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buzz at the 10th frett on wards on a epiphone les paul 56 goldtop

brad chant

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hello everyone ive just bought a brand new 56 les paul goldtop and have a problem with fret buzz at the 10th and 11th fret on all the strings also the guitar has very high action. ive been on youtube looking and done adjustments to both the trust rod and bridge but it hasnt cured my problems i want to get away with out having to pay for a set up you see. The adjustments ive made where i lowered the bridge about 4 turns so theres only 3/4 threads showing on both screws and i gave the neck some relief by turning the trust-rod 2 turns clockwise looking at the neck from the bridge of the guitar. I made sure to re tune the strings after each adjustment so i dont know why none of this has worked does any1 have a solution?

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Two full turns on a truss rod is too much, unless your neck was bowed up significantly.

Remember, righty-tighty bends the middle of the neck up.

Lefty-loosy bends the middle of the neck down.

If you have turned the truss rod 2 full turns, you probably have a back bow now.

This will cause buzzing higher on the neck.


The way to set relief is this.


Tools required: Proper allen head for truss rod & feeler guage.

You could use a piece of 9 or 10 guitar string as a feeler, but they are not all that accurate, or easy to use.


1. capo 1st fret

2. Fret the bass E string at the 17th fret, with your finger.

3. measure how much distance you have from the bottom of the string, to the top of the 9th fret.

4. should be according to factory specs, about .012 inch.

5. I use a bit less, usually around .006 - .008


Set bridge Height.

Tools required: screwdriver for bridge screws. Nut files for bridge saddles.


1. Leave capo on. Measure height under bass E string to top of 12th fret.

Factory spec is: 5/64 in. or .078. This is too high in my opinion.

I usually go to about 1/16 or .062.


2. Set height at treble E string at:

Factory Spec is: 3/64 or .047.

I go to 1/32 or .032


If your nut is too high it will need work also.


IF ALL THIS SEEMS MIND BOGGLING, as Muzikron, our resident tech says,


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A couple of questions:


Does it buzz on all of the strings from the 10th fret on? Can you tell if it's the bridge that is rattling?


I bought a 2004 56 GT that I had to return for an exchange with these same symptoms. The neck itself was faulty. I wouldn't assume this is the same problem with yours, however you should probably have someone with lots of experience look at it (maybe a player you know, not necessarily someone who will charge you).


By the way, two complete turns on the truss rod is a lot. When I've adjusted them, a quarter turn makes a very visible difference in the relief.


Cheers and good luck. Buzzing can be a very frustrating thing. Did you buy this guitar new?

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Brad, I agree with Gord. Do as he says and if no satisfaction, don't forget the "power" of the warranty. You bought it new so you can take it back to the store. They should have a staffmember who knows enough to diagnose the issue. Ask for a replacement if it is not to your satisfaction.


Good luck.

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Howdy and welcome to the forum Brad! I concur on doing your own setup instead of paying someone else to do it. This way, you KNOW it's done right, but I also agree with the advice above ref the truss rod. I've never had to use more than 1/2 turn, and usually 1/8 to 1/4 will do the trick. I use an 18" straight edge and feeler guages to set my neck relief from .010 - .012 inches. "Bore sighting" your neck, ie. looking straight down from the tuner to the bridge, can you see a very slight bow in the neck? Some prefer an absolute straight neck, but this increases the potential for buzz, unless the neck and frets are on a very high precision build. I prefer to have a slight relief on my neck. Try this:


1. Hold the guitar in playing position with strings tuned to pitch.


2. Place an ~18" straight edge in the middle of the neck between the strings, right on top of the frets. The first few frets and the last few frets should be in contact with the straight edge.


3. Around the 7th fret, there should be a slight gap beteen the edge and fret...maybe enough to slide a playing card in between.


If no metal straight edge is in your arsenal, you can also use a capo at first fret, and another as high up as you can, and try a playing card under the strings at about the 7th fret.


This slight gap is the "neck relief" and this is what the truss rod is used to adjust...hope I didn't confuse you and hope this helps.

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hello everyone ive just bought a brand new 56 les paul goldtop and have a problem with fret buzz at the 10th and 11th fret on all the strings also the guitar has very high action. i want to get away with out having to pay for a set up you see.


Almost ANY new guitar needs to be set up before it is playable............

If you bought it @ a guitar shop, take it back and ask for the free setup they should have offered when you bought it..........

If you got it somewhere else, take it to a tech & have it setup before it's damaged.

Setups don't cost that much, and are just part & parcel of being a guitarist.

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If you just bought his guitar, I would take it back to the dealer and ask for a FREE setup because the guitar should never ave been sold to you like that in the first place. If they will not fix it, tell hem to jam it... and get a refund and buy one somewhere else.

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I'd be scared to turn a truss rod two full turns, especially with the strings at tension. It's not unusual for a new Epi to have some buzz from a high fret or a popped fret. I have done fret dressing jobs on both my Epis to get the action where it should be. I both cases, I had several very slight rockers that prevented a really good setup without sanding the frets and redressing them.

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It's a known fact to me at least that when I buy an Epiphone it may require some fret work.

A fret file is usually the most it needs and that only costs me $65 at the local Gibson Rep's shop so that can't be bad.


The problem is that the spec string height is a smidgeon too high for most of us and the factory does only what it takes to achieve that spec. Fret dressing is a fact of life for a new Epi in most cases. That's why we all should shop at stores that have a rackfull of Epis to choose from. Finding that jewel among the cubic zirconias takes some time and inspection. Mail order is "grab one and put it in a box" for the most part.


Epis are great guitars for the money. It's a shame that we can't opt to have our new Epi run through the computerized PLEK fret machine for an additional $100 before we get it. I understand that all Gibsons get that as a standard setup these days. I'd pay another $100 to get my Epi run through that process. I know that PLEK costs about $200 or so on a one by one basis at a repair shop, but it could be drastically reduced if done at the factory where they do dozens of PLEK jobs per day and have the resources to amortize the cost of the equipment. It should be standard or at least an option on an Epi.

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