Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
jw3571

New Guitar, Bad String Buzz

Recommended Posts

I got a new Dove yesterday and the low E played open is buzzing like crazy.  I loosened the truss rod to give more relief, but it's still there.  Anything else to try, the string does appear to be pretty low in the nut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, jw3571 said:

I got a new Dove yesterday and the low E played open is buzzing like crazy.  I loosened the truss rod to give more relief, but it's still there.  Anything else to try, the string does appear to be pretty low in the nut.

Is it buzzing when you fret on the 2nd fret?   Or does it stop when fretted there?   Usually tightening the truss rod takes the buzz out of the 1st fret or open position.   If so, though only slightly tighten the truss rod an eighth of a turn and do not overtighten it.  If it still buzzes when you fret at the second fret. check if the saddle is way too low for the string.  I once had a new guitar and the six string buzzed all the way up and down the neck.  I simply put in a higher saddle that raised the sixth string and the buzz was gone forever everyplace.  You could also try cutting a credit card material and putting it under the saddle to see if the buzzing stops and if it does you could look up on YouTube how to properly shim a saddle with wood to slightly raise it.  Or, have any reputable luthier do a set up on the guitar and it should fix the buzz. 
 

Others may have other suggestions.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A guitar tech or luthier is a good resource to speak to for a professional setup or initial inspection if you can't do it yourself. It may be an issue at the nut (nut slot cut too low or binding at the nut) or something else entirely (e.g., old or corrupted strings, high frets, too low an action, an uneven neck or badly adjusted truss rod). Alternately, get your DIY skills in order, to study up on guitar inspection and setups first (I recommend Dan Erlewine's The Guitar Player Repair Guide for starters), before doing anything to the guitar you might regret later.

Edited by Leonard McCoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses.  I don't believe it's the saddle.  The string does appear to sit pretty low in the nut.  The buzz does sound better when fretting at the second fret, but it's still there.  Is that true that tightening the truss rod gets rid of buzz on open strings?  That seems backwards to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey - congrats on the Dove. .  . "we'd love to see a pic".

Since helpful technical forumites such as Dave and Nick haven't checked in yet, you might want to get a truss rod adjust refresher from Tony P (and unless you're able to measure string height accurately, he gives a good way to get a sense at t = 1:40'ish): 

 

Also- if your new Dove has experienced a change in the weather, it might be waiting for some acclimation. And- isn't this something that should be taken care of under warranty?

Hope you get it sussed out soon. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, 62burst said:

Hey - congrats on the Dove. .  . "we'd love to see a pic".

Since helpful technical forumites such as Dave and Nick haven't checked in yet, you might want to get a truss rod adjust refresher from Tony P (and unless you're able to measure string height accurately, he gives a good way to get a sense at t = 1:40'ish): 

 

Also- if your new Dove has experienced a change in the weather, it might be waiting for some acclimation. And- isn't this something that should be taken care of under warranty?

Hope you get it sussed out soon. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What he doesn’t say is that adjusting the neck is more of an art than a science.  Plus, a neck bow  can be an upward or an downward one, also know as a forward or backward bow, or an upward hump bow or an inward U bend bow.

I’ve had it where an upward bow occurs causing middle frets to buzz, which needs to have the truss rod loosened to give the neck relief.  And, then that causes a buzz  at the first or second fret because there is not enough bow, and then a slight tightening has to occur so the middle bow goes inward a bit and the neck by the nut goes ever so slightly upward, stopping the fret buzz at the first or second fret.  

BTW, I’ve also seen videos that claim it is proper to have some neck bow on some brands of guitars, while on others a straight neck.  ie.  Fenders need a straight neck, Gibson necks need a slight bow.  But, that’s another subject.

This video gives an better  perspective on the way a guitar neck can bow.

 

 

Hopefully it will help to understand how to get rid of the fret buzz.  Remember, it’s an art, not a science and just do very slight turns on the truss rod nut. 

