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Buzz Feiten Tuning System

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GUEST 17 Jul 02 - 04:03 PM
C-flat 17 Jul 02 - 04:50 PM
little john cameron 17 Jul 02 - 04:52 PM
Clinton Hammond 17 Jul 02 - 04:53 PM
C-flat 17 Jul 02 - 05:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 02 - 05:17 PM
C-flat 17 Jul 02 - 05:29 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 17 Jul 02 - 05:55 PM
greg stephens 17 Jul 02 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Ed 17 Jul 02 - 06:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 02 - 06:13 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 02 - 06:15 PM
Murray MacLeod 17 Jul 02 - 06:33 PM
C-flat 17 Jul 02 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,guitarfixer 17 Jul 02 - 07:35 PM
Murray MacLeod 17 Jul 02 - 07:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 02 - 08:19 PM
greg stephens 17 Jul 02 - 08:28 PM
Murray MacLeod 17 Jul 02 - 08:28 PM
Murray MacLeod 17 Jul 02 - 08:35 PM
greg stephens 17 Jul 02 - 08:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 02 - 09:07 PM
Murray MacLeod 17 Jul 02 - 09:12 PM
greg stephens 17 Jul 02 - 09:17 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 17 Jul 02 - 10:02 PM
michaelr 17 Jul 02 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,David Lindley 17 Jul 02 - 10:27 PM
little john cameron 17 Jul 02 - 11:22 PM
Murray MacLeod 18 Jul 02 - 03:30 AM
Steve in Idaho 18 Jul 02 - 02:32 PM
Bullfrog Jones 18 Jul 02 - 03:06 PM
greg stephens 18 Jul 02 - 10:16 PM
little john cameron 18 Jul 02 - 11:45 PM
little john cameron 19 Jul 02 - 12:05 AM
Gray D 19 Jul 02 - 08:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 02 - 08:57 PM
Ian Darby 19 Jul 02 - 09:57 PM
little john cameron 19 Jul 02 - 10:03 PM
little john cameron 19 Jul 02 - 10:31 PM
Murray MacLeod 13 Sep 08 - 07:09 PM
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Subject: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 04:03 PM

Anyone have any experience with this tuning system (www.buzzfeiten.com), or know of anyone who has had experience with or heard anything about this retrofit? Any comments? Observations? Opinions? Thanks ...


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: C-flat
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 04:50 PM

The site itself contains many "player quotes" which (naturally) wax lyrical about it's qualities. The system has been around for some time now and is clearly successful although I've not yet owned a guitar that sports it.
Another alternative and more recent system is FRETWAVE which seems to be a novel way of tackling the same problem.
I never felt this was a problem when I was younger, or more likely, just couldn't hear it, but in recent years I find myself tuning and re-tuning quite frequently and I may consider a retro-fit on one or two of my own guitars.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: little john cameron
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 04:52 PM

Check out these guys.Admittedly they have this system on their guitars,but if you ask I am sure they will expain it to you.Chris is a great guy and will not bullshit you.

Garrison guitars


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 04:53 PM

Wow is that Fretwave site ever buggered up!

It's nice to hear the kind of quotes as I read on the buzzfeiten.com site... I've been telling people for years that I tune between each capo move for a reason, and they should too...

Nice to know I'm right...


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: C-flat
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:04 PM

I agree, Clinton, about the fretwave site but it's the only thing I could find with a picture!
You get the idea anyway..:-)


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:17 PM

I haven't got subtle enough hearing for that stuff. Anyway, if you play with other people, they aren't likely to have these kind of refinements on their instruments. So one instrument is in perfect tuning and the others aren't quite - where's the gain in that?


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: C-flat
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:29 PM

It's a fair point McGrath, there is a danger of getting bogged down in the technology that's available these days when most of it goes un-noticed by the listeners anyway.
Trouble is, once you know it's there it's like an itch that needs scratching!


