#1
Hi all

What would you do if you had string buzz on an open bottom e for example and the truss rod has been maxed out?

Im looking to buy a vintage guitar that looks like it has this problem.

i think its going for half the price it should be but will this render it useless or not worth fixing.

thanks in advance

Donaldo
#2
What kind of guitar is it? Usually thats an easy fix. I'd go for it if it was a cool guitar to add to my collection. Adjust the truss rod, raise the bridge alittle
#3
cheers for the reply mabbamam, its a 1981 Yammie SG1000
if the truss rod has no adjustment left, what can i do?
#5
Before even thinking about touching the truss rod or anything else, you need to determine where the buzz is coming from. If it buzzes only on open strings, the first thing I look at is if the slots in the nut are cut too deep. If you can't insert a thin (.46mm) between the string and first fret without raising the string, it could be too low.

Your truss rod isn't a magic lever to eliminate buzz or set action (although it does have an affect on them). It is to set your relief. If your relief and action is set correctly and you are still getting buzz, your nut or a high/low fret are likely culprits.


http://www.treeguitarworks.com/
#6
Quote by stormin1155
Before even thinking about touching the truss rod or anything else, you need to determine where the buzz is coming from. If it buzzes only on open strings, the first thing I look at is if the slots in the nut are cut too deep. If you can't insert a thin (.46mm) between the string and first fret without raising the string, it could be too low.

Your truss rod isn't a magic lever to eliminate buzz or set action (although it does have an affect on them). It is to set your relief. If your relief and action is set correctly and you are still getting buzz, your nut or a high/low fret are likely culprits.


http://www.treeguitarworks.com/

This. Only adjust truss rod if it's causing the problem. If your neck is properly set up, don't touch the truss rod - it is set up properly and adjusting it won't solve the problem.

As said above, the problem might also be your frets or nut or just too low action. On which frets do you get fretbuzz? Is it only one or two frets? Is it on lower frets or higher frets?
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#8
In what way is the truss rod "maxed out"? As in, it can't be tightened any more? If the buzz is the result, in whole or part, of not enough neck relief, you'd want to truss rod to be looser anyway. But as others have said, this may not need adjusting at all. Just start by inspecting the neck for straightness (with just the slightest bit of relief - this can be done fairly well visually without any need for straightedges and depth gauges).

Only after you're certain the neck is as good as it's going to be is it time to adjust the action.
Last edited by Dodeka at Sep 26, 2014,
#9
OK...

1. Never touch the truss rod unless you KNOW it needs adjusting. The truss rod has one purpose, and one only. To create (and adjust) backbow, so the strings have a little more room to vibrate in the middle of the neck. Capo at first fret, hold string down with finger at last fret, you should have around .012" to 015" in the middle, around 8th fret. This can be more or less depending on action and how you play. Low action needs a bit more, high action can handle less. If you're getting buzz in the middle frets, usually it goes away before the octave, truss rod might be the problem. Truss rod has absolutely nothing to do with intonation and very very little to do with action. Not enough to notice.

2. Nut slots - Should be no more than around .010" - .012" or so a the first fret. .015" is not out of question but a little on the high side. If you're getting buzz only at the first 3 or 4 frets, nut slots too low is probably the culprit.

3. Action. Low action will have a tendency to create fret buzz if you play hard. Players who like low action usually have a pretty light playing style.

4. Fret grooves. After playing a guitar for a while, usually several years, you'll develop grooves in the first 4 or 5 frets, pull the strings aside and you can see them. Almost always on the smallest 3 bottom strings. This means a fret leveling job. Frets have to be filed or sanded down even with the bottom of those grooves then re crowned. Not a job for a newcomer...When frets develop grooves, the next fret up can buzz because the one you're fretting pulls the string too low.

5. Loose frets. Not very common but possible. Tap LIGHTLY with a wooden hammer to tighten suspected loose frets. Or a small hammer and wooden dowel. Usually this will happen only at one fret.

6. Neck dropping away from body (set neck guitars) This is more common with acoustics, the neck will have a visible drop as it leaves the body, the only real cure for this is a neck replacement. I've done pretty well with my Takamine, by filing the last few frets down until the buzz stopped, and lots of tinkering to get things adjusted right...action, new nut, truss rod, new bridge saddle, fret leveling...

To know what to adjust, you have to find where the buzz originates. Where on the neck you have fret buzz can give you a good clue as to the problem, and finding out where it hap[pens is the first step, don't touch a thing until you know where the buzz is coming from. I've also seen loose hardware buzz and fooled me into thinking I had a fret buzz caused by one of the things listed above...turned out to be a loose bridge plate, (telecaster) screws had wallowed out, made it buzz, pickups amplified it, drove me crazy trying to find it...fixed the going out of tune problem too...I've also seen other hardware work loose and cause buzz that was amplified by pickups. Pickup switch in my Peavey Patriot is loose right now but it can only be heard when playing it unplugged. That's how I found it...I have no idea how long it's been loose...