Or if in doubt, take it to a luthier first a good set up if you’re not feeling brave to try.  As long as you do not overturn and overtighten a truss rod so it might break, there is little harm that can happen.  Just do really small turns.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

Edited by QuestionMark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If its new wouldn't it be under warranty?

You have one string buzzing Truss rods dont adjust one string, and I assume the other string are fine?

There could be several different things going on ,  pics would be helpful. 

Does it buzz without depressing the string or do you need to press the string to get a buzz?

If not at what fret does it start?  Thats a starting point to understand what's going on. 

Again pics are always helpful along with some measurements. Their are number for a proper

setup but feel is important but you need to know the basics!

Good luck and from what Ive seen here there are people that can help you. I know very 

little about guitars 

IMHO

 

Good luck OP

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ratherbwalkn said:

If its new wouldn't it be under warranty?

You have one string buzzing Truss rods dont adjust one string, and I assume the other string are fine?

There could be several different things going on ,  pics would be helpful. 

Does it buzz without depressing the string or do you need to press the string to get a buzz?

If not at what fret does it start?  Thats a starting point to understand what's going on. 

Again pics are always helpful along with some measurements. Their are number for a proper

setup but feel is important but you need to know the basics!

Good luck and from what Ive seen here there are people that can help you. I know very 

little about guitars 

IMHO

 

Good luck OP

 

 

 

FYI,  one string could certainly buzz due to needing a truss rod adjustment.  That’s one of the pesty things that a truss rod adjustment can fix, where the neck’s bow can cause a fret further up the neck to a way small fraction too high due to the neck’s curve due to string tension or humidity or it just happens because ?.  These are precision instruments.   That’s one of the historical reasons truss rods we’re invented way back.  Not that unusual at all.    I doubt a string buzz is covered under warrantee although the poster can certainly contact Gibson and ask.  Usually truss rod adjustments are a standard part of post market set-ups, though.  Or, a do it yourself thang if one is so moved to do so.  (I own 39 instruments, so I had to quite quickly take on the task of learning how to do my own self set-ups, as the collection was growing.)

Hopefully, the original poster will tell us more and our banter has been helpful to him.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tony say loosening the truss rod puts more bow in the neck. Makes sense cause the strings are now doing the work

The picture of the 3 guitar necks 3  post back says if you have forward bow turn the TR counter clockwise (loosen).

Aren't they contradicting each other? Or does clockwise not mean tighten?

Least I checked left (CCW) is loose and right (CW) is tight. Or am I missing something?

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Tony say loosening the truss rod puts more bow in the neck. Makes sense cause the strings are now doing the work

The picture of the 3 guitar necks 3  post back says if you have forward bow turn the TR counter clockwise (loosen).

Aren't they contradicting each other? Or does clockwise not mean tighten?

Least I checked left (CCW) is loose and right (CW) is tight. Or am I missing something?

Oooh. That's kinda important. Turning the wrong way until it becomes apparent could strip threads or break something.

As you've noted, this is the reverse of what Gibson acoustics call for- it's still going to be lefty = loose-y (more forward bow in the neck). Unless the threads were reverse-threaded, which would just be downright evil.   : 0 !

EDIT: also, to OP JW3571- 'just a reminder that if the guitar had been in a dry climate or heated environment, the top could sink, causing the strings to be closer to the tops of the frets. or. . . could be a high fret (they can pop out of the 'board with climatic changes, too). These guitars are tested before leaving Bozeman. It would be interesting to see what they say re: warranty, or what the seller can do for you. Keep us posted.

Edited by 62burst

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Tony say loosening the truss rod puts more bow in the neck. Makes sense cause the strings are now doing the work

The picture of the 3 guitar necks 3  post back says if you have forward bow turn the TR counter clockwise (loosen).

Aren't they contradicting each other? Or does clockwise not mean tighten?

Least I checked left (CCW) is loose and right (CW) is tight. Or am I missing something?

