#1
I've had my Epiphone PlusTop Pro for about 3 weeks, and even after a heavier set of strings, there is still only a very small amount of relief, and I'm getting buzzing as a result. How to I force relief into it? The truss rod is loosened until the point it gets hard to turn instead of having no friction, I feel like it will break if I keep going.

Do I keep turning it?
#2
Are you sure you're tuning the truss rod in the right direction?

Truss rods can feel as though they're hard to turn just because the mechanism that tightens/loosens it is stiff and not because the rod itself is tight.

If you're turning it as far as you feel comfortable with turning it and you're still not getting the results you want, I'd take it into a tech.

It'll cost money, but if it does happen to break, the tech is liable and not you.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 25, 2015,
#3
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
If you're turning it as far as you feel comfortable with turning it and you're still not getting the results you want, I'd take it into a tech.

It'll cost money, but if it does break, the problem is on the tech and not you.


I would, but the last time I tried to get a setup at GC the guy didn't touch the truss rod (which needed adjustment) and only lowered the action until the guitar was buzzing horribly, and gave it back. The guy there doesn't seem to know what he's doing.

I do have a warranty on this via GC, but they're gonna want to send it to Epiphone to make any repairs, which takes months.

I'm pretty sure the rod is maxed out looseness wise, but I can't be sure.
Last edited by The Bacon Man at Jan 25, 2015,
#4
I should've known it was GC who set it up for you.

Perhaps you should've explained to the tech what needed to happen to get the guitar to the playability you want. By explaining that you're not comfortable with adjusting the truss rod any further and that you're paying them to do it for you. If you have a good understanding of how a guitar should be set up, than I don't see how you'd be demanding anything thats unreasonable.

How much relief does the neck have right now @ the 7th fret? How much do you want to see?

If adjusting the truss rod further isn't an option, I'd send the guitar back. If it takes a long time for you to get a replacement, then so be it.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 25, 2015,
#5
You SHOULD have only a small amount of relief.
The MAXIMUM amount of relief you should have on the 7th fret (with the first and 17th frets touching) is less than the thickness of a new playing card (not business card). If you've got a set of feeler gauges, you might try keeping it down around .008".

If you have a lot of fret buzz, you want to check the most likely reasons before you crank in a bunch of relief.

One, are your frets level? I'm betting not.

Two, are your nut slots cut to the correct height? A too high nut will give you buzz on the upper frets (above the 12th-15th fret) when you try to lower the action. A too low nut will give you buzz on the lower frets.

Three, are your bridge saddles adjusted correctly for the radius of the fretboard?

Until you're absolutely sure that these three items are exactly where they should be, don't bother with the truss rod, and don't try to make adding a bunch of relief a cure for lack of fret level or a badly done nut or bridge.
#6
Hmm, had no idea the nut affected fretted notes. The majority of the buzz is on 1-8, and it slowly disappears after that. The nut did look a little low to me but the open strings don't buzz.

The frets don't feel to be in too bad shape but I need to check with a straightedge.

The relief is a little less than a playing card atm, but I guess I may have bigger issues than relief.

How hard is fret leveling? I have plenty of dummy guitars to practice on. I don't want to pour money into a cheap guitar and have it done professionally. I had this guitar (with a crack) and returned it, and it had the same buzzing issues, so it's something that epiphone is doing wrong on all the guitars imo.

I have some feelers gauges I belive, I'll get some measurements up for you guys.

@TOODEEPBLUE, my mom had it setup when she bought it (this was a Christmas gift). I wasn't there to guide the "professional" lmao.
#7
I wouldn't consider levelling the frets on the guitar until you actually know it is an issue. Don't assume that the frets are uneven until you actually measure them to see if they are.

Fretwork is not something any layman can do. It requires special tools that add up to be rather expensive, and you need quite a lot of experience to do the job well. I would only take the guitar to an experienced tech for that sort of work. Doing that sort of work without any experience or the right tools is a very easy way to ruin your guitar.
Hmm, had no idea the nut affected fretted notes.

It doesn't affect the action of fretted notes, but it does affect the action of the guitar on fretting from open notes. It affects how stiff the action of the guitar feels when you fret a guitar from open notes, but not when you're fretting from one fretted note to the next.

What dspellman is trying to say is that if a guitar's nut action is really high, people will notice that the action at the 12th fret is really high as well, caused in part by the nut action being so high. They assume the bridge being too high is the issue, and lower it, when actually lowering the bridge is likely compounding the issue rather than solving it.