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 05:55 PM

Memo to Buzz Feiten:

Dear Buzz:

Can you say "vague"? Can you say "obfuscation"? Do you realize that despite all the glowing reports etc. on your website, you at no point give as much as a thumbnail sketch of exactly how the thing works? And the folks at Garrison Guitars (who I'm sure are very nice, as Little John says) don't help matters much because they just jacked their description of the tuning system from your website. Are we really expected to retrofit our valuable guitars with something that has not been fully explained to us?

At least the folks at Fret Wave explain how their system works, despite their crappy website.

Sincereley

Bruce L.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:04 PM

Well there isnt a "thing" is there? Or am I misunderstanding. i thought they were just goingto tweak the nut position and the briidge and shave off a bit here and there on the fingerboard, raise and lower the odd fret. That type of thing. get it to be averagely in tune for all chord shapes. makes sense. I dont think there's any gizmo involved.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:09 PM

Well said Bruce,

I spent a while looking around the site to find out what the system actually did, but as you say, no mention.

Does anybody here know?

Ed


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:13 PM

The name Buzz isn't that reassuring in connection with guitars... (I mean the sound of the name itself.)


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:15 PM

Not sure, Greg.

You may be right. To describe it as an 'invention' a 'tremendous innovation' and to trade mark it seems to suggest a 'thing'

Ed


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:33 PM

This thread contains some useful information about nut compensation and the Buzz Feiten system.

I would recommend paying close attention to the contributions from Norton 1

Murray


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: C-flat
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:35 PM

No, not a gadget, more a different kind of set-up to combat the compromise employed with most fretted instruments. The idea is to give a more pleasing-to-the-ear sounding third when playing a G or E chord, for example.
Speaking of set-ups, PLEK is getting some good reports but at £120 a time it seems an expensive way to squeeze a little extra out of your instrument.
But that's probably true of all the systems discussed here.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: GUEST,guitarfixer
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 07:35 PM

I sat in an hour-long seminar at NAMM last January where Buzz Feiten tried to push the compensated nut concept. Problem was they never once mentioned string height, or the proper adjustment thereof. I assume they thought factory action on guitars was some kind of predictable spec and the only way to deal with intonation was to change the scale length a bit here and there. In my experience, intonation is so greatly improved by proper string height adjustment at the nut, that these attempts to monkey around with compensated nut adjustments would come in a distant second to a good setup by a competent guitar repairperson. And isn't it true that flatting the 3rd of one chord would, by definition, sharpen that intervel of another? Are you supposed to only use certain chords or play in certain keys?


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 07:51 PM

guitarfixer, the thing which hardly anyone ever seems to understand is that fretting at the first fret involves more deformation of the string than fretting at the second, which in turn involves more deformation than fretting at the third, and so on ....

Imagine a 8 foot length of 2"x4" suspended at both ends. How much force would be required to deflect it at the centre by 2 inches ? Now think, how much force would be required to deflect it by 2 inches at a point say, 12 inches in from the end?

Apply the same thinking to guitar strings, and it all becomes obvious.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:19 PM

And what happens when you want to use different tunings?


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:28 PM

It would certainly nice to see these problems solved. My ear's not so brilliant, I doubt if the odd third a bit off bothers me too much. But octaves are something else. Most guitars you pick up, if you get an E chord really in tune, with the two B's perfectly together, and then try a C chord: you'll instantly notice the two C's are a bit off. I can get my guitar lovely for cajun tunes(all in G and C), and then start playing something in A and it grates.The three A's on a long A chord are all a bit out, and so are the two B's on an E.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:28 PM

It has to be said that the benefits of the Buzz Feiten system are more readily perceived when using standard tuning, since it is in standard tuning that the vagaries of the B string are more obvious.

At the end of the day, it is one of these things that has to be decided by mass acclamation. How many players have had the customizatoion done and expressed dissatisfaction with the results?

