#1
so i replaced the pickups in my Epiphone les paul and now after putting the guitar back together and restringing, my bass strings (low e, a, and d) all touch the first fret. It seems as if the strings are a tad too loose causing them to vibrate up and down too much. The low E especially rattles in a sense and sounds real muddy distorted.

the strings are all tuned to standard 440hz concert pitch and I have tried adjusting the truss rod into acceptable range, as well as raising my action to see if that corrected the issue. none of those seemed to do much of anything.

what am I missing here? why would the strings seem to be too loose without enough tension to prevent some rattling?
#3
You're tuned an octave down?
If you have a tuner that shows you what frequency you're tuned to, remember that low E is about 82Hz. Or does your tuner show you what OCTAVE you're tuned to?

Just for fun, start with the low E and see if you can tune it up to the next E.

What gauge strings did you put on, and what did you have on there before you replaced the pickups?
#4
yeah possibly, are you sure the bridge is sitting correct still?
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#5
Are you talking about the first fret at the nut end, or the first fret from the bridge? Not trying to make you look dumb, but some people don't know the difference...1st fret always refers to the one beside the nut.

If the strings are buzzing there, yes you might need a new nut. It should hold them around .010" to .012" above the first fret if I remember correctly.

If you're referring to the last fret, the one closest to the bridge, I would wonder if you're an octave too low, although you said concert 440 pitch, which should be right.

Check the pickups, if they are too high you may be rattling against them and think it's the frets. I almost missed that, but you said you just replaced the pickups, I spotted that when I read it again. My humbuckers usually end up around 1/4 inch below the strings. That varies according to the individual pickups, 1/4 inch is my usual starting point. If they are too close, the magnets can actually pull the strings out of tune and if really close you'll be touching them and rattling big time.

Go back over your setup and double check everything. And check the pickup height, if the strings are really close, lower the pickups and see if the buzzing stops.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#6
Quote by Paleo Pete
Are you talking about the first fret at the nut end, or the first fret from the bridge? Not trying to make you look dumb, but some people don't know the difference...1st fret always refers to the one beside the nut.

If the strings are buzzing there, yes you might need a new nut. It should hold them around .010" to .012" above the first fret if I remember correctly.

If you're referring to the last fret, the one closest to the bridge, I would wonder if you're an octave too low, although you said concert 440 pitch, which should be right.

Check the pickups, if they are too high you may be rattling against them and think it's the frets. I almost missed that, but you said you just replaced the pickups, I spotted that when I read it again. My humbuckers usually end up around 1/4 inch below the strings. That varies according to the individual pickups, 1/4 inch is my usual starting point. If they are too close, the magnets can actually pull the strings out of tune and if really close you'll be touching them and rattling big time.

Go back over your setup and double check everything. And check the pickup height, if the strings are really close, lower the pickups and see if the buzzing stops.



yea im sorry, i meant the first fret at the nut. i tightened up the truss rod and it helped some but i dont want to tighten it anymore as its in normal range. as far as the pickups go, the neck humbucker is a tad high but not high enough to touch the strings. ill lower it some as my strings are not staying in tune.

the bridge SEEMS to be placed correctly unless im missing something. its a les paul so it just sits snug against the bolts. the tuning should be fine as well considering I snapped the A string trying to tune it to the higher A. the E was the only string that was able to reach the higher Octave but it was extremely tight, like to the point the string is almost unbendable.

how deep are the nut slots typically? an eye ball test suggests they are rather deep but i cant be certain. i did go down a gauge in strings. from .10s to .09s
#7
If it wasn't buzzing before, and all you did was replace the pups, same strings or same brand/gage, and assuming that the new pups aren't really close to the strings ... personally, I would have given the neck a day or so to re-settle after stringing it back up. IF that didn't fix it, I would then take a look at the bridge and make sure you didn't bump the thumbwheels/posts and end up lowering the bridge and therefore the action. If it didn't buzz before, it's probably not the nut. Or, at least, I wouldn't worry about it yet.

Too late, right?

Buzz at the lower frets (lower fret "numbers" - closer to the nut) can be caused by not having enough relief. That can be a temporary situation because you removed string tension to work on the guitar. The neck, under string tension, will regain the relief that was "lost" when the strings were removed/loosened. That's why I suggested that, if it were me, I would have first given it time to settle after re-srtinging.

If it's an actual (read: expensive) Les Paul or if it's your only guitar and you cant get it figured out, you may want to find a local Luthier who can take a look and do a set-up. If you do, see if you can watch the basics so you can maybe do it next time.
Last edited by DG45 at Feb 1, 2015,
#8
Quote by DG45
If it wasn't buzzing before, and all you did was replace the pups, same strings or same brand/gage, and assuming that the new pups aren't really close to the strings ... personally, I would have given the neck a day or so to re-settle after stringing it back up. IF that didn't fix it, I would then take a look at the bridge and make sure you didn't bump the thumbwheels/posts and end up lowering the bridge and therefore the action. If it didn't buzz before, it's probably not the nut. Or, at least, I wouldn't worry about it yet.

Too late, right?

Buzz at the lower frets (lower fret "numbers" - closer to the nut) can be caused by not having enough relief. That can be a temporary situation because you removed string tension to work on the guitar. The neck, under string tension, will regain the relief that was "lost" when the strings were removed/loosened. That's why I suggested that, if it were me, I would have first given it time to settle after re-srtinging.

If it's an actual (read: expensive) Les Paul or if it's your only guitar and you cant get it figured out, you may want to find a local Luthier who can take a look and do a set-up. If you do, see if you can watch the basics so you can maybe do it next time.


the gauges were actually changed from .10s to .9s. is it possible the smaller gauges sit lower in the nut?
#9
to make things a little more clear. there isnt actually any buzz, for whatever reason. its just when its strummed open it rattles and when fretted its sound a little muddy and rattles aswell. the intonation is fine as well
#10
Quote by joedogg9999
to make things a little more clear. there isnt actually any buzz, for whatever reason. its just when its strummed open it rattles and when fretted its sound a little muddy and rattles aswell. the intonation is fine as well

Sounds like the new gauge is a little sloppy in the nut then.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#11
Quote by Robbgnarly
Sounds like the new gauge is a little sloppy in the nut then.



I agree, could be the strings/nut.

But, the truss rod adjustment (less relief) may not be helping. Still kinda vague on where/what the "buzz" is. Make sure you aren't getting any rattles or buzzes coming from the bridge itself.
#12
Changing from 10 to 9 strings shouldn't change string height at the nut, the nut slots are still the same height. They could be rattling around inside the nut slots, but I've never sen that happen. .001" difference is very little. Take a look at the cellophane off a cigarette pack, it's .001" thick, I used it a lot to get my tool position as a machinist, measured it several times. .001" every time. That's how little difference is in the high E string. Some of the larger strings are a little more difference, but shouldn't be enough to get an audible buzzing sound. I may be wrong, but I've never seen it happen.

Check the guitar for something loose. Pickup, bridge post, output jack, switch...any of these can rattle if loose and might be audible when playing.

If the nut height was right before the string change it should still be OK, that shouldn't change.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#13
The 9's will have less tension than 10's. Probably enough to affect relief (less relief) to some small degree but worse since the OP tightened the truss rod. That and the lower tension of 9's themselves can be enough to cause some buzz.

The description of the "buzz" is vague and I agree to definitely check for rattles and buzzing of the bridge and other hardware. But actual fret buzz at frets close to the nut may be not enough relief. Which would make sense with switch to 9's and removing relief by physically tightening the truss rod.
#14
If fretted notes are "rattling", it aint the nut.
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