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Unread 11-10-2011, 07:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

Hi,

I have a few weeks old EPI tribute, and I have fret buzz on my A- string. Not on the open string; only when fretted so it's not a nut problem. I have read various potential reasons for fret buzz, but none of them explains buzz on one string only. Any idea what could cause this problem and how to solve it? Thanks
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Unread 11-10-2011, 07:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

Hi, you should probably have a taller fret. A fret level will be needed. Take a look on "Complete custom setup" at this section of forum.

Greetings
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Unread 11-10-2011, 07:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

One string isn't unusual at all, and it could be your bridge. I wouldn't be so quick to rule out the nut, either.
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Unread 11-10-2011, 08:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

River, Can you explain why the nut can't be ruled out, even if I have no buzz with open string? If it is the bridge, how to check it and how to solve it? The action is rather "normal", i.e. certainly not particularly low.

R2D2, Thanks for the link. I don't have a fret file. I tried to move a ruler up and down, but that didn't reveal any bumps.
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Unread 11-10-2011, 08:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

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Originally Posted by tributeman View Post
I tried to move a ruler up and down, but that didn't reveal any bumps.
Try to get some straight edge that covers only 3 frets at a time and check 3 by 3 around those where buzz sounds. There is an special tool for that and you can find easily some vids on youtube.
Locating it could be fairly easy, fixing it.... another different story.

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Unread 11-10-2011, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

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Originally Posted by tributeman View Post
Hi,

I have a few weeks old EPI tribute, and I have fret buzz on my A- string. Not on the open string; only when fretted so it's not a nut problem. I have read various potential reasons for fret buzz, but none of them explains buzz on one string only. Any idea what could cause this problem and how to solve it? Thanks
Did you put new strings on it? Could be a bad A string, perhaps (?) ... could possibly be fret related, but would seem odd that it only affects one string - is it in an isolated spot or all up and down the fretboard? River could be on to something, with the A string bridge saddle being a lil low, perhaps (?)...also, are you sure it's the string buzzing and not the retaining wire on the bridge? I'd replace the string(s), then examine the bridge. Personally, I find new strings to be a bit buzzy, at least on my setups, and am one of the probably few who like playing older strings,
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Unread 11-10-2011, 12:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

+1. I may be just me, but recent months have been the first time in over 50 years that I have bought new string sets (of differing brands), which include at least one string that is a defective "fret dragger". So a bad string is always a prime suspect for me in situations like this.
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Unread 11-10-2011, 04:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

A few weeks old? I'd take it back to where I bought it. Let them replace it with a guitar without issues! Why should YOU bare the burden of the fret buzz?
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Unread 11-10-2011, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

I will change the strings (it's about time anyway), and see what happens. I have a slight impression that this problem is slowly getting worse, but that could also be just because I am playing with less distortion now than in the first 1 or 2 weeks.

Phildog, Going back to the store is what I would do if it weren't 600 km away. I live in the middle of nowhere in China, and bought this guitar in Guangzhou. (authorized dealer, listed on Gibson's web site, checked very carefully, so I am 99% sure this is not a fake epi. But it's still and epi and not a gibson. However, for the price of a LP tribute, I'd expect a guitar without flaws)
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Unread 11-10-2011, 05:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

I agree with Phildog. However, Epi's warranty covers only a specified string height above the 12th fret on the high and low E strings. And that warranted action height is higher than I (and many others) like.

So I, and more than a few other's I think, believe Epi is protecting itself from warranty claims for fret buzz by warranting its new guitars to only a pretty high action.
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Unread 11-10-2011, 06:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

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Originally Posted by tributeman View Post
I will change the strings (it's about time anyway), and see what happens. I have a slight impression that this problem is slowly getting worse, but that could also be just because I am playing with less distortion now than in the first 1 or 2 weeks.

Phildog, Going back to the store is what I would do if it weren't 600 km away. I live in the middle of nowhere in China, and bought this guitar in Guangzhou. (authorized dealer, listed on Gibson's web site, checked very carefully, so I am 99% sure this is not a fake epi. But it's still and epi and not a gibson. However, for the price of a LP tribute, I'd expect a guitar without flaws)
Yeah, I'd imagine you wouldn't want to trek 600km, but what if you call? This is where good customer service would be an asset for you. It'd be nice if you posted back saying that they're sending you a shipping box to send it back. And that they're going to replace it FREE OF CHARGE...AND cover the cost of shipping both ways.

