songbird64
Crazier everyday
Join date: Jan 2014
617 IQ
#1
Okay, so I have a Fender steel string acoustic guitar that I bought new about a year ago. Well, the last time I changed the strings, I noticed small grooves on the fret wire where the strings go over. It is mostly on the first fret, but there are a few grooves on some other fret wires. It is currently not causing a problem, but sometimes sounds a bit brassy. I currently use Martin light to extra light (depending on what I can find in the store) strings. I play this guitar about every other day give or take.
I was wondering if this is common or not and if I should get it checked out or fixed.
Thanks in advance!
"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones."
Tony Done
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2014
701 IQ
#2
This is normal fret wear, and when it gets too bad the frets can be levelled and recrowned. Eventually a complete or partial refret may be necessary. Some use stainless steel frets reduce wear, but they are a more expensive.
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
301 IQ
#3
Quote by songbird64
Okay, so I have a Fender steel string acoustic guitar that I bought new about a year ago. Well, the last time I changed the strings, I noticed small grooves on the fret wire where the strings go over. It is mostly on the first fret, but there are a few grooves on some other fret wires. It is currently not causing a problem, but sometimes sounds a bit brassy. I currently use Martin light to extra light (depending on what I can find in the store) strings. I play this guitar about every other day give or take.
I was wondering if this is common or not and if I should get it checked out or fixed.
Thanks in advance!
OK, that Fender is engineered to sound, "brassy", and you're making it worse with extra light strings. It's not the frets.

80/20 "brass" string are bright. (brassy?) Phosphor bronze is more mellow and warm.

In any case, you really shouldn't go any lighter than "custom light" strings. (.011 to .052). Even they lack a bit of bass.
Tony Done
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2014
701 IQ
#4
Quote by Captaincranky
OK, that Fender is engineered to sound, "brassy", and you're making it worse with extra light strings. It's not the frets.

80/20 "brass" string are bright. (brassy?) Phosphor bronze is more mellow and warm.

In any case, you really shouldn't go any lighter than "custom light" strings. (.011 to .052). Even they lack a bit of bass.


True, phos bronze is less brassy than 80/20. Anything lighter than 12-52 on a flattop is a crime against nature, IMO.
songbird64
Crazier everyday
Join date: Jan 2014
617 IQ
#5
Thanks for your responses. Is there a different brand of strings that you would recommend?
"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones."
Tony Done
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2014
701 IQ
#6
Quote by songbird64
Thanks for your responses. Is there a different brand of strings that you would recommend?


I've been using John Pearse phoshpor bronze for years, try a set of lights (12s)
songbird64
Crazier everyday
Join date: Jan 2014
617 IQ
#7
^ Thanks! I will look for them
"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones."
songbird64
Crazier everyday
Join date: Jan 2014
617 IQ
#8
Quote by Tony Done
I've been using John Pearse phoshpor bronze for years, try a set of lights (12s)


I changed my strings to these and I can tell an improvement in tone. But the brassy sound is still there. It is very hard for me to explain the sound. It almost sounds tingy if that makes any sense. Almost like vibrating metal. When I went to the guitar store I tried other acoustics to see if it was my playing, but others sounded fine. Any other ideas on what it could be? When I get the chance I will take it to a guitar tech to see about the action.

Thanks!
"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones."
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
301 IQ
#9
Quote by songbird64
I changed my strings to these and I can tell an improvement in tone. But the brassy sound is still there. It is very hard for me to explain the sound. It almost sounds tingy if that makes any sense. Almost like vibrating metal. When I went to the guitar store I tried other acoustics to see if it was my playing, but others sounded fine. Any other ideas on what it could be? When I get the chance I will take it to a guitar tech to see about the action.

Thanks!
OK, it sounds like you're describing what we call "fret buzz". It happens primarily when the action of the guitar is too low overall.

Try isolating the buzz by fretting one string at a time, one fret at a time, all the way up the neck, at least to the 15th fret.

