Fret Buzz fix

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ssites, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. ssites

    ssites Member

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    I set up my new Charvel San Dimas, and I put a small 2 piece business card shim in the neck, and did a truss rod adjustment. I have the action PERFECT, except there is a little deadish buzz around the 3-5th frets. Not terrible, but still a bit noticable.

    Should I maybe take the truss rod back a bit, or remove one of the card pieces to make the shim a little smaller, or...???

    Thoughts/suggestions? I really want the upper end of the fretboard to be close to where I have it now.

    thanks!
     
  2. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    You've got to check if those frets are higher than the surrounding ones. Just tweaking the truss rod or neck angle is avoiding the problem.
     
  3. RAILhead

    RAILhead (real name is Maury, BTW) Gold Supporting Member

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    Yep, check the fret levels. Get you something dead level that will span 3 frets, set over, and try to rock it back and forth like a see-saw. If the frets are level, you won't be able to -- but if you get any rocking, then that's your high fret.
     
  4. ssites

    ssites Member

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    If I find one a bit high, do I use fine grade wet sandpaper and just lightly file it down? Or would you recommend taking it to a tech?
     
  5. Johnnytone

    Johnnytone Supporting Member

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    First thing I do with a high fret is to wick super glue on either side of it and press it down firmly (rubber end of a hammer works well) to hold it while it dries. Sometimes the frets are loose or are just not seated properly.
     
  6. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    You shouldn't be taking a file to one fret. The problem may be a LOW fret. Or a hump/dip in the fretboard itself.

    If it's not too bad you can raise the action to make it go away. If it IS bad (or you want low action) then it needs a level/crown job which evens out ALL the frets. If it's a bad hump in the neck then you're talking about a complete fret job and planing the fretboard. Not for the faint of heart.

    By the way, shimming the neck pocket can't do anything to help a high/low fret.

    Unless it's a very minor buzz this should not happen on a NEW guitar. Take it back to where you bought it.
     
  7. ssites

    ssites Member

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    It's definitely minor. It didn't buzz out of the box but the action was too high for me. I did truss rod and shim at the same time. I am thinking maybe take the shim out and see if the truss rod adjustment might be enough by itself. i did them at the same time because you have to remove the neck on the Charvel to get to the truss rod.
     
  8. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    I know what you mean about being able to set both when the neck is off but the truss rod and shims are meant to adjust two different things. The RELIEF is adjusted with the truss rod, the ACTION is set with the bridge/saddles (and POSSIBLY shimming the neck if necessary).

    Here's a good setup guide if you need a reference.
     
  9. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Member

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    I learned the hard way (twice) that if you're not experienced in doing fretwork to let a tech at least take a look at it. Taking files and/or sandpaper to single frets often results in causing issues elsewhere on the neck, and you just end up chasing the problem back and forth.
     
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  10. piloto117

    piloto117 Member

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    Taking one of the shims off can resolve your fretbuzz, but you'll sacrifice some height on the action.
    If the guitar is new (and don't want to take it back to the store), and if you have some experience in guitar setups (assuming you have correctly adjusted the truss rod and shim); then I would proceed to carefully check and take note into where and which frets buzz. You'll need to have some kind of tool (checkout fret rocker from stewmac, check the video too) to pinpoint a high fret. Take some sandpaper and carefully file down.
    But if there is some fretwear (2nd and 3rd frets are the most common) and/or a low fret, the frets may either need to be recrowned and redressed (luthier area).
     
  11. andyk

    andyk Supporting Member

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    I had the same problem. Turned out to be the action at the first fret was too low after the neck angle change. A simple shim under the nut may be all you need! Try pressing the strings to the first fret, and see if you have almost no space. If that's the case, shim the nut up a hair, and you should be fixed!
     
  12. groovington

    groovington Member

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    This is some good advice. And if that doesn't solve the problem you may have to deal with those 3 words:

    level. crown. polish.

    However, in my experience, whenever I've had a guitar need the leveling, I've always enjoyed playing them alot more afterwards. Also, you can easily take the straight edge of a short ruler or even a credit card and run it over the frets to check out if you need leveling. If your getting clicks and its rocking over various frets, then you know they need leveling. If its smooooooth all the way across the fretboard, then they should be fine. And check this between all the strings.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Mrmarshallhead

    Mrmarshallhead Member

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    Doing anything to the nut won't make any difference to fret buzz around frets 3-5.
     
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  14. andyk

    andyk Supporting Member

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    If there was no buzz before the neck angle change, odds are the nut is too low. This would definitely cause buzzing in the first few frets, especially the open string
     
  15. nrandall85

    nrandall85 Member

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    Are your open strings buzzing? Then it's the nut.

    If not, take out your shim and check the relief after the truss rod adjustment you made. If you have buzz in just the lower frets that indicates back bow.

    You may have used a shim that's simply a little too thick, combined with 1/8 to 1/4 to much on the truss rod. That, and a simple truss rod tightening with slight saddle adjustments may be all you need, since the truss rid doesn't do much at all to effect your upper frets.
     
  16. rockonomics

    rockonomics Member

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    Hold the guitar up to the monitor so we can see it:sarcasm
    With a problem so slight, all the armchair techs here can't accurately determine what is going on. Many of the suggestions are valid but might not be the answer to fix YOUR problem. You'll just have to try some of the thangs posted here and also try googling guitar set up.
     
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  17. Johan.B

    Johan.B Member

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    Isnt it sad,having to be schimming and do a setup on a brand new guitar. Manufacturer quality check anyone?
     
  18. Fishyfishfish

    Fishyfishfish Member

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    More relief in the truss rod-like a 1/4 back.
     
  19. Ncp10

    Ncp10 Member

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    3rd to 5th fret more likely rod adjustment. Don't mess with frets unless you're experienced.
     

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