If you're interested in buying, how do you know the truss rod is "maxed out" anyway? It's not uncommon for the threads to get rusty from sweat and moisture getting into the threads over the years, which is why I try to remember to put one small drop of light oil on all of mine once every year or two. If this is the case, DO NOT FORCE IT. Put a drop of oil in it, let it sit overnight, try to adjust it a little but don't force it. It might take 4 or 5 attempts to gradually free it up. Just lightly work it back and forth, and I would recommend getting the feel of it on one that's working properly first so you know about how much tension to expect.

Never adjust the truss rod more than 1/4 turn, let it sit overnight, check it again. The truss rod is not an immediate adjustment, the wood has to "settle in" and will gradually move a little in response to the truss rod adjustment. Never adjust it more than 1/4 turn either way in 24 hours. I've never had to adjust one more than 1/2 turn total in 30 years of working on guitars.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Sep 25, 2014,
#10
Quote by Paleo Pete
OK...

1. Never touch the truss rod unless you KNOW it needs adjusting. The truss rod has one purpose, and one only. To create (and adjust) backbow, so the strings have a little more room to vibrate in the middle of the neck. Capo at first fret, hold string down with finger at last fret, you should have around .012" to 015" in the middle, around 8th fret. This can be more or less depending on action and how you play. Low action needs a bit more, high action can handle less. If you're getting buzz in the middle frets, usually it goes away before the octave, truss rod might be the problem. Truss rod has absolutely nothing to do with intonation and very very little to do with action. Not enough to notice.

2. Nut slots - Should be no more than around .010" - .012" or so a the first fret. .015" is not out of question but a little on the high side. If you're getting buzz only at the first 3 or 4 frets, nut slots too low is probably the culprit.

3. Action. Low action will have a tendency to create fret buzz if you play hard. Players who like low action usually have a pretty light playing style.

4. Fret grooves. After playing a guitar for a while, usually several years, you'll develop grooves in the first 4 or 5 frets, pull the strings aside and you can see them. Almost always on the smallest 3 bottom strings. This means a fret leveling job. Frets have to be filed or sanded down even with the bottom of those grooves then re crowned. Not a job for a newcomer...When frets develop grooves, the next fret up can buzz because the one you're fretting pulls the string too low.

5. Loose frets. Not very common but possible. Tap LIGHTLY with a wooden hammer to tighten suspected loose frets. Or a small hammer and wooden dowel. Usually this will happen only at one fret.

6. Neck dropping away from body (set neck guitars) This is more common with acoustics, the neck will have a visible drop as it leaves the body, the only real cure for this is a neck replacement. I've done pretty well with my Takamine, by filing the last few frets down until the buzz stopped, and lots of tinkering to get things adjusted right...action, new nut, truss rod, new bridge saddle, fret leveling...

To know what to adjust, you have to find where the buzz originates. Where on the neck you have fret buzz can give you a good clue as to the problem, and finding out where it hap[pens is the first step, don't touch a thing until you know where the buzz is coming from. I've also seen loose hardware buzz and fooled me into thinking I had a fret buzz caused by one of the things listed above...turned out to be a loose bridge plate, (telecaster) screws had wallowed out, made it buzz, pickups amplified it, drove me crazy trying to find it...fixed the going out of tune problem too...I've also seen other hardware work loose and cause buzz that was amplified by pickups. Pickup switch in my Peavey Patriot is loose right now but it can only be heard when playing it unplugged. That's how I found it...I have no idea how long it's been loose...

If you're interested in buying, how do you know the truss rod is "maxed out" anyway? It's not uncommon for the threads to get rusty from sweat and moisture getting into the threads over the years, which is why I try to remember to put one small drop of light oil on all of mine once every year or two. If this is the case, DO NOT FORCE IT. Put a drop of oil in it, let it sit overnight, try to adjust it a little but don't force it. It might take 4 or 5 attempts to gradually free it up. Just lightly work it back and forth, and I would recommend getting the feel of it on one that's working properly first so you know about how much tension to expect.

Never adjust the truss rod more than 1/4 turn, let it sit overnight, check it again. The truss rod is not an immediate adjustment, the wood has to "settle in" and will gradually move a little in response to the truss rod adjustment. Never adjust it more than 1/4 turn either way in 24 hours. I've never had to adjust one more than 1/2 turn total in 30 years of working on guitars.


This is gold and should be made a sticky.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .