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Old 04-26-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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Need to fix Epiphone SG to remove fret buzz

I'm noob to guitar work, but don't want to spend dough on luthier, so I want to try DIY fix.

Plus, I paid for a luthier to set up guitar and that is when I started noticing the fret buzz, so now I am (1) pissed at the luthier, and (2) distrustful of paying for work, and (3) not wanting to sink MORE money into a rather cheap guitar.

The buzz is on multiple strings, usually only when played open, but some strings buzz when fretted. The buzz comes from somewhere around the headstock, nut area. When a fretted string is buzzing, the buzz is behind where I'm fretting, again around the nut. Sometimes holding a tuning peg or touching string behind nut lessens buzz, but does not always eliminate it (to my ear).

I tried going back to luthier over this, but he claimed the problem was that my tuning pegs were cheap (they are the stock ones) and needed to be replaced, but I cannot see how that is the issue. He's some guy working out of his garage, so I think I cannot get any satisfaction there.

My first attempt was to raise the action at the bridge. I've raised it pretty high, no noticeable effect on buzz, which I was afraid of since buzz was not coming "downstream" from frets.

I read something about fret buzz possibly coming from strings being wound wrong on tuning pegs, which would be a simple fix, I guess, if that could be the cause.

I also read about the nut being too low or gaps for strings to pass through being too wide (?). I read something about using paper to shim in the gap in nut. I also read about doing a baking powder / superglue mix to fill in gap in nut somewhat. I also read about raising whole nut by putting wood piece under it, shimming nut in its entirety.

I'm sort of going on the assumption that truss rod / neck angle is okay because, from what I've read, if that's the problem, it's going to be beyond me to fix and that means more money on a luthier who may or may not be full of shit.

So basically I'm ready to get to work on nut-related fixes or even tuning peg / string winding fixes, in the hopes that solves it and, if not, I'll have gotten a bit more familiar with DIY work on my guitar, and I'll set this guitar aside till I'm in frame of mind to go to another luthier.

Sorry, I'm still sort of venting as well as seeking help / advice, so hope you can wade through the frustration and offer suggestions like what is most likely cause of this kind of multi-string buzz coming from around headstock / nut / pegs, and what order I might try these fixes based on that, or maybe good links to demo videos for these fixes. Or even warnings like, "Whatever you do , don't do ....x, y z"


Last edited by krm27 : 04-26-2013 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Derby, UK
Originally Posted by krm27
I'm sort of going on the assumption that truss rod / neck angle is okay because, from what I've read, if that's the problem, it's going to be beyond me to fix and that means more money on a luthier who may or may not be full of shit.


Actually these are probably the easiest things to fix. Truss rod easy to adjust for correct neck (nearly straight, very slightly convex). Neck angle, not probe, take it off and shim it.

But from what you say the nut slots have been cut too deep. Shim the nut or fix a new one on. If you current one is plastic a proper bone one in it may improve the tone. Nut slot files are expensive but you can make some out of a set of feeler gauges.

Or a quick bodge fix like this may get you going:



Last edited by PSimonR : 04-26-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:12 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2008
I am a noob at screwing with guitars but it might be the saddle. you might have to raise it a little bit on each string that is buzzing. when I first started playing I took a friends guitar and "fixed" it. now that I have a couple years of practice behind me I looked at it again and discovered I screwed up the intonation and lowered all the saddles to the same height. the lowering of the saddles seemed to cause the buzz and when I fiddled with it, I ended up fixing the buzz. I need to remember to fix the intonation soon. I hope that helps, but it probably wont.
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