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  #1  
Old 11-06-2019, 12:24 PM
foxo foxo is offline
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Default Fret Buzz only in one spot

I’ve had this really irritating issue crop up recently, happens only after I change strings. I am getting fret buzz only when fretting 3 on the low E string and it’s coming from the 2nd fret. For some reason it’s only when using pick rather than thumb (even when I strike the string hard with the thumb). If I fret both 2 and 3 at the same time it completely stops, although obviously that isn’t a solution.

Last time I gave a bit of relief in the truss rod and that seemed to sort it but I’m wary of giving more relief. I think the action is already quite high looking at the photos, what would you say?

What might be causing this? I tried tightening the truss rod just because I thought it was worth a shot and was convinced I could see a bit of forward bow but string buzz cropped up on G B and high E around frets 3 - 7 when using capo as had previously happened before I loosened the truss rod.





Is it even possible I got a three pack with defective strings?
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Last edited by foxo; 11-06-2019 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:41 PM
BluesBelly BluesBelly is online now
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From your posted pictures it's apparent that your guitar needs a setup. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself find a good guitar tech or luthier.
There are several steps involved that must be done in the correct order.
These steps involve adjusting the neck so it has the correct relief, making sure the nut height is correct and each string slot is at the correct depth, making sure the fret heights are correct and in alignment, and adjusting the saddle to the correct height as well as adjusting the intonation.

There are many websites and Youtube videos that can help you learn the finer points of doing this yourself. Sometimes special tools are required but oftentimes a basic adjustment is all that is required. Do Not adjust the truss rod unless you are sure of what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve.

No, it's not defective strings. If you have changed string gauges it can make a difference in the neck relief.

Judging from your photos it appears that more neck relief is required and your saddle should be lowered a bit. That would be the best case scenario.


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Old 11-06-2019, 12:47 PM
foxo foxo is offline
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Thanks for advice. What’s irritating is that the guitar was set up well by a luthier maybe about a year and a half ago when the Baggs pickup was fitted. I’m not sure what’s happened between then and now but the action certainly didn’t used to be this high. I did only start storing the guitar in the case with Humidipaks maybe eight months ago max, I am wondering whether incorrect humidity prior to this has caused it.

The intonation is spot on by the way.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:56 PM
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If you’re only getting buzz at one spot, the most likely culprit is a high fret. Take it to a competent repair person and they’ll be able to fix it easily. You should be able to get low action and clear notes on all frets but it requires level frets, proper nut action, proper relief, and proper saddle height. Rather than pull your hair out trying to fix it, take it to someone.

Action changes over time, especially in new guitars. Every new guitar I’ve ever owned has needed material removed from the saddle after the first few months and up to 2-3 years after. The top is stretching, the neck joint is settling, etc.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:01 PM
Edgar Poe Edgar Poe is offline
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Just a wild guess, but Maybe the pick is applying greater force to the string and causing more intense vibration. Then coupled with a slightly higher second fret.
Using thumb limits the vibration intensity of the string not allowing the string to move enough to contact the fret.

Just a guess.

Ed
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Last edited by Edgar Poe; 11-06-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:05 PM
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Thanks for advice so far. Looks like I am going to half to suck it up and take it in for repair again (this is the sort of time it would be nice to have a second acoustic... ).

Would you say the action is especially high towards the twelfth fret? Iíve only been playing guitar a few years so I donít have much to compare it to.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:16 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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A high fret or a dented/worn fret will both cause this. If a fret is worn down, the fret below it is too high in relationship to that wear and will cause buzzing. Even if the wear does not make the fret below it too high, a flattened fret will have multiple points of contact instead of one - this also causes buzzing. If there is no visible wear, probably a high fret below.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxo View Post
....Would you say the action is especially high towards the twelfth fret?.....
From the first photo I would say it looks very low. From the second photo I would say it looks very high.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:46 AM
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I had a similar odd 3rd (or maybe it was 4th) string buzz, but only at the 12th, 13th and 14th frets. A professional fret crowning fixed it in my case.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxo View Post
If I fret both 2 and 3 at the same time it completely stops, although obviously that isnít a solution.
Do a search on "back buzz". That appears to be what you are describing, though that usually happens further up the neck where the "non-vibrating" portion of the string is longer.

It could be due to a high second fret, particularly at its end. Look carefully at the end of the 2nd fret: the bottom of the fret crown should be seated against the fingerboard. You can press on the end of the fret with the eraser end of a pencil to see if the fret moves.

It could also be due to the nut being a hair too low. Increasing the neck relief effectively raises the string height at the nut slightly, which might explain why adding relief eliminates the problem, at least at that fret.

It could be due to uneven frets resulting in the issue you describe with the capo.

A typical string height, as measured from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the strings, is about 3/32" for the bass E and a little less for the treble E string. From the photo, yours appears to be higher than that. A typical amount of neck relief is less than .01" between the top of the 7th fret and the bottom of the string when the string is fretted at first and 14th frets.

Is sounds like a setup is in order, possibly with some fret levelling.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:45 AM
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RalphH RalphH is offline
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I've had back buzz on frets 2 & 3, but only as a result of a nut that was cut too low - which is exactly what yours looks like. That is some very low action on fret 1... Might be that yours has worn low if you've not been fiddling. A repair shop should be able to fill it for you a little, or replace the nut if needed.

Last edited by RalphH; 11-07-2019 at 07:08 AM.
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