Is it normal to have a little fretbuzz?

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

  1. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member

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    These threads go round in circles because everyone is missing a crucial piece of information - how hard you pick the strings.
    So the guy with a light touch says 'any buzz is unacceptable' and the guy with a heavy touch say 'some buzz is inevitable'. And they're both right.
     
  2. train

    train Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    Technique at a certain point the cause of fret buzz is the player and not the guitar.
     
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  3. AxemanVR

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

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    Agreed, although I look at it this way: It's an electric guitar... why not let the amp do all the work?

    I can get as heavy a sound as I want without having to bash the strings. It's all in the picking attack coupled with the amp's gain structure. I'm not saying that I never bash the strings. Sure I do. But I can also play as light as a feather too.

    "Finesse" means having the ability and wherewithal to know when and how to use whatever technique that best suits each situation.

    If the strings still buzz no matter what you do, then it's time to fix the guitar...



    `
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  4. Agtronic

    Agtronic Strat-O-Master

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    It is impossible to offer any opinion or advice without first getting an idea of YOUR definition of fret buzz. It would be great if you could post a little clip of what you're experiencing with your guitar. I personally feel that any guitar will have some zing and buzzes here and there. It doesn't bother me at all and I actually use it as part of my playing, when picking hard for instance, I like a little bit of "buzzy" bite.

    So again, post an example so that we can pick it apart. :)
     
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  5. AxemanVR

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

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    It's clear by the responses in this thread that this is all a part of each person's perspective.

    I'd agree that "any guitar" can be made to buzz, but not all guitars are necessarily pre-destined to do so on a normal basis if set up correctly.

    Sure, if you have the action so low that you can't fit an ants tentacle between the strings and the frets, of course you'd expect some buzz. (p.s. I said tentacle, not testicle). On the other hand, if the strings are an inch off the fretboard it would seem unlikely that the strings would buzz from fret contact.

    Surely there must be a happy medium between those two extremes where normal playing causes essentially no fret buzz.

    That's fine, but the real question is "Can you avoid the fret buzz when you want to"? If you can than I'd say that your guitar is set up to normally "not buzz"...



    `
     
  6. Agtronic

    Agtronic Strat-O-Master

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    No argument from me! I agree completely. I'm just not clear on what some people consider "excess" buzz. It could be that the original poster is just getting a slight bit of "zing" here and there, or maybe it's really buzzing hard all the time. We don't really know.

    And like you say, you should be able to pick notes cleanly and not hear any buzz at all.
     
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  7. Guitar boy

    Guitar boy Strat-Talk Member

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    It could be a number of things that are making your frets buzz. Everything from a truss rod adjustment to a worn out nut. If your bridge saddles are up all the way then there's a problem with the setup. Uness you really know what you are doing do not adjust the truss rod.
    Bring your guitar to an established Luthier and not some G.C. baffoon who doesn't have a clue when it comes to setting up a guitar. I hope everything works out well for you and your guitar.
     
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  8. Stevn

    Stevn Strat-O-Master

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    Not normal
    The only weird tones I get are when I don’t depress the str8ng enough and this wierd note wobble happens momentarily. But that’s my weak old man hands doing that. Every note should ring clear, bright and perfect.
     
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  9. Rodrigoow

    Rodrigoow Strat-Talk Member

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    I'll do that
     
  10. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    So, this gives me a moment to consider the whole order of things. Some time ago, someone extremely knowledgeable on this website advised the following order: Saddle height then relief but the caveat is that you always start with a flat neck (zero relief), then you know what your working with.

    This is my process and it makes sense to me:

    1) Remove all relief so the neck is completely flat. Use a notched ruler to do this.

    2) With a completely flat neck, adjust saddle height in the way that is described in the Frudua TV video on page one of this discussion. Fretting in the upper frets. Like anywhere above 12 to 21 (or 22) because that’s critical for saddle height adjustments. Get it low without buzzing or fretting out when you bend the strings.

    3) Now you set the truss rod relief. Truss rod relief is most active around the 8th fret so play open chords and listen for buzzing and clanging. Adjust for a little relief to remove the buzz and clanging.

    If by chance you have buzzing that can’t be cured by this three step process then you may have a poorly cut nut. With a badly cut nut you’ll get buzzing between the first couple of frets and it will be most noticeable when you’ve got the relief and saddle height dialed in perfectly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  11. mikeford

    mikeford New Member! Gold Supporting Member

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    A good setup guy can eliminate fret buzz and keep your action pretty damn low (like my ex repairman Mike Lull - RIP).

    Mike
     
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  12. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    no.

    most techs can not get rid of fret buzz even with high nut slots so it is them !

    however many players can make a well setup guitar buzz with bad technique.
     
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  13. jtees4

    jtees4 Strat-O-Master

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    I generally tell everyone and anyone to try the truss rod first, because you simply turn it back if it does not work. You're not making any mod to the guitar. I HAVE fixed some issues with a simple truss rod adjustments, and others needed more work....but I'm still glad I tried the truss rod first. It's easy, no reason to be afraid of it. And truss rods are a little tougher than people realize, sure they can break but only by really abusing it.
     
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  14. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    it has to do with fret pane, neck radius and neck relief. If you have straight neck with no relief and low action the string will rattle against the frets. The bigger question is do you hear the fret buzz when it is played through the amp or are you just hearing some rattle when you play it acoustically? Some rattle when playing it acoustically is normal but not if it is a fret buzz you can hear when plugged in. All fenders should be able to be set up with no buzzing.

    What your luthier told you was wrong and is a reflection of his lack of skill or experience.
     
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  15. Dirtville

    Dirtville Strat-Talk Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I would say raising your strings to the max is definitely not normal. I would say a combination of string height and Truss Rod adjustment is what you need.
     
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  16. yamatele

    yamatele New Member!

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    Got a brand new Eastman T 486 for Christmas. Perfect set up right out of the case - no buzz. Had a tech once who didn't mind returning a guitar after installing new frets that buzzed in spots & sloughed it off as no big deal. Found a few other mistakes on other guitars he did. Bye Bye now.
     
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  17. zinger_ghretzel

    zinger_ghretzel Strat-Talk Member Silver Member

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    The problem is personal definition of fret buzz....

    And...

    Can you hear it trough the amp or is just when you’re playing unplugged ?
     
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  18. Maplelover

    Maplelover Strat-Talk Member

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    I've had 20 Stratocasters , at least, starting with a '63 shoreline gold. Even the best setup, by professionals, some will , some won't have a slight rattle...on suspiciously on the A .
    If you know how to baking soda and super glue the nut to raise it, that's a fix
     
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  19. Stratomike

    Stratomike Strat-Talker

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    What string gauge do you use @Rodrigoow ? Thinner sets are more likely to buzz.

    It's just physics, as mentioned above you can make any guitar buzz, even with high action. So if the luthier tells you there can always be some buzz I would agree with him. On the other hand, if your strings buzz close to the nut this could mean the slots are too deep. That would be an easy fix for the tech (or DYI, see comment above).
     
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  20. Rodrigoow

    Rodrigoow Strat-Talk Member

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    I use 0.10. Sorry, what do you mean by slots?