Best or Easiest way to remove fret buzz on E and A strings?

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by greenoliver1, May 23, 2012.

  1. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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    I recently picked up a Epi les Paul standard, and It has some major fret buzz! I put heavier strings on it, as the Long and McQuade store stocks .9's, so I put on .10's. Helped some, so I tried raising the bridge, which didn't help, and I made small truss rod adjustments counterclockwise from the top side of the guitar.

    Any one have any suggestions on what may need to be done? I inspected the fretwire, and it was fine, and the neck is straight, so I find myself in quite the jam. My other one Was easy to fix.
     
  2. gem12

    gem12 Senior Member

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    Try clockwise turn a bit, see if would help :slash:
     
  3. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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    Didnt work, she's still buzzing at the 1-4 frets on the E and the same with the A
     
  4. Tone deaf

    Tone deaf Senior Member

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    With the guitar in playing position (on your lap). fret the string between the 2nd and 3rd fret (G on the low E string). When you do this, there should be a small space between the first fret and the string. If there is no space, your nut slot may be too low. Given that you have tried the bridge and TR, you might want to put a shim under the string in the nut slot, to elevate the string a little (given where the buzzing is occurring, I suspect that this will stop the buzzing).

    If that eliminates the buzz, then we can talk about a new nut or how to make a permanent shim for it.
     
  5. AxeBuilder

    AxeBuilder Senior Member

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    Take it to a luthier for a proper fret leveling.
     
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  6. Malchik

    Malchik Senior Member

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    +1
     
  7. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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    I checked the fret wires, and they were all perfect. The nut compared to my other guitars seems as if it's worn down really far. I'll try a dab of superglue in the nut to try and elevate it for now. Besides, how do you even change a nut? Just tap it out with a light hammer, and use wood glue to pop in a new one?
     
  8. KevinB

    KevinB Senior Member

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    As Tone deaf says, it's probably the nut, with the E and A slots cut too low.

    You can also try putting a capo on at the first fret. If the buzzing goes away, the nut is the culprit.

    The nut can be replaced, or with a little work, spot "fixed" with superglue and baking soda, but check it first.

    If you know what you're doing, replacing one isn't that hard, but you do need some fairly expensive files to cut a new one.
     
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  9. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    Huh? L&M stocks everything - what do you mean they stock .09s? Do you mean it came with .09s? If so, that has nothing to do with L&M as that is how it would have come out of the factory. If you bought it used then that was what the previous owner had on there.

    Take it back to L&M and have them do a setup. A complimentary setup comes with purchase so just have them do it.
     
  10. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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    The guy I bought it from at L&M said they usually restring them with Ernie ball .9-42's, so I assumed that's why was in there. I'll use to take it back if this persists. If I were going for another nut, I'd probably just buy a bone or graphite nut off of eBay, my friend reccomended the graphite thought.
     
  11. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

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    1st of all if the nut is too low open strings will buzz. Once you fret a string you take the nut out of the equation.
    Buzzing in the lower frets usually means overbowed neck (truss rod too tight)
    To check this with the guitar in playing position, fret the 1st fret on the Low E and the 17th Fret on the Low E at the same time. Now look between frets 7-9. There should be a tiny gap between the bottom of the string and top of the fret crowns. If it's touching you need too loosen the truss rod a bit (counterclockwise).
     
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  12. Dino Velvet

    Dino Velvet Senior Member

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    All of the above + it's the nut. Cheap easy way to tell, take a small piece of paper and put it in the the buzzing slots. Now put the stings back in. Buzz go away ? Good , now go to L&M and buy a new plastic nut. Might cost 50 cents. Sand down some of the plastic and mix it with crazy glue and fill up the buzzy slots. take a serrated steak knife and make new slots. This is the ultra cheap way to fix it.
     
  13. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys! The nut on the E and A are worn really bad, so I filled em with super glue, and I'm waiting for it to dry. Ill probably buy a bone nut, and wood glue it back in position.
     
