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Old 11-21-2020, 07:02 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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Default New guitar with fret buzz - send back?

If you buy a guitar online and it comes with some slight fret buzz, the only thing you can really do is adjust your truss Rod, correct? If you still have some buzzing after adjusting the truss rod, is the only alternative to send it back? What else can be done? New guitars shouldn’t need fret work.

I bought the guitar online through Reverb through a large dealer called Music Zoo in NY. It was shipped out last Thurs from NY to Atlanta. I got it Sat afternoon. So I've had it for 2 days now, so it may very well have just needed to be humidified and acclimate for a few days. We'll see....

I have 14 day return period with Music Zoo. Their policy says buyer pays for return shipping unless item is "not as described". So I'm not sure if some string buzz would qualify for free shipping on the return or not? I guess you could make the argument that a new guitar shouldn't have string buzz???

OK some more details about the current setup....

I know how to do most setup related things myself but I'm not an expert. The neck had almost no relief, so I loosened the truss rod about 1/4 turn and now it measures .010. The action is a touch over .090. I like it at .090 or a smidge lower. The neck appears straight, with no abnormalities, but this is just using my own eyesight. The bridge is new, so it's plenty high. The nut seems to be OK, since the buzzing isn't on any open strings. I can double check the nut again and try to measure clearance, but that's not so easy to do. The buzz is mostly from the B string and on frets 1-5. I will double check later and try to pinpoint the buzz more. I checked the frets with a fret rocker and there were a few with a tiny amount of "rock", but nothing major. I will recheck those again more carefully today.

For those interested, here is a little demo video I made, but its only recorded with a cell phone. You probably won't be able to hear any fret buzz on this video, but you can hear and see the guitar itself.

https://youtu.be/XEKxbzNrFFw
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Last edited by JackB1; Yesterday at 10:42 AM.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:20 PM
rstaight rstaight is offline
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Have a setup done. If after the neck has the proper relief and it is still buzzing the next step is check fret level. This is where a professional may be needed.

Just because the guitar is new doesn't mean it is perfect.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:01 PM
buddyhu buddyhu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstaight View Post
Have a setup done. If after the neck has the proper relief and it is still buzzing the next step is check fret level. This is where a professional may be needed.

Just because the guitar is new doesn't mean it is perfect.
Yes. Get a set up done.

Most of my guitars have needed set ups when I got them. Some that didnít need set ups when I first received them ended up needing them when I put slightly different strings on them.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:08 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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I usually do my own setups. I can do relief and saddle sanding but thatís it. I guess Iíll let it humidity for a few days since I just got it. Then Iíll take a closer look at the frets and nut. Iím just wondering if it would be smarter/easier/cheaper to just return it for another one?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rstaight View Post
Have a setup done. If after the neck has the proper relief and it is still buzzing the next step is check fret level. This is where a professional may be needed.

Just because the guitar is new doesn't mean it is perfect.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:09 PM
Guitarplayer_PR Guitarplayer_PR is offline
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Originally Posted by JackB1 View Post
If you buy a guitar online and it comes with some slight fret buzz, the only thing you can really do is adjust your truss Rod, correct? If you still have some buzzing after adjusting the truss rod, is the only alternative to send it back? What else can be done? New guitars shouldnít need fret work.

No matter if it's new or used, always setup any guitar you buy. ALWAYS
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:25 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is online now
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Yes. Return it.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:57 PM
rstaight rstaight is offline
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If you return it you very well could have the same problem. If no buzzing it will still need setup.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:05 PM
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KevinH KevinH is offline
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Yeah, that's a bummer.

Is it buzzing on all strings?

Only when fretted, or open too?

Have you measured the action?
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:14 PM
mcmars mcmars is offline
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My experience is that most guitars need to settle out with humidity for and week or so and many times the action and fret buzz can go away. I always wait for a bit before I do anything to it as if you spend time and money to have a set up, now, it may not be good in a month.

Not sure what kind of climate you are in and what your return window is, but maybe contact seller and let them know and give it some time if you can. Most guitars are not set up right new as they expect the owner to do a set up to their liking after they buy the guitar. How can a guitar builder set up an instrument when they have no idea where it will end up or what the new owner is going to want. So most are set up high.

It is easy to determine where the buzz is coming from and determine if it just a high fret or something more serious. Fret rocker tool and a straight edge will tell you what is going on. There are at least 5 variables that are likely cause: the relief, easy to check with no tools, the nut slot height, frets level or not and is there issues with neck angle or humps and the saddle height. so more than just the relief.

The relief is not really what you would adjust for fret buzz, you adjust that to have a tiny bit of relief or bow in neck, unless it is now in a back pow position, then that would be the likely source of fret buzz. Maybe best to take it someone who knows how to to good set ups and have them evaluate it for you, then you can decide. Also, if someone ut way light strings, then that could also be the issue.
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:41 AM
Nick84 Nick84 is offline
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Iíd give it some time to settle. Might just need a fret levelling somewhere. What guitar is it?
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:45 AM
Matt McGriff Matt McGriff is offline
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You have to wait a few days, especially this time of year, and especially if the climate where you live is vastly different from the climate the guitar was shipped from.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:02 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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You don't say what kind of guitar it is, or the maker. For me, a guitar moves a bit when it's brand new, can take up to a year to really settle down. This is the season when it moves a lot, as we go from humid summer to dry winter. Adjusting the truss rod to correct a fret buzz is not the best way to go about it, you adjust the truss rod to set relief, and that's the only thing you do with it. While it's true that incorrect relief might cause a fret buzz, that's a side effect, not a primary effect. Anyway, if it's a generic factory made instrument of little or no intrinic value to you yet, send it back. If it's unique in some way, or means something to you, fix it. Personally I don't get buying an instrument mail-order than I haven't played, but I'm about to advise a friend to do exactly that, for the same reason that you probably did - not available near me, so if I want one I need to do the mail-order thing. Advice to get or do a basic setup is correct, advice to use a fret rocker to find the high fret is correct, if you decide to keep it. It might be something else causing a buzz, not a fret, keep that in mind.
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:58 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is online now
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Hi Jack, as mentioned fret buzz can sometimes be eliminated by acclimating the guitar to the current, properly humidified, environment and a truss rod tweak. Sometimes fret buzz is related to a high fret, or a nut slot, or a saddle, etc.

What's your return period? If you like the guitar and you have 30 days I'd let it acclimate a week and get it looked at by a tech to determine the cause.
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Old 11-22-2020, 01:00 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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14 day return period.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Hi Jack, as mentioned fret buzz can sometimes be eliminated by acclimating the guitar to the current, properly humidified, environment and a truss rod tweak. Sometimes fret buzz is related to a high fret, or a nut slot, or a saddle, etc.

What's your return period? If you like the guitar and you have 30 days I'd let it acclimate a week and get it looked at by a tech to determine the cause.
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Old 11-22-2020, 01:03 PM
JackB1 JackB1 is offline
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A little more info...

Itís a Epiphone J45. Brand new model that just hit the stores. Bought it online from a large dealer. If I return it, they will refund me or exchange it but I may have to pay shipping.
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