There are other possibilities, such as one fret being too high, or a worn fret can cause the buzz at the next higher fret. Beings as the guitar is only a year or so old, I don't think the wear would be severe enough to cause this yet.

Another possibility is that you're a heavy player, and the action needs to be raised to accommodate that. Very light strings would aggravate the issue.

New string also have a very metallic "twang", are we sure you're not hearing this?
songbird64
Crazier everyday
Join date: Jan 2014
617 IQ
#10
^ I think you are right about it being fret buzz. I am sure about it not being new strings. There is major buzz on all the strings when I fret on the third fret. Soon as I strum, whether it be with my pick or my thumb, there is a lot of buzz. It only happens on that fret. On other frets, it buzzes sometimes as it rings out. The weird thing is that it only started happening a couple of months ago, and has slowly gotten worse. I've heard other people play my guitar and it happens to them too so I don't think it's me.
Thanks for your post.
"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones."
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
301 IQ
#11
I think your guitar needs a truss rod adjustment. I'm reluctant to say that, because beginners can go a bit overboard when they try this fix.

Generally speaking, a truss rod rarely needs to be adjusted much more than 1/4 turn. In your case it would be LOOSENING, turning the adjuster in a counterclockwise direction.

But first, you're going to read this tutorial about acoustic set up: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html to try and give yourself "the big picture", as to how to check the guitar over and isolate the problem.

This issue could still be one of three things, low action, insufficient "relief", (the neck is too straight!), or the 3rd fret is too high.

Most likely it's the truss rod, but a fret backing out is still within the realm of possibility.

So, read the tutorial, and if there's anything you don't understand, post back, and we'll try and talk you through it.

Taking the guitar to a tech is also a great idea, but it costs money. An acoustic guitar's setup can change seasonally, from bouts of high humidity, and also from settling in due to age. The player is the, "first at the scene of the accident", so to speak, knows his or her preferences, and should be able to accomplish basic maintenance operations.

If you're a little handy, you should undertake this yourself. If you work cautiously, doing things in proper sequence, very small amounts at a time, you won't do any harm, nor anything that can't be undone.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 30, 2014,
oneblackened
Better Than You At Mixing
Join date: Oct 2007
3,304 IQ
#12
Quote by Tony Done
This is normal fret wear, and when it gets too bad the frets can be levelled and recrowned. Eventually a complete or partial refret may be necessary. Some use stainless steel frets reduce wear, but they are a more expensive.

Accurate.


I don't think I've ever heard of SS frets used on an acoustic before though.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (BKP C-Bomb/VHII)
ESP Horizon NT-7 (SD Full Shreds)
UA Apollo Twin Duo
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Focal Alpha 65 monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
301 IQ
#13
Quote by oneblackened
...[ ]...I don't think I've ever heard of SS frets used on an acoustic before though.
Carvin offers them as an option on their thin body A/E instruments. Of course their true acoustic line, (size and shape), has been discontinued.

I believe that Ovation's, "Adamas" series comes with stainless frets stock. Not sure though. You could wait for "stepchildusmc" to weigh in on that, since he owns one, (or more (?)), of that series. (I checked Ovation's site, no joy or confirmation about that).

I can't think of any particular reason they wouldn't work well on an acoustic. Although, they might brighten up the guitar a bit.
stepchildusmc
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
413 IQ
#14
Quote by Captaincranky
Carvin offers them as an option on their thin body A/E instruments. Of course their true acoustic line, (size and shape), has been discontinued.

I believe that Ovation's, "Adamas" series comes with stainless frets stock. Not sure though. You could wait for "stepchildusmc" to weigh in on that, since he owns one, (or more (?)), of that series. (I checked Ovation's site, no joy or confirmation about that).

I can't think of any particular reason they wouldn't work well on an acoustic. Although, they might brighten up the guitar a bit.

yep. Steppy's Adamas' all( all 2 of them) have stainless.. I don't believe they make much of a difference sonically. they're just supposed to resist wear longer.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)