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Pes Laul

Brand new Les Paul Std '59 - fret buzz

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Hi guys,

 

I just got my Les Paul Standard 1959 and it seems to be in a good shape, except for significant fret buzz

all the way from first fret up to 12th on E, A, D and G strings. I guess that suggests "back-angle" rather

than "back-bow"?

As I ordered the guitar abroad, my best bets would be to either take it to a shop or just adjust the rod

myself (assuming it's the rod that is the answer).

The action seems to be quite high, so that shouldn't be the problem. I'd rather see it lowered than raised.

 

So,

1. Do you think rod adjustment is the way to go?

2. Should I just do it myself?

 

And yes, I will post a pic soon. :)

 

/ J

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There are multiple possible causes of fret buzz, so it's impossible at this point to advise you. But let's continue by asking you a question: What is the action at the 12th fret?

 

Edit: If you haven't replaced the factory strings yet, you should oughta do that first.

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There are multiple possible causes of fret buzz, so it's impossible at this point to advise you. But let's continue by asking you a question: What is the action at the 12th fret?

 

Edit: If you haven't replaced the factory strings yet, you should oughta do that first.

 

Yep, I still have the factory strings on. I should probably go buy new strings tomorrow...

But I sure don't feel like leaving it in a shop over the weekend the first I do.

Maybe I should take it along though and just show them the state of the guitar though?

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There are multiple possible causes of fret buzz, so it's impossible at this point to advise you. But let's continue by asking you a question: What is the action at the 12th fret?

 

Edit: If you haven't replaced the factory strings yet, you should oughta do that first.

 

+1 replace the factory stings first ( i have an SG, when i bought it there was buzz and rattle all over the place, new strings and 90% cured)

 

once you have replaced factory strings with your favorite brand you can check the neck.

 

Simplest way is to hold down the 6th string at the 1st fret and at whatever fret the neck joins the body (use capo or capos if you need to) and see how much space there is between the string and the 7th fret (or in the middle) too much, and the neck is bowed, touching the fret, and the neck is too straight (or bent backwards).

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I'm also thinking that, after changing the strings, maybe it's wise to wait a week or so before doing

any possible adjustments. Theory being that when I got the guitar, the strings were 2-3 notes too

low, so maybe tighter strung strings will work the neck somewhat in the beginning?

 

Is there any truth in my speculation?

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Is there any truth in my speculation?

Some.....

 

For sure, it won't hurt to wait a bit. During that time, you can try to assess better what's causing the excessive fret buzz. Assuming there's nothing structurally wrong with the guitar (high frets, twisted neck), the causes of "abnormal/excessive" fret buzz may be any one or a combination of:

 

- Action too low

- Neck back-bowed or too straight (slight relief is commonly desirable)

- Too-low nut slots (would mainly cause problems with open string buzz)

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Can't say I blame you for not wanting to leave your guitar in the shop.

If you know and trust your tech/luthier that is one thing. Some are very good. Others I wouldn't trust with a guitar pick.

Nothing worse than getting a guitar back from the shop in six pieces and being told "it must have been that way when you brought it in." (slight exaggeration)

 

There is a lot of good-set up links in the DIY post at the top of the lounge.

 

This site is not listed but gives a good single over view to get you started:

http://mysite.verizon.net/jazz.guitar/guitarsetup.htm#Truss%20Rod%20Adjustment

 

If unsure about truss rod adjustment (after new strings and settling time) a good tech should be able to do it for you while you wait. He should let you watch so you can get the hang of it.

That aside, it is not difficult if you take your time.

Personally I tend to be overly cautious. (Loosen strings...no more than 1/8 turn...retune...Let set for 1/2 day...readjust) NO MORE than 1/4 turn in any 24 hr. period.

 

Often 1/8 turn (or less!) is all it takes.

 

 

Willy

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Thanks a lot guys for all the info.

 

I've changed the strings (Ernie Ball 10s) and things are a lot better!

Only minor buzzing now and so far I can't say that I see it as a problem.

 

As far as I know, the factory strings were also 10 gauge, however these strings

seem a lot more tense than the other ones, which should explain the improvement.

 

I'll keep on playing (practising) and we'll see what I think later on..

I tried to post a pic of the guitar in the welcome-section, but I got an error. :/

 

*Thanks everyone once more*

 

/ J

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[quote name='Pes Laul' timestamp='1287237946' post='765782'

As far as I know, the factory strings were also 10 gauge, however these strings

seem a lot more tense than the other ones, which should explain the improvement.

