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Old 12-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
filter2700
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Buzzing sound - truss rod adjustment

So heres the deal, it recently started getting cold here (I'm in Minnesota), and I haven't changed the default strings that came with my new guitar, I got the guitar right as fall started when it was about 60-70 degrees outside. I never had any problems with buzzing then, never had to adjust the truss rod.

So now its winter, and my old strings lost their tone. So I bought some medium gauge strings (Ernie Ball slinky acoustic, .12, .16, .24, .32, .44, .54 phosphor bronze) to replace the default ones. I've adjusted my truss rod multiple times before on my old guitar, never had any problems, but that was a laminate top (a cheap first act guitar), whereas my new one is a spruce top. The point is, I'm relatively confident I understand the basics of adjusting a truss rod, and I was able to get rid of any buzzing on the first act acoustic.

But now, I replaced the strings with medium gauge ones, adjusted my truss rod very thoroughly (going about an 8th of a full turn every time), and there is terrible buzzing. It is so bad when I try to pick any string (all of them, EADGBe) between the 4th and 12th frets (roughly), there is no sound of a specific note, just that buzzing. I carefully loosened the strings, tightened my truss rod as much as it could go (until it became hard to turn clockwise, then I stopped not wanting to damage anything), and then re tightened the strings to standard tuning. Nope, still buzzing. I basically worked my way "down" by loosening the strings, loosening the truss rod (counter clock wise) slowly (about an 8th of a full turn), and re tuned my guitar to standard tuning. Nope, still buzzing. I did this over and over and over, spent about an hour doing this, and the only time the buzzing got any better was when the truss rod had good balance (wasn't too straight, wasn't too bent). Even then, the buzzing was still there between the 4th and 12th frets of every string.

After doing research, my guitar came with light gauge strings. I thought, "maybe my guitar only takes light gauge strings," which isn't too big of a deal to me. So I went out and bought some Ernie Ball Earthwood acoustic strings (.11, .15, .22, .30, .42, .52) and repeated the monotonous task of trying to adjust my truss rod. I started with the truss rod tight (very little bend), and worked my way "down" just as I had with the medium gauge strings. This time, the low E string (thicker one) wasn't as bad, I could practically pick any string on any fret with little buzz. But all the other strings had the same problem (can't hear any specific note after picking a string between 4th-12th frets).

This is incredibly frustrating, I don't know what the problem is. I took my time, did this carefully, and I'm getting buzzing so bad that I can't even pick strings. Does anyone have any idea as to something I can do to fix this? Is it possible its simply the weather? I do not have a humidifier (I know I need one), so could buying one that goes into the sound hole possibly fix this issue? The last resort will be taking it into a shop, but I wanted to see if there is anything I can do to fix this. My guitar is a Washburn WD10SCE: http://www.washburn.com/products/ac...age/wd10sce.php.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
stepchildusmc
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i would get a humidifier, stick it in a spare room and leave the guitar in there for about a week.
if that doesn't work, i'll e-mail you my address and send it to me( well, only if it's a Taylor, Martin or Gibbie) i'll check out the issue and promptly send it back before the century is out.
i live in northern NY and it gets pretty dry here and if i didn't have 2 humidifiers in my guitar room( glorified extension on my man-cave) mine will do the same thing.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:14 AM   #3
Captaincranky
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Well, there's only really one correct setting for neck relief. That's about .010 "relief", measured at the 6th fret, (bottom of string to top of 6th fret),with the guitar capoed at the 1st fret, and fretted at the 12th.

If anything, with no adjustments made to the guitar, the medium gauge strings should have buzzed LESS, as they have higher tension, and would pull the action higher! (Action higher, less buzz is the equation).

As Stepchild suggests, the expansion (a convex top makes the action higher) or shrinkage (a concave top makes it lower. This is the more likely scenario, given low humidity )of how your top may be altering the action.

While neck relief is necessary, it certainly isn't the only source of fret buzz.

Too low an action, and/or a top nut grooved too deeply, can produce it every bit as severly. In fact, a perfectly fretted guitar, can possibly not need, or need very little neck relief.

Make any adjustments in this order:

1,Set the neck relief.

2. Set the action height

3: (and you screw with this at your own peril), set the top nut depth.

It has to be done in that order.

In your case, it could come to pass that you need to put shims under the saddle to raise the action.

Basically, the action height should be about 1/8" @ the 12th fret. At least that's a good starting point.

(IMO, of course), you should stay away from medium strings. Long scale acoustics, (25.5" scale) generally don't need them, and makers don't ship with them to protect the instruments.

There are occasions that call for medium strings. If you're addicted to bass and volume, or you have a very heavy touch, then go for them. Anybody else can, and will, do just fine with the lights.

A very good setup guide: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/...up_page_01.html
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:29 AM   #4
filter2700
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Thanks for all the help... I looked at my guitar and realized my saddle fell off... wow I feel pretty dumb right now lol... but I'm very happy. I simply put the saddle back into its spot (was on the ground in my room this whole time), and now the guitar is working... At least it was an easy fix :P
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:17 AM   #5
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umm...uhh... yeah... that was my second guess.... yeah yeah, thats it ! i was gonna mention to you to look under that pair of spidey underoos and milky way wrapper and pick up the saddle and put it back on.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:05 PM   #6
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filter2700
Thanks for all the help... I looked at my guitar and realized my saddle fell off... wow I feel pretty dumb right now lol... but I'm very happy. I simply put the saddle back into its spot (was on the ground in my room this whole time), and now the guitar is working... At least it was an easy fix :P
Somebody forgot something esle didn't they? Like theses maybe?
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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i hope to never see those again Cranky... unless i go back to San DIego like last month.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:26 PM   #8
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepchildusmc
i hope to never see those again Cranky... unless i go back to San DIego like last month.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Somebody forgot something esle didn't they?
Oh Christ, I spelled "else" wrong....
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:32 PM   #9
tuxs
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Spelt Cranky Spelt.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #10
stepchildusmc
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lol tuxs !!! you DO have some redneck in you ! i kow a guy in Alabama selling a house... you know how to play "dueling banjos"??? dat's a rite perty mouth you gots !
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:16 PM   #11
Captaincranky
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OK, you two need to watch, "Last Man Standing" ABC Friday Night
@8:OO PM. (Tim Allen stars) It's the last cracker comedy on network TV.
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