Fret buzz

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by rubylv, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. rubylv

    rubylv TDPRI Member

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    Here's the update. Sweetwater has done a warranty inspection on the guitar and found that there are no issues that fall under warranty claims. Warped neck etc. They suggested to have a bone nut installed and to have it PLEK'D to maximize playability. They also suggested that Fender guitars to be "buzzy" by nature and part of their character. I've decided to have them return the guitar as is and will seek a 2nd opinion locally. So the saga continues.
     
  2. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    ''buzzy'' by nature??.meaning the gtr frets need to be L&C'd=More expense.Most factories do not L & C newly installed frets=Too much labour costs & operator skill required etc.The factory gtr as is[with hidden errors!'').....is sold to..the shop.Factory receives $'s.Shop sells gtr=$'s (commision! etc)
    The purchaser DIY 's it IF he knows how+tools+the understanding+manual dexterity required/acquired/learnt etc..or Pays $'s to someone who can hopefully/skillfully..act on his behalf to do it etc.=CYCLIC.
     
  3. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    If the frets are left uneven=Fret buzz.If the string slots are filed incorrectly/too low etc=Fret buzz.If saddle height too low=Raise it!if Relief incorrectly adjusted..it will affect the resulting set up...in feel/playability.& could cause fret buzz too just because..AVOID mistakes because of applied guesswork!get gtr repair guide book.[ERLEWINE]& LEARN.the rest is HANDS ON APPLICATION.
     
  4. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    Plekking=CNC fret levelling.But its only as good as..the CNC operator setting up the cnc machine from onset etc..& the gtr to now be leveled etc=one can do it manually equally as well too!Why change the nut?...has it been traced to be..a problem???.If you had agreed to have the gtr work done...DO YOU PAY TOO!!!!
    if you had A] factory now eliminated B] shop tills ECHO[$$$'s]Shop OWNER profits & puts $'s in their holiday fund[For when the Virus has finally abated& travel allowed again ?????].THINK.
     
  5. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    sweetwater might simply swap it for another gtr.Which might be OK....but....sweetwater could v'e L & C'd the frets,..ERADICATES the fret buzz & lowered the string slot depths [Accurately]=set up the gtr & you just TWEAK it!if need be.Again...$'s rear its head!! or new gtr is ok but then later FRET BUZZ arises.....
     
  6. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    That's my YouTube channel. For the first time in my life I think I understand what it feels like to be a celebrity :D

    In regards to the OP:

    Buzzing on 1-3 indicates not enough relief, even a very slight backbow. Get a set of feeler gauges if you don't have one, capo at the first fret and hold the Low E down at the last fret, and then stick a feeler gauge under the 7th or 8th fret. That should give you a reasonably accurate measure of the neck relief. I do guitar work professionally so I use a notched straightedge on fretted boards, but the capo method is a great alternative. In both cases the feeler gauge really gives you a much more accurate idea of what's going on.

    I'd try backing off slightly on the truss rod to get a little more relief, and then lower your action at the saddles considerably. I prefer very small amounts of relief in the neighborhood of .005". The nice thing with feeler gauges is you can then know your actual preference for your setup, e.g. 5/64" - 4/64" action with .005" of relief. Then if anything goes slightly out (which it will over time with temperature/humidity changes and the saddle screws simply moving from playing a lot), you'll know exactly where you like it and can just refer to your own personalized setup specs that you chose yourself.

    Measured open at the 12th fret, I would consider 5/64" on the Low E and 4/64" on the high E "high action." That's just my personal preference and on all my guitars and the setups I do, I shoot for 4/64" on the Low E and 3/64" on the High E. Many times I can get it a bit lower than that with some added fretwork, but there is definitely such a thing as "too low." Players that don't really bend or use wide vibrato that much typically are completely fine with very low action, very little to no relief and small frets.

    If you're on the other side and have an aggressive style, I'd still consider 8/64" extremely high and could see no reason you couldn't get that down to 5/64" on the Low E and 4/64" on the High E, unless it truly needs a fret level. If it's buzzing with action that high, then that would definitely indicate to me that you have too much tension on the truss rod.

    Buzzing is the bane of guitar techs' existence, in my experience. This is because with aggressive playing, you're always going to get some amount of buzz, though typically it isn't heard through the amplifier. It's a fine line. I've spent a lot of nights pulling my hair out trying to please customers who wanted extremely low action with no buzzing, and there have also been plenty of times I've leveled frets on guitars with normal action and minor buzzing still wouldn't go away.

    I know one guy who uses a PLEK and claims that it's an extremely steep learning curve, and most people don't even know how to use the PLEK to its full potential. Leveling frets by hand is pretty similar, for example, I've been leveling under the strings at full tension in the playing position, and I also utilize a trick once in a while for the Low E/A string:

    You put the neck in a backbow, and then level the frets only under the E and A strings. And not too much. What this does is it carves "relief" into the frets themselves, so when you get the neck straight or with slight relief, the Low E and A strings will have more relief than the other strings. The E especially needs more room to vibrate, completely disproportional to the other strings, and this can help a lot with buzzing.

    Even then it can be finicky. A lot of people have the misconception that you can simply level the frets and everything will be fine. In general I'd say leveling under real string tension is about as accurate as you can get, short of being a seasoned PLEK expert, and in every case buzzing can be improved, though depending on a number of factors, not completely resolved without something drastic like a board re-radius and re-fret.

    Fretting out is easy to fix. Buzzing, not so much, especially when it comes down to slight buzzing that's walking the tightrope between being tolerably, slightly buzzy and being clearly audible through an amplifier to the point where it's completely distracting you from playing.
     
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  7. rubylv

    rubylv TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the thoughtful advice. I've been through all of these steps myself. The way the current setup is:

    ——— { Incoming Specs } ———
    ~ Action = ( E ) 7/64 - ( e ) 4/64
    ~ Neck Relief = .020
    ~ Action @ Nut :
    * ( 6 ) = .038
    * ( 5 ) = .036
    * ( 4 ) = .035
    * ( 3 ) = .038
    * ( 2 ) = .031
    * ( 1 ) = .028

    These are the specs measured by the Tech at Sweetwater when they evaluated the guitar for any manufacturer defects. That being said I'm going to seek a 2nd opinion once I get the guitar back. I'm fairly certain that it needs to have some frets addressed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  8. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Sure thing.

    And definitely sounds like it. With that action and relief you definitely shouldn't be getting any buzzing, especially not in the first few frets area. Hope you can get that straightened out soon!
     
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