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Old 11-08-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Location: Moscow
Which strings produce less buzz?

I hate fret buzz so I have to dedicate lots of time to guitar setup. In the end the neck is as straight as possible, the strings are not too low, but I still get fret buzz on most frets with 1.7 mm action.

So the question is: what gauge of strings do I need to keep my action that low (1.7-2.0 mm) and still have absolutely no fret buzz?
Some facts confuse me. People always say that bigger strings need more space for movement. On the other hand, obviously, thinner gauge strings have less tension, so they vibrate more freely, producing some fret buzz.

So please help me. Do I need lighter or heavier strings?
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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that action is a little too low. typically, "low action" is somewhere in the ballpark of 2-2.5mm. anything less is simply too low to avoid fret-buzz completely.

also, the simple reality is that the lower you set your action, the more buzz you'll have. that's just how guitars work. I don't imagine 1 gauge up or down is going to make a tremendous difference in your case.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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I have low action on all my guitars with 10's and 11's, I can live with a small amount of buzz as long as it isn't noticeable through the amp. If it's noticeable then the action needs raising I'm afraid, not sure what guitar your playing but i have had good results with medium jumbo frets as opposed to extra jumbo as can get it a lot lower with minimal buzz.
Unfortunately if you want a very low action then there may be a small amount of buzz
and I don't think string gauge will change that.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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There is no real rule as to how high you action should be because some players pick hard while others don't so they can have a lower action.

But generally heavier strings require very slightly higher action than lighter strings with the same string tension applied as the larger diameter strings carry more energy so therefore they need more room to vibrate.

What you're forgetting to apply is the tuning your guitar is in because lower tunings cause lighter strings to be too loose, which is why you need to increase the gauge. Heavier gauge strings are tuned to a lower tuning to match the same tension as lighter strings.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE : 11-08-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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I think your problem is that your neck is too straight. You want a little bit of up bow in your neck. Obviously having too much means the action on higher frets is too high, so you only want a little. That's usually what sorts it, for a case of wanting low action.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:14 PM   #6
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Yeah, this is a setup issue and not a string issue. You should be able to adjust your guitar to play without buzz with any strings, so there's no string that won't buzz if it's on a guitar that wasn't adjusted right.

Start with the setup thread, figure out how to adjust your guitar properly, then use whatever gauge string sounds and feels best to you.

Try something new

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