  14. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    I've never heard of that before. I spend a lot of time at L&M and know several people who work for them and this is the first time I have ever heard that. They usually take guitars from the box and put then straight onto the wall.

    Which location do you shop at?
     
  15. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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    Saint John NB, the guy told my Mother when I sent her on a string hunt one day they sting guitars there with the .9-42's. Wether that has any element of truth to it or not.

    Also, the buzz is the E is mainly gone, but it's still bad in the A string up to the 5th fret, and the D is very slightly, but not enough to annoy me, maybe raise the Treble and work with the annotion or whatever work with the tune o matic bridge is.
     
  16. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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  17. GibsonMarshallGuy

    GibsonMarshallGuy Senior Member

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    Just take it to a luthier for a set up. Even though you think the frets look perfect they can still be uneven, that's assuming you already properly checked the neck. It doesn't sound like you know what you're doing (no offense), so ya take it to a real luthier and get it done right the first time...
     
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  18. KevinB

    KevinB Senior Member

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    I buy nut blanks from StewMac or LMII.

    But keep in mind that it's not just a matter of removing the old nut then gluing a new one in. Even pre-slotted nuts need to be adjusted for your guitar and the strings you use. And to do that properly, you need the correct tools.

    If you've never done this before find a good luthier.
     
  19. Tone deaf

    Tone deaf Senior Member

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    Read up on how to replace a nut (Dan Erlwine is the place to start) and see if you are up to it. Figure the cost of files into the equation (they aren't cheap). If the cost and concern about getting a perfect result bother you, have a pro do it. In either case, I'd go with a bone nut (if I couldn't get one made of blood diamonds or illicit ivory).

    Also, the guys above who mentioned fret leveling are also spot on (probably not just one problem with the set up). It isn't so much the general condition of the frets as it is the height of all the frets - in relation to one another, the bottom of the nut slot and the saddle slot. You can use a reliable, long metal straight edge to determine if they are level. I think it was KennyG (above) who correctly pointed out that fretting the string takes the nut out of play. So it sounds like the nut slots are too low and frets 2-4 might be too high.

    Again, I would recommend one of Dan Erlwine's books on guitar repair. I don't know Dan and I don't get a commission for recommending his books (If I did, I'd be retired). However, he covers all of the stuff that you need to know in a very straight forward manner and takes much of the "unknown" out of the mystery of guitar performance.

    It sounds to me, like the guitar should have been more properly conditioned before leaving the shop. If you purchased it without the expectation that you would need to replace the nut, I think you should go back to the shop (preferably, before you take a hammer and 'knock out the old nut') and go over the problems with them and tell them what you think is wrong with it and ask them to see what they think is wrong with it. Then they can fix for you, at their cost.

    If, as I suspect, they are a good lot at the shop, they should have no problem properly setting up the guitar for you, without charge (as from M&M, it's my understanding that it should come with any purchase there). They might balk at the new nut, but stick to your guns. If they are guitar experts, they should have diagnosed the problem and fixed it before selling the guitar.

    Otherwise, ask your mom to wait in the car and tell them where to put the guitar:)


    If you are seriously hooked on guitars and want to be able to do your own work on them, a set of nut files will be a good investment, over the long run. However, if you are new to working on guitars, they might not be my first purchase. There are cheap substitutions for widening and deepening existing nut slots (steak knife(?), oxy/acetylene torch cleaner, etc) but cutting fresh ones without the proper tools isn't impossible but it's asking for problems. For the cost of a set of good nut files, you can get a big (long) tool box and fill it with virtually everything you need for guitar maintenance and repair. Then keep your eyes open for a deal on the files, when you have a little extra jingle in your pocket.
     
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  20. greenoliver1

    greenoliver1 Member

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    I'd probably just buy pre slotted one, and use a string to wear it in place. I'll contact L&M first.
     

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