#1
I've been having some setup problems the last couple days with my guitar, having fret buzz issues and it seems if I add more neck relief it buzzes on the high frets, and if I raise the action I just don't like it, and the action in the center of the neck is very high. If I then flatten the neck back up a bit, it buzzes on the middle frets (arggh).

I have got it to a point now where it's alright, it still buzzes a bit but I guess it may even be normal, I'm not sure. It sounds fine through the amp anyway. I have the action a touch lower than Ibanez recommends but it still seems a bit high.

Anyway, the last thing I did after putting on new strings was adjust the intonation. I noticed my D string was fretting very flat on the 12th, and as you can see I had to move the saddle way forward to get it right. Is this a problem, or just one of those "it is what it is" things?
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#2
As long as the D string is intonated, its not a problem.
The neck issue seems to be to do with the frets. You may have a raised fret stopping you from getting low action without buzzing. How low are you trying to get it?
#3
Quote by littlephil
As long as the D string is intonated, its not a problem.
The neck issue seems to be to do with the frets. You may have a raised fret stopping you from getting low action without buzzing. How low are you trying to get it?


I just want it as low as I can get it, which is pretty much where it is. The gutar is newish (3 months old) so I don't know if it's a fret issue but I guess anything is possible. I have the bass strings at 2.2 mm, Ibanez recommends 2.3. Trebles are at 1.7 with the G a little higher.

It sounds fine through an amp, but acoustically, it buzzes a bit. It was fine before, but I swapped to a skinny top/heavy bottom set and it buzzed a lot, so it got in my head. I only had those in for two days and today I went back to a standard 10 - 46 set. It may be the same as before but now I am just paranoid, I'm not sure. I'm just thinking perhaps it's normal because I have (literally) been tweaking it about 10 - 12 hours over the past few days and nothing seems to solve it completely.
#4
Get it checked out by a decent tech. Tweaking a truss rod can do more harm than good if you are looking for fast results as a neck takes a while to settle to new tension. With a good setting and level frets you should get the action lower trhan that without buzz. I have mine at 0.9mm e and 1.6mm E.
Intonation settings do look odd at first as wound strings have different qualities to unwound ones. Typically there will be 3 steps for e to G and three similar steps for D to E
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#5
Well it seems like the guitar isnt right for you.
Why have you bought it anyways?
Ibanez guitars always had very high action for my likings.

edit: From the second picture it seems like the neck is bowed badly. Take it to a pro shop.
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Last edited by Kozlic at Dec 22, 2009,
#6
Quote by potatohead_33
I've been having some setup problems the last couple days with my guitar, having fret buzz issues and it seems if I add more neck relief it buzzes on the high frets, and if I raise the action I just don't like it, and the action in the center of the neck is very high. If I then flatten the neck back up a bit, it buzzes on the middle frets (arggh).

I have got it to a point now where it's alright, it still buzzes a bit but I guess it may even be normal, I'm not sure. It sounds fine through the amp anyway. I have the action a touch lower than Ibanez recommends but it still seems a bit high.

Anyway, the last thing I did after putting on new strings was adjust the intonation. I noticed my D string was fretting very flat on the 12th, and as you can see I had to move the saddle way forward to get it right. Is this a problem, or just one of those "it is what it is" things?


buzz that does not transmit thru the amp is generally not considered a problem.

when you measure neck relief, by hold the low E at the first and last fret, where the neck and body meet, can you fit a credit card at the gap at the 9th fret?

and if you get the guitar sorted out, and let the strings work in a little, and find that the one string is still hard to intonate, it probably indicates a nut cut issue.
Jenneh

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#7
Quote by Kozlic
Well it seems like the guitar isnt right for you.
Why have you bought it anyways?
Ibanez guitars always had very high action for my likings.

edit: From the second picture it seems like the neck is bowed badly. Take it to a pro shop.


It was fine before, but me being a moron decided to fix what was't broken.

Quote by jj1565
buzz that does not transmit thru the amp is generally not considered a problem.

when you measure neck relief, by hold the low E at the first and last fret, where the neck and body meet, can you fit a credit card at the gap at the 9th fret?

and if you get the guitar sorted out, and let the strings work in a little, and find that the one string is still hard to intonate, it probably indicates a nut cut issue.


