i cant get rid of fret buzz on a telecaster

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by GregMac, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    Can someone please help me. I have gone through all the normal setup procedures and have even levelled and recrowned the frets. Im using factory standard measurements as a starting line but im buzzing out from the 7th fret down. Its wrecking my head. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. great-case.com

    great-case.com a.k.a. "Mitch"

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    You did not mention how many such setUps you've done in the past. I noticed this because my first was a disaster and it took a pro to show me what I did wrong. No offense intended, of course.

    I am certain soemone here will nail this problem for you. Good luck recognizing the good advice from the likes of my post.
    :thud
     
  3. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Usually, buzzing at the lower frets indicates not enough relief in the neck.
     
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  4. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    You should read tarot cards lol. Im fairly new to this. Iv done a good few acoustics but this is only my second electric, the first being a les paul which i had no problem with, though that was almost new. The telecaster is at least 20 years old or more.
     
  5. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    The relief is at .012"
     
  6. cardinal

    cardinal Supporting Member

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    With it string up and tuned to pitch, check the relief on the neck (I won't type out how because there are much better how-to guides on the net). If it looks good but still is buzzing, seems liked there's an issue with either the neck or your fret job.

    Note that frets should be leveled with the neck under simulated string tension, because sometimes the neck will seem fine just sitting there but will do strange things under tension (things like buckle or bulge in odd ways as the wood fibers bend and compress).

    Good luck! This stuff drives me nuts.
     
  7. bildo

    bildo Member

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    You mention you did a fret level. You do know about fall away? If not. That could be part of your trouble. You did test for loose frets? You need to find where you are buzzing too. Clip one lead from your DMM(set to resistance) to the string above the nut. Then capo the string that buzzes at the fret it buzzes at. Now play it in playing position and touch the other lead to each fret downward. You will get a reading where it is buzzing on the fret. Then you can determine. Loose frets, high fret or low fret.
     
  8. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    I removed the neck, set it as straight as possible (frets buzzing noted, all strings from 7th to 21st frets) marked and levelled the frets, recrowned and polished. I let off 1/8 of a turn for relief and reassembled and tuned to pitch and adjusted the neck until i reached .012" @ 7th fret. Still buzzing.
     
  9. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

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    I see no mention about your action height?
     
  10. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    Maybe the neck itself is twisted.
     
  11. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    Is it buzzing acoustically, or coming through the amp?
     
  12. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    The action is 5/64" down to 4/64" @ 17th fret. Chris, theres no sound of buzzing through the amp, it just seems to be acoustically.
     
  13. great-case.com

    great-case.com a.k.a. "Mitch"

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    You leveled frets on an unloaded neck? Is your neck stiffer than everyone else's?
     
  14. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    Thats exactly what i did. They were uneven, now theyre not. I straightened the neck before i began levelling.
     
  15. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it if it doesn't come through the amp... At least, that's what I've been telling clients for over 35 years....
     
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  16. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    Thanks chris, thats some relief (no punn intended). It wont stop annoying me though :)
     
  17. cardinal

    cardinal Supporting Member

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    If it's not buzzing through the amp, probably not worth worrying about. But here's what can happen when leveling an unloaded neck. You straighten it with the rod and everything seems fine. Then you bolt it to the body and yank on it with the strings. That causes the fibers along the neck to pull and compress... until it hits where it's bolted/fixed to the body. So you can get a bit of a hump right there that the rod can do nothing to take out. This is why a lot of folks will level frets by bolting the neck to an apparatus that simulates string tension on the neck.

    I'm not sure if this is your issue, but a hump around the neck joint might explain why there's buzz on a huge portion of the neck.
     
  18. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    I wasnt aware of that. The buzzing was there before and is still there, even after the levelling. Its just a pity its not an acoustic as i seem to be bang on with those.
     
  19. GregMac

    GregMac Member

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    Ok. So i went back at it today, I stuck on new strings and set it up. Everything is fine, a tiny hint of buzzing between the 5th and 7th frets on low e and the a string. Long story short is, my friend who likes the guitar, played it for about half an hour and said it played perfect for him. Then he paid my full asking price. Happy days. Anyway, thanks for all the advise. I would have made a clock out of it otherwise :)
     
  20. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

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    what kind of strings, flatwounds or regular round wounds? In my (so far) one experience with flat wounds, I found that they were zingy to begin with and the increased tension did not help a neck that was already at the limit of its truss rod adjustment. I ended up getting a new (to me) neck and went back to regular strings.
     

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