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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's say you have a guitar with fret buzz on the 2nd-5th frets, primarily on the low E and A strings. You have also used a straight edge and verified the neck is mostly straight.

Is it recommended to add some relief to the neck to try and resolve the buzz on the 2-5th frets? Or should you look at action at this point? I am being told to add some relief by one guy I know, but the other guy is telling me "You do not touch the truss rod if the neck is straight. You look at action if it is buzzing or possibly filing the frets" I seem to agree with the latter, because I was told once before that truss rod adjustments are only supposed to be used to correct a backbowed neck.

Who is right?
 

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They are both right. Relief on the neck is a matter of preference. I personally don't think the neck should be dead straight. Fret the first and last fret on the same string and see if you have any clearance in about the middle, around the 8th or 9th fret. You should have just a little. I set mine to have about 1mm. Most of my fret buzz disappears. I still get my action to around 5/64 or 6/64 with virtually no buzz at all. Dropping it to 4/64 is playable but buzzing deadens some of the tone, even through an amp.

At the same time, there is nothing wrong with checking the frets to see if they need leveled. You have to get the frets taken care of and then adjust the action and relief to get it to where you feel comfortable playing it.
 

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I'll second that. I'm not the type who really goes to the point of measuring my relief, but I know that I have, to some degree, relief in all my necks.
I'd be more inclined that if I had buzzing on my low E around 2-5, I'd simply raise the bridge on that side a slight bit. There are many ways to do it. As it's been said though, it's all subjective and solely based on what feels right to you. You can raise the bridge, adjust the truss rod, or add shims to the nut. It's your guitar man, and that's the cool thing about it, you can end up doing it any way you decide to!
I haven't brought a guitar home yet that I haven't completely torn down and readjusted everything to how I want it. And these are guitars usually coming from guys who can set em up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks guys. I usually have a slight bit of relief as well. Is it just me, or does the string tension seem to increase with the more relief added? I'm guessing it's due to the action rising?
 

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Yep, as the neck bows slightly forward, the angle from the nut to the saddle will change, thus increasing the action height. You can tweak it back down a bit until you start getting buzz again. I had one recently I was working on that had a bad buzz and no relief. It was set at a 8/64 action. I added a little relief and managed to lower the action to 6/64 with almost no buzz.
 

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Let's say you have a guitar with fret buzz on the 2nd-5th frets, primarily on the low E and A strings. You have also used a straight edge and verified the neck is mostly straight.

Is it recommended to add some relief to the neck to try and resolve the buzz on the 2-5th frets? Or should you look at action at this point? I am being told to add some relief by one guy I know, but the other guy is telling me "You do not touch the truss rod if the neck is straight. You look at action if it is buzzing or possibly filing the frets" I seem to agree with the latter, because I was told once before that truss rod adjustments are only supposed to be used to correct a backbowed neck.

Who is right?
Don't ever listen to the person that told you "truss rod adjustments are only supposed to be used to correct a backbowed neck".... he obviosly knows nothing about setup. You should get very comfortable setting the truss rod as it's an important part of EVERY setup. Remember that no two sets of strings are created equally...... they never exert the same identical tension on the neck (even if they're identical brand and gauge).

You'll also have to get comfortable with some amount of fret buzz if you prefer your action to be very low (1mm is very low).

Another thing to note: fret buzz is most often caused by the players technique..... hard picking, picking angle, finger placement on the frets, finger angle...etc.

If this is on your RG270 I would also look into the possible (probable) need for a fret leveling........ while the lower end Ibby guitars are decent, they don't get as much attention to detail from the factory as we would like to see.
 

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Don't ever listen to the person that told you "truss rod adjustments are only supposed to be used to correct a backbowed neck".... he obviosly knows nothing about setup. You should get very comfortable setting the truss rod as it's an important part of EVERY setup. Remember that no two sets of strings are created equally...... they never exert the same identical tension on the neck (even if they're identical brand and gauge).

You'll also have to get comfortable with some amount of fret buzz if you prefer your action to be very low (1mm is very low).

Another thing to note: fret buzz is most often caused by the players technique..... hard picking, picking angle, finger placement on the frets, finger angle...etc.

If this is on your RG270 I would also look into the possible (probable) need for a fret leveling........ while the lower end Ibby guitars are decent, they don't get as much attention to detail from the factory as we would like to see.
Same can be said about trem springs as well! Well Put RGT.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great info. This is what I did. Just screwing around last night, increased the relief. Action got higher and noticed string tension was noticeably higher (something I hate). This morning I tightened the rod, which lowered the action. The strings got much easier to bend. I adjusted bridge height to get rid of some buzz a bit and now I am just going to set intonation and I think I will be good.

So I see what you guys mean when you say it's all preference. Question: Is it ok to adjust rod to achieve the proper string tension you desire? Didn't know if there was another way
 
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