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Old 03-25-2013, 05:04 PM   #1
Zoofie
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High E fret buzz on ONLY the first fret

I have literally just received my new guitar, an Ibanez S421, and there in no fret buzz at all - except on the high E string on the first fret. If I play the second fret there is no problem at all, but the first fret just buzzes/doesn't do anything.

I recorded it here, you will have to turn your speakers up quite a bit - my mic is rubbish and I don't have an amp! This is me playing the second fret, then the first on the high e string : http://vocaroo.com/i/s1nz025KpzJs

It's strange that it's only that fret and on the high e, normally you hear of problems with the low e!
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #2
Random3
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Either the fret is slightly uneven, which I doubt, or you need to make a very slight truss rod adjustment.

Either way, if it is only occurring on one string and on one fret it means only a very small adjustment should be needed.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random3
Either the fret is slightly uneven, which I doubt, or you need to make a very slight truss rod adjustment.

Either way, if it is only occurring on one string and on one fret it means only a very small adjustment should be needed.


If it's the tross rod, i'm guessing that means that it's bowing outwards too much - does that mean I should adjust the truss rod clockwise?

Thanks for helping btw
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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if you are looking straight on, turn from right to left. But glance down the neck first and see how straight it is.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mark.bark
if you are looking straight on, turn from right to left. But glance down the neck first and see how straight it is.


If holding down the last and first fret, how much gap should there be between the low e and the 8th (or so) fret? The guitar is brand new and got delivered, should this make a difference - or even the stock strings are rubbish?

Sorry to bombard you with questions, but it would be ideal if I could sort it out myself - instead of paying £40 to get it set up
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Way Cool JR.
I would try raising the action of that string slightly to see if it gets rid of it first before touching the truss-rod. From what I remember your guitar has bridge saddles like a Strat. Should be 2 little height adjustment screws for each string. There should be some good vids on YouTube on how to adjust the action on Fender Strat style trems. Videos usually work better than words on how to do stuff IMO. Good luck


Thanks for replying
My bridge looks like this, how do you adjust the action or even the string height with this bridge?


Very stuck!
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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The little Allen keys on the sides of the string
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by IronMaiden76
The little Allen keys on the sides of the string


Holy crap, just checked and that is a 1.5mm allen! Will have to order one

Thanks for the help though guys, hope it works!
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:47 PM   #9
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Sounds like a classic high fret. Get a credit card and run it parallel to the string across the first 3 frets. See if it rocks back and forth. If it does, then my suspicions are correct and the 2nd fret is a little high at the end.

And everyone suggesting that you adjust the truss rod should be suggesting that you check it to see if it needs an adjustment first before touching it. You do that by fretting the first and last fret and checking the distance between the string and 7th fret wire. Basically, if there is any gap at all, you shouldn't have dead notes. I usually set that gap to about a credit cards thickness, then tighten the truss rod to flatten out the neck, a little bit at a time, until I get excessive fret buzz at on the first 4 frets. Then I back it off just a bit.

Your issue doesn't sound like a truss rod issue at all. If it were, you'd get the same thing on all strings. Sounds like either the 2nd fret is a bit high at the end, or the neck is possibly twisted. I suppose it could be your action, if it's set insanely low. Either way, do the rocker thing and see how that goes, it takes 10 seconds.

Last edited by W4RP1G : 03-25-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
Sounds like a classic high fret. Get a credit card and run it parallel to the string across the first 3 frets. See if it rocks back and forth. If it does, then my suspicions are correct and the 2nd fret is a little high at the end.

And everyone suggesting that you adjust the truss rod should be suggesting that you check it to see if it needs an adjustment first before touching it. You do that by fretting the first and last fret and checking the distance between the string and 7th fret wire. Basically, if there is any gap at all, you shouldn't have dead notes. I usually set that gap to about a credit cards thickness, then tighten the truss rod to flatten out the neck, a little bit at a time, until I get excessive fret buzz at on the first 4 frets. Then I back it off just a bit.

Your issue doesn't sound like a truss rod issue at all. If it were, you'd get the same thing on all strings. Sounds like either the 2nd fret is a bit high at the end, or the neck is possibly twisted. I suppose it could be your action, if it's set insanely low. Either way, do the rocker thing and see how that goes, it takes 10 seconds.