Damn few, if any, would be my guess.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:35 PM

greg, may I suggest you read the opening post on This thread

Murray


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:56 PM

Thanks Murray. Very interesting.I'll have a playwith those ideas which i'm sure will improve my tuning (it needs it!). Very well thought out by the look of it But they don't deal with the point I was making, the noticably out of tune octaves you get on most guitars.Basically a B on the A string if perfectly in tune with an open B string will lead to a pair of C's out of tune with each other one fret up.That's nothing to do with equal temperament versus perfect intervals, it's about string distortion fretting near the nut. And maybe this guy's patent system helps deal with this?


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:07 PM

There's a lot to be said for sticking with a few chords, and relying on a capo when you want to play in other keys.

There's a lot to be said against it too, of course, but that's how it goes with everything.

On balance, for social purposes, limiting the chord shapes I use seems to work best for me. (And if it means people assume I can't play the other chords, so what, and I know better.)


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:12 PM

Kevin, don't undersell yourself. And for greg and anybody else who is wondering what the hell all this is about, This article may prove illuminating.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: greg stephens
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:17 PM

None of this would have cut any ice with Joseph Spense. He had a very idiosyncratic idea of what a D chord should sound like.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:02 PM

Another memo to Buzz Feiten:

Dear Buzz:

See all the trouble you put these Mudcatters through? Why doesn't your website just say that your system simply replaces the original nut (and saddle?) with a (patented?)compensated one? It would have been so much easier. Talk about having to go around your a***hole to get to your elbow.....

Sincerely,

Bruce L.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:24 PM

Some more discussion is here. I've had the Feiten system on my guitar for a year or more, and am quite happy. However, I still can't reconcile Rick Turner's comments in Acoustic Guitar with my experience...

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: GUEST,David Lindley
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:27 PM

I have played a guitar both before and after this system was installed and it sounded better afterwards, especially the second string. Someone mentioned the C major chord, then the Emajor chord problem. I've always had that problem with some guitars. Paul Bigsby did a similar thing to his electric guitars years ago so it's not new. The part about the correct string height is a valid point but some scale-lengths are worse at playing in tune than others. There is no guitar that will play perfectly in tune in all positions but it can be adjusted to come close. The first position, where a lot of us play and often stay should at least sound in tune. For me, that's as good a starting place as any and better than most. D.L.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: little john cameron
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 11:22 PM

Greg,I just checked out this Joseph Spence guy.Very unique style,but he could be doing with a compensated nut or a tune up.ljc


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:30 AM

Welcome to Mudcat, David Lindley, legendary multi-instrumentalist, and guitarist and fiddler extraordinaire.

Mudcat's list of luminaries grows daily ....

Murray


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 02:32 PM

Buzz Feiten is nothing more than "intonating" the instrument. It means that the harmonics at the twelfth fret and the note at the twelfth fret are the same. This makes for movement around the neck, capoed or not, and the guitar remaining in true tune with itself.

Not a large if one hasn't the sound for it or the subtle differences aren't a handicap. Most people are so used to retuning if they capo, and putting up with a bit of "off" in the notes at the higher frets, that they don't think about it much. It does make a difference in how the instrument sounds though.

An instrument "resonates" with itself (there are ample discussions on this forum on that subject) and the more in tune it is with itself the better it will sound. It's aliveness is what I am referring to. Intonating the instrument does make a difference in how it sounds and how it tunes. It does eliminate the chore of retuning each time you move around or accepting less than what the instrument is capable of at the higher frets.

There are a few drawbacks. Once intonated you can not change the diameter of the strings. You might get away with .001 on the larger strings but not the high E end of things for sure. If you decide to change strings from light to medium you will have to have the instrument intonated, Feitenized, again for that set of strings. At $250 a pop for intonating get the strings right the first time! Or win the lotto :-) And I cannot respond to different tunings. I don't play in anything but E tuning so am at a loss there.

