Fret Buzz - Why Can't I Setup my Strats To Play Like My Gibsons?

Chad

Member
Messages
853
I have kind of noticed this too. All I can boil it down to is scale length and the other design differences between the two. Possibly the buzz sound is just more apparent on the strat platform. Sorry I can’t offer anything more scientific than that.
 

Olduser123

Member
Messages
376
A Strat is not something you play, a Strat is something you fight.
That Is why i love them, makes my day ever exciting.
 

amstrtatnut

Member
Messages
14,230
My $129 Squier strat is set up nice and low. The relief is minimal .005 or so. In order to get it there (low action) the nut has to be low ( yeah every bit adds up) - a tad below .018 to -.015 or so, the neck needs to be straight as possible as mentioned and really important the frets need to be pretty level. I leveled them shortly after I got it while I was doing other neck work ( sanded, refinished the neck, rolled the board, rounded the fret ends ect). Bottom line is the action is the sum of the set up and frets need to be level. Anyways thats been my experience.

View attachment 325768 View attachment 325769

Looks great!
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,693
Looks great!
Thanks! Its become my #1 and if I had a gig I'd use it in a heartbeat! Aside from my work Im in about $210 total- Guitar $129, $45 for fender locking tuners, Tusq nut and a set of $30 rails. It plays and sounds great. Most stable 6 point trem Ive ever used. Actually hard to knock out of tune no matter how aggressive you are. I actually prefer the thinner Squier body as well- besides sparkle red, c'mon! Ive had MIA , MIM strats I never bonded with- go figure!
 

bluegrif

Member
Messages
5,585
What I find interesting are the remarks by people having those problems even after pro fret levels and setups. Because that’s not been my experience in over 5 decades of this. I've used the same repairman since the 80s and they always come back with stunning playability. I’ll grant that I don’t use super low action, but I use approximately the same action on all my electrics, G or F style.

My honest reaction is, if buzzing is an issue after expert fretwork, your touch is probably too heavy for how low the action is set. But that still doesn’t explain the differences between F and G style guitars unless perhaps you’re playing the Fenders harder without realizing it, possibly due to he increased tension of the longer scale.
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
6,922
.

Where are you picking your strings to get 'the same attack'?

LP ergonomics tend to favor palm muting and picking over top or just forward of the bridge pickup.

Strat ergonomics have the thigh cut and strap pins that cause the guitar to sit/hang more back to your right and then that volume knob placement problem, so most players pick between the neck and middle pickups getting closer to the midpoint of the string span.

'The same attack' closer to the middle of the guitar causes more string swing than closer to the bridge.

here|
|---v--------------------|
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vs there|

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gunslinger

Member
Messages
5,246
When I set them up to the same tight tolerances as my Les Pauls they buzz everywhere. Not specific to one part of fingerboard. Again, this is not just one specific guitar having issues, I've found this with every Strat I've owned.
Okay I think you may need to raise the saddles or bridge until the buzzing goes away.
 

Fireball XL5

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,086
Okay I think you may need to raise the saddles or bridge until the buzzing goes away.

That's what I do. I have to run a more forgiving setup (more relief/higher action) on my Strats than on my Les Pauls. Thus my original post/question???
 

willyboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,532
You cannot expect the setups, playability and feel to be identical especially between two guitars with completely different scale lengths. With all things that could possibly be even between the two, It's purely the physics of two different string lengths.
 

Colnago

Member
Messages
1,456
Maybe your pickups are too high on your Strats and the magnetic pull is causing more buzz/rattle?
 

Capstan Philips

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,476
This is a very good question - my experience is similar to the OPs and I'm curious too.

I'm beginning to wonder whether it's a similar phenomenon to that which necessitates having a higher action on an acoustic vs an electric - i.e. the strat is accentuating the high freqencies, which of course includes string buzz, perhaps as a result of the maple neck and the longer scale?

I'm pretty sure it has absolutely nothing to do with fretboard radius - EJ Strat was no different (although a little more forgiving of bends higher up the fretboard).
 

amstrtatnut

Member
Messages
14,230
Thanks! Its become my #1 and if I had a gig I'd use it in a heartbeat! Aside from my work Im in about $210 total- Guitar $129, $45 for fender locking tuners, Tusq nut and a set of $30 rails. It plays and sounds great. Most stable 6 point trem Ive ever used. Actually hard to knock out of tune no matter how aggressive you are. I actually prefer the thinner Squier body as well- besides sparkle red, c'mon! Ive had MIA , MIM strats I never bonded with- go figure!

