#1
Yet another problem with my new guitar, starting to wish I'd never bought it..

Ok now it's the Low E string buzzing like mad when unfretted, whilst examining it I put a credit card along the strings on the first fret and all the other strings sit level with each other and the low E is about 2 mil lower than the rest, now this must be the cause of it as the buzzing is around the top 2 frets.

Should all the strings sit level with each other?

Also if this is a nut problem any idea what caused it, I'm getting sick of taking this guitar back to the store, is this the norm when buying a brand new guitar or am have I just been unlucky?

Tia
#2
maybe you should get your guitar a setup? i heard that setup usually solve quiet alot of problems
JUST ANOTHER ANNOYING BIG STATUS
#3
Quote by Gazbaz77
Yet another problem with my new guitar, starting to wish I'd never bought it..

Ok now it's the Low E string buzzing like mad when unfretted, whilst examining it I put a credit card along the strings on the first fret and all the other strings sit level with each other and the low E is about 2 mil lower than the rest, now this must be the cause of it as the buzzing is around the top 2 frets.

Should all the strings sit level with each other?

Also if this is a nut problem any idea what caused it, I'm getting sick of taking this guitar back to the store, is this the norm when buying a brand new guitar or am have I just been unlucky?

Tia

The E string shouldn't be that much lower at the nut. It is normal for the middle strings to be a little higher, to match the radius of the fretboard, but just one string shouldn't be so off. Try raising the action on the E string (if they're individually adjustable). If this doesn't fix it, you may need a new nut.
#4
Quote by ibrahimasood
maybe you should get your guitar a setup? i heard that setup usually solve quiet alot of problems

Have done, just after I bought it, was fine for a few days then the A string was buzzing, took it back he sorted that also told him about another problem which didn't get sorted out and now this.

Should all the strings be sat in the nut level with one another?
#5
Try getting sandpaper and sand the nut where the string lies. Thats always worked for me but your problem could be different. If raising the action didn't work this might.
#6
Quote by Rebel Scum
Try getting sandpaper and sand the nut where the string lies. Thats always worked for me but your problem could be different. If raising the action didn't work this might.

Wouldn't that make the groove deeper?


There is about a 1 mil gap between the low E string and the first fret and the other strings have about a 2 mil gap.

Because the string is so close to the first fret I think this is what's causing the buzz, also I can't see raising the action doing anything as gaining the extra mil gap on the first fret would need the action raising a lot wouldn't it?

Looks like another trip to the store.
#7
Yeah but it could be buzzing against the sides as well. Also the sandpaper won't cut a groove big enough for the e-string to fall into. Its too thin. No need to go hard, just gently sand the sides, and a bit for the bottom.

You should be able to see and hear if the e-string is buzzing against the 1st fret or hear if its buzzing against the nut anyways. Ask the tech at your local store first though mate.
#8
Quote by Rebel Scum
Yeah but it could be buzzing against the sides as well. Also the sandpaper won't cut a groove big enough for the e-string to fall into. Its too thin. No need to go hard, just gently sand the sides, and a bit for the bottom.

You should be able to see and hear if the e-string is buzzing against the 1st fret or hear if its buzzing against the nut anyways. Ask the tech at your local store first though mate.

Ahh see what you mean.

I think I'll leave it as it's still under waranty and I haven't changed any strings or messed with anything that could cause this, so what ever is wrong with it, they should put right for free.

Cheers anyway.
#9
If you fret the low-E string at the third fret (some would say the 4th fret), you should still have a small amount of visible clearance between the string and the 1st fret (i.e., back toward the nut). If not, then the notch in the nut is probably too low.

It might also be a case of inadequate relief in the neck (although the fact that the low-E string just looks lower than the others at the first fret would seem to argue against it being a neck relief issue).

But just to be sure, measure the relief at both the low and high E strings. Have someone else hold down the strings at the 1st and highest fret (at the same time), and meaure or eyeball the gap between the string(s) and the top of the 8th or 9th fret. There should be a small gap - a typical spec might be .010" (or about the thickness of a high-E string). Others suggest the thickness of a business card....

If you have less gap, or no gap, then you need to loosen the truss rod a bit (usually a CCW turn, depending on the design of the guitar). Too little relief (i.e., too little gap) can lead to open-string buzzing (as well as buzzing when fretted)...

As a side question, do you get buzzing ONLY with the open string? Or does it buzz when fretted, also?
#10
Quote by rschleicher
If you fret the low-E string at the third fret (some would say the 4th fret), you should still have a small amount of visible clearance between the string and the 1st fret (i.e., back toward the nut). If not, then the notch in the nut is probably too low.

It might also be a case of inadequate relief in the neck (although the fact that the low-E string just looks lower than the others at the first fret would seem to argue against it being a neck relief issue).

But just to be sure, measure the relief at both the low and high E strings. Have someone else hold down the strings at the 1st and highest fret (at the same time), and meaure or eyeball the gap between the string(s) and the top of the 8th or 9th fret. There should be a small gap - a typical spec might be .010" (or about the thickness of a high-E string). Others suggest the thickness of a business card....

If you have less gap, or no gap, then you need to loosen the truss rod a bit (usually a CCW turn, depending on the design of the guitar). Too little relief (i.e., too little gap) can lead to open-string buzzing (as well as buzzing when fretted)...

As a side question, do you get buzzing ONLY with the open string? Or does it buzz when fretted, also?

When I fret the low E at the 3rd fret there is virtualy no gap between the string and the first fret there is some probaly enough to get a piece of paper through.

