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Author: Subject: How to archieve really low action without buzz?
luan
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[*] posted on 8-13-2014 at 11:02 AM
How to archieve really low action without buzz?


Hello

I just got a new electric oud made for me, but it has some buzzing which I want my luthier to get rid of.
We need to know which is the lowest action possible for turkish playing without buzzing, and how to archieve it.

Is there any trick or a particular fingerboard shape to use in order to archieve this?

Thanks a lot!
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 8-13-2014 at 11:41 AM


I would do nothing for six months. The action on new ouds is sometimes deliberately made so low that in some climate conditions there will be a buzz. This is done because it is expected that the action will become higher after several months. It is better to start too low and wait for the action to rise to a comfortable height than to start with average action and and wait for the action to get too high.
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[*] posted on 8-14-2014 at 05:05 PM


I have found that a proper amount of "relief" in the neck can result in very low action with minimal buzzing. Shehata ouds are in general (at least the 3 I've owned) are very good in this respect in that the neck is very thin and bows just a bit under string tension giving a near optimal relief. For violins (though I am no violin expert) I understand that the ideal relief is on the order of half a string diameter. This works approximately well for guitars (with which I am very familiar) though it is difficult to achieve (relief that varies across the fingerboard) with current truss rod mechanics. For ouds (if there is already no relief) I use a scraper to add in a few thousandths of an inch which has helped - specifically for turkish ouds which tend to have lower action - minimize the buzzing for instruments with low action. Of course, the term "low action" also depends on the angle of the fingerboard to the body , but assuming the neck is co-planar with the body (or set back a bit to give sufficient clearance at the bridge) a few thou of relief goes a long way to minimizing buzzing. This subject is debated endlessly on various fora but the above are my findings.

Cheers




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luan
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[*] posted on 8-16-2014 at 02:10 PM


Thanks a a lot for the answers

What would the minium action that can be archieved without buzzing?
Is the neck relief the only requeriment for low action?

Thanks a lot!
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[*] posted on 8-18-2014 at 08:23 AM


Hi,

I'm not near to any ouds at the moment but I recall that an action of under (approx) 2mm is where the neck relief will start to reduce any buzzing. My Shehata's had a very low action without any buzz. Last year I got a Sandi that had very low action and a lot of buzzing. It was much better after using the scraper on the neck above first position up to the body joint - just a small fraction of a mm.

Cheers




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luan
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[*] posted on 8-18-2014 at 11:53 AM


Thanks a lot Freya!

So the only two variables that help with archieving low action would be the neck and fingerboard relief, right?

Thanks again!
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Matthias
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[*] posted on 8-20-2014 at 12:39 AM


Quote: Originally posted by luan  
Thanks a lot Freya!

So the only two variables that help with archieving low action would be the neck and fingerboard relief, right?

Thanks again!


Hello,

I would say it depends from
  1. absolute plain fingerboard
  2. tension of the strings
  3. your way of plucking the strings


With that points I would say an action of 1.8 mm is possible. I already did this.

Regards
Matthias




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luan
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[*] posted on 8-22-2014 at 09:51 AM


You mean plain fingerboard but with certain relief, right?

Thanks!
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[*] posted on 8-23-2014 at 08:48 AM


Quote: Originally posted by luan  
You mean plain fingerboard but with certain relief, right?

Thanks!


should be absolutely plain from the saddle to the neck-body junction




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luan
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[*] posted on 8-23-2014 at 12:15 PM


My luthier friend says that in order to avoid buzzing, the fingerboard must have a concave shape, which isn't appreciable by eye, but it's there.
Are you sure that the fingerboard must be plain in ouds?
Anybody else can chime in about this?

Thanks!
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[*] posted on 8-28-2014 at 05:02 PM


anyone?

thanks
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[*] posted on 8-29-2014 at 02:02 AM


Quote: Originally posted by luan  
My luthier friend says that in order to avoid buzzing, the fingerboard must have a concave shape, which isn't appreciable by eye, but it's there.


So is your oud buzzing or not with that concave shape?




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luan
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[*] posted on 8-31-2014 at 01:59 PM


It is
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