I had my Mossman done and am extremely pleased with it. Ol' Mose always sounded good but after I had it redone - WOW! On my Gurian I have opted to not do it. The Gurian sounds just the way I want it to and I rarely capo with it - when I do I do a bit of retuning - and I am not sure I am going to leave light gauge strings on it. It was built for mediums and I may go to them eventually. Maybe in a year or two -

String height is the same as before. Nothing changes in the basic setup of the instrument. To get the instrument intonated does require moving the bridge an 1/8" or so with special attention paid to the "B" string. It isn't a simple shift - but a process of filing, stringing and testing, and filing some more. I had a web page on this but lost it when my puter crashed a couple of weeks ago. It's labor intensive and whoever does it needs to be competent in knowing your guitar and how it sets up.

I've just touched on this but others above have pointed you towards other threads on this subject that contain a lot of good info. If you would like to know more I will mark this thread to follow and try to answer with my experiences with this tuning. Or send me a PM and I'll answer specific questions about it for you. I did a lot of research before I had the work done. Remember - it's nothing new - Feiten just put a name to it and made a tuner for it. And there are lots of opinions on whether it is good or not. I just happen to be quite pleased with it.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:06 PM

If David Lindley wants to stay in the first position that's good enough for me! Who needs dusty fingers anyway?!
BJ


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 10:16 PM

ljc it gives me unbelievable pleasure to have introduced someone to Joseph Spense who hasnt heard him before.I worship his playing, as do all right thinking people. Likwise his singing. But as you have now seen for youself, not a man who would have studied this thread for long.But dont fall into simplistic notions of his not being bothered to or capable of tuning up.I'm damn sure that's what he wanted it to sound like.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: little john cameron
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:45 PM

Why would he want it to be out of tune?And the singing elevates Dylan to the level of elocutionary excellence.The mumbling and diddling in the guitar breaks is certainly novel.I am afraid I must have very plebe taste as this is way too exotic for me.However,I am glad you like it.ljc


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: little john cameron
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 12:05 AM

Here is a sample of Joseph's unusual style.I am afraid it is behond me,maybe some os you can enlighten me.He has a big following,Ry Cooder,Norman Blacke,Nitty Gritty dirt band.The Glory of Love


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Gray D
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:44 PM

LJC - d@mn, that was good. Any more?


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:57 PM

Remember the notes and intervals you get when you're in tune aren't the only notes and intervals.

We get used to them, and the others sound wrong; but then foreign languages can sound like gibberish, till you've learnt to listen to them, even when you can't speak them, and then they start to make sense, even when you can't understand them. Music's the same.


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Ian Darby
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 09:57 PM

Re Joseph Spence,

If thats how he wants his guitar to sound that's up to him. He's the one that's playing it.

Standar guitar tuning is a compromise at best.

You can tune the open strings perfectly but the intonation will vary from key to key.

I think I've heard standard tuning described as 'tempered' which probably means making the best of a bad job.

String height from the bridge, and the force you use to hit or fret the string will also make a big difference.

The 'Guitar Book' by Tom Wheeler explained this in great detail and is well worth a read if you can get hold of it.

While we're at it, Indian musicians use a 100 cent scale per octave instead of our miserable eight note job.(Phew!)

Ry Cooder's advice on slide playing was to "move up and down the neck until you can stand it."

Apologies to any real musicians or fruit bats.....


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: little john cameron
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:03 PM

He is not playing an open tuning,it is a dropped D.i HAVE SOME MORE BUT ONLY CLIPS SO FAR.LJC


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: little john cameron
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:31 PM

Out on the Rollin Sea


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Subject: RE: Buzz Feiten Tuning System
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 07:09 PM

This video features the man himself describing the system very succinctly.

There cannot be any guitarists around nowadays who do not accept the benefits of the Feiten system, although there may be some who are reluctant to fork out a couple of hundred bucks for the retrofit.


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