2004 MIM with fret buzz.

Ianashdown

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Hi,

My recently acquired 2004 has been my #1 player since I got it and the setup has been gently dialed in so it now plays beautifully. Nice low and easy action etc. Except on the low E string! I’m getting a very slight fret buzz when I play that string. It’s not right away, and seems to appear after half a second or so as the string sets up it’s harmonic oscillation. It difficult to tell which fret it’s touching, but if I play up the fretboard the buzz goes away when I play the 4th fret. That fret is also a few thou’ high, maybe .002-.003”.

Ive raised the action on that string, to higher than seems normal, added relief, but the buzz persists.

I read a long time ago about where the maximum occilations occur and that drives the placement of the pickups. Is it possible the the 4th fret is also on of those positions?

Ian
 

jay4321

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Fret rocker your way though the fretboard and see where your other high spots are. If the overall guitar is playing great and it's one string but not present fretting the 4th fret, I wouldn't change anything without looking for another high spot first, that and maybe a check of your pickup height settings. If you're lucky a hammer tap and some glue or maybe a spot level will solve your problem
 

jay4321

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When you saw low and easy action, if you can quantify that it would help. Also what gauge strings and tuning - I'm tempted to assume you've considered that but experience says I shouldn't.
 

Quarter1969

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If you're lucky a hammer tap and some glue or maybe a spot level will solve your problem
Just avoid a sledge hammer and a railroad gang swing here - it's easy to tap too hard and make the fret lower than the rest. I'd rather use a file and a sandpaper unless you're experienced with the tapping technique.
 

sjtalon

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Regardless of how well it was/is set up, things change (mainly neck) with the weather. Maybe the neck needs a slight tweak (relief moreso than what you have done.)

Also, sometimes with low action, having a little ACOUSTIC fret buzz is something one has to live with.

You can do a continuity check against your bridge with each fret..............da multimeter trick.
 

Fenderdad1950

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I am a bit funny about getting a new/used guitar. I always buy a guitar in person, noodle with it there in the place I bought it from. Then immediately it's off for a pro set-up, crowning if necessary. I pick the guitar up and it's good to go. It is the best $70-$80 I spend on a different guitar.
 

Ianashdown

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When you saw low and easy action, if you can quantify that it would help. Also what gauge strings and tuning - I'm tempted to assume you've considered that but experience says I shouldn't.
The setup is 0.006” relief, action 0.06” (to start with) on Low E, 0.05” on High E. All other strings follow the 12” fretboard radius. String are NYXL 8’s. I went over the whole fretboard with the fret rocker and only found three partial frets that were slightly high. 0.003” was the worst. Being an impatient SOB I decided to play it for a while before going back and fixing it.

I‘m not a fan of sanding the whole fretboard, preferring to tap them in to compliance if I can or filing locally if I need to.

What is strange to me is the time it take for the buzz to start, it’s not immediately I release the string.

I’ll fix the fretboard and see if I can get the action back down to where I like it without the buzz.

Ian
SoCal
 

Ianashdown

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I started to think last night that the buzz might be coming from the saddle.
43E2744C-BC4B-4FF0-99D0-307E53E36533.jpeg

Are the slots for the string different sizes? I thought when I cleaned the guitar I kept them in the same position, but it’s possible I got something switched.

If I put my thumb nail on the top of the string at the break point it seems not to have the buzz.

Does this sound credible?

Ian
SoCal
 

Sax-son

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I am a bit funny about getting a new/used guitar. I always buy a guitar in person, noodle with it there in the place I bought it from. Then immediately it's off for a pro set-up, crowning if necessary. I pick the guitar up and it's good to go. It is the best $70-$80 I spend on a different guitar.
Yup!
 

schmee

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When you saw low and easy action, if you can quantify that it would help. Also what gauge strings and tuning - I'm tempted to assume you've considered that but experience says I shouldn't.
My guitars are set up with the low E higher than the high E. My high E may be .070-.080" fret clearance at the 12th fret.
My low E is more like .120" It eliminates rattle for that boogie stuff.

But yeah, sounds like you need a fret rocker and to check the frets down there.
 

Ianashdown

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I did go over the fretboard very carefully with the fret rocker. I think there were 3 partial frets that showed slightly high, 0.002”-0.003” only. One of these was the 4th fret on the E and A strings.

Im not sure if Fender finishes the maple fretboards before or after installing the frets, I think it usually done after. This means that a part of a fret was not installed all the way, that gap is probably filled with lacquer so tapping the fret down may not have any effect. I may have to get out the files.

I take care to have the saddles level so both screws are under load so I don’t think it’s that. The intonation spring on high E is on of the more compressed so I doubt that the problem.

I’m going to inspect the string grooves in each of the saddles to see if there is any difference for different string sizes. Just to see if there could be a issue. I’m also going to put the action up high to see how anything changes, and then also back down to the low action to see if it gets worse.

Its such a small problem, but still one I’d like to try and cure.

Ian
SoCal
 

user name

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If you prefer a low action like I do, the frets have to be on point. If there is a high fret you could have it spot leveled or tapped back down. Either way, it should be fixable
 

jay4321

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Frets are always fixable. If you're playing with 8s and action on the lower side, that's fine but generally expect it's going to require a little more precision to work out. I also suspect magnet pull from your neck pickup here, try backing that off slightly and see if anything changes.

The .008 sets I know of are usually around 8-38, if that's where you're at I would consider a future with something like a Warmoth modern neck, they're heavy and not very classic but relatively stable, and get your finished guitar plekked. A good leveling will absolutely do but a good plek job will go a long way.

Before he passed on there was a local guy from my old area who was a regular gigging guy who played 8s an SG with a sort of wobbly neck as SGs can have, played in small bars and outdoors on hot summer days, always had problems no matter how many adjustments I did they were only temp fixes. One day put together something more stable from parts so he'd have a backup to get him by. With the SG it was always something, some mystery buzz or fretting out or whatever, but he'd had it for ages and was older and it weighed nothing. If you can avoid a lifetime of that with a little extra setup investment please do!

I'm more a 10-52 guy and very experienced with this work but have to say I've been pretty impressed with a pair of guitars I had plekked. Not factory, mid-production plek but taking a good solid guitar I've already had a while and having it done then. I have an ESP LP type I can take the strings almost down to the deck without any buzzing anywhere, on the Ibanez it's also good although that neck does need occasional truss adjust because it's super thin - on that one I do have 9-42s because it's really my only locking trem shred type (gotta have one), still great.
 

Matthias

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it might be the side of the E saddle vibrating against the A saddle if there is a very slight, almost imperceptible gap. Try pressing it sideways while the note is ringing to see if it stops. If so, the fix would be to cut a small piece of tape and put it on the side of the saddle so they sit snug.
 




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