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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Neck bow and other setup issues...

Hi! I'm (still) having a bit of trouble setting up my new JEM7v. When I play it I have a bit of buzz on first fret on the a and low e-string. I don't know if this is normal or I should try to adjust the neck. I have adjusted the neck a bit - it was too straight and the buzz is less now but still a bit. On the 10th to 14th fret there i a slight buzz on the g and h-string. The action i set at about 2 mm over the 12th fret at the low e and 1,5 mm on the high e string(like Ibanez advise). Other than that the low e-string buzzez all the way up on the fretboard but not when you play it loose. Does anybody have advise or comments to setting up my guitar so I won't get any buzz or does everybody have some buzzing and thats just it?
Thomas
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 03:59 PM
 
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What's with the double posts???

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 04:01 PM
 
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Have a feeler gauge and a capo? (or a padded clamp)

Capo the first fret, press the low E string down at the 24th fret and use the feeler gauge to check the gap between the top of the 8th fret and the bottom of the string.

If you want "normal" action (1.5 high and 2.0 mm low E strings) you need a gap of about .4 to .5 mm.

If it's less or more, adjust and re-check.

I've found that 'backwards' thinking is best for reducing buzz, the LOWER you want the action, more bow (no more than about .5 mm though) and the higher, less bow can be used since the strings will be clearing the frets at a greater angle. I prefer a little less bow with high action since this eases up fretting in the lower positions. (about .3 mm)

I say 'backwards' because I was always taught that the higher you want the action, the more bow you should have, and the lower, less . . . while this makes for an easier playing guitar, BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ everywhere.
Mic
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 04:14 PM
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That is sdrawkcab

The more bow you have with too low an action and all you'll get is choked noted in the higher frets, and possibly no notes at all

The lower the action the less bow you can dial in. The lower the action the more compressed so the buzz isn't as apparent anyway.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 05:33 PM
 
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I reffered to 1.5 and 2 mm as "normal" since that's what Ibanez suggests in the manual, but since I consider 1.5 and 2 mm REALLY LOW, what I said still stands .

If you want INSANE LOW (to me that's any less than 2 mm), yeah, less bow is actually the best way to go since there's so much buzzing anyway . . . and too much it will cause the high frets to choke.

You know I usually don't explain things fully when I start on something . . . this is another one of those cases and I hope it didn't confuse the OP. :-)

I don't know how anyone can play with action that low anyway, feels sloppy to me and it sucks all the life out of the strings . . . I'd think you could play with 12 month old strings like that, put on a new set and not know the difference.

I still find that you can "get away with" less bow with higher action . . . and it does ease fretting in the lower positions.

I'm at about 3 mm on the low E and about 2.5 on the high right now, and with .5 mm bow I found fretting bar chords in the first few positions difficult (yes, the nut hight is fine. ) but just taking about .2 mm of bow off made things much easier without effecting buzz, or tone at all, and when I tried 4 mm (ouch) I could have the neck dead straight with no buzz or (noticable) loss of tone.

This does bring the bridge up a bit out of the body . . . while my RG 550 is okay my 520 started feeling like a Les Paul (no shim, but the pocket is made so the neck is tilted back) so I actually ended up shimming the neck on the headstock side (one, three folded piece of notebook paper, almost not enough to notice) to bring it down to where I like it. :-)

Of course, YMMV,

Mic
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 05:37 PM
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Yea, you confused me. I know you know better

The higher action the straighter you can go, but bow is about keeping the action more even over the neck with higher action and not as much about buzz
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 05:49 PM
 
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It's partly about buzz as well . .

It gives more clearance around the middle point of the strings ellipse (especially open) allowing cleaner vibration. But this comes from what I was taught, and sometimes what you're taught doesn't hold up to real world application. :-)

Your statement about keeping the action more even is very true, but are you talking about clearance or feel?

I'm guessing feel, and in this case, for me anyway, straighter gives a more even feel with higher action. The closer you get to the nut, no matter how well set up, the action is going to get stiffer.

Closer to the center of the string, not quite as stiff, even with high action.

My guitars are set up so that they feel pretty much the same from the nut to the 15th fret or so, with them only feeling a little stiffer above that.

With more bow the action feels much stiffer near the nut, and "sloppier" in the high register, so a straighter neck gives me more even feel.

Now this is just with my two guitars, I haven't had opportunity to try it with others just yet, so it may just be that my necks are dispositioned for this (I've lived with low action most of my life because of the injury to my arm, it's just now I've started playing with higher action, and most of the guitars I've set up for others have always wanted "normal" action, and those that wanted high action wanted REALLY high action, so the stiff lower positions weren't stiff to them)

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 06:01 PM
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Man you write alot!

Feel, but yea, extra clearence too. The first 3-4 frets will be stiffer but usually by 5 it's starting to free up, same distance from the bridge to the last fret is nut to 5
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 07:09 PM
 
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Yep, bingo. :-)

I've written a few (bunch actually) of songs that use barred 7th, 9th and 13th chords in the first few positions and having it too stiff down there kills my arm . . .

I think you may have read that story on here somewhere, how I cut the tendons and sliced the muscles and blah blah blah by neglecting to OPEN a glass storm door before going through it, right? And I'm not going to NOT play the songs the way I wrote them. :-)

But I digress . . . ;-)

Mic
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2004, 07:41 PM
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Well the injury never slowed your typing down
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2004, 12:36 AM
 
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On computer, no, on an old 50 pound mechanical typewriter, yes.

My extender tendons are about 2 mm shorter than they should be on my pinky, ring and middle fingers of my left hand. To close my fist (or press down) it takes quite a bit more effort and anything where strength is needed fatigues me much faster than it should . . . hence the need for less tension in the lower positions. :-)

Mic

PS
Sorry for the delay in keeping this thread off topic, relatives dropped by.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2004, 05:38 AM
 
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I feel there is going to be be buzzing on a guitar unless you have really high action. There's always going to be a buzz here & there. Some might hear it as "too much" while another might not even notice it (me). I think people have different standards of how much buzz is acceptable.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2004, 02:11 PM
 
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For me personally, "too much" is ANY buzz. :-)

I play fairly heavy handed and while I used low action for years, I was always frustrated because even with a "perfect fret level" I'd cause buzzing, but the pain in my arm made it hard for me to play with high action, until I found the comprimise I described here . . . high action with less bow on the neck.

I agree though, I'm sure if I played one of Joe Satch's guitars, with his low action, I'd buzz EVERYWHERE, but when he plays you don't hear a single buzz because of the way he plays.

So it's subjective as to what you're able to, willing to, or whatever . . . when it comes to dealing with buzzing.

This is why I ALWAYS try to teach guitar players to set up their own guitars. I don't play the same way you do, so who should be setting up your axe? ME? Nope . . . :-)

Mic
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