 

Factory strings are 10's.

I was told once that the factory strings are made from recycled barbed wire which had already been recycled from old

welding rod.

 

Willy

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I was told once that the factory strings are made from recycled barbed wire which had already been recycled from old

welding rod.

 

Considering how black my fingers were after using the guitar for just ~ 15 mins, I wouldn't be surprised if that

urban legend was true.

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just loosen the truss rod.with the new strings on use a straight edge on the frets sounds like your over tightened backbowed and someone who no not what they were doing tryed to raise the bridge to compinsate for lack of knowledge.

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There are a lot of good-set up links in the DIY post at the top of the lounge.

 

This site is not listed but gives a good single over view to get you started:

http://mysite.verizon.net/jazz.guitar/guitarsetup.htm#Truss%20Rod%20Adjustment

 

Willy

 

Willy, I gave the site a fast look-over, saved it to favorites so I can

look in more detail. Good instructions, goes over set-up (and more) very well.

I'll probably incude it in the "Guitar Set-Up" section, too. That will make SIX

links you can use to learn HOW. After that - NO MORE!

 

Old Chinese Proverb:

I HEAR, I forget.

I SEE, I remember.

I DO, I understand...

 

Six links will cover all those, with VIDS, PICS, and TEXT instructions.

Other than having a "Pro" or knowledgeable friend show you how, one of those links

should answer dang near ANY question you have regarding set-ups!

Thanks for the link!

 

AND, PesLaul ( [biggrin] ) WELCOME to the forum! We're the FRIENDLY GUYS! (Usually...).

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There is a lot of good-set up links in the DIY post at the top of the lounge.

 

This site is not listed but gives a good single over view to get you started:

http://mysite.verizon.net/jazz.guitar/guitarsetup.htm#Truss%20Rod%20Adjustment

 

Thanks for the link, had time to look at it now!

 

 

I have another newbie-question:

When I bend the strings on any fret really, it feels like there is sand between

the string and the fret - it simply doesn't glide smoothly. Is this because the

frets are brand new (never had a brand new guitar before), or something I should

be concerned about? (like poor material).

 

/ J

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I have another newbie-question:

When I bend the strings on any fret really, it feels like there is sand between

the string and the fret - it simply doesn't glide smoothly. Is this because the

frets are brand new (never had a brand new guitar before), or something I should

be concerned about? (like poor material).

 

Nothing to be concerned about....for now!

First: are you sure the (sandy) feeling is from the frets or the fret board?

Second: on a new guitar the fretboard and frets can always use some attention. (not a biggy...but precautions should be taken!)

 

As you just put new strings on your guitar, I would just play it for now. It will give you a good chance to get to know your guitar in case there are other areas that need attention. Put up with it until the next time you change strings. Not what you wanted to hear, I am sure...but... straight advice in my opinion.

 

One thing you mentioned was that the original strings were turning your fingers black. (we were joking about it)

This can be caused because of the original strings. It can also be caused by the Shoe Polish like stain that is often used on new guitars. If (with the new strings) it continues you will know it is caused by the fret board.

It too, can cause a scratchy feel. Both are an easy fix but precautions should be taken.

The fretboard and frets can all be taken care of the next time you change strings.

 

For now read this:

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/54572-wire-wool/

Animalfarm gives some good advice. It will give you excellent insight.

 

I will comment more (if need be) on precautions of fretboard scraping, not scratching up your inlays while doing so and fret polishing.

In the meantime, others may have there own insights for you.

Some members, I believe, have found products they use to clean the fretboard without scraping.

 

 

Willy

 

Edit: By the way, should the fretboard need to be scraped it is a one time thing.

It is often not necessary at all.

Fret polishing is a once in a while maintenance. Fretboard cleaning and conditioning is a once or twice a year maintenance.

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Nothing to be concerned about....for now!

First: are you sure the (sandy) feeling is from the frets or the fret board?

 

It wasn't as easy as I thought to find out.. It seemed to be worse the longer away from the fret I was,

which made me first think that it was the fretboard. However, it was still like that when pressing only on the fret.

And when I finally ran my nail over the fret, I could feel that it was "scratched".

There's a number of frets where I can't really feel this. Doing the nail-trick on them revealed them to be very

slinky and smooth..

