Is it normal to have a little fretbuzz?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Rodrigoow, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Rodrigoow

    Rodrigoow Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    25
    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Location:
    Brazil
    Hi guys

    Is it normal to have a little fretbuzz or should I get rid of this problem 100%?
    My new Strat which I already showed here came with low action and a lot of buzz, I changed the height
    of my saddles to its max but I'm still noting that it has some buzz specially in the upper strings.

    I went to a luthier and he said that this is normal and even a fretleveling wouldn't solve the problem. Is this guy right about it or should I consider doing something about?
     
  2. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    374
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2020
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    It comes down to your style as well how much an issue it would be to you.
    Jazz players are those flat necks and low action players, because to them, fret buzz is not so much of an issue because the play with a light touch.
    If you play metal trough a lot of distortion, again, not an issue.

    The only time when this is an issue to me, is when i play my Strat unplugged (which i do often). Only then fret buzz can be annoying.

    My string action is a little higher since i bend, because bending with low strings is a struggle, so i am not contemplating on it.

    But to answer your question on technical things, a little fretbuzz might occur for sure on a normally set up guitar.
    But i can let you in on a little secret. The tussrod has barely any function to the higher register of the neck.That means where the neck goes from being round to becoming a square because a) its thicker and stiffer and b) it´s clamped to the body and has no freedom to move.
    So if you have any fret buzz up there, the tussrod will almost rarely be able to solve it. You have to work the frets to level or better, have them slope slightly down. On high radius necks especially because bending up there often chokes out the string. So sloping the last 7-8 frets is one way to do it, even if it means sacrifice a little fret material, but it is a little meticulous work. But this off course only applies if you bend some..

    I believe David Gilmour had this done or something similar to his Candy Apple Red 83 Strat.

    You say you maxed out your saddles. That is not correct, and the neck might need a little shim. But did your luthier check the relief of the neck? A completely flat neck will for certain buzz. A little relief can remedy plenty buzz as well and too much relief will only give you a crazy high action but no buzz (until you hit the last 8-9 frets). So before shimming i would check if relief is good (if there is any at all).
    Is it a two point trem or 6point?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
    3bolt79, drp146, Buzzgrowl and 4 others like this.
  3. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,731
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    What the luthier said does not sound correct in my opinion. Fret buzz is a no-no. What did the luthier say was the cause of the problem?
     
  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

    Messages:
    6,905
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Location:
    North Central North Carolina
    Just for reference, I've never seen or heard of a Strat that won't buzz at least a little if you pick or strum very hard. Really that's true for any guitar.
     
  5. misterwogan

    misterwogan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    58
    Messages:
    3,603
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    London
    No, fret-buzz is not part of the design or specification. It is a defect which may be corrected and then again, maybe not.
     
  6. train

    train Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Messages:
    439
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    L.S.D. Chicago
    First off , none of my strats have fret buzz.that’s a broken guitar in need of repair. So his statement “ all strats have fret buzz and there is nothing to fix it” is false. So everything he says that follows is also probably wrong.
     
  7. cranky

    cranky Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    900
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2020
    Location:
    USA
    @Fenderbaum definitely seems to know what he's talking about. It's not an ideal situation, but I personally would rather have a little fretwork done and keep the saddles a bit lower than have them all raised up just to avoid a little buzz. The latter doesn't sound like it's as much fun to play.

    Does the buzz come through the amp? Does it have any kind of "fretting out" muting effect, or is it just some buzz? Is it consistent, or does it depend on how heavy-handed you're playing? Have you tried taking the strings down a gauge?

    I have some buzz on both of my Strats. I do like the action pretty much as low as I can get away with, more because of ease than any particular technique. I have never noticed any of the buzz coming through the amp, and that's the only reason I would do anything about it.
     
  8. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    47
    Messages:
    899
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2018
    Location:
    Vermont
    I used to think that some level of fret buzz was inherent to the Start design and just had to be accepted - until I finally got one that didn't have it. It may require a slightly higher action than you'd prefer, but it is absolutely possible with the right setup.
     
