are acting up!

Post: # 988Post armdog
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:54 am

Another thought, for guitars that have a lot of play over the years....

where the string ties-off at the ball end, the tie-off can be very rough on some strings and gradually furrow into the ramp. Strings don't like anything that is not smooth. My 2008 CJ had this problem, used a diamond coated needle file to gently smooth the ramp... buzz was last seen on Rte 66 headed to the promised land.

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Re: All my Collings guitars are acting up!

Post: # 1024Post Georgelange
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:04 am

Could you film a demo of this buzzing and place it on this forum? This might help the readers make a diagnosis of your situation and perhaps offer a remedy

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