Suhr Fret Issues

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


  1. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    Lesson here? Shite happens, it’s how you deal with it that matters.
     
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  2. willyboy

    willyboy Member

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    With all due respect, I don't think you have any idea what you are talking about. A PLEK done correctly would make it easier to dial in a specific setup as it's theoretically more consistent and accurate, meaning if you like low action or high action or more relief or less relief the guitar should play more consistent from bottom to top of register.
     
  3. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    Owning two Suhr Classic T's, and a slew of other manufacturers instruments, I will say that Suhr is good, really good. In my experience their guitars play second to none and are fairly easy to keep setup.

    I will also say that I have to setup all of my instruments regularly due to heavy use. My stay at home instruments are checked and set up every few months as they do change. Today for example, I checked my 6 month old Strat and the neck had developed a slight back bow and my low e was buzzing. Three weeks ago it was perfect at my target .006" measured at the 8th fret. I tweaked the neck relief back to .006" and it plays like a dream.

    So, on a whim I also checked my Suhr Classic T. The relief was way too much at .015" and was also buzzing. So I adjusted it it back to fairly straight .006".
    The buzzing disappeared and it also plays like a dream.

    My point is, wood moves with the weather and season and we are speaking of hundredths of an inch in neck relief and 64th's an inch in string height to fix buzzing.

    My Suhr fretwork has been perfect and I have never had an issue. That doesn't mean that someone else hasn't. In my three decades of playing I have seen guys who can play 1.3mm without buzzing - NOT ME, I am way too heavy handed so I tend to set my action 2mm and still buzz if I dig in too much.

    Your Uncle Mike
     
  4. jhale

    jhale Supporting Member

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    Bang them in with rubber mallet
     
  5. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    Sorry, couldn't resist. Move on. I mean, continue.
     
  6. Raab90

    Raab90 Member

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    A few weeks ago I got a Classic T Antique, and it came straight up unplayeable out of the box.
    I took it to a luthier and with the use aof a fret rocker, he caught some high frets.

    On a second note. Years ago I bought a Gibson SG 61’ RI from 2010, and it was perfect from the get go. I have only had to set it up twice.

    Hate me all you want. 3:

    However, a key detail here is that I live in Chile. The Suhr tele was literally shipped all the way from the US to Chile.
    The SG came by plane.
    That tele sailed across the seas for over a month, inside a hot container.
    The SG just spent a few days on a plane.

    Next time I’ll pay extra for a plane ride.

    It was sad to see a new guitar head straight for the tech, knowing a whole set of new PLEK’d frets will have a shorter lifespan... and damn, the perfect fret crowning will be no more.

    Sucks to have OCD
     
  7. football

    football Supporting Member

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    Did the new Classic T come with stainless frets?
     
  8. Raab90

    Raab90 Member

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    Yep
     
  9. Raab90

    Raab90 Member

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    Me again, I just got my Suhr from the shop where it got leveled and set up again, and it’s still buzzing mad.
    String action is set above 2mm

    I tried loosening the truss rod a bit more, and still buzzes.

    What could be wrong ?
     
  10. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    Hard to say without seeing it, playing it, and hearing it.

    I think it is quite normal to have some string buzz (acoustically)on an electric guitar with lower action, especially with fresh, new round wound strings.

    The issue is whether or not it translates through the amp. Often it doesn't unless it is extreme or fretting out.

    I also find that if a guitar has a brighter sound acoustically it may seem more obvious, particularly with heavy handed playing. But again, it doesn't matter if that string buzz doesn't reach the amplified sound.

    At a certain point the frets could be as level as possible and you still might hear a little buzz, especially once you are obsessing over it and always listening for it.
     
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  11. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    Who leveled it ?
    Did you go back to them ?
    It could be saddles and have nothing to do with frets.
    Did you talk to Suhr customer service first?
    Why did you loosen the rod ? Was it back bowed ?
    You could be making it worse, you shouldn’t adjust it in a vacuum.
     
  12. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    It always seems a little fishy when someone registers to the forum just to post a complaint about a company, doesn't it? :)
     
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  13. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    PRS is a shorter scale length guitar.
    It won’t rattle or buzz nearly as much but also will not have the frequency response. They do get complaints about dead spots though. Complaints are also usually a percentage of sales. We have extremely low issues considering our production, we are 5 times the size of someone like Anderson.

