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First time guitar owner, please help


drewsg

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Hi all, I recently bought a Ephiphone DR-500MCE. It's been great and fun learning how to play the guitar, but lately I've been dealing with "fret buzz". When I'm fretting you kind of hear the buzzing starting in 5th fret, but it gets really bad at the 8th fret to the 14th fret. Don't know if it makes a difference, but if I strum the guitar without fretting, there is no buzz.

 

I guess my main question is since this guitar is only a few months ago, should I send it for warranty repair? or is this something I can fix by myself?

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Hi, your DR500MCE is a great guitar! Here's what to look at concerning the buzz. First if it did not buzz when you got it..but does now, it likely needs humidification...if the guitar dries out from house heat, or air conditioning, the top drops slightly, pulling the strings closer to the fret board. It can also cause the neck to bow either in or away from its normal straight position. Proper humidity levels for all wood guitars is 45 to 50%... as read on a small battery operated digital hygrometer...found at walmart or radio shack and other places.

 

This can be placed in the case or in the room. There are also case humidifier devices..to fill with small amounts of water to place in the case to reach that level. I use a sears room humidifier year round to keep the humidity correct. Low humidification will often cause fret buzz...just as over humidification will cause the action to get harder because the top then swells raising the soundboard higher...and lifting the strings further away from the fret board.

 

These humidity factors can not be stressed enough....proper humidification of your guitar is critical and a part of owning guitars.

 

....Here's the good news....if you place your guitar in a properly humidified room, or case, at 45 to 50% reading...the guitar usually will return to normal with zero harm done. Humidity at the 30% level for prolonged times can literally destroy it by cracking the wood.

 

After the guitar has been in proper humidity levels for about 2 weeks straight...check the neck to see if it is straight, perhaps the truss rod just needs tweaking. But no changes should be made until the guitar has reached proper humidity. Any further questions just ask! We are all glad to welcome you...and to help you enjoy your Masterbilt to the max! ..GL

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first time and you bought a gem guitar the DR500mce is a super guitar that excels at almost any style. One of epiphones best I think. As for your problem with fret buzz, I agree with guitarlight when I got mine it was fine then came the buzz I adjusted the truss rod and made sure of proper humidity. Did you have the strings changed yet and if so did you change the gauge or make?

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Hello Drewsg, and welcome to this nice place in the web.

 

To my experience, it is extremely likely a setup thing. Adjusting truss rod and reviewing nut and bridge should solve the problem. In case of being unsure performing it yourself, a reputable luthier will do that for you at a reasonable bench charge. In case you stay with the string gauge already on your guitar, this setup could be the "final strike" so to say.

 

No setup of a new guitar is done in an instant. There always is rework needed. Depending on timbers and change in string gauge - I go heavier next to all the time - it may take ten to twenty days typically. Just two weeks ago I bought a new electric solidbody and made a setup the day after including string change from .010" - .046" to .011" - .050". I had to slightly correct the truss rod adjustment after ten days, and one hour ago I refined string action a little.

 

Every new guitar will also need some time for settling with the environment. This is absolutely normal, no reason for worrying although it may take some patience.

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Thanks so much for the replies.

 

I live in South Florida where it is super humid year round, and I bought this guitar right in the middle of summer. I leave it on a guitar stand without a thought to the humidity.

 

So, I'll look into guitar stored in a setting where the humidity is right. Then I'll check the truss rod and action settings, and after changed the strings because I still have the original strings on there.

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