Based on what you're saying, if open notes are not buzzing, then obviously the action at open notes isn't too low. So I don't think that's the cause of your problem.
I had this guitar (with a crack) and returned it, and it had the same buzzing issues, so it's something that epiphone is doing wrong on all the guitars imo.

This is a poor mentality. Generalising all guitars made by one brand being awful just because of your experience with 2 of the guitars that bear their name were not good, is too narrow a view. A more mature view is to treat each guitar on an individual basis.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 25, 2015,
#8
Quote by dspellman
You SHOULD have only a small amount of relief.
The MAXIMUM amount of relief you should have on the 7th fret (with the first and 17th frets touching) is less than the thickness of a new playing card (not business card). If you've got a set of feeler gauges, you might try keeping it down around .008".

If you have a lot of fret buzz, you want to check the most likely reasons before you crank in a bunch of relief.

One, are your frets level? I'm betting not.

Two, are your nut slots cut to the correct height? A too high nut will give you buzz on the upper frets (above the 12th-15th fret) when you try to lower the action. A too low nut will give you buzz on the lower frets.

Three, are your bridge saddles adjusted correctly for the radius of the fretboard?

Until you're absolutely sure that these three items are exactly where they should be, don't bother with the truss rod, and don't try to make adding a bunch of relief a cure for lack of fret level or a badly done nut or bridge.


This....many factors affect a good setup.
Moving on.....
#9
Quote by The Bacon Man
Hmm, had no idea the nut affected fretted notes. The majority of the buzz is on 1-8, and it slowly disappears after that. The nut did look a little low to me but the open strings don't buzz.

How hard is fret leveling? I have plenty of dummy guitars to practice on. I don't want to pour money into a cheap guitar and have it done professionally. I had this guitar (with a crack) and returned it, and it had the same buzzing issues, so it's something that epiphone is doing wrong on all the guitars imo.


It depends on how good a job you want to do.

Manual fret leveling is done by pulling the strings off, flattening the neck (no tensioning on the truss rod) and then going at the frets with a block and sandpaper until your straightedge says the frets are level. The tech will also be conscious of the radius of the frets (some use a radiused block under the sandpaper, some guesstimate the radius while using a flat block). You then crown and polish the frets, string it up, and usually discover that the neck, under tension, doesn't come up consistently, and you suddenly have a few frets that need a bit more work. A good tech may have to make several passes and tweak several single fret (or small groups of frets) to get a good result, and this can take some time (as much as most of a day, perhaps more), during which he can do nothing else.

The PLEK machine first precision measures the neck with the strings that you will use under tension. It may make suggestions for truss rod modifications while it's doing that. It will analyze the neck and highlight problem areas. A good PLEK tech will have questions about playing style, preferred action levels, etc., and may modify the suggested program slightly to accommodate those preferences. The PLEK may also be programmed to cut a new nut at the same time. The PLEK is capable of such precision that it can carve your name in a script font between the slots of the nut.

The strings are then loosened and moved aside (or removed) and the PLEK's cutters will handle leveling and crowning each individual fret. Unlike a manual operation, only the material that absolutely needs to be removed will be. This can significantly extend the time between refrets. The frets are then polished (often with a piece of rough leather). When the strings are put under tension again, the neck will return to the shape it was when it was last under tension, and the frets will be level. This process takes a couple of hours, most of it unattended (so the tech is free to work on other jobs).

The manual job, while taking far more of the tech's time and inhibiting from doing other things in the shop, will usually cost half or less what a PLEK job will (largely due to the cost of the machine itself, presumably).

My cheapo guitar of choice is the Agile (here in the US) over the Epiphone, and I've actually had an under-$200 B stock PLEK'd (the PLEK job cost more than the guitar, IOW). It has, however, remained an amazing player for the last four or five years, so I'd do it again. In the past I've needed fret leveling done on guitars costing $4K and $6K. Original cost is apparently no guarantee that you'll get a playable guitar out of the box.
#10
Quote by The Bacon Man
How to I force relief into it? The truss rod is loosened until the point it gets hard to turn instead of having no friction, I feel like it will break if I keep going.

Do I keep turning it?


Jfc, no and no.

No offence, but you don't seem to know what that rod is for. Take it to a tech.
ayy lmao