Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2011, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

I'm tweaking the setup on my RG520QS, mainly to get rid of some fret buzz on low frets on the high E and B strings. My high E was so problematic at first that when I fretted the first fret the note was almost completely choked out, sounding an F# instead of F (or a very very buzzy F at best). I'm also experimenting with heavier strings to get the feel to my liking. I currently have GHS David Gilmour red set- 10.5-50.

Having done a good deal of research I ascertained that fret buzz on lower frets likely means I don't have enough relief. Long story short, over a few days I loosened the truss rod 1/8 turn at a time until I realized it's backed all the way out- the nut was totally loose. After letting this settle a while, I still get some open string buzz on my B string, and when fretted on the first fret.

Any ideas? I understand some guitars simply have very little relief available. This was part of my idea with going with heavier strings as well, in hopes the higher tension would perhaps alleviate the buzzing issue.

You can probably tell that as a rule I'm more concerned with tone than low action. I do not buy the thought that "if you can't hear the buzz through your amp, it's no problem." Just because I'm not hearing it doesn't mean it's not killing the string's motion and killing my tone!

Do I need a shim? Do I need to check for a high fret? I'm trying to avoid taking this to a tech if possible, not so much to save money but because I want to really learn what's going on myself.

Thanks all.

-the Gaucho
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 10:48 AM
HoP
 
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Location: Wisconsin
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

are you listening to this through an amp? on any electric your going to hear fret buzz if you sit there and pluck strings without being plugged in.. doesnt matter how much relief you give your neck or how high your actions is.. and actually sometimes to much relief and to high of action can make buzz worse!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

SOUNDS LIKE NUT OR FRET ISSUES TO ME. TIME TO TAKE IT IN FOR A CHECKUP
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

Could even be as simple as the string. I've had that happen, and simply replaced the offending string and it went away. Assuming everything else is set up ok.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

You must have the frets levelled before mucking around with your truss rod and action to get anywhere near low action with minimal fret buzz.

I took my S470 to a tech when i first got it, did wonders to it and now i just maintain it from there, until i wear out the frets i guess.

Toodles!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

^^ Well you don't have to have the frets leveled, unless they've got a lot of wear or are otherwise not level.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

Buzzing on open strings means the nut is set too low, not that there isn't enough neck relief. Shim the nut adequately and the buzzing will go away. You may still have some fret wear issues but open string buzzing is almost always the result of the nut being set too low. Usually, a 1mm shim is sufficient to fix it and it will not alter the feel much at all.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

That seems a very simple and sensible answer! I'll work on it.

Thanks all.

-the Gaucho
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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B & E string 1st fret buzz- back to the drawing board?

I ordered brass split shims from AllParts- very handy indeed. I shimmed the nut on the treble side to an almost comical height, just to see. (Don't have a measurement for that, but I can post it later if folks are interested to know. Suffice to say it is pretty stiff to fret the first fret, especially on the B & high E). My point is that the nut should be PLENTY high to clear frets 1-5.

Question: I already had two full shims under the nut. I put my split shims between the two existing shims, thinking that would keep the pressure more even across the nut. Is that the right idea?

Bottom line- still buzzing. The buzz when open is greatly reduced, ALMOST to the point that I don't mind it. I say almost because the buzz, while faint, creates that dreaded sitar effect when open.

When I fret the B or high E string at the first fret, the note buzzes so much I almost get that "in between" notes sound, as in I basically hear the right note (C for B string, F for E string), but I'm hearing hints of the notes a half step up.

I don't get this issue on strings 3-6.

By the way, my action is by no means super-low. I prefer higher than average action, especially for one playing a superstrat.

If anyone didn't see my post earlier, I have even experimented to fully loosen the truss rod. I don't see this as a relief issue.



I have visually inspected the second fret (I'm no tech though) and it doesn't seem to be high.

?????



Time to bring in a pro?

-the Gaucho
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

Could someone explain how too much relief could cause more buzz? Or high action? I don't understand that.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

You can use a short straightedge to check three frets at a time for levelness of surrounding frets or you can use a long straightedge (preferably something like a 2 foot steel ruler) to check the whole board for inconsistency in fret height.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

Try fretting the highest note on the string, then pluck it over the neck behind your fretting hand. If it buzzes the neck needs more slack in the truss rod or the nut is too low. I know you loosened it all the way. Now skip the nut by using the first fret to do the same thing. This way you can tell if it is a fret problem or a nut problem. I adjust the truss rod so the neck is as straight as I can get it without buzzing going on when I fret like this. If it is still happening even with the first and last fret pressed down and a slight bow in the neck it is the frets. If the fist and last fret trick works fine then it is the nut or the neck angle. I've had to take every neck off every JEM, RG and UV I own to get it to play really good with 10 gauge strings on them. When you go to 10s the action gets high and guys try to just tighten the truss rod and lower the bridge, this won't get you a really good playing guitar. You get all kinds of buzzes if you don't reset the neck.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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Re: Fully loosened truss rod, B string still buzzing when open?

sebastian, you make some very logical suggestions, just please clarify on 'reset the neck' part. Does that have to do with removing the neck???
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