  9. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

    Messages:
    4,496
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    `
    Back in the late 90s I was interested in a Surf Green Fender 50s Reissue Strat that had some noticeable fret buzz and asked the sales person if he could get it set up correctly.

    He told me that Strats are known for having fret buzz and that it was part of its character. I didn't believe him and insisted he get off his lazy ass and have it adjusted or I wouldn't buy it (I didn't say it quite so rudely though).

    He eventually did so grudgingly...



    `
     
  10. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

    Messages:
    28,677
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    none of my guitars have fret buzz.
    it takes awhile to learn how to set up a guitar properly and get good at doing it, but you will be glad you learned.
     
  11. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    288
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Location:
    Ardmore, PA
    There’s a different between buzzing and fret slap that just happens from aggressive picking. My neck is almost dead straight and I have no “buzz” at all, but if I pick or strum aggressively I will sometimes make the string slap against the frets, but not much. My action is really low. A pro setup should cure this. I don’t know what goes on above the 12th fret because I rarely go up there.
     
  12. Rodrigoow

    Rodrigoow Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    25
    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Location:
    Brazil
    Is a 6point trem.

    The buzz is mostly in the frets near the nut.

    I changed the saddles because of the action, it was too low, i like it in a bigger distance from the neck.

    I thought about putting a shim but I never removed a strat neck before I am afraid I can mess with the screw roles when putting it back.

    The neck is pretty straight though, maybe I could do a little relief in the truss rod...
     
    hamerfan and jtees4 like this.
  13. Rodrigoow

    Rodrigoow Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    25
    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Location:
    Brazil
    He said It was normal... and that a fretleveling could resolve but not 100%
     
    3bolt79 likes this.
  14. Rodrigoow

    Rodrigoow Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    25
    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Location:
    Brazil
    It comes through the amp and its a little bit anoying
     
  15. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    50
    Messages:
    5,267
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    philadelphia
    Fretting out? No good.
    A little bit of "buzz", a lot of buzz?
    Does it stop buzzing if you pick and fret softly?

    If you pick softly and fret with a light touch, and it buzzes, that needs to be corrected (if it bothers you).

    If you play softly and it doesn't buzz, then YOU need to find a happy compromise.
    I could set up my guitar, for my touch, and have no problems. If I hand my guitar to someone who has a heavier hand, then they would get buzz.

    So, determine if the guitar is the problem, the set up (or lack thereof), or the player's technique.
     
  16. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,399
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo
    Depends on how much alcohol your frets have been drinking.
     
  17. Reno922

    Reno922 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    149
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2017
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    It's actually how you can set the height of the strings. Here's a video where a luthier uses the technique.



    I thought this was a pretty cool trick and I use it myself now. All guitars are made different and they've been through different temperature and humidity conditions. By adjusting the guitar to sound rather than a number out of a book, I think you get better results.
     
  18. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    120
    Messages:
    1,296
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2018
    Location:
    Home
    Absolutely normal. I’ve never play a guitar (wood and metal- durable goods mad by imperfect human hands) that did not have a fret buzz in one place or another. Some of the best guitar tones on record wer from guitars that buzzed somewhere on the fretboard. If you can here it and it’s unbearable thru the amp at a relatively decent volume it probably worse unplugged....but if you can’t then just Go with it.
     
    Kester and Rodrigoow like this.
  19. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

    Messages:
    28,677
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    always set the relief first, then your saddle height, and finally, the intonation.
     
    3bolt79, drp146, Stonetone and 3 others like this.
  20. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    66
    Messages:
    8,584
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    All of my basses occasionally buzz a little. Could be my slightly heavy attack but I’ve reached the point where I set the action to where I’m comfortable and then, if it’s really bad, I’ll raise it a ‘til it’s acceptable.
     
    3bolt79 and Rodrigoow like this.