#1
Hi. I'm tired of having high action, but when I lower it, I induce fret buzz. It's mostly high up the neck.
I've already adjusted the neck relief as much as I can but it doesn't get rid of the buzz.

What can I do to fix this? Am I going to have to file down the high up frets? I really need low action for barre chords, I'm tired of playing them with high action, it's a pain.
#2
When you're referring to 'high up the neck', are you referring to the higher frets?

If that's the case, then it could well be the some of the frets are uneven. If the guitar buzzes more on certain notes than others, then that's a strong indicator that there's a high fret somewhere.
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#3
What kind of guitar is it, and how, specifically, are you lowering the action?
#4
Sounds like a shim job is in order if your truss rod is completely straight.
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#5
Quote by Roc8995
What kind of guitar is it, and how, specifically, are you lowering the action?


It's my Variax 600.
http://c1.zzounds.com/media/quality,85/Variax600BLK_HiRez-1242e860b39bfe24803fce3c69da7aa8.jpg
I lowered the saddles pretty close to flush but not completely. Before I heightened the action until there was no fret buzz, but that was pretty ridiculous for my style of playing so I just lowered it a few hours ago.

Right now it has slight fret buzz on the high frets (around 12 and up) so it probably doesn't have the best sustain on there. After I did that, barre chords were incredibly more comfortable and easy to play. I always couldn't really get the high strings to fret properly with the action I was playing on.
Last edited by Clay-man at Dec 13, 2013,
#7
Quote by ethan_hanus
What's your definition of low action? Strats aren't exactly known for getting like, Ibanez low actions.


Probably a bit more than that. Low action as low action is on a strat. Before the action was like half as high as my finger nail.

The action now is pretty good, but it has fret buzz now. I could go for a little bit lower. Something where it's nice to play chords and I don't have to press so much on the high frets just to fret them.
#9
Quote by ethan_hanus
Measure it with a ruler at the 12th fret, my strat is at about 4-5 mm at the 12th fret and that's as low as I care to get it, my high end tele is set the same way, and that's perfectly normal low action for a Strat.


measured both sides. They're about 4-5mm like you said. Feels good, but there's some fret buzz going on the high frets. I just read that you're going to get fret buzz no matter what with low action.

It doesn't sound bad, but it affects the sustain. Luckily since it's a Variax, I have absolutely NO magnetic pull on the strings.

Am I being picky? I feel like I could get better fret buzz results if I sloped the high frets a tiny bit with a file.

Edit: previous action was around 5-6 which felt awful on the high frets, and like I said before, barre chords were awful to play.
Last edited by Clay-man at Dec 13, 2013,
#10
On my Strat I had a custom fret job done to it where the higher frets where actually shaved down in a stair step method to help with fret buzz on the higher frets because original fret job was just terrible. You might have a high fret somewhere or you might need some neck relief.

I'd try to find a real professional guitar tech in your area and take it to him/her and see what they say, get a quote on a fret job as well.
#11
4-5mm ?

1 to 1.5 would be OK.

Confused now, don't know why you would put up with 4-5mm.

My strat is 1.5mm at 12th fret, My Ibanez (J team) is 1. Neither buzz, but the Ibanez has had a pro set-up and fret dress, the strat has just been set up by me.
#12
Quote by JustRooster
Sounds like a shim job is in order if your truss rod is completely straight.

To be honest, if his truss rod is perfectly straight that could also be the problem. You need a slight curve in the neck
#13
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
To be honest, if his truss rod is perfectly straight that could also be the problem. You need a slight curve in the neck


I know you're supposed to have a curve, yeah, for headroom for the strings to ring without hitting the frets in front of it. It does, and it still has buzz.

I messed around with it a tiny bit more, it's still around 4-5mm. I think for now I'll have to live with buzz, but I'm hoping there's options to lessen it for later.


Quote by PSimonR
4-5mm ?

1 to 1.5 would be OK.

Confused now, don't know why you would put up with 4-5mm.

My strat is 1.5mm at 12th fret, My Ibanez (J team) is 1. Neither buzz, but the Ibanez has had a pro set-up and fret dress, the strat has just been set up by me.


it's 4-5mm from the fretboard, 3-4mm from the fret.
Last edited by Clay-man at Dec 13, 2013,
#14
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
To be honest, if his truss rod is perfectly straight that could also be the problem. You need a slight curve in the neck



I used to think this was true myself, until I tried my buddy's ESP Horizon, dead straight, as low an action you could ever want. Absolutely zero buzz unless you are dead set on trying to make it do it.
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#15
Quote by RCA1186
I used to think this was true myself, until I tried my buddy's ESP Horizon, dead straight, as low an action you could ever want. Absolutely zero buzz unless you are dead set on trying to make it do it.

Might have been something to do with the neck angle, cuz logically, a neck does need a curve.
#16
Quote by ethan_hanus

I'd try to find a real professional guitar tech in your area and take it to him/her and see what they say, get a quote on a fret job as well.


+1

There's no point having an expensive guitar and not having a pro set-up if you can't do it yourself.
#17
Quote by PSimonR
+1

There's no point having an expensive guitar and not having a pro set-up if you can't do it yourself.


It was nearly 500 bucks on ebay, but it was bundled with accessories for stuff like powering the guitar without batteries, as well as connecting it to the computer which is a no brainer if you're purchasing a Variax.

It probably does need fretwork, but 4mm is way better than 6mm.

Thanks for all the informative posts.
#18
String gauge a factor?
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#19
I agree with WholeLottaIzzy, and the others who say the distance from the strings to the frets should be about 1.5mm. That is what I am able to achieve without any buzz on my American Fender Strat (actually made in USA - not the Mexican version).

That was only possible after a luthier corrected the angle of the neck pocket in the body. It had about a 4 degree slope down at the end of the body - that is the end of the pocket towards the tuning pegs.

So even "expensive" guitars can have mistakes.

By the way, that luthier had to use a router to deepen the pocket at the "shallow end". Then he had to make some shims to get it just right.
#20
Should I take it to a Line 6 authorized place? There was one I was going to send it to when one of the piezos crapped out, but I managed to replace it myself with a friend's solder kit.

It's like any other guitar but it does have some wiring and electronics inside. I'm sure I could just tell a luthier that though.

BTW, mine was made in korea. It's the second best of the old Variax models, so it's definitely not an entree level guitar.