    Funny Story, I worked on a PRS personally which had frets that were not level, Paul’s wife at the time told the customer it was impossible and relayed I must not know what I was doing. They wanted to see the guitar after I personally leveled the frets to make sure it was still good. Paul called me to compliment me on the fret work. **** happens to everyone and everything. I had a Custom SG made for me and a 57 gold top, both need to be totally refretted and I need to move the tunamatic on the SG as well due to bad string alignment even though CNC was used. All I can do is my best to make things right when something goes wrong. We don’t get a lot complaints actually but some times the same people post in multiple paces. Many times we are not given the chance or contacted first, also a very large portion of our customers happen to be on TGP. Pick your explanation but I’m here to help and have personally refretted trouble guitars if needed. I’m actually in the shop now working more than ever.
     
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  14. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks my feelings as well.
    This year i have been spending more time refining the process and making improvements wherever I can.
     
  15. 57gold

    57gold Silver Supporting Member

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    Followed this thread, scratching my bald head, as JS's reputation for decades going back to the 1980s has been unmatched with respect to his ability to make instruments play cleanly and effortlessly, a fretboard master!

    Confirming John's PRS story, back in 1986, when PRS was delivering their first few instruments to Sam Ash. I ordered one and to my great disappointment, it buzzed. As I had months prior taken delivery of a Pensa-Suhr that played better than any instrument I had ever played, I took the PRS to John to check it out. Upon inspection, John said he could redress the frets and all would be fine. It came back playing great. I had called PRS to express dismay and see if they might cover the cost of a repair of a new instrument. PRS asked that I return the instrument at their expense, called to apologize and said they loved the results of John's fret re-dress.

    That was half a lifetime ago...still have the Pensa-Suhr and the PRS. Still play great!

    For some reason, my guitar memories are stronger than those related to other matters. Remember John and Rudy being interested in checking out a PRS, as they were new and had some buzz related to Santana and Di Meola playing them. Also believe PRS was interested in having JS serve as their NYC service guru after checking out his work...but I recall JS saying they were too busy with the Pensa-Suhr and repair businesses as they were.

    Love to try a recent Suhr guitar, but no dealers in my area. Probably a result of the demise of independent guitar shops in Tampa Bay.
     
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  16. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    Crazy ! So that must have been you !

     
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  17. Raab90

    Raab90 Member

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    Hello!

    I looseened the rod first because it had a huge backbow at first. And yes, I didntalk to customer service.

    Indeed, there was a little buzzing on the low E string that could be heard through the amp, and I fixed a little by moving the saddle a little.

    I sent it to Goya luthiers (probably the best here in Chile) but I’m afraid SS frets are not their thing, because now it fees raspy.

    I just recieved a Fender EJ now and it played great straight out of the box. So it’s the first time I face such an issue.
    I just want to know what I can do.

    To be honest, I didn’t choose Suhr because of the superb QC, I know they are excelent quality products. But the reason I chose this one is because it’s vintage made and sounds exactly what I’m looking for. I love the model. If I sold this one, I would get another one of the same model.

    And thanks fr your reply!
     
  18. 57gold

    57gold Silver Supporting Member

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    A little Suhr time travel back to 1986 or so:

    [​IMG]

    JoeB63 - Agree with you, John raised the bar with his Pensa-Suhr work. Knopfler, Frampton, Bill Connors...all got it. Actually was able to see/hold instruments that JS made for them. There was a red Strat-stye with EMGs and a solid rosewood neck that Knopfler played on SNL that I still think about...very cool instrument that I shoulda bought! (Shoulda bought Apple, Amazon and Bitcoin in size...too.) Found an image:

    [​IMG]

    Lived on upper West side and worked downtown. Was able to stop in to the shops on 48th and Sadowsky's shop in Times Square. Between Manny's, Sam Ashe, We Buy Guitars (talk about drool worthy vintage stuff, as a pauper graduate student at Columbia in 1980 it was almost torture, they would would display a dozen 1950's Strats, half a dozen Teles in the window)...Rudy's Music Stop was the newcomer to the block.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  19. Husky

    Husky Gold Supporting Member

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    You mean you didn’t talk to customer service? Can you open a support ticket on our website so we can try and assist you ?
    Thanks
     
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  20. dsiew

    dsiew Member

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    Just clarifying this instance, should the customer have contacted Suhr as their first point of call?
     

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