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Suhr Fret Issues

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Gar O'Brien, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Gar O'Brien

    Gar O'Brien Member

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    I'm actually really surprised I'm writing this, but I have had a Suhr modern custom for about a year, and I could just never get the thing set up right. I've either had higher action than I can handle (I have physical limitations where I can't play anything over 3/64ths bass and 2/64ths trebble), or buzzing. I'd never thought to check the frets as I just assumed they'd be impeccable. I found a total of 4 uneven frets. I was shocked by this, so I went back to Suhr and explained the situation.

    I got told that if I set it up to their factory spec (4/64ths all over) that it should be ok. For me, on a 4k guitar, the idea of allowing uneven frets to leave the factory is shocking. I sent videos showing the fret issues with a fret rocker and they asked to show if it buzzed with a factory set up. So I went to a luthier and had it up per their spec. There was still a tiny bit of buzz. I was then told I could ship it - at my expense - to their rep and he'd inspect it. For me to ship the guitar insured to their rep in the UK would cost €350 or so. No guarantee they'd fix it mind, just inspect it!

    It is worth noting that I ordered this when I was living in the states and have since moved back to Ireland, so my warranty with the dealer was voided. Something that wasn't pointed out when they took my money. I've had 2 other Suhr guitars, and the fret work on those was stellar! This was the first guitar I've ordered since they got the plek machine in.

    Anyway, I'm not really sure what can be done from here, but I thought I'd share this with the community here partially to vent, and partially so you guys know that the level of acceptable quality control from this company does seem to be slipping.

    Thanks for reading, and any thoughts are welcome!
     
  2. NortheastHick

    NortheastHick Member

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  3. tjontheroad

    tjontheroad Supporting Member

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  4. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    A few uneven frets should be an easy fix for a luthier. That’s really low action. You would need a really light touch to make that work without buzzing.
    As for shipping it back. That is standard practice. I had to pay shipping for my bootik amp when a Reverb transformer went. Sucked.
     
  5. off2kamp

    off2kamp Member

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    Yeah I bought a brand new Suhr and after a year it developed a really bad ski jump from the 12th fret on up. I kinda went through the same thing you did. Good luck.
     
  6. analogsystem

    analogsystem Member

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    Getting a couple high frets knocked down by a local luthier is probably going to cost you way less than shipping the guitar back to Suhr. It's a bummer to have to pay for work on a brand new guitar but it happens sometimes. Especially if you want someone really specific. I don't think one guitar makes for "slipping" quality control though. Good luck with the axe - hope you get it dialed in and are happy!
     
  7. Gar O'Brien

    Gar O'Brien Member

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    Maybe the balking at paying for shipping is a European thing? I dunno. You're right though. I've a luthier here who does amazing fret work, and I'll get them leveled and dressed. Probably cost me about €200, but at least I'll have a guitar I can play :)

    As for the quality slipping, it wasn't so much the fact that one got out. That's expected. It was more the response. I really do hope the company continues to produce amazing guitars as the volume increases. I love the company and really really hope I'm wrong. I just wanted to let you folks know my experience
     
    TommyGuitar likes this.
  8. circle_o_5ths

    circle_o_5ths Member

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    1/32 seems unreasonable to me. :dunno
     
  9. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change!

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    That action is low enough that most guitars would need multiple adjustments a year to maintain a setup. Consider looking at an instrument where the neck is not going to move at all like an aluminum neck instrument or a graphite neck instrument. You'll be less likely to have issues once the guitar is up to your standards if the materials don't respond to environmental changes.
     
  10. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Level and fret dress should be a minimal cost versus other options.

    I have heard nothing but great things about Suhr customer service but being in another country does makes things a little more difficult and costly for both parties. Your action requirement does seem a little low but I guess the uneven frets are the real issue.
     
  11. iamdavea

    iamdavea Silver Supporting Member

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    I think it's VERY hard to get an action below 4/64ths on the treble side and expect a playable instrument with no buzz. I've had 2 guitars in my life that pulled that off--a Thorn R/S that I still have, and a Melancon Pro Artist that I no longer have. I have had Suhr guitars with which I've had minor issues--most notably a TS with a rosewood board and mother of pearl side markers that were so dark they blended in with the rosewood. Good luck in solving your issues!
     
  12. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    I’m sure shredders play with that action all the time. It’s doable.
    But it does require maintenance.
     
    Gar O'Brien likes this.
  13. Gar O'Brien

    Gar O'Brien Member

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    I have a couple of vigier guitar, but to be honest living in the climate we do, I need to adjust things much less than folks in the us would. We see less than 20 degrees variance in our temperature and humidity is fairly constant. Go Ireland :)

    I've booked her in for a level, do fingers crossed she'll be sorted soon

    My biggest issue was the fact that the guys agreed there was an issue, but just didn't really see the point in fixing it
     
    GA20T likes this.
  14. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    I'll bet it didn't leave the factory that way. Anyway I don't see it as a quality control issue, after all it's made of wood. Get the frets leveled and be done with it. No biggie.
     
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  15. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    Are they SS frets?
     
  16. Gar O'Brien

    Gar O'Brien Member

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    They are indeed
     
  17. Gar O'Brien

    Gar O'Brien Member

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    I've no way of knowing. I do know that it's been buzzy and problematic from day 1
     
  18. willyboy

    willyboy Member

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    I hope you're able to sort this out to your satisfaction, and as always dealing directly with Suhr is the best course of action. IME they're very easy to deal with and offer stellar customer service in every transaction I've had with them no matter how big or small. Since you're asking for thoughts: IMO expecting any guitar with 3-2/64" action to not buzz, and possibly more so on a 24 fret guitar is unrealistic. As for your dealer issues that has nothing to do with Suhr. And as for your comment about this being a symptom of their quality control slipping, I find that hard to believe.
     
  19. dougk

    dougk Silver Supporting Member

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    Just because it's plek'd does not make it immune to the laws of nature.

    Have it done in your local climate by a good tech. .030" action height is extremely low (much lower than our spec at .050" at the 12th fret) and frankly I wouldn't admonish Suhr for that. There's no reason to send it back to a completely different climate (California) then have it come back to Ireland not expect it to move a bit. Have it done there under the same conditions.
     
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  20. Gar O'Brien

    Gar O'Brien Member

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    To be honest, it's not been my experience. Also most of my other guitars have action in this range with no buzz. I think you might be missing my original point though. The frets are not level. This is my issue
     

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