The neck has a "normal" bow to it. If I hold the low E string at fret one, and at fret fifteen which Ibanez suggests, I do have a credit card sized gap at the eighth/ninth fret, I would say about 1/2 mm gap there. I can fret on the fifteenth with my thumb, and reach over with my finger and tap down on the 8th, and there is some movement, no problem. I do remember checking this when I first got the guitar and I would say it's quite close to where it was when it was new in terms of neck relief.

Last night I meddled some more, the majority of the problem I am having is with the A, D and G string buzzing up the neck, around the 21 - 23rd frets, when I fret in the middle of the neck (say 9 - 12th frets). This would seem to me the action is too low, but clearly it is not. For kicks I wound the D string up two whole turns on the action adjustment screws and it still did it, although not as bad. I also find it doesn't do it when I first strum, only about 1/2 second after when the string has had some time to vibrate out a bit. It also won't do it if I fret really hard.

I would take it to a pro, but with the holidays coming I don't want to be without it for more than a couple days. I am a pretty hands on guy and something like this seems so friggin easy, but it's proving not to be . Maybe I do have a high fret, although eyeballing it they look fine.

EDIT: It just occured to me.. Perhaps the neck does have a bit too much bow, which is pulling down the strings too far towards the high frets when I am playing in the middle. Seems to make sense.
Last edited by potatohead_33 at Dec 22, 2009,
#8
Quote by jj1565

when you measure neck relief, by hold the low E at the first and last fret, where the neck and body meet, can you fit a credit card at the gap at the 9th fret?


Now that would be fun to watch, guess you have to keep the credit card between your teeth.
#9
Let's talk neck relief first. The longer the string the greater it's oscillation pattern will be. So when playing a string at the 1st fret it will oscillate in a larger pattern then when played at the middle of the neck and even more than when played high up on the neck. Relief is added to the neck to compensate for this. From fret 1 to the middle of the neck there will be a very slightly drop in fret height (in relation to the bridge) and then there will be a slight rise from the middle to the end of the fretboard. Setting the relief is a compromise btw buzzing at either end of the fretboard. Not enough relief and you'll get buzzing low on the fretboard and too much you will get buzzing around the middle on up. The amount of relief, just like action, is not some set in stone hard value. It depends a lot on how you play (do you play with a heavy or light pick attack). I personally play with a fairly light attack and can get away with an almost dead straight neck (just a hair of relief).

OK, now relief is out of the way.... Time to move to action which should only be set AFTER the relief is set. Your bridge allows for individual adjustments for each string unlike a TOM or Floyd. Your fretboard has a radius and the strings should follow this same radius. FWIW, Ibanez gernerally uses a 400mm radius (15.75"). Ibanez specs are 2.0mm E, 1.6mm e as measured at the 12th fret (I would consider this high as I set mine at 1.5/1.2 at the 15th). In case you are wonder why action is set higher on the low side it is because a heavier string has a greater oscillation pattern than a lighter one and needs more room to vibrate.

Ok, so now the relief and action are set to your preferences and you've go buzzing. Chances are you've got some low and/or high frets. It doesn't take much to cause buzzing and unfortunately almost EVERY guitar under $500 will have some low/high spots (why I learned to perform my own fret levels...super easy btw). Your only solution is to live it, adjust the action higher, or get a fret level.

Here's a fret level how to I wrote up: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2292115
#10
Quote by ChrisrMS
Now that would be fun to watch, guess you have to keep the credit card between your teeth.


Or perhaps, a wife and a feeler gauge
Last edited by potatohead_33 at Dec 22, 2009,
#11
Quote by potatohead_33
It was fine before, but me being a moron decided to fix what was't broken.


The neck has a "normal" bow to it. If I hold the low E string at fret one, and at fret fifteen which Ibanez suggests, I do have a credit card sized gap at the eighth/ninth fret, I would say about 1/2 mm gap there. I can fret on the fifteenth with my thumb, and reach over with my finger and tap down on the 8th, and there is some movement, no problem. I do remember checking this when I first got the guitar and I would say it's quite close to where it was when it was new in terms of neck relief.

Last night I meddled some more, the majority of the problem I am having is with the A, D and G string buzzing up the neck, around the 21 - 23rd frets, when I fret in the middle of the neck (say 9 - 12th frets). This would seem to me the action is too low, but clearly it is not. For kicks I wound the D string up two whole turns on the action adjustment screws and it still did it, although not as bad. I also find it doesn't do it when I first strum, only about 1/2 second after when the string has had some time to vibrate out a bit. It also won't do it if I fret really hard.

