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Old 01-20-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
shirtvest
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Please Help: Fret Buzz on Low E (ignorance is not bliss)

I recently changed just the low E string on my electric guitar. Soon after, i received the dreaded fret buzz. It's not on any particular fret, frequent when I play harder (open or fretted). I can actually see the string vibrating, slightly grazing the fret board and hearing the horrible, zangy metallic sound. It doesn't come out of my amp but it's damn annoying when I'm trying to learn a new song. I'm fairly new to guitars, a complete noob when it comes to guitar mechanics.

I'm sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong section, I read the FAQ and I think it should be okay. I checked on google, but in general the sites don't mention anything about just one string being f**ked. please don't ban me for cursing ^^.

Thank you

Last edited by shirtvest : 01-20-2013 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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What kind of guitar is it; strat, les paul, etc.? Is the string gauge of the E string the same as the set that was on your guitar before?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
shirtvest
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sorry for the late reply. haven't been around a pc in a while
It's an Ibanez Gio GRX. low action. not sure about original gauge but im guessing it was .09 - .42 it mentioned something in the manual i got with it but it was a standard manual for all Ibanez GIOs...i got it second hand.
I never had trouble with it until I changed the low E. some of the original strings have snapped off. the 1rst,2nd,4th and just recently the 6th string have all snapped. I changed the snapped ones as they broke and had no problems. I now use .10 to 46 gauge strings. i think the only original strings on the guitar are the 5th and 3rd. whenever a string broke I used new ones from this brand of string called XL but recently i bought the brand Slinky and used the Slinky low E string. the Gauge of both Slinky and XL are the same but I never changed the Low E before...i was pretty shocked when it broke.

After i switched the string a horrible buzz came out like it was slappin the board. But the 5th and 4th etc were fine. So I took off the low E and open fretted the 5th. now 5th 4th 3rd and very slightly the 2nd are all buzzing like bees. I'm new to fret buzz so just to be clear the buzzing isn't coming from the amp, It's coming from the guitar.

Do you think I need to adjust the Truss Rod or is there a simpler solution to this dilemma?
Thanks for responding and sorry for taking up you time man. R.A.T.M for life
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shirtvest
sorry for the late reply. haven't been around a pc in a while
It's an Ibanez Gio GRX. low action. not sure about original gauge but im guessing it was .09 - .42 it mentioned something in the manual i got with it but it was a standard manual for all Ibanez GIOs...i got it second hand.
I never had trouble with it until I changed the low E. some of the original strings have snapped off. the 1rst,2nd,4th and just recently the 6th string have all snapped. I changed the snapped ones as they broke and had no problems. I now use .10 to 46 gauge strings. i think the only original strings on the guitar are the 5th and 3rd. whenever a string broke I used new ones from this brand of string called XL but recently i bought the brand Slinky and used the Slinky low E string. the Gauge of both Slinky and XL are the same but I never changed the Low E before...i was pretty shocked when it broke.

After i switched the string a horrible buzz came out like it was slappin the board. But the 5th and 4th etc were fine. So I took off the low E and open fretted the 5th. now 5th 4th 3rd and very slightly the 2nd are all buzzing like bees. I'm new to fret buzz so just to be clear the buzzing isn't coming from the amp, It's coming from the guitar.

Do you think I need to adjust the Truss Rod or is there a simpler solution to this dilemma?
Thanks for responding and sorry for taking up you time man. R.A.T.M for life


Well, my first thing would be to have it re setup with the new string guage if you plan on keeping it strung with that guage for awhile. You'd be surprised how much just going up one guage in string thickness can change everything about how a guitar plays, get it re set up and it should become less noticeable.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shirtvest
I recently changed just the low E string on my electric guitar. Soon after, i received the dreaded fret buzz. It's not on any particular fret, frequent when I play harder (open or fretted). I can actually see the string vibrating, slightly grazing the fret board and hearing the horrible, zangy metallic sound. It doesn't come out of my amp but it's damn annoying when I'm trying to learn a new song. I'm fairly new to guitars, a complete noob when it comes to guitar mechanics.

I'm sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong section, I read the FAQ and I think it should be okay. I checked on google, but in general the sites don't mention anything about just one string being f**ked. please don't ban me for cursing ^^.

Thank you


1. buzz not transmitting through the amp is generally not considered an issue.

2. if it makes silent practice unbearable, then you can either raise that string at the bridge.
two tiny pegs on the front face of that saddle can be lowered using an allen wrench. (if it's a strat style bridge)

or

put a bit of paper under the string, in the cut of the nut, to raise the string, of it's nicking one of the top frets.


3. if you'd rather just check the neck's relief,
then post back after measuring, the how to do that is in the first post of the setup thread, click the green link in my sig.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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thanks for all the advice and sorry for the late reply -_-
I recently put my amps volume to half ( i usually play quieter because I live in a small neighborhood) and the buzzing sounds DOES come out of the amp. That sucked.