Stick to your guns and give them a call. It may work out great for you. I sure hope it does. Until then, I wouldn't do ANYTHING to it, just in case you can return it.

Good luck man!
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Unread 11-11-2011, 07:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

UPDATE: I Just put new strings on (D'addario EXL110), and the buzzing seems to be gone. But I do still wonder what now really the problem was. If that A-string was "bad" I would expect it to go out of tune or break, but I can't really physically explain the buzzing. Anyway, it's gone, and I hope it won't return.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

The quality of a guitar string can be measured by the quality of the metal, the density of the core string, the consistency of the winds, the elasticity of the metal etc etc.

Each string is designed to vibrate within a certain pitch, with a certain amount of tension and an intended length of travel etc etc.

Were those the original strings on it when you bought it new?

It could have been any of a number of things with that particular string. If they were original, there is no telling what could have been done to the string before you got the guitar.

It could be a weak spot in the core wire or even a place on the string where the windings were looser or tighter than normal allowing the string to travel further outside of its period than normal. This could cause the fret buzz.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 10:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

Tribute:

I put a new set of Dean Markley Hendrix strings on my Strat, which normally is capable of very low action. I made no other changes. The G string actually "fretted out" on the 8th fret when I fretted at the 7th. To get rid of the problem and to get rid of any buzz, I had to adjust the G string saddle as high as a telephone wire! There was no problem with the other strings. My first call was to my local luthier and friend who said "change the G string and call me back". I did so, and the buzz was gone with the action returned to my normal setting.

I've also had problems with DR Pure Blues strings that won't intonate on the D string -- on several sets.

So when I have or hear of any sort of action or intonation problem, defective strings are the first thing I suspect. Odd thing is, I've experienced such string defects only in the last couple of years, and I've been playing around with guitars since 1959!
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Unread 11-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

A couple months ago I thought I would try a set of Dunlop strings. I watched one of their videos about their string factory and how they are made with the utmost quality and care. So I ordered a few sets from Strings and Beyond. I put a new set of 10s on my R7 a day or two before a gig.

About three songs into the first set it pops the high E string and all the rest of the strings felt real gritty and old and hard to stretch. They really tore up my fingers that night. I took them off and threw them away the next day and put a set of GHS Boomers back on it.

Those strings were nasty. Hopefully I just had a bad batch or something. I normally always use GHS Boomers or EB 10s with no problems ever.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 04:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

Some of you younger guys maybe won't believe this, but in the "old days" getting a defective new string or set of strings just never happened. Now (damn it) it seems to be a common thing. And (believe it or not) with over 50 years of playing, I broke my first string just last year! These things are turning to crap.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 05:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Wink Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolebludger View Post
Some of you younger guys maybe won't believe this, but in the "old days" getting a defective new string or set of strings just never happened. Now (damn it) it seems to be a common thing. And (believe it or not) with over 50 years of playing, I broke my first string just last year! These things are turning to crap.
I think we were blissfully unaware.
There is nothing new under the sun.

As to breakage as we age - we learn how to properly string and how to handle strings. As a kid, a kink in a string between the nut and bridge meant nothing to me...on it went.
I also don't leave strings on so long they grow hair, anymore.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

Back in the early 80s touring on the road, I bought GHS strings in bulk and changed them at minimum once a week. Sometimes even more depending on our schedule. Don't ever remember getting bad strings or breaks during shows.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 05:31 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

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Originally Posted by Dolebludger View Post
Some of you younger guys maybe won't believe this, but in the "old days" getting a defective new string or set of strings just never happened. Now (damn it) it seems to be a common thing. And (believe it or not) with over 50 years of playing, I broke my first string just last year! These things are turning to crap.

I know back in the 80`s and early 90`s I used Dean Markley strings and never had a tuning or buzzing or breaking issue, could play 6 sets a night friday and saturday and not change strings for a month or 2 they held up A-1. Now I get about 3 weeks on a set and the high E breaks, sometimes at the tuner sometimes at the ball. And whats with ALL the different types of strings ? Its like they have a set for any european holiday going anymore.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 10:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: fret buzz on A-string only. Why?

During the 60s, 70s and 80s, I used too many brands to list. No string problems in those days. When my tone got dull, that meant it was time to change strings.
Conclusion: "they don't make 'em like they used to."
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