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Adjusting the truss rod on an Epiphone Sheraton? Adjusting the truss rod to get rid of fret buzz

#1 User is offline   s.cheah 

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:29 PM

I have an Epi Sheraton and I'm pursuing playing perfection. After getting some fret buzz I did the string action test. I did the action height test by fretting the first and last note on the 6th string and looking at the distance between the fret and the string at the 12th fret. The string was touching the fret, so I loosened my truss rod.

So far I have loosened the truss rod by 1/2 a turn. Doing 1/8th turns at a time. The string is still touching the fret though (I have left time for neck to settle by the way). Should I keep loosening, the screw is getting pretty loose and I'm paranoid about breaking something despite my small adjustments at a time.

I have read on these semi-acoustics that the action is naturally low, so should I keep trying to raise my action or leave it, hence why I am asking what the perfect action is. Or alternatively should I raise the height of the bridge? It's just I've read online, truss rod adjustment should precede any adjustment to the bridge but having made 4 adjustments now with no visible increased action height I'm wondering whether keeping going is wise.

In fairness the buzzing is almost gone, I can still hear it when I press down on the first frets and play though...I have a feeling that the buzzing may be coming from the bridge saddles also. I don't want to deviate from the focus of this topic but if anyone knows about the bridge causing buzz and knows how to fix it please tell me.

#2 User is offline   Coz52 

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:54 PM

First, don't worry about breaking anything by over-loosening the truss rod. It's going the other way where you can do damage. Ideally action on your Sheraton (I have one too) should be about 4/64 high E and 5/64 low E @ the twelfth fret. If the truss nut is giving no resistance to turning, the neck should be in full "relief" and there should be some kind of gap showing by now. You are tuned to pitch, right? What gauge strings are you using? I would guess that any vibration at the bridge would be from the retainer wire. And don't worry about eliminating ALL fret-buzzing. It won't happen. Particularly on the wound strings. I trust this will be the first installation of all kinds of help you're likely to get here. Good luck.

#3 User is offline   Bender 4 Life 

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:31 AM

welcome to the forum !

somewhere on the Gibson/Epi website is a page for "setups" that may be a great deal of help.

as far as the bridge being a possible "buzzer" check it for a "retaining wire", if it has one, you may need to wiggle/move/remove it as these CAN cause buzzing.
also, have you checked with a straightedge for a possible high fret (or more than 1)? it may be as simple as tapping a loose fret back into place.
the string isn't vibrating against the top of a pickup is it? that's another possibility.

an exellent source of setup/repair info can be had on this forum in some of the pinned topics at the tops of pages.
another GREAT source is the "Trade Secrets" section at Stewmac.com (Stewart McDonald guitar parts).

Sheratons are wonderful guitars & have a good fanbase...let us know how this turns out.
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#4 User is offline   Bluemans335 

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:14 AM

View Posts.cheah, on 18 June 2013 - 02:29 PM, said:

In fairness the buzzing is almost gone, I can still hear it when I press down on the first frets and play though...I have a feeling that the buzzing may be coming from the bridge saddles also. I don't want to deviate from the focus of this topic but if anyone knows about the bridge causing buzz and knows how to fix it please tell me.


Lay the guitar down on a table, strum it, and put your ear next to it to see if it's coming from the saddles.

#5 User is offline   mcgruff 

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:00 AM

View Posts.cheah, on 18 June 2013 - 02:29 PM, said:

So far I have loosened the truss rod by 1/2 a turn. Doing 1/8th turns at a time.


It's good to be cautious but you could maybe try a whole turn now. Give the neck some time to adjust. Keep going until you dial in the amount of relief you need.

I've had truss rod nuts go very loose on me as I turned them to add more relief. I thought I'd reached the limit of adjustment but kept going anyway. The nut started to tighten up again but the relief did increase and eventually I got what I needed. Weird.

#6 User is offline   Spamonkis 

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:02 AM

Your method of checking relief is not correct. The rod will effect the neck primarily in an area farther out than the 12th fret. Check relief around the 8th fret.

That said, the 12th fret should not touch the string as you describe. You either have a back bow to your neck, or frets are out of level. As stated above, loosening the truss rod will not cause damage, but if it is completely loose, loosening it more will not change anything. 1/2 a turn is not an extreme adjustment.

Fret leveling is pretty much required to get action Nirvana from a lower priced instrument, as opposed to a Gibson which comes with lazer leveled frets from the factory. DIY fret leveling takes a bit of intestinal fortitude but it can be done, and the results can be quite gratifying. Ruby, my Casino, would absolutely humiliate any $3000+ Gibson E-330.

God bless, Spamonkis

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