Need advice - fret buzz on American Special Tele

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by más_fuerte, May 19, 2011.

  1. más_fuerte

    más_fuerte Supporting Member

    May 14, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    So I recently bought a 2010 Fender American Special Tele, which I'm really enjoying!


    The only problem it had was with the intonation, so I took it to Guitar Center to have it set up. When I got it back, the intonation was much better, but now I've got a nasty fret buzz going on the first ~5 frets.

    Should I take it back to Guitar Center and have them try to fix it? I obviously don't know much about setting up a guitar (which I plan to rectify soon!), so I guess I'm wondering whether this the result of a poor setup, or if it was the only way to fix the intonation? Please let me know your thoughts!

  2. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Mod Squad Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2010
    Petaluma, CA
    Well....if you took it in for a Set-up, and it plays better, but it sounds like they just adjusted the Bridge Saddles....and that was it.

    Too much involved to decide what the problem is; Neck Straight, Nut Cut, Neck Angle, Bridge Angle.

    Take it back...tell them it buzzes. Next time you pick up a guitar from a it thoroughly first to avoid this type of problem. And bu "play", I mean Scales or Barre chords up and down the entire Fretboard, glisses...bends, hammer ons....just takes about 2-3 minutes to see. should seek out a well respected and qualified local luthier to work on the guitar next time. Big box stores tend to have a "different" approach to tech work. If that were my would have never got in your hands prior to being perfect.
  3. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Darwin, Australia
    As DGTCrazy said - they probably adjusted just the saddles and not other factors.

    My guess is that the nut may be cut too low, if it is buzzing on the first few frets. Or else they didn't adjust the truss rod for enough relief.

    I will second the motion for seeking out a reputable guitar tech who has a good track record of doing setups for other guitarists. I would talk to other guitarists you know, and even ask on here if any other members in your area can recommend someone.

    Lastly, I would invest in Dan Erlewine's books so you can at least do some minor setup work yourself, or identify what sort of work MAY need to be done.

    PS: Nice looking Tele BTW...
  4. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Gotta disagree with the other two guys - fret buzz on the first 5 frets typically means the neck is too straight. Hard to say without seeing the guitar but is sounds like they did a truss rod adjustment and straightened the neck too much. Add a touch of relief, maybe 1/8 of a turn, to the truss rod and see if the clears the buzzes up.

    Guitar Center for a set up?!? :omg
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

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