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 Post subject: String/Fret Buzz problems
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Me again.

I just recently setup my guitar to standards in the manual, took me a while but all the measurements are dead on.

I'm using 9/11/16/26/26/46 Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkies. Because of this, i raised the action on my low strings (E and A) a bit. However, I am still getting some buzz on the low E. Most of the buzz occurs in the low notes on the low E string.

At first i thought, ok, I'll just adjust my truss rod a little and see what happens in both directions. It did change the buzzing a bit but I'm still not able to get rid of it. Then I thought, oh maybe its the distance of the strings on the left side of the note (IE towards the headstock) which cannot be adjusted... am I right?

I doubt getting a professional setup is going to make any difference for this issue. After all, it happened after i changed string gauges. I guess I should try setting up with standard strings again, and if that doesn't fix my problem, go to a professional?

Thanks,
Jerry

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 Post subject: Re: String/Fret Buzz problems
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:11 pm 
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jerryw wrote:
Me again.

I just recently setup my guitar to standards in the manual, took me a while but all the measurements are dead on.

I'm using 9/11/16/26/26/46 Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkies. Because of this, i raised the action on my low strings (E and A) a bit. However, I am still getting some buzz on the low E. Most of the buzz occurs in the low notes on the low E string.

At first i thought, ok, I'll just adjust my truss rod a little and see what happens in both directions. It did change the buzzing a bit but I'm still not able to get rid of it. Then I thought, oh maybe its the distance of the strings on the left side of the note (IE towards the headstock) which cannot be adjusted... am I right?

I doubt getting a professional setup is going to make any difference for this issue. After all, it happened after i changed string gauges. I guess I should try setting up with standard strings again, and if that doesn't fix my problem, go to a professional?

Thanks,
Jerry

Hello!

Two words for you "Nut Job"! A decent tech will sort out the E string slot on the nut* which i believe should solve your issue (IMO).

*I think they use a quick drying resin or something similar in the string slot to rasie it slightly (I not sure if this is how its done but there are pro guitar techs who post here so if someone can confirm that this is common practice, that would be marvelous!)

Hope this helps

Andy

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:36 am 
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I'm not one of those pro guitar techs but this question came up in a class I took for guitar building in Chicago. The luthier there said that you can build up a low cut nut but when you build up a wound string slot, there is a likely chance that the new build up will wear away again.

I do agree that you have to measure your nut slot height at the first fret against specs. Also when you changed string gauge, especially when you are going up (thicker) in string gauge, you should also re cut the nut slots. But once that nut is cut down too low, then it will be a problem to set up properly. The best way to tell is to measure the space between the first fret and the string by fretting at the 2nd or third fret. The space between that string at that first fret is subject to individual preference but if your E String is laying flat on that first fret, then your nut is cut too low.

You should also check for neck relief (how flat the neck is) on both sides of the neck to make sure that the neck isn't warped, meaning one side has a different bow than the other. If you adjusted the truss rod you should look to see that its still within reasonable specs. Players who like really low action have almost a flat neck relief. Many luthiers will put in some relief though to eliminate the problem you are experiencing and also because most of us are not as accomplished on the guitar to be able to play cleanly with such low action.

Once you check your neck relief and your nut height, tune the guitar to pitch and then check your string height. String height as you have found out can be adjusted at the saddle, but you don't want it so high that your action is crazy in order to stop buzzing that is being caused by something else.

Lastly check your tremolo height which should be about 3/32 - 1/8 inch off the body. It can be flatter than that but any higher, you start to change the string angle. You can adjust that height with the trem claw screws. Once you make any adjustments to that trem make sure you go back and bring the guitar back to pitch before you make further adjustments. This is why a good set up will take a careful luthier some time to complete. It's a delicate balance but Leo designed all of this to work together and his design has lasted the test of time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:38 am 
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Chicagoblue wrote:
I'm not one of those pro guitar techs but this question came up in a class I took for guitar building in Chicago. The luthier there said that you can build up a low cut nut but when you build up a wound string slot, there is a likely chance that the new build up will wear away again.

Thanks Chicagoblue,

Thinking about it I've only seen this done on unwound strings (the B string on my godin required a slight lift once).

Thanks again

Andy

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:55 am 
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If you play notes on the first fret and you get buzz it's the action height, neck relief, saddle or sympathy noise from somewhere else in the guitar so check that out before you suspect the nut. Sometimes you can get buzz on the nut side of the fretted note if your strings are touching or string is vibrating against a incorrectly created nut.

If your string buzzes out on the first fret (when played open) its almost always nut height unless you have a loose first fret.

Nuts can be shimmed underneath to raise their height and then re-slotted. However a lot of Luthiers would just make a new nut.


Last edited by Shockwarrior on Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:14 am 
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What's with all this talk of the nut causing buzzing on the first few frets? Too low cut nut string slots cause buzzing ONLY on open strings. Once you fret a string, the nut is taken out of the equation.

If you can't hear the buzz through an amp then you're OK.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:39 pm 
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I hear it on my amp :S I really do think it's a nut problem... because it's happening regardless of my action. Also, I've setup my truss rod properly for sure so i don't see what else it could be.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:20 pm 
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jerryw wrote:
I hear it on my amp :S I really do think it's a nut problem... because it's happening regardless of my action. Also, I've setup my truss rod properly for sure so i don't see what else it could be.


Have a capo? Capo the first fret or just play all the first fret notes.
Do you still get buzzes when playing? What string? Play down the string what frets does it occur on?

A little feedback on what your trying may help.

You have to be methodical in your approach if you hunting for buzzy rabbits.
Yet again if the string plays fine open you are unlikely to have serious nut issues. Sometimes the first few frets when played put string pressure on the nut and if it has a obscure problem this can expose it.

Quote:
I doubt getting a professional setup is going to make any difference for this issue. After all, it happened after i changed string gauges.


Famous last words. A guitar should be setup when you change gauges, sometimes you can get away without it.
But if your wanting help to do it yourself you need to provide precise information on what strings and what frets that string buzzes on.

Also it would help if you know that your neck has relief in it.
Such as capo the first fret then hold down the 12th fret and bounce the string inbetween on the frets to see if there is a gap. No relief and your more likely to have to have a higher action (string height).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:11 pm 
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I don't have a capo. The buzzing is only occuring when I'm playing hard, regardless of action height. I have enough relief in the neck... still think it's a nut issue. Only the low E string is getting the buzz.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:32 pm 
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jerryw wrote:
I don't have a capo. The buzzing is only occuring when I'm playing hard, regardless of action height. I have enough relief in the neck... still think it's a nut issue. Only the low E string is getting the buzz.


Sounds more like a technique issue to me. The nut will only cause open strings to buzz. If your getting buzz on several frets of the same thing its a setup or playing technique issue. From what you've said about it, I'd say its technique. Your more than likely hitting the strings too hard, the low E is prone to buzz in that case as its the first one you contact most of the time so takes the brunt of the force. You can compensate for that by increasing neck relief.

Pay for a setup if you dont know how to do your own. Best money you'll ever spend on a music related purchase. Just make sure you use someone with a decent local reputation.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:06 pm 
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There's a local fender dealer I'll just go there. Gonna change to heavier string gauge aswell.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:12 am 
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Besides the nut (which I doubt is his problem if fretted strings are buzzing), 3 other factors come to mind:

1) The bridge radius, as I doubt he had or used a radius gauge/template when he changed the action.

2) Frets with high spots, uneven/unlevel, etc., that need dressing.

3) If it's an American strat, there's always the neck shims for best neck alignment with the body.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:33 am 
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Just a hunch: The 4th string's saddle spring is loose.

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