 

So I'm now wondering how this can be, as I noticed it quickly when I played with the factory strings.

I have a hard time thinking that the factory-strings would have been so brutal to the frets that it ate them

up during a night?

 

One thing you mentioned was that the original strings were turning your fingers black. (we were joking about it)

This can be caused because of the original strings.

 

I haven't had black fingers after I changed strings. But now I suddenly got worried that maybe the blackness was

caused by the factory-strings eating my frets?

The thing that it felt more sandy when I pressed the strings down where one usually does, points towards that the

strings are rubbing at the same worn parts of the fret? [scared]

 

Both are an easy fix but precautions should be taken.

The fretboard and frets can all be taken care of the next time you change strings.

 

So I'm still not really sure what to make of this.. Will fret-polishing fix this?

Also, I saw another thread around here where someone complained about a "chipped" fret.

It feels like if the cause of my troubles is what I'm fearing, and these frets could also do that ("chip") quite quickly?

 

Now I'll go read the DIY-posts, while waiting for some amazing replies.

Thanks guys, you are being really helpful!

 

/ J

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Now I'll go read the DIY-posts, while waiting for some amazing replies.

Thanks guys, you are being really helpful!

J,

 

Sorry to say this is not going to be very amazing. In fact, it may be a little disappointing.

I don't think any of us on the forum would try to give a definitive answer on something like this.

I have written references for you to look at and given some advice. Under your circumstances I will not engage in guess work.

It would not be fair to you, your guitar or others that read this thread.

 

Pictures would help. To be perfectly honest, even that may not be enough. Your description of the situation has been both good and well thought out. There are many other factors, however, that enter into the situation.

Without actually seeing how you play, your finger pressure, examining the guitar and playing it myself I, for one, would only be guessing. Based on that, I can not say "Oh ya, do this and your problems will vanish."

For me to do that could possibly make a undesirable situation worse. Besides, right now it should still be under warranty.

 

If you sincerely believe you have a problem and you are not sure about it then take it back to where you bought it. Have them look at it. If you bought it online, take it to a good tech/luthier and have him look at it.

If you live in the Ann Arbor, Mich. area I would be happy to look at it with you. Then again, if you live around here there are multitudes of qualified techs. If you live anywhere else tell us where.

It is possible one of the members here can recommend one. As this is becoming an older thread you may want to start a new one. "Looking for good tech in "such and such".

 

The good news is that there is probably nothing wrong that a little TLC won't take care of.

Although it is possible that there is something wrong with the frets, it is rare. (though not unheard of)

Factory stings are generally lousy but I have not heard of them damaging a guitar in the short period of time that you had them on.

 

By the way, If you do take it to a tech and he says no problem. Watch him. If he pulls out a wad of steel wool make sure he also pulls out a role of masking tape to cover the pups! Personally, I use abrasive polishing pads.(and tape)

 

Willy

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I have had several new guitars where the frets felt a little rough when they were new. They will smooth out with some play time. I don't think there are any strings that would "eat" frets in such a short period of time. My guess is your guitar is fine and it just wants to be played. [thumbup]

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Willy, thanks for all the help and your kind offer to have a look at it yourself.

Sweden (Östergötland County to you fellow swede-like beings) I guess might be a bit too far for a day-trip for you, though. :-k

 

It's quite expected to get responses of all kinds, such as yours as well as Gunner's - who on the other hand tells me that playing

the darn thing is what makes it better.

The most important thing seems to be that I am -aware- of something that doesn't feel completely right and keep it under observation

(see whether frets without this problem gets it, or if frets with the problem loses it).

 

I'll just keep an eye on both the frets and fretboard and keep on playing until the next string-change and reassess, unless something

significant happens with the stuff I just mentioned.

 

Thanks again, guys.

 

/ J

 

EDIT: Oh, the promised pic is posted in the Introduction-section

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Some.....

 

For sure, it won't hurt to wait a bit. During that time, you can try to assess better what's causing the excessive fret buzz. Assuming there's nothing structurally wrong with the guitar (high frets, twisted neck), the causes of "abnormal/excessive" fret buzz may be any one or a combination of:

 

- Action too low

- Neck back-bowed or too straight (slight relief is commonly desirable)

- Too-low nut slots (would mainly cause problems with open string buzz)

 

 

Hey so I'm having the same problems. My R9 is my prized puppy, the buzzing isn't coming through the amp, and I am not a DIY guy when it comes to the R9. For me, that's like doing open heart surgery on your own kid.

