Having a helluva time getting this Squier 40th Anniversary Tele set up and playing without buzzing!

matty428

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Hey guys! Been a while since I’ve been here and posted, but work and life’s been nuts! So I’m here again with a problem. I just brought this beautiful hunk a wood hole, and I’m getting wicked amounts of rattling and fret buzz on the low E, A, and D strings from frets 1-3. And the D string when played open sounds like a Sitar! Now I’ve loosened the truss rod, and it still seems not be giving ANY relief if any at all. And I’ve done probably 1-2 FULL turns added all up. I’ve also shimmed the neck, I have a piece of business card under the neck where the screws come through. I’ve also noticed that the strings are very much shifted to (looking up the neck from the bridge) left. Where the high E is almost off the board completely. Idk, am I better off contacting zzounds where I bought it? Or Squier themselves? Any help would be appreciated!
 

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decafie

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Hiya

Just to double check, you turned it *counter-clockwise* to loosen the truss rod, correct? For fret buzz on the first 3 frets (not talking open strings), you are correct to assume too straight of a neck as being the cause. However another culprit would be frets that are lifting on either the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th fret. You should check for that. If you can slide your thinnest feeler gauge in there, you know you have lifting frets. It should be fairly obviously visually, or even just pressing down on the fretwire with your finger.

Sitar sound on the D String when played open, would be indicative of a poorly cut nut slot (string binding), or issues at the saddle where maybe the D string has caused an indent on the saddle material itself, and is not resting favorably. I'd check these 2 spots for discrepancies.

That string alignment issue looks to be caused by the nut as well, the high E seems way off to the right. You can try loosening the neck screws (1/4 turn only!) with the strings on and tuned to pitch, then re-tightening those neck screws, to help "sit" the neck better. Do note that this helps things further down the neck (15th fret onwards maybe?), but does not solve the iffy string spacing up top near the nut itself.

What was the purpose of shimming the neck pocket?
 

matty428

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Hiya

Just to double check, you turned it *counter-clockwise* to loosen the truss rod, correct? For fret buzz on the first 3 frets (not talking open strings), you are correct to assume too straight of a neck as being the cause. However another culprit would be frets that are lifting on either the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th fret. You should check for that. If you can slide your thinnest feeler gauge in there, you know you have lifting frets. It should be fairly obviously visually, or even just pressing down on the fretwire with your finger.

Sitar sound on the D String when played open, would be indicative of a poorly cut nut slot (string binding), or issues at the saddle where maybe the D string has caused an indent on the saddle material itself, and is not resting favorably. I'd check these 2 spots for discrepancies.

That string alignment issue looks to be caused by the nut as well, the high E seems way off to the right. You can try loosening the neck screws (1/4 turn only!) with the strings on and tuned to pitch, then re-tightening those neck screws, to help "sit" the neck better. Do note that this helps things further down the neck (15th fret onwards maybe?), but does not solve the iffy string spacing up top near the nut itself.

What was the purpose of shimming the neck pocket?
The last time I made a thread seeking advice on an affinity tele and the having to raise the saddles sky high for fret rattle, the shim was the solution. So my caveman brain assumed that would fix it……narrator: “It did not.”
 

matty428

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Just send it back!
Any attempts at remedial action will just be adding more lipstick to the camel.

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I’m going to. Man and I was soooooo excited for this guitar! Hopefully they have more in stock. The neck feels amazing to play too!
 

bgmacaw

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I’m getting wicked amounts of rattling and fret buzz on the low E, A, and D strings from frets 1-3. And the D string when played open sounds like a Sitar!

That makes me suspect a problem with the nut. I had a similar problem with my Epiphone SG Special and replacing the nut correct the problem.

Since you're dealing with a $600 guitar and not a $150 one like I was, sending it back is the right call.
 

matty428

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That makes me suspect a problem with the nut. I had a similar problem with my Epiphone SG Special and replacing the nut correct the problem.

Since you're dealing with a $600 guitar and not a $150 one like I was, sending it back is the right call.
Yeah I just called Zzounds and told them my problem and the guy was super cool, he said they’ll send me a label and I can drop it off at a ups store and as soon as they scan it and get confirmation they’ll ship me out another guitar asap. So I’m bummed cuz I don’t get to break it in over the weekend, but stoked since they’re taking care of me. Customer for life now at this point!
 