I would take it to a pro, but with the holidays coming I don't want to be without it for more than a couple days. I am a pretty hands on guy and something like this seems so friggin easy, but it's proving not to be . Maybe I do have a high fret, although eyeballing it they look fine.

EDIT: It just occured to me.. Perhaps the neck does have a bit too much bow, which is pulling down the strings too far towards the high frets when I am playing in the middle. Seems to make sense.



seems like you have a bit more than "normal" bow.

let me look over your first post again....


edit: is the buzz transmitting thru the amp?

you, can usually compensate for high frets, with extra relief, but too much might actually Cause buzz.
for one thing, it's harder to fret correctly.

is the buzz across all strings, or just the few?

and with the neck this way, is the majority of the buzz at the highest frets?

is this a bolt on neck?
what model guitar is it?
Jenneh

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Last edited by jj1565 at Dec 22, 2009,
#12
Quote by webwarmiller
Let's talk neck relief first. The longer the string the greater it's oscillation pattern will be. So when playing a string at the 1st fret it will oscillate in a larger pattern then when played at the middle of the neck and even more than when played high up on the neck. Relief is added to the neck to compensate for this. From fret 1 to the middle of the neck there will be a very slightly drop in fret height (in relation to the bridge) and then there will be a slight rise from the middle to the end of the fretboard. Setting the relief is a compromise btw buzzing at either end of the fretboard. Not enough relief and you'll get buzzing low on the fretboard and too much you will get buzzing around the middle on up. The amount of relief, just like action, is not some set in stone hard value. It depends a lot on how you play (do you play with a heavy or light pick attack). I personally play with a fairly light attack and can get away with an almost dead straight neck (just a hair of relief).

OK, now relief is out of the way.... Time to move to action which should only be set AFTER the relief is set. Your bridge allows for individual adjustments for each string unlike a TOM or Floyd. Your fretboard has a radius and the strings should follow this same radius. FWIW, Ibanez gernerally uses a 400mm radius (15.75"). Ibanez specs are 2.0mm E, 1.6mm e as measured at the 12th fret (I would consider this high as I set mine at 1.5/1.2 at the 15th). In case you are wonder why action is set higher on the low side it is because a heavier string has a greater oscillation pattern than a lighter one and needs more room to vibrate.

Ok, so now the relief and action are set to your preferences and you've go buzzing. Chances are you've got some low and/or high frets. It doesn't take much to cause buzzing and unfortunately almost EVERY guitar under $500 will have some low/high spots (why I learned to perform my own fret levels...super easy btw). Your only solution is to live it, adjust the action higher, or get a fret level.

Here's a fret level how to I wrote up: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2292115


Informative post, thanks.

I do have a 400 mm radius neck. The specs you posted are what Ibanez calls for on 9 - 42 guitars, I have a 10 - 46, which is 2.3 mm and 1.7. I do feel this is a bit high so obviously would like to have it lower. The guitar (RGR421) is only three months old and the frets aren't really worn at all, but I know that does not mean they are level. Seeing as how the guitar didn't buzz so much before, I think they're at least decent.

This all started when I switched to a higher gauge set of strings... A 10 - 52 set. They would have caused more neck bow, which I am coming to find out is most likely the reason it started buzzing on the med/high frets. I started tinkering at that point and have not got it back to where it was before with the 10-46. I have since changed back to 10 - 46 but since I had messed with it with the 10-52 set, obviously it's not in the same place as it was originally.

I am adjusting the rod, then the action, then the intonation, but it's probably all for not as it sounds like (and I hope) there is a little too much relief. This certainly is a battle for a first timer, but it's a learning experience anyway.
#13
jj1565, I can't quote you for some reason it crashes my Explorer (Microsoft FTW), so I'll do it this way.

It buzzes mostly on the upper frets, mostly on strings A, D and G.

I'm going to tighten the rod a bit more tonight and try it again. From what I am reading it does sound like too much bow, although I can't say it looks like it's too much. When I first put the 10 - 52's on there I used a feeler gauge and had .28 mm, and it still did it (Ibanez recommends .3 - .5) so, I don't know. Trial and error I guess.
#14
Quote by potatohead_33
I am adjusting the rod, then the action, then the intonation, but it's probably all for not as it sounds like (and I hope) there is a little too much relief. This certainly is a battle for a first timer, but it's a learning experience anyway.