I also measured the gap between the strings and the 8th fret whilst holding down the first fret on both E strings and there seems to be more of a gap on the low E string.

And the buzzing is only present when the string is open, after looking again it's definetly buzzing on the first fret.
#11
Quote by Gazbaz77
When I fret the low E at the 3rd fret there is virtualy no gap between the string and the first fret there is some probaly enough to get a piece of paper through.

I also measured the gap between the strings and the 8th fret whilst holding down the first fret on both E strings and there seems to be more of a gap on the low E string.

And the buzzing is only present when the string is open, after looking again it's definetly buzzing on the first fret.


Then it does seem like a nut problem - with the notch being cut too much for the low-E string. Unfortunately the "real" fix for this is a new nut.

BUT, you can temporarily fix it (and confirm the problem) if you put a little "shim" between the low-E string and the nut. Like a tiny piece of business-card paper (or perhaps something even a bit thicker), that the string will sit on. It needs to somewhat form to the shape of the notch and string, and shouldn't over-hang over the 1st-fret side of the nut. But ideally it'll raise the string just enough to prevent the open-string buzz. If nothing else it may help to confirm the problem....

I've also heard of some people who use a short sliver of a somewhat smaller-gauge string, to sit in the slot underneath the real string. It would have to be large enough diameter to stay underneath, but not so thick that it raised the real string by too much. (If the slot was really off, then perhaps a small piece of the low-E string itself would be OK.)

You MIGHT also be able to cut a tiny sliver of an old credit card to actually fit inside the nut slot.
Last edited by rschleicher at Jan 2, 2012,
#12
Quote by rschleicher
Then it does seem like a nut problem - with the notch being cut too much for the low-E string. Unfortunately the "real" fix for this is a new nut.

BUT, you can temporarily fix it (and confirm the problem) if you put a little "shim" between the low-E string and the nut. Like a tiny piece of business-card paper (or perhaps something even a bit thicker), that the string will sit on. It needs to somewhat form to the shape of the notch and string, and shouldn't over-hang over the 1st-fret side of the nut. But ideally it'll raise the string just enough to prevent the open-string buzz. If nothing else it may help to confirm the problem....

Yea that is worth a try, I'll try that now, I'll use something that brings the string level with the rest of the strings, then I'll know for sure.

Great advice thanks.
#13
Yup problem solved, definetley that, the shim worked!

Now with this guitar being not so old and from a reputable dealer, should I be asking them to replace the nut or the guitar? Probably a silly question but I don't know what's involved in changing the nut. And to be fair this guitar has been playing up from day one.
#14
I don't think you ever said what kind of guitar it is. A "new" guitar needing a new nut? What is it? And how much did you spend?
And yes I would really want the guitar shop to either pay for it or fix it or equally comp me in some way. And if they wouldn't work with me I would really try my hardest to steer people away from them.
What the hell!!!
#15
Quote by danvwman
I don't think you ever said what kind of guitar it is. A "new" guitar needing a new nut? What is it? And how much did you spend?
And yes I would really want the guitar shop to either pay for it or fix it or equally comp me in some way. And if they wouldn't work with me I would really try my hardest to steer people away from them.

It's a 3 month old Les Paul Epiphone, paid £330 for it brand new, and have 4 years waranty I think.

It's the fact they sent me home with it 'backbowed' and the fact that I have had nothing but problems with it from day one, that's making me want to try swap it for a new one.

The main reason I bought new and not second hand is because I was advised "I'll end up buying someone elses problem" and that's what I feel like I have bought.

All I wanted was an half decent guitar to learn with, but fret buzz and the other things I've had to put up with put me off, and it ends up just getting left in it's case.
#16
A nut that has a slot that was cut too low is basically a manufacturing defect, and so I would think that the Epiphone/Gibson warranty would cover either repair or replacement. (Unless the local "tech" that worked on it filed down the nut slot too much, and it wasn't like that to begin with....) Frankly, only an incompetent guitar tech would think that filing a nut (to that extent, at least) made sense for a string buzz problem.....

Replacing a nut isn't THAT big a deal - although glued-in, they are intended to be replaceable without that much effort. Still, anyone who does it should know what they are doing. You might want to contact Gibson directly about this, and see if they have any reasonably-local authorized repair people (as a warranty repair), or what other options they suggest. The place where you bought it SHOULD be able to help with working this out with Gibson, if they are upstanding enough to stand behind what they sell. But relying on them for all of the answers might not be wise....
Last edited by rschleicher at Jan 3, 2012,
#17
Quote by rschleicher
A nut that has a slot that was cut too low is basically a manufacturing defect, and so I would think that the Epiphone/Gibson warranty would cover either repair or replacement. (Unless the local "tech" that worked on it filed down the nut slot too much, and it wasn't like that to begin with....) Frankly, only an incompetent guitar tech would think that filing a nut (to that extent, at least) made sense for a string buzz problem.....

Replacing a nut isn't THAT big a deal - although glued-in, they are intended to be replaceable without that much effort. Still, anyone who does it should know what they are doing. You might want to contact Gibson directly about this, and see if they have any reasonably-local authorized repair people (as a warranty repair), or what other options they suggest. The place where you bought it SHOULD be able to help with working this out with Gibson, if they are upstanding enough to stand behind what they sell. But relying on them for all of the answers might not be wise....

Thanks for the help, I'll feel a bit more confident when I return to the store armed with a bit more knowlege and not be fobbed off.

Cheers.