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Unexpected Warbling/Tremolo on Multiple Guitars and Amps


Stabbyhotep
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Hello folks, I'm hoping you can help me out. I've noticed that when I play sustained chords, as they decay they eventually produce a tremolo sound. I've got several guitars and two amps, and every combination of guitar/amp does this.

 

I wouldn't call it unpleasant, per se. It just seems unusual and I am not sure if that's supposed to happen.

 

I've read a ton of info on guitar warbling but this doesn't seem to be the same case as many of the articles and forum's I've read. It's only chords - not individual strings. It's on Fenders, Shecters and Gretsch guitars, humbuckers and single-coil alike - so it's not likely to be the common strat effect. I also don't usually play in a room with a ceiling fan.

 

So I'm turning to you guys to see if this should be a concern for me. Is it a normal effect for a long, sustained chord? Is it because my entire house is full of electronic devices? Is it because I'm using bass and keyboard amps?

 

I appreciate most input...but can assure you that even recently set-up guitars with proper intonation and other guitars where the magnets are the proper distance from the strings are all experiencing the same phenomenon.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

- stabbyhotep

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I'm just guessing here, but it could be the room you're playing in. A room with parallel hard surfaces like walls reflect sound pretty efficiently, and depending on the size of the room can cause "flutter echoes" and weird resonances where a particular frequency (note) is much louder.

 

In the room where you usually play, with every thing quiet, clap your hand loudly, just ONCE. Then listen for the short echoes, they usually die away quickly but in most rooms you can hear it quite clearly. Rooms with wood floors instead of carpet echo worse obviously.

 

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Thanks for the responses. I was hoping it might be normal, so the answers help. I've traditionally played chords on acoustic guitar or played them on electric guitar along with whatever song I wanted to learn. Otherwise my electrics mostly get played for leads and melodies. I've only just started working on my own chord progressions on electric, so it makes sense I wouldn't have picked up on it earlier.

 

I'm in a small room in my basement, so the hard surfaces may be part of it. The decaying string vibrations theory mirrors what I hoped to find. It's not the ceiling fan issue though. I've played with it on and off...even though I'm not in the same room. Unfortunately, all that variable taught me was how much dust a ceiling fan accumulates and you see it on the motionless blades!

 

-Bob

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I like possible causes already mentioned, but if I may throw this no cost test in: Take the amp and guitar outside (ok, I guess if Northern climates it may be just a tad cold these days). See if same problem develops, as unlikely to have standing waves and all outdoors. Plus have good logical reason to tell neighbors when they complain...

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