Tell me more about the rails.
 

Chad

Member
Messages
853
This is a very good question - my experience is similar to the OPs and I'm curious too.

I'm beginning to wonder whether it's a similar phenomenon to that which necessitates having a higher action on an acoustic vs an electric - i.e. the strat is accentuating the high freqencies, which of course includes string buzz, perhaps as a result of the maple neck and the longer scale?

I'm pretty sure it has absolutely nothing to do with fretboard radius - EJ Strat was no different (although a little more forgiving of bends higher up the fretboard).

That’s what I said in a previous post and that seems to make sense. Maybe the buzz is there on both, it’s just more noticeable/accentuated on a Strat.
 

amstrtatnut

Member
Messages
14,230
I thought it has to do with the neck angle. LPs have a set neck at an angle and strat necks are a non angled neck. So, to me, its easier to have consistent action all the way up the neck with an angled neck. With a shim, a strat could be similar.

Besides that, I think level frets is the biggest factor. Every guitar that I have followed @Ron Kirn guide to leveling has turned into a super player.
 

Chad

Member
Messages
853
I thought it has to do with the neck angle. LPs have a set neck at an angle and strat necks are a non angled neck. So, to me, its easier to have consistent action all the way up the neck with an angled neck. With a shim, a strat could be similar.

Besides that, I think level frets is the biggest factor. Every guitar that I have followed @Ron Kirn guide to leveling has turned into a super player.

I don’t know about the neck angle viewpoint. If the action is the same and the strings are in the same plane in regard to the frets, how does it matter? The original Gretsch Duo Jet design opted to raise the neck up higher in the body pocket, rather than go with an extreme angle like a Les Paul, and those guitars still play nice.
 

amstrtatnut

Member
Messages
14,230
I don’t know about the neck angle viewpoint. If the action is the same and the strings are in the same plane in regard to the frets, how does it matter? The original Gretsch Duo Jet design opted to raise the neck up higher in the body pocket, rather than go with an extreme angle like a Les Paul, and those guitars still play nice.

The strings being in the same plane is where its slightly more difficult with a strat. To me. Not saying Im right but, thats how it seems to me.
 

Chad

Member
Messages
853
The strings being in the same plane is where its slightly more difficult with a strat. To me. Not saying Im right but, thats how it seems to me.

If OP measures action at say 5th fret, 12th fret, and last fret on each design, that should give some insight to this matter. Probably best to push down (or capo) the first fret to eliminate the nut height variable entirely.
 

freedomspec

Member
Messages
164
Surely it's a mix of the following:
* Single coil pickups can pick up more rattle
* Single coil pickups themselves, three of them, behaving differently to humbuckers and pulling more on the strings because the magnets are positioned differently than that on humbuckers.
* The body type is more resonant and lighter so the rattle is more pronounced
* Scale length

Wasn't it Joe Perry who said strats are just inherently rattley guitars?

Regardless, I've made peace with it. When I watch any youtuber who plays a strat, whether it be Mick from That Pedal Show or Robert Baker, you hear rattle on their guitars too. You just have to play those low strings softer when you don't want the rattle, or hit harder but without letting those note ring out as much. It's just the way they are. :)
 
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Go Cat Go!!

Member
Messages
6,958
i set the tremolo to float on one of my strats yesterday. While I was at i I also tighten the truss rod. It had to much relief for my taste. It's an older Warmoth neck with the adjustment at the heel. I tighten too much at first first which gave me buzzing and fretting out in the 5th to 8th fret region. I loosen it a quarter turn and it is perfect now. The action on the low E is 4/64ts and high E is just a tad below that. I do not like it much lower that that. I didn't level the frets on this one, I took it to a pro about 2 years ago. Guitar plays incredible now. No buzzing or rattling. I'm using a D'addario XLs 10-46 set. The neck is the regular Warmoth compound 10- 16 radius which I think helps a lot as well.
 




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