#1
2013 american standard strat...the 14th fret is more dead than the rest, on all strings. I've had a bunch of problems with this guitar already, and it's just frustrating. What's causing this? The note sounds but it buzzes more than the 13th and 15th, respectively, and bending from the 14th frets out, especially high E, while 13th and 15th don't.
#2
Very possible it's a tall fret. When's the last time you did a setup on it?
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#3
Quote by JustRooster
Very possible it's a tall fret. When's the last time you did a setup on it?



I set it up myself about a week ago. It's had about 5 professional set ups from the shop since i bought it in August. It's really frustrating. I might just trade it in..i don't even like the way it sounds a lot of the time, to be honest. It has next to no sustain. I expected better from a $1200 american instrument
#4
Quote by RyanMW2010
I set it up myself about a week ago. It's had about 5 professional set ups from the shop since i bought it in August. It's really frustrating. I might just trade it in..i don't even like the way it sounds a lot of the time, to be honest. It has next to no sustain. I expected better from a $1200 american instrument



Sustain could be your pickups heights or the action. Just sayin.
#5
Five PROFESSIONAL setups? Don't think so. They may have charged you money, of course.

I've been having my frets superglued. http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Neck_Building_and_Repair_and_Setup/Super_glue_your_frets_for_better_tone.html



Do NOT have this done by any of the people who've charged you money to do your setup. Find a really good tech who knows how to do this and then have it done. Read through the newsletter to see why.

With most guitars that are new to me, I've also had a PLEK setup done (Gary Brawer in San Francisco).

Between the two and the resulting setup, I have no dead frets, no issues with sustain, no buzzing frets. I've done this with a $200 B Stock Agile AL-2000 Floyd, and it's been outstanding for the past three (more?) years. Doesn't matter if it's a $1200 American guitar or not -- I had to do this with an over-$4K Gibson Axcess Custom (which is theoretically PLEK'd from their factory. It was fretting out on full-stop bends on the upper frets. Superglued and PLEK'd, the guitar plays the way it should have in the first place.
Last edited by dspellman at Jun 26, 2014,
#7
PLEKing requires a pretty expensive machine. Also, while supergluing will makes your frets stable, it still won't change the fact that it's too tall if that's what the issue is.
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#8
Quote by JustRooster
PLEKing requires a pretty expensive machine. Also, while supergluing will makes your frets stable, it still won't change the fact that it's too tall if that's what the issue is.


Exactly. Supergluing your frets accomplishes two things. The NON cork sniffy thing is that it locks them into the fretboard and helps prevent flyer frets during temperature or humidity changes. Custom builders usually glue their frets with titebond when they're installing frets. Production manufacturers (including Gibson) rarely do. The cork sniffy piece of this is that it eliminates dead frets, enhances the sonic bond between string and fretboard, evens out the tone along the entire fretboard, etc. I'd honestly have to say that it works, but you get to determine if it does.

The PLEK process uses a $100K+ computer-controlled machine to analyze your fretboard under string tension and calculate the exact (and the minimum) amount to mill each individual fret in order to give you an accurate fret level. There are only a few ((under 20?) in the US, and it's rare that a tech will have one. Gibson uses them, but only as a fret mill doing an "average" fret mill, and they're there mostly as a marketing tool. By the time you get a Gibson that's been run on their PLEK process, it's a very ordinary guitar.

While there are some who will claim that a manual process fret leveling is "just as good," that's unlikely. A manual fret leveling will always remove more fret material than is absolutely necessary and can't compensate for whatever happens when the neck is brought back up to string tension. A tech doing a good manual fret leveling will often find himself "touching up" frets that change position when the guitar is strung. A manual fret level will also take up much more of a tech's time, which means you wait longer and his other work gets pushed further back, and that can cause a "good enough" result from him.

Once on the machine, and once the analysis has been done, and once the process parameters have been tweaked (here, a good tech will take into consideration your playing style, etc. and make adjustments), the process of actually milling the frets is automatic and relatively quick. The tech can do other work in the meantime. While it saves him time, you're paying more -- mostly so that he can make the payments on the machine <G>. I've had occasion to take a guitar in at 11 am and pick it up at 6 pm (don't expect that very often, however) from a very busy tech.

After the fret level, there's still all the work of an initial setup to do. Gary Brawer, in San Francisco, who does this work, will finish polish the frets with a piece of leather before restringing the guitar and setting the action, bridge radius, pickup height and all of the rest of a good setup. He offers a full year of setup "refresh" after a fret mill leveling. You can take the guitar in any time during that year and have the setup refreshed (even if you were the one that accidentally UN set it up when the bridge dropped off during a restring <G>. He'll even toss the guitar back on the PLEK for an analysis, if necessary, to see how the neck has moved since the PLEK was done. The original analysis of your guitar and the results after PLEKing are saved in the computer, and can be compared to the current one. You can have several guitars set up to the same basic parameters based on your original PLEK job.

But...not cheap.

On the other hand, if you play with fairly low action -- SO worth it.
#10
I live on Long Island, and I believe the Huntington Sam Ash, which is about 15 minutes from my house, has a PLEK machine. I don't necessarily play with low action always, but I'm not super happy with how my guitar plays. I heard it was about $200 for the plek and setup. I'm going to give them a call. Thanks!
#11
Right on! Hope it works for you, man. We'll be waiting to hear back!
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