So, I posted on here that I was getting an LTD Stephen Carpenter 207 guitar. It arrived 2 days ago with the worst fret buzz I've EVER experienced in 20 years of playing. Every single fret buzzed, even open strings buzzed.

I raised the bridge which made it a little better but not much, the action was really high and it was still buzzing on the 4th and 5th string on the 9th and 10th frets. So just to test I raised the bridge as high as possible and those frets and strings still buzzed. So, I looked into playing with the truss rod which has lessened the buzz but only by a tiny bit.

THEN I tried checking for a raised fret. I can't find any at all. So my question is, what the hell is going on? Any advice or thoughts on the cause would be welcomed. I've been playing a long time but have never had a guitar so bad where I've even had to touch the truss rod. Any help?

It must have no relief at all, neck is too flat or even bowed the wrong way, Temp or humidity changes from the factory could be to blame. It should be easily fixed by loosening the truss a bit and returning the action where it was
I've had to adjust the truss rod on many guitars. JR's Nut slot too deep comment is another good hint to check. You should be able to add relief and lower the bridge if the nut is fine.
Looks like it's a bolt on neck from google images.

If the nut slot is too deep than the guitar strings would feel really loose and bendable me thinks. If it is a little too deep it wouldn't really manifest on all frets especially when the action is high.

My first thought is to check if the neck is properly bolted on tight. It may have been knocked loose in shipping. Carefully tighten the neck bolts with a little bit of elbow grease, but just enough (i.e. be careful not to strip them).

If that doesn't work while the action is high, make sure the neck has a good amount of relief for your playing style (more attack, more relief). If that makes it better you can lower your action until the buzz becomes noticeable again.

A good thing to check also is if your pickups are too close to your strings. Double check this if they are active.
Last edited by spicyfourpiece at Jul 31, 2014,
Thanks for the replies! Would it be the nut though if it only buzzes on the 10th fret? When the bridge is at it's highest it only buzzes at the 10th fret and only the 5th, 4th and actually the 3rd too. Of course the strings are stupidly high at this point.

Is there any way I can check if it's the nut?

By the way I did adjust the truss rod using the "press the 2nd and 14th fret check the space between the strings" method. Even when the space was at it's highest it did nothing.

I just took all the strings off apart from the 4th, pressed the 10th fret and the string is buzzing on the next fret along, not matter how high the bridge is. This is so strange.
Last edited by CowLoon at Jul 31, 2014,
It really sounds like neck relief. It's a 7 string so feel free to loosen it up, the truss rod that is.
Oh ok, which way should I turn the truss? I've never had to do this before. Until it feels loose? Well, I've played with the truss on this but I don't really know what I'm doing.
Last edited by CowLoon at Jul 31, 2014,
Righty tighty, lefty lucy. Never use a strong arm and make sure the wrench is in snug. They say 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time.

Turn. Tune. Check.


If the nut becomes so loose that it turns freely and the action is still high, call the manufacturer.
Last edited by spicyfourpiece at Jul 31, 2014,
That made me laugh. XD

I'll give that a go and come pester you with the results. It's so awkward on this guitar, I have to loosen the strings every time I make an adjustment.
Ya you have to re-tune after every adjustment.

If you don't than you really have no point to reference your changes to.
Last edited by spicyfourpiece at Jul 31, 2014,
I just turned it until it was loose. The action got better but the 4th string buzz didn't change at all and the 2nd string 10th fret is just completely gone now.

The strange thing is, the further away I bend a string from it's original position the better and clearer it gets. What does this indicate? Are the frets a little curved or something?
I think you are just noticing the radius of the neck.

If it's loose you can try tightening it. Sometimes it takes awhile for a neck to set though so you may want to wait a few hours between adjustments.

I just took a look on Google and one of the guys was saying that he remedied his problem by tightening the rod. It could be that the problem is at the nut and tightening the rod *could* remedy this. Just don't strong arm the truss rod nut. If it won't budge don't make it budge. Back off and take it to a tech, especially if it's a new guitar. It should be covered under warranty.

It's strange because fret buzz between the nut and the neck joint is usually a case of not enough relief. I guess if the strings aren't getting enough pressure from the neck at the nut they don't have a sufficient break angle so tightening the rod could actually be the remedy aside from a new nut.
Last edited by spicyfourpiece at Jul 31, 2014,
Maybe spend the bucks, take it to a tech and (ideally) have it run on a PLEK machine?

You may not need any fret milling at all, but the PLEK's analytical capabilities will tell you pretty quickly what's up with the neck and how to fix it.

A good tech will be able to spot gross issues; a PLEK machine will spot everything.
I got an email from the shop I got it from (last time I buy online, I'm shocked at the condition of this) and they said they'll have it picked up and will "reset" it for me.

I honestly don't see what can be reset (I'm probably missing something though I'm not a guitar tech) as the truss rod IS working, it's changing the action a little, it just isn't fixing the buzz. It's either making it worse or doing nothing at all, I'm being really careful too, only making slight adjustments. I'll send it back to them and see what they can do with it and in the meantime I'll tighten the truss and leave it a few hours see if that does anything. Thanks for all the help though I've learned quite a bit here.

I just need to look up what a PLEK machine is! ¬_¬
Well if the nut is too low there is no amount of adjusting that will remedy anything. If the neck isn't bolted in right either, you can play with the rod all day.

The truss rod is really there to remedy any buzzing issues on the first 12 or so frets. yes it will change the action but really that should be set at the bridge after your rod is set.

Good luck and keep learning.
So, what do you think it is? A warped neck maybe? I've had guitars in the mail before (recently got an Epiphone Emperor) and they've all been in perfect condition so it couldn't have happened in transit could it? Who knows though.

Maybe I should just get a refund and look for an Ibanez.