I checked the relief. It seems to be fine. I tried the way in the setup thread, and the strings aren't touching the frets, but not high enough for a credit card to fit...maybe if you squeezed it in there it'll fit. With a ruler the distance between the fret and the string (when I'm not touching the guitar at all) was 2.5mm and from the board to the string was somewhere around 3.5mm. I'm not too sure what I should do as I heard that adjusting the truss rod when you're not experienced is not advised. I'll try to figure out how to perform a full setup and adjusting bridge and such...well off to google and the forums it is. Damn, i need to buy a capo as well
any advice is well appreciated guys. Thanks a lot

my guitar is an Ibanez GRX40 solid-body Strat-style guitar. The bridge is a non-locking six-screw trem. My amp is a Roland Micro Cube

Last edited by shirtvest : 02-02-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:19 PM   #7
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try the bit of paper under that string in the cut of the nut.

if that helps, then post back.

the new string might just be sitting a little lower.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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I would change all my strings at once. It will sound better than when you have one twangy string and the others sound dead.

You might need to adjust the truss rod. It's not really that hard (people just make it look hard because they jump on the "it's dangerous" bandwagon, and it's not dangerous). Just turn it carefully and you'll be OK. Only if you turn it too much it can do damage to your guitar. And you don't need to adjust the truss rod that much. But first I would change all the strings and then start adjusting. Maybe a bit higher action could do something as well.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:34 PM   #9
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Honestly, it sounds to me like you just moved up in gauge, and getting buzz when you do that is normal. larger strings need more space to move in, or they won't clear the frets. So when you bump up the string gauge you need to also raise the action.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #10
shirtvest
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right,
so i tried the paper thing. it helped somewhat but not much. the three low strings (low E, A, D) are all buzzing the worst being the top so I'D have to put paper on all three. it killed the buzz just a little bit but when I hit it open fretted or harder they buzz like bees.

I changed the low e to 0.9 gauge and adjusted the truss rod conuter-clockwise. that didn't help. so i raised the action a bit. that helped kill the buzz perhaps 75% but theres still some there when i play hard. I don't particularly smashed down on my strings, but before I used play hard regularly with no problems whatsoever. I wanna restore it to that stage again. I'll try to changed all the strings then re adjust and re raise it and see what happens. thanks for the help ppl
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:08 PM   #11
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Isn't counter clockwise the wrong way? I just had one of my guitars adjusted for fret buzz, and I swear he turned the truss rod nut clockwise.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shirtvest
right,
so i tried the paper thing. it helped somewhat but not much. the three low strings (low E, A, D) are all buzzing the worst being the top so I'D have to put paper on all three. it killed the buzz just a little bit but when I hit it open fretted or harder they buzz like bees.

I changed the low e to 0.9 gauge and adjusted the truss rod conuter-clockwise. that didn't help. so i raised the action a bit. that helped kill the buzz perhaps 75% but theres still some there when i play hard. I don't particularly smashed down on my strings, but before I used play hard regularly with no problems whatsoever. I wanna restore it to that stage again. I'll try to changed all the strings then re adjust and re raise it and see what happens. thanks for the help ppl



if lifting the strings at the saddles helped more than lifting them at the nut, then yes the action might have to be a little higher to play the same with the new strings.
(depends on the rest of the setup)

to check the relief the correct way, you'll want to fret the Low E at the first fret and at the same time,
at the last fret, Where the neck and body meet.

with those two places held, then check the middle frets. around the 7-9th frets.

does the string rest on the fret wire there?
does a thin pick fit in the middle gap?
does a credit card fit?


also remember, buzz that does not transmit through the amp is generally not considered an issue.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNfootballfan62
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Hilton
Isn't counter clockwise the wrong way? I just had one of my guitars adjusted for fret buzz, and I swear he turned the truss rod nut clockwise.



if you had too much relief, then he would have turned clockwise.
most of the time, guitars will end up needing more relief.
to know, you would want to measure.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNfootballfan62
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:49 PM   #14
shirtvest
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Ah yes I read about that. I tried before and a credit card just fits between the 7th and 9th frets. when I first tried before adjusting shit, I had the same results.

when I play the guitar it vibrates the buzz and i can hear it through the amp, distorting the sound of my chords. even if my guitar is tuned perfectly, it distorts to such an extent that the strings sound completely awful and off balance and off tune.

If it's possibly, I would like a solution to my problem that still allows me to keep the action of guitar nice and low, the way I bought it. Thanks for the help guys, i'll still try to do some more research.

