Just had my guitar set up, and it's buzzing

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jbbusybee, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. jbbusybee

    jbbusybee Member

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    Dear All

    I am wondering if you can help I've just had two of my electrics set up by a couple of well known luthiers near me. They levelled the frets and set them up extensively. It was very expensive. I've got the guitars back and they seem to have taken a lot of time and trouble, but I am getting quite a lot of fret buzz. I have been playing more and more over the last year so have become sensitive to the way the guitar is set up. The action seems very low and on the tunomatic guitar I keep lowering or raising it but never seem to find the right point. The buzzing does not really translate through an amp but when practising the buzzing is really annoying.

    Am I being oversensitive or have they done a poor job?
     
  2. Joses

    Joses Member

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    there should be no buzzing at all...especially if they dare to bear the name 'luthier' - i'd take 'em back to let them check it out again
     
  3. Shredcow

    Shredcow Member

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    If it doesn't come thru the amp - its not fret buzz - there should not be an issue since that's how an electric guitar is heard, thru an amp.

    I think you have a case of fret rattle... metal strings, metal frets... will rattle.

    If the guitar has been set up well, frets & action & all, then the rattle can be minimized... but it will still be there especially for low action setups.

    The rattle should not take away too much from sustain and tone. I'm sure you should know how much equals too much...


    I used to think the rattle was a problem but the end result = more neck relief and high action, a no-go for my kind of playing/music. So I live with it... playability and tone, its a balancing act.

    Take some time with it... it could be just that, getting used to it.
     
  4. xroads

    xroads Member

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    It depends on how hard you pick; for a heavy-handed picker a low setup almost always buzzes. If you play without amplification, make sure you pick as light as with amp.
     
  5. jbbusybee

    jbbusybee Member

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    The guys doing the set up say I am a hard picker, but my teacher says I am not.
     
  6. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Was it buzzing in the shop when you tried it out after the repair, before taking it home? (I'm assuming everyone does that) If not, then the neck may have adjusted some due to the climate change between the shop and your home. Also, they may have set it up for super low action, but it's possible your playing style requires slightly higher action. Did they have you play a few things and watch your technique before setting the guitar up? (Again, I think a good tech does this to get to know how his customers play. And a wrong-headed tech will set it up to how he himself plays and/or thinks it should set up.)

    Just MO of course.
     
  7. jbbusybee

    jbbusybee Member

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    They have always said I can come back as many times as I like it until I am happy it seems to buzz more now after a few hours at home. I think they are used to setting up super low. I'll measure the string height it's a Wildwood 10 Strat so it has a 10" radius finger board.
     
  8. jbbusybee

    jbbusybee Member

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    Right the action from the 12th fret is 1/16, is that too low?

    My PRS is set at 3/32, is that too high?

    I know it's personal, but I am getting a bit confused!:crazy
     
  9. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    A well set up guitar can be made to play as low as 2/64ths(some claim lower). You'd need a light touch but I have guitars that play like that without fretting out. If 1/16's is comfortable for you that's all that matters and unless you wail on the guitar any decent tech should be able to make it buzz free. I thing 3/32 is high, but others may disagree.
     
  10. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    If a luthier does a setup and charges you a high price for it, then he should consider how you play and your preferences BEFORE the setup. And he should be willing to tweak it to your taste even now - for no additional charge, as long as the setup was recently done, not months ago.
     
  11. Brien

    Brien Member

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    Where on the neck is the fret Buzz? If it's on the first few frets primarily, it's likely a truss rod being over tightened.
     
  12. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    A luthier probably has a very controller environment in terms of humidity and temperature. I venture to guess that your house does not. Wood will adjust to the environment.

    Not only that, your guitar will settle into the setup. That process takes more than a few hours. My setup guy will setup a guitar and then leave it for 24 hours before making a final check. Often there is significant adjustment to be made. He won't give it to me until it survives at least 24 hours without needing any major adjustment.
     
  13. cram

    cram Member

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    I had my strat set up last month. My notes actually fretted out when I bent notes a whole note up around 12-15th frets. I took it back 4 days later I believe he took it over night and fixed it with no charge.

    While there he did comment on my heavier playing style. I have always been that way though.. The action came back ever so slightly higher - it may be in my head, but I'm happy with the setup. Living in the Northeast during the winter will throw the necks out of whack quite easily. My studio is in my basement which is consistently 60° with 50-60 relative humidity. When I take it out to play outside of the basement (frequently) I am assuming this would be bad for it as well..

    My thread: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=339881
     
  14. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    You paid a high price for this "setup" work and you are not happy? Go back and tell them to get it right or you want your money. This kind of theft is widespread and is BS. Again anyone who knows guitars and has played for a while can "setup" their own. It is not difficult. Why would you even pay them before you play it and leave the shop? Some of these "luthiers" are like car machanics who rob old ladys.
     
  15. jbbusybee

    jbbusybee Member

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    It buzzes pretty much everywhere!
     
  16. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    You have been robbed.
     
  17. guitarstan

    guitarstan Member

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    There is ton's of technical information readily available on the web regarding guitar setups. I highly recommend educating yourself on the subject as you are doing here on this forum, even if you never intend on doing a setup yourself. There seems to be an unwritten rule out there many folks follow that goes something like this, "...it's a crime not to separate a fool from his money...". I have fallen victim to this line of thinking many times before I learned just how important it is in life to have knowledge. Knowledge is power, pure and simple.
     
  18. Blue4Now

    Blue4Now Gold Supporting Member

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    Here is what I have found. For some reason guitar techs generally want to make your action very low. When I fist started going to a tech that I trusted I hade to tell him over and over again that I like my aciton medium and buzz free. I started on acoustic so I play a bit harder and do not like low action. In all likelihood if you ask him to raise the action the buzzing will go away. The other issue I have found is that its great to be able to set things like action and relief by yourseld to feel and not to predetermined numbers. You can raise the action in small increments until it feels just right for you. In the long run you will be much better off, save money and have a guitar that plays just the way you likt it.
     
  19. Baggins

    Baggins Member

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    If it buzzes everywhere, it sounds like your action's too low, though string gauge and picking attack will determine that. What strings are on it? I just set up (or attempted to) my friend's guitar. I used the same measurements as on mine, and due to his heavy strumming, there was buzz. He even plays with 10's versus my 9's. -They are also the same guitar model, just to clarify.
    If you pick lightly (unnaturallly so), does it still buzz?

    -Good luck,

    Chris
     
  20. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Over-react much? It's even remotely "theft". He took the guitar home and he's not happy with how it plays. They have offered to have him bring it back and be adjusted to his satisfaction, free of charge.

    I'm not sure what your axe to grind is but your comment is totally misinformed.
     

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