That’s the reason I posted the 3 neck position video .  The first video doesn’t seem to have it correct.  Tightening the truss rod, going clockwise, adds or makes the bow (the inward U or the outward hump.)  Loosening the truss rod, relieves or relaxes the bow.  Keeping in mind that on Gibsons and most guitars (other than on Fenders I’ve heard), some form of a bow , although very slight in some cases, is generally needed, to keep the strings from buzzing along the frets as the strings or strings move forward from the nut.

Too much of a hump bow in the middle can cause the strings to buzz at any position from about the 4th fret up to the 7th fret.   Too much of a U bow in the middle can cause strings from the 7th fret position onward at any up the neck fretted position to buzz as the strings are rising up to the saddle and not clearing the upper frets.  Having too straight of a neck, not any bow (or too relaxed) can cause a string buzz in the open position or first fret position because the strings or string is not clearing the first or second fret on its way to the saddle because the neck has no bow in it at all and needs at least a slight bow in it (so all strings can clear all the frets in all places.)  Keep in mind, Gibson fretboards are not flat, but are slightly curved and strings have varying widths.  So it’s all a balancing act (or set up) of the truss rod, the saddle height, and to some lesser degree, the nut height.  (Although a way too deep scalloped nut can also play a role.  Though that is usually simply resolved by putting a very small drop (using a straight pin) of crazy glue into a string’s nut slot to slightly raise the slot once it dries and relines and raises the nut slot a bit.)

The whole thing is a balancing act of the neck bow, the saddle, and to a lesser degree the nut.  When I said it’s more an art than a science, what happens is loosening the truss rod, relaxes the U bow or hump bow, enabling the bow to then be reconfigured as a lesser bow or to start the process over as forming an optimal new U or hump bow for that particular guitar and string weight.  It’s art.  A trial and error thing even for an experienced luthier.  But, the first thing to do if their is a string buzz in an open to second fret position is to very slightly tighten the truss rod, to form a slight arc at the nut so the open string is sure to clear the first couple of frets.  Not loosen the truss rod, so there is no slight arc from the nut to the second fret.  Again, loosening the truss rod, removes an existing bow (or arc).  It’s kinda like too much bow or arc isn’t good, just enough in moderation is what’s needed for a specific situation.  Thus,it’s an art, not a science.  This, luthiers exist.

Hope this helps.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Edited by QuestionMark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“the string does appear to be pretty low in the nut.”

 

This could very well be the problem! Why not let a luthier have a look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I adjusted the truss rod for more relief.  The relief is at .015 and the buzz is still there on the open low E and open D.  It mostly goes when fretted but gets worse at the 8th fret. I tried tightening the truss rod and the buzz got worse.  Here is a pic of the nut.

Yes I can take it to a tech but I was trying to avoid that if possible.

98A119A5-FADE-4AC3-8BCD-4BFC6DFAE6A5.jpeg

9437F891-ACB1-44EA-AC55-FB0B9C6835B4.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those nut slots do look to be cut deeply. A good bit of white showing higher than the string tops in the 2nd pic. This was a previously unowned guitar, yes?

Where did you measure the relief? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you tighten the truss rod and it got worse. You need to loosen it. But you may need a new but if the slots are too deep. Is this a brand new guitar or just new (but used) to you. Take a look at a YouTube video on how to check relief in the neck you need to put a capo on the first fret and go to the 14th fret on every string, then push that down and every string you should be able to push to down a little bit  midway. About the 7th or 8th fret.

Your nut only affects 6 notes. The open ones. Once you fret any note on that string the nut slot is out of the picture.  Let's say you fret the high e string on the 12th fret and you're still buzzing the nut and frets 1 through 11 have no bearing on that note. You would have an issue with frets 13 - 20.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I measured the relief at the 7th fret.  It's a brand new guitar.  I've loosened the truss as far as it goes, to the point where it's completely loose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, jw3571 said:

I measured the relief at the 7th fret.  It's a brand new guitar.  I've loosened the truss as far as it goes, to the point where it's completely loose.