I was wondering, how do you know when, and to what extent, to adjust the truss rod?
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #15
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Generally, you'll know when to adjust when,

1. you can't seem to get the guitar buzz free even wtout high action.
2. and when you find you have too little relief (the string touches the wire when you measure)
or
when you have too much relief (around a credit cards gap at the middle frets).

you're going to want to check if the strings are in tune at the 12th frets. when the guitar is in tune. Intonation.

also, did we talk about the bridge yet? is the ass end of the bridge flush against the body of the guitar, or lifted?
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #16
shirtvest
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thanks for the info bro

it's out of tune at the 12th fret, even after I tuned it. it has a bad 'taWANG' sound. like some kinda Chinese instrument -_-

no we haven't actually. I'm too bright about guitars, so i don't exactly know what you mean about flush or lifted, but I'd say it's kinda mounted on onto the body

here's a pic of the exact model of my guitar http://en.audiofanzine.com/misc-sha...ay,m.74720.html

sorry for the link, i couldn't figure out how to post pictures.

Last edited by shirtvest : 02-07-2013 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #17
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ok so look at the first post in the setup thread (green link in my sig) and check intonation.

it'll just take a minute to tune the strings.

as for the bridge, if it's the type of bridge that moves,
you would know because it would be attached springs in the back cavity of the guitar.

but since you say it seems to be laying on the body, not lifted,
i dont think that's the problem, even if it is a trem bridge.

did you say that you mixed and matched string sets?

if you did, i suggest you swap one string at a time for a set of 9's, or 10's. and lube all the points where strings "snapped"
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Quote:
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:03 AM   #18
shirtvest
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right
I changed all the strings (one by one) to 9s and tuned them. but they still felt very loose despite being perfectly tuned. after and little bit of playing they went out of tune. had to tighten them again. the relief was way too low so i decided to adjust it

I adjusted the truss rod, very carefully and slowly (counter-clockwise). it seemed like it got a little bit better, but then I had to tune the strings again, and we were back at square one. shit.
I checked the relief. just enough for an M size pick, still tight for a credit card.

I also checked the intonation. it sounded just a bit sharp, so i tried to lengthen the string, but it seems like that part of my guitar is jammed

then i raised the action. again it seemed to help, but after I tuned it, the twang was back. the strings seem to always be loose and when I play them, they move up and down, vibrating and buzzing way more then when i first got it. in the beginning, the action was low and the strings never moved around so much. i think the action is too high now so i'll return it back to normal.



so something is ****ed for sure. it only got screwed after I changed the Low E. but the low e broke differently than the other strings. it got very frayed at the end of the string near the bridge so I changed it before it snapped. speaking of which, i \'m too sure about my bridge, but in the cavity of the guitar i can see 3 springs attached to the bridge.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shirtvest
right
I changed all the strings (one by one) to 9s and tuned them. but they still felt very loose despite being perfectly tuned. after and little bit of playing they went out of tune. had to tighten them again. the relief was way too low so i decided to adjust it

I adjusted the truss rod, very carefully and slowly (counter-clockwise). it seemed like it got a little bit better, but then I had to tune the strings again, and we were back at square one. shit.
I checked the relief. just enough for an M size pick, still tight for a credit card.

I also checked the intonation. it sounded just a bit sharp, so i tried to lengthen the string, but it seems like that part of my guitar is jammed

then i raised the action. again it seemed to help, but after I tuned it, the twang was back. the strings seem to always be loose and when I play them, they move up and down, vibrating and buzzing way more then when i first got it. in the beginning, the action was low and the strings never moved around so much. i think the action is too high now so i'll return it back to normal.



so something is ****ed for sure. it only got screwed after I changed the Low E. but the low e broke differently than the other strings. it got very frayed at the end of the string near the bridge so I changed it before it snapped. speaking of which, i \'m too sure about my bridge, but in the cavity of the guitar i can see 3 springs attached to the bridge.



well it's a trem bridge.

it'll move if it's not tight, or well balanced.
3 springs, might not be stable enough for the string tension. adding a spring or tightening the two screws in there will help if the bridge is lifting.

if the strings feel "loose" that's usually a sign
that the gauge isnt high enough.

if the strings fall out of tune, you might be wrapping around the tuners too many times. or the strings havent settled.

if one string twangs, then there might be a high fret preventing the low action you once had.

and if the strings are frayed or snapping at the saddles, then you can lube contact areas, or swap out for graphtech saddles.

honestly, without holding it, i'm not sure why your particular guitar is buzzing in that one spot.
but with that type of bridge, you should be able to raise that one string to compensate for a high fret.

or maybe it's time to take it in to have it looked at.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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Old 02-10-2013, 04:20 PM   #20
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there's too many possibilities. the guitar just won't fix. I tried everything. I think it's time to take it in. Maybe I can get them to just diagnose the problem. my guitar buzzes on the low e mainly but it seems to have affected the A and D quite a bit. The end result should have the guitar with sweet low action, but the only thing that sort of I wrap my strings generally 2 to 4 times. usually 2.
well thanks a load for all the help man. In any case, I've learned a lot about the workings of the electric guitar. I'll fiddle around with it later and then take it to the shop. after I get some results of any kind, I'll be sure to post back.
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