Boreas

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I can assure you that it is wrapped correctly and under the string tree properly. I’ve strung a guitar at least a half dozen times in my life 😉
I hope you are talking about the high E. Otherwise, you may have answered your own question.😉

As @Billy3 notes, your low E (wound) is wrapped above the "lock" wind. This decreases the break angle over the nut and can be a source of buzzing on any string. Increasing the break angle behind the nut and polishing your nut slots may help. Sloppy nuts are common with Squiers. They do not come fully set up, although some people can live with the factory set-up.
 
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matty428

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I hope you are talking about the high E. Otherwise, you may have answered your own question.😉

As @Billy3 notes, your low E (wound) is wrapped above the "lock" wind. This decreases the break angle over the nut and can be a source of buzzing on any string. Increasing the break angle behind the nut and polishing your nut slots may help. Sloppy nuts are common with Squiers. They do not come fully set up, although some people can live with the factory set-up.
**** yeah I’m a moron 😂😂😂 I thought he was referencing the high e hanging damn near off the board.

I usually take my strings and run them through the nut downwards towards the machines before I tighten them, should I add some graphite? (Note that I’ll be sending this one back and getting a replacement soon, so just in general?)
 

tomasz

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Definitely some points worth checking are:
- are the fret slots in the nut cut correctly? This is one of the main sources of sittaring, if the string does not lay correctly in the slot, that is cut.
- Is the nut spacing ok? It appears way too wide in the pictures,
- Same the bridge spacing.. do the strings fall off the fretboard at the end? You should have a 2+mm space left to the edge of the fretboard on each side
- the neck pocket is not cut really clean.. is it a squier body at all? Have you taken the neck off to check for any markings?
 

matty428

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Definitely some points worth checking are:
- are the fret slots in the nut cut correctly? This is one of the main sources of sittaring, if the string does not lay correctly in the slot, that is cut.
- Is the nut spacing ok? It appears way too wide in the pictures,
- Same the bridge spacing.. do the strings fall off the fretboard at the end? You should have a 2+mm space left to the edge of the fretboard on each side
- the neck pocket is not cut really clean.. is it a squier body at all? Have you taken the neck off to check for any markings?
The high e is literally off the board by the time you get to the neck pup. At the nut maybe a strings width before it falls off. The rest of the strings feel right.

It’s almost definitely squier, it’s the 40th anniversary model. I bought it new from Zzounds. So again, I’m pretty sure? I haven’t actually opened it up.

Also, the truss rod does absolutely nothing when adjusting it. I loosened it soooo much and the neck still looks almost straight still.
 

Boreas

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**** yeah I’m a moron 😂😂😂 I thought he was referencing the high e hanging damn near off the board.

I usually take my strings and run them through the nut downwards towards the machines before I tighten them, should I add some graphite? (Note that I’ll be sending this one back and getting a replacement soon, so just in general?)

Graphite will do no harm, but it is not necessary if the nut is formed, set, and polished properly during a set-up.

Unless you do your own thorough, systematic set-ups, I would advise playing a new guitar for a week or so, letting it settle to it's new environment, noting any issues you don't like (action, buzzes, string gauge, etc.), tightening any obvious loose screws, then taking it to a GOOD tech, luthier, or friend who can do a proper, new-guitar set-up. It shouldn't be too expensive, and the tech should be able to identify any serious structural flaws in the geometry of the neck/body. He/she can also set your pickup heights to your preference, if you have any.

It is very likely this is all your instrument needs. But the set-up needs to be done in the proper sequence or things get confusing fast. Virtually NO guitars arrive properly set up, because in order to be properly set up, a tech needs to know how to set it up for the INDIVIDUAL who will be playing it. There IS no "general set up" that will work for everyone, but sometimes the do arrive "close enough" if the owner isn't very picky!🙂
 

Boreas

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The high e is literally off the board by the time you get to the neck pup. At the nut maybe a strings width before it falls off. The rest of the strings feel right.

It’s almost definitely squier, it’s the 40th anniversary model. I bought it new from Zzounds. So again, I’m pretty sure? I haven’t actually opened it up.

Also, the truss rod does absolutely nothing when adjusting it. I loosened it soooo much and the neck still looks almost straight still.

What do you mean by "almost straight"? When the nut is loose, is there an up-bow (relief) or a back bend? Are the strings removed? Has the neck set a while with no truss rod or string tension?

Personally, if the nut is loose with no string tension, and the neck is dead straight using a good straightedge, I like that for a starting point with a single-action truss rod. Typically adding string tension will get me a few thousandths of relief, while at the same time adding some tension to the nut for good measure. But I personally don't like much neck relief. But again, you need to know what string gauge you are going to end up with before going too far, as string tension is a critical part of correct guitar geometry.
 




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