Okay, good.  You are at ground zero.  All of any bow is gone.   Is the open string or a first fret  buzz free?   Are the strings okay fretted at the 5th and 8th  fret?  If so, only tighten the truss rod slightly so the nut is no longer loose.   If the guitar is still buzzing at the 12th and 14th fret, your saddle Is too low.  That’s a different approach.   

If it only is buzzing in the open fret and/or first fret position, slightly tighten it more.  If it is buzzing only at the middle frets 4-8 or 9, slightly tighten the truss nut a bit more, so a slight U bow occurs in that section of the neck.  Remember, only slight tightening.  If you need to go back or balance it more, slightly loosen.  Only slight turns.

The photo of the nut.itself, doesn’t look bad.  I could be wring.  The strings I can see do not seem to be touching the first or second fret.  Although, I can’t see the first or second string and the fretboard from the photo.

Check each string at every fret position to ensure the string is clearing, even if only slightly, each fret up to the 19th.   

Let us know.  

BTW, is it possible the store made the saddle way to low to try to make the guitar have smooth as bitter action and just got carried away and went to low?  Check the saddle height for that if possible.  A modern day Gibson should have a bit of a high saddle on it, not a way low one like a vintage guitar night have.  Newer ones are made to have kinda high saddles.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jw3571 said:

I measured the relief at the 7th fret.  It's a brand new guitar.  I've loosened the truss as far as it goes, to the point where it's completely loose.

Said you measured at the 7th fret that is right. Do you have relief or not. With your TR completely loose it is like not having a TR and the guitar should have the most relief it is ever going to have in standard tuning with the gauge of stings you have on. If you were to put on heavier strings with the TR completely loose it would bow more.

My advice is take it to a luthier and not Guitar Center. You may have a saddle issue,  high fret(s), a nut issue, a truss rod issue, warped or twisted neck, ect. Just because the guitar is new doesn't mean it can't have a problem. Case in point your new guitar.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jw3571 said:

I measured the relief at the 7th fret.  It's a brand new guitar.  I've loosened the truss as far as it goes, to the point where it's completely loose.

You clearly know what you're doing, I feel sorry for that Gibson, though... Why do these premium instruments always land in the hands of the clueless, like a goblin stumbling over a pot of Stradivari violins?!

Edited by Leonard McCoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JW..

Do you have any feeler gauges?   those would tell you  what the gap measures ffrom the low E (bottom of the string) to top of fret.

It does look like the slot is a bit too deep.  But were just eye balling from a blurry photo.  if it's below 010.  it's probably too low.

for  quick remedy to see what's up,  you can use some baking soda and super glue mixture to raise it,  you'd need something to file it back down. 

Sadly the options for you are limited.  The fix is to have the nut replaced.  On a brand new guitar, that just aint right.  Where did you buy this?   A store? online?  Did they attempt a setup?  Normally the nut slots are too shallow coming out of the factory and usually need to be filed down.  So IME, this is unusual.

Edited by kidblast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ratherbwalkn said:

Being new to Gibson, with a acoustic guitar purchase, is there  a free setup with the warranty?  

Thank in advance! 

 

Not from Gibson. A NEW guitar you buy will come with a check list with all the specs written in by the QA person who signs off on it. The place you buy it from my offer a free set up as an incentive with the purchase, but mostly not. Learn to do your own and you never have to pay someone to do it again. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s not uncommon to require a setup with any new guitar. The Martins I’ve bought new, all had high action. Same for Gibson. It does seem to me that your particular problem might require a little more than a basic setup. It very well might be covered under warranty. However, I would think if you can afford a Dove, you can afford a setup. They aren’t very expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 6th string E looks ridiculously low to me. If I were you I would take this guitar to someone who is  certified to work on Gibson’s. I believe that a new nut would be covered under warranty.  If it’s not the nut, like I said before, a setup should not cause bankruptcy! 
one other question, have you replaced the strings! What size are they? Ok that was 2 questions.

Edited by Paul14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...