Tried the credit card trick to check the levels, all ok - no rocking about. It's only happening on the high e (thin e), on the 1st fret. So strange :/

Ordered a little allen key (1.5mm) to adjust the height of just that stright, which might make a difference.
I'm hoping that it's just because it's a new guitar with crappy stock strings (they don't feel great!), in which case when I change them out for some Ernie Ball strings it might be cured. Other than that - I'm out of options
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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Do you notice any twisting in the neck is you look down it? Try looking down it from both sides.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by W4RP1G
Do you notice any twisting in the neck is you look down it? Try looking down it from both sides.


Nope, looks pretty darn straight.
Will report back after fitting new strings tomorrow, I'm hoping it's just a duff set of strings - but I doubt it!
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Way Cool JR.
If you bought the guitar new then it should of come with all the allen/hex wrenches you need. Every guitar I ever bought came with them, even the Ibanez's I'v had. If you didn't see any wrenches in the box you should double check it (if you didn't throw it out already). Sometimes they will tape them to the inside of the box or wrap them in foam. They will be in a small ziplock baggy. The question you asked me earlier has already been answered for you by IronMaiden76.


I was really surprised with how little the guitar came with actually, my last Ibanez (an RG) came with all sorts of stuff. Checked the box thouroughly and there was nothing, not even a manual or any truss rod or allen keys. I've ordered one for £1 on Ebay - but in the meantime I will change the strings
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #14
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Update :
New strings on, bought a small allen wrench and raised the height of the saddle.
I got it high so there is no buzz on the first fret anymore - but it does make it quite a bit harder to bend on that string! :/ I can either have it so it's easy to play but can't play the first fret on the high e string, or alot harder to play but no buzz on the first fret - choices choices
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoofie
Update :
New strings on, bought a small allen wrench and raised the height of the saddle.
I got it high so there is no buzz on the first fret anymore - but it does make it quite a bit harder to bend on that string! :/ I can either have it so it's easy to play but can't play the first fret on the high e string, or alot harder to play but no buzz on the first fret - choices choices

Dude, it seriously sounds like a high fret. I hate to imply that you are incompetent, but are you sure you used the rocker correctly?
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:55 PM   #16
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I second the notion of a high fret, you shouldn't need the action so high it makes playing it significantly harder, especially on an Ibanez.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:03 PM   #17
Zoofie
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Originally Posted by W4RP1G
Dude, it seriously sounds like a high fret. I hate to imply that you are incompetent, but are you sure you used the rocker correctly?


Don't worry, you would be right - I wish I knew more about these things and could set guitars up myself.
I'm 95% sure, but even if it was I have to take it to a 'pro' to sort out.
That sucks - looks like I will have to take it to my guitar shop. Pretty annoyed because apart from that the guitar is awesome to play!

Quick question, if the buzzing is on the high e first fret - it would be the first fret that's the problem right?
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:13 PM   #18
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When there is buzzing on the first fret like that and only on one string, I usually find it is because the nut slot has been cut too deep for the string gauge. Remember that the larger the string gauge, the more room it needs to move. This is especially important for the first and sixth strings.

Take a close look at the nut. A very close look. See if the bottom of the nut slot of the 1st string seems tof ollow the same radius as the other five. If it looks like it is too low (we're talking fractions of a millimetre) then there's your problem.

Either way, you can fill in the slot with a tiny, tiny layer of super glue—I can not stress enough how small the layer should be—and this will raise that 1st string up enough to fret at the first fret properly, without effecting the action at the higher frets and without effecting the other strings.

Of course, if it's a really nice guitar, having a new nut cut for it and fitted properly is the best plan.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:37 PM   #19
W4RP1G
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But a low nut slot would cause the open string to buzz, not the fretted a note. Unless I misunderstood his dilemma, and it really is the open note that's buzzing

I definitely agree about having a better nut fitted an setup, if it has a cheapo nut.

Last edited by W4RP1G : 03-26-2013 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:29 PM   #20
Zoofie
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As you guys are experienced with guitars and the way they are set up, would you personally advise taking it to a guitar shop to be set up professionally?
I'm sure there are many that think it's a waste of money - just wondering what your take on it is
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