Anyways, I did the 6th string - 1st and 7th fret check, and the string still BARELY sits above the fret. So it appears I've got good, nice low action.

 

I haven't changed the strings in a while, so that could be the buzzing, but I did notice that I have open string buzz problems, but also if I am to press down on any string on any fret for the (mainly the 4th-6th strings), then I get buzz (acoustically). None of the buzz seems to transfer through my amp, so I'm really lost as of now.

 


  •  
  • The neck appears to be straight, and the string still sits above all the frets (as I mentioned earlier, I used the trick you all stated.)
  • The tailpiece is pretty damn low...
  • The intonation isn't perfect right now
  • Open string buzz - IF I need to replace the nut... Where am I going to be able to get the same one that is "befitted" upon the 59 reissues?
  • I need to get some new strings
     

 

Main question, should I just take this puppy in and get it checked out and set up properly after I buy some strings and try that out?

 

Thanks guys, any help is appreciated.

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Epiphones buzz, it's that simple. You can get the truss rod properly adjusted, frets leveled and polished, bridge saddles adjusted for proper height and intonation and it will still buzz. This quote is straight from the Epiphone electric guitars owners manual : "guitars with lower than normal action will exhibit string buzz. This is not a defect in the instrument".

 

Epiphoneownerbuzz.jpg?t=1297562314

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Epiphones buzz, it's that simple. You can get the truss rod properly adjusted, frets leveled and polished, bridge saddles adjusted for proper height and intonation and it will still buzz. This quote is straight from the Epiphone electric guitars owners manual : "guitars with lower than normal action will exhibit string buzz. This is not a defect in the instrument".

 

Epiphoneownerbuzz.jpg?t=1297562314

 

Epiphones buzz? You mean all Epiphones buzz? Gotta say "nay" to this one [-X . Get the guitar setup properly if it is buzzing. Between my son and I, we have an Epi Les Paul Std, an Epi Dot, an Epi Casady bass and an Epi Masterbuilt acoustic. None of them have fret buzz. The key to the quote is, "...guitars with lower than normal action will exhibit string buzz." Too low action also inhibits bending and finger vibrato.

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Epiphones buzz? You mean all Epiphones buzz? Gotta say "nay" to this one [-X . Get the guitar setup properly if it is buzzing. Between my son and I, we have an Epi Les Paul Std, an Epi Dot, an Epi Casady bass and an Epi Masterbuilt acoustic. None of them have fret buzz. The key to the quote is, "...guitars with lower than normal action will exhibit string buzz." Too low action also inhibits bending and finger vibrato.

 

 

I also have several Epiphone guitars that do not "buzz", even with "low action". Well,actualy they do buzz wiith "agressive attack", which is what I would expect on any guitar. All guitars, like people" have their own individual voice. Some "voices" are "gruffer" than others. I love my Epiphones, They give me a "good buzz" Nyuk nyuk. [woot]

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Epiphones buzz, it's that simple. You can get the truss rod properly adjusted, frets leveled and polished, bridge saddles adjusted for proper height and intonation and it will still buzz.

Absolutely ridiculous statement, just outright ludicrous.

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Absolutely ridiculous statement, just outright ludicrous.

 

 

Ludicrous or not, it's written right in the book, by Epiphone themselves. This isn't the only web site that I've seen Epiphone guitar owners complain about "fret buzz". Some have it, some don't. Epiphone acknowledges that their guitars have fret buzz, so what. +:-@

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Ludicrous or not, it's written right in the book, by Epiphone themselves. This isn't the only web site that I've seen Epiphone guitar owners complain about "fret buzz". Some have it, some don't. Epiphone acknowledges that their guitars have fret buzz, so what. +:-@

The book that comes with Epiphone guitars is about minimising complaints and liability as much as it's intended to be useful, all product manuals are the same.

 

But to say "You can get the truss rod properly adjusted, frets leveled and polished, bridge saddles adjusted for proper height and intonation and it will still buzz. " is just a complete and utter lie, ridiculous in the extreme, if someone had all that setup work done and the frets still buzzed it's time to shoot the tech/luthier who done the work, it's his/her fault, not the guitar's.

 

To attribute these anomalies to only Epiphone guitars is also wrong, any brand will act the same given a poor setup.

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