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  1. #1

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    I bought a Gibson ES330 59 Reissue VOS in April and though I like it a lot some vibrations are driving me nuts – when playing certain notes there is a rattling that's annoying when I practice at home.So I took it to the shop I bought it from and they kept it for a week and would fix some of the vibrations (they took care of loose bridge saddles) but not all of them. I think a lot of rattling comes from the switch but I'm not sure, maybe there are also cables that rattle against the body? Annoyingly they sad rattling would be normal in a vintage guitar. I told them it is not a vintage guitar as I bought it new in 2019 but they said it would be part of the vintage reissue thing. I thought "rubbish" and took the guitar home – my 400 € Ibanez Artcore AG75 doesn't rattle so why should a 3000 € + Gibson do that? I think I'll take it to a real luthier to see what can be done about it. And I'll change the bridge as I have a Gotoh TOM lying around because I don't think the fixed all of the bridge rattling. What's your experience with rattling in real or fake "vintage" hollowbodies – do I have to live with it?
    Last edited by guavajelly; 10-19-2019 at 05:39 AM.


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  3. #2

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    Pickguard bracket, check that. String section between tailpiece crossbar and bridge, weave wool yarn in between them. Wiring harness could buzz against the guitar top or bottom.

    Check to see if there is fretboard skijump.

  4. #3

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    Yeah rattling is annoying.
    Did you try stabilizing pickups by inserting something between pickup rings and pickups?
    Gibson pickup selectors in middle position rattle sometimes, could that be the cause?
    I diagnose cable rattling by giving the guitar a good shake first then playing the offending pitch. Sometimes you need to hold the guitar differently after the shake for this.

    Good luck.

  5. #4

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    The search for the rattle is a tradition on electric archtops. I would find it strange, and perhaps worrisome, to get an absolutely unrattling new guitar.Good luck in your quest (it's sometimes the pup cable that rattles in the body of the 330, it was the case for mine).

  6. #5

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    I have a 330 as well and got this tip on my NGD thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tatayoyo
    A tip for the OP: If you got a buzz while playing a D, look inside for the bridge mic cable. It could be too long and buzz on the back of your guitar when playing certain frequencies.
    It took me 2 hours to find it (with only two hands you have to pick the string with your nose while muffling all the vibrating zones).

  7. #6

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    I've played lots of vintage hollow bodies over the years and I can't recall any of them rattling.

    Something is loose that shouldn't be loose.

    I usually start by putting finger-pressure on everything I can see. If none of that affects the rattle, then, next, I'd try to move the cables inside the guitar just a little. Reaching in with a finger or a something that won't do damage would be next.

    After that, maybe removing the pickups and inspecting inside with an inspection mirror. An endoscope would be better, in case you know a gastroenterologist.

    I think you can check everything that way except, I guess, the truss rod. I don't know how to determine if the truss rod is rattling.

    Don't forget the tuning keys. Some have a little screw which can loosen up and result in a rattle.

  8. #7

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    I like to play my Byrdland acoustically and the various little vibrations, buzzes and rattles that don't come through the amp used to drive me NUTS in a quiet room. I have used almost every technique cited thus far: shake the guitar and play in different orientations to find internal cable rattles, wedged a couple tiny folded-up pieces of paper between the pickup cover and the plastic ring for those buzzes, another tiny piece of paper for the pickguard ratttle, weaved a thin strip of felt between the strings between the bridge and the trapeze tailpiece to stop unwanted ringing.

    It's kinda ugly but it works. When I can bring it into the shop, I'll get the PUPs and pickguard repositioned better. Not gonna pot the PUPs tho. When I restring, I'll replace the felt strip between the strings with a scrunchy that won't unthread itself.


  9. #8

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    Something's loose, obviously. About the only thing to do is to poke and prod and fuss with everything until you find the source.

    It could be an unfortunately routed signal cable.
    It could be a pickup support spring.
    It could be a loose pickup bezel.
    It could be a loose pickup cover.
    It could be a pickup that doesn't sit quite right in its bezel.
    It could be a loose brace.
    It could be loose bridge pieces - the little metal wire that holds bridge pieces in place on older Tune-o-matics has been a problem for me more than once.
    It could be a vibration in the tailpiece.
    It could be a loose pot.
    It could be a loose nut on one of the tuning machines.
    It could be dried-out glue that allows kerfing to rattle.

    Try the simple things first. One at a time.
    Look around the inside of the guitar with an inspection mirror and a light.

    Never tried exactly this, but if you have a stethoscope available, listen to the body of the guitar while you pluck the string to see if you can localize the rattle. I did this with a plain tube (cylinder of metal) that I had around.

    Good luck.

  10. #9

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    Anything that could become loose, in any way, can cause rattles. It can be a long and laborious trek to find rattles, or if you're very lucky, you could find it quickly.

  11. #10

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    Any rattle, buzz, or
    Sympathetic vibration of any kind is unacceptable and needs to be addressed.

    Tracking it down may take time. It is easier to convince someone it is normal than make it right.

  12. #11

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    ...rattling would be normal in a vintage guitar. I told them it is not a vintage guitar as I bought it new in 2019... they said it [the rattling] would be part of the vintage reissue thing..
    That is really funny. One of the best things I have read recently. Reminds me of the time I took my parrot back to the store because it was not moving...he said it was sleeping and nailed to the perch to keep it from flying away...

  13. #12

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    I bought a 1974 Gibson ES-175 about three years ago and had to eliminate rattles from the cabling inside (bound them together), the pickup mounting ring (used part of a thin pick shoved in there), and the pick guard which I removed anyway.

    She sounds wonderful now, but the rattles can drive you crazy in the beginning.

  14. #13

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    You Have to locate the area of the Rattle, I use to use a Stehiscope to locate Buzzing and Rattles.If it turns out to be a Brace return the guitar same goes for Neck problems

  15. #14

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    the solution to all rattling


    les knew


  16. #15

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    Haha. I've been playing these telecasters exclusively for the last 15 years but unfortunately I drifted into Hollowbodyland again recently.

    I think I found out one source of rattling: The ground cable touches the back of the guitar in playing position.
    Any idea how I can retain it from doing so – besides playing with the top down?
    Attached Images Attached Images Rattling in a vintage hollow body guitar - fault or feature?-img_5473-jpg 

  17. #16

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    You can do what some manufacturers do. Use some cable clips, attached to the back with adhesive. They hold the cables in place and prevent the vibrations. My Epi ES175 came with two in place. If you install your own, make sure to clean the back where you intend to place the clip(s), because it's likely to be dusty inside there, and the tape won't stick unless the dust is removed. Entering "adhesive cable clips" in any search engine will return a veritable plethora of sources for them. Most hardware stores stock them.

  18. #17

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    A little piece of protection foam pushed under the cable is the solution I found. So light it doesn't need to be glued, the cable weight maintains it in place and it doesn't absorb the good vibrations.

  19. #18

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    Shorten it?

    If you can get access.

  20. #19

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    On one guitar I have, with a cable running from the endpin jack up to the pickguard area, I used a piece of foam, about 1" square by ~6" long, poked a hole lengthwise through it, and ran the cable through that hole, so that the cable has about an inch diameter of foam around it, which touches the back and prevents vibrations. That's easier than trying to attach an adhesive cable clip inside, but it's not useful for every situation. If you have two pickups an lots of wires, cable clips work better. Lots of things work well enough, depending on the exact situation.