While it may be a battle you are learning some very valuable knowledge about your guitar and guitars in general. Setting up a guitar isn't rocket science and once you get a good grasp of what does what you can make virtually any guitar play well. Every player should know/understand their instrument.......instead of simply handing it to a tech.

Chances are you can get it pretty close by getting the relief dialed in. Just remember that a change in the relief will effect the overall action as the nut has changed its position in relation to the bridge. Hence why action is always set after relief.

Again, most all new guitars will NOT have pefect fretwork out of the box. Guitars made overseas might have had pefect frets when leaving the factory; but, with all the climate changes they go through, by the time it reaches you it can be radically different.
#15
Quote by potatohead_33
jj1565, I can't quote you for some reason it crashes my Explorer (Microsoft FTW), so I'll do it this way.

It buzzes mostly on the upper frets, mostly on strings A, D and G.

I'm going to tighten the rod a bit more tonight and try it again. From what I am reading it does sound like too much bow, although I can't say it looks like it's too much. When I first put the 10 - 52's on there I used a feeler gauge and had .28 mm, and it still did it (Ibanez recommends .3 - .5) so, I don't know. Trial and error I guess.



for you, are the "upper frets" the first few fretsnear the nut, or the last few nearest the pickups?


i'm asking because if it's nearest the nut. then that might be adding to the problem.
if it's buzzing nearest the pickups, then you'd adjust down there.


answer that, and then i'll give you some options as to what you can do next.

also i don't want you to get caught up on ibanez's measurements.

even the most expensive RGs off the line need some work.
those are guidelines not absolutes.
Jenneh

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#16
JJ,

This is weird, I am on a different computer, and I cannot quote you, it just crashes Explorer as soon as I try to submit the response, not sure what's up with that.

By the upper frets, I mean frets about 18 - 24

I came home tonight, took some bow out of the neck, set action/intonation and tried again. Now holding down at frets 1 and 18 I would say I have about 1/2 - 2/3 credit card thickness gap at the 8th fret. The buzzing is better, but not a world beating difference, but the action is much lower which is a major plus.

It's funny you mention even the expensive RG's need adjustment. I just went up to the local music store to do some comparisons. I tried about four different Ibanez's, a PRS, and a couple Jacksons. Pretty much all of them had the same amount of buzz as my guitar, which was nice to find out. Only one had almost none, which was a MIJ Jackson Dinky which I must say is a nice piece of equipment. I also tried a Prestige 1570 and even with action four miles high, it had some buzz.

So, all in all I guess this is a pretty normal thing and it's probably mostly in my head. I did buy some thinner picks as well, that seems to help too.
#17
well, if the buzz isnt too bad thru the amp, and the action is about where you want it to be, then you're not too bad right now.

if the buzz gets to be annoying, then you can have the frets at the 18th -24th looked at.

some guys charge about $20/per a fret to level.

but there's also technique to consider.

sometimes as that improves, there you'll find there's less buzz.

is it a bolt on neck?
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#18
Yes, it is a bolt on.

I have a 12" metal ruler I placed on the "higher" frets last night and tried to rock it, but they seem fine to me but obviously I am not an expert. I think you are right in that technique may have a bit to do with it, I do find I tend to pick pretty hard. Maybe I should just play it louder so I can't hear it . If I palm mute it at all, it doesn't buzz either.

I measured the action last night and it's at 1.6 on the bass side and 1.3 on the treble. I could go lower on the treble but too big of a difference feels weird.
#19
well, if that seems high for you, or if the buzz persists, you can look into neck shimming.

sometimes a very very thin, well places shim in the neck pocket, is all it takes to get the guitar playing better.

is that something you'd be interested in researching?
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#20
At this time, not really. I just want it to play nicely so I can have fun with it again. Right now it feels effortless to play with the lighter gauge and lower action on there. The action around the 1 - 5 frets is super low and comfy and very gradually rises from there. I can live with some light buzzing if it sounds good through the amp. Looking at those other guitars last night really helped, to know that it's somewhat normal. I guess it makes sense an electric won't play the best acoustically.
Last edited by potatohead_33 at Dec 23, 2009,
#21
ok cool
Jenneh

Quote 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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