#1
Hello!

I have a Fender CD-140s acoustic guitar and it arrived from a webshop very unsetted. The string are buzzing cause they're touching the lower frets and resonate while I'm trying to hold them down on an upper fret. I guess it must be because the neck is not setted correctly.
I was thinking over if I could get a matching hex key and adjust the neck straight by my self.
Is this a good idea, or it's kind of thing that I better entrust to a professional luthier?! (I don't want to mess up my guitar even more).

And if the answer is approving, I have two more questions: how hard would it be to undertake, and what type of hex key (or anything else) would I need for the operation?

(And just for remark: I'm really unsatisfied with the Shop whom I ordered it, I will never deal with them again... )

Thank you for the answers!
#2
Take the time to read through this setup tutorial:

http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html

Read it through more than once.

If you are reasonably handy, and have the tools, you should be able to answer your own question.

If you're not sure even then, post back and we'll try to help.

FWIW, Fender guitars, I believe, are setup in this country. The techs that do this, either aren't that good, or are too rushed.For example, if adjust the truss rod too much too soon, the neck may go too straight, or even have a bit of a back beck over a period of days or weeks, after the guitar leave Fender.

Warehouses are cold, and damp, or maybe cold and dry. This doesn't help the guitar's cause.

This is the season for low humidity. Low humidity shrinks the soundboard, which in turn lowers the bridge, which in turn lowers the strings, causing buzz.

You Fender has a solid top, which is more delicate, and sensitive, than you basic all plywood beater.

Please read the sticky about humidity, at the top of this main forum's page

You should have gotten a truss rod allen key with the guitar. In case you didn't, it's 5mm.

Strings buzzing absolutely DO NOT have to be the fault of the truss rod. But, you have to do the necessary truss rod check or adjust, before you continue with the rest of the setup. If the truss needs adjusting, do it a little bit at a time, a quarter turn or less.
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Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 17, 2015,
#3
Good advice there, Captain. The only thing I would add, is don't adjust the truss rod until you have the humidity in the room properly set. Depending on where you live, the humidity in your room/house could be very low - the first winter we lived here, I saw the relative humidity in this house drop into the teens. That's way too low for any solid top acoustic. I keep my guitars on the wall in my small home studio. I have a humidifier in the room and try to keep the relative humidity between 40% and 50%. Right now, it's pretty cold outside and I'm maintaining around 38%, which is going to have to work for now.

Check out this page on the Taylor Guitars website.

https://www.taylorguitars.com/sites/default/files/10_SymptomsofaDryGuitar.pdf

Once you get the humidity set right and the guitar has had a chance to stabilize, then it's time to reevaluate its setup and action.
#4
Thanks! I will check out the tutorial and go look for that hex key in the guitars box (tho' I don't remember if they included any in the box and it's now in the cellar...).

I called a local music store and they said it will cost between 13€ and 25€ depending on what needs to be adjusted on the guitar and I really would like to avoid that higher price (I paid enough for the guitar itself, and I guess I'm not exagerrating when I say that it's the music shops obligation to check and adjust any guitars before shipping it to a customer, which they did't do obviously, but thats that...I wish I had bought something locally and not from a webstore.)

Will do my research and see how it goes...
#5
Most local guitar shops will do a complete setup on a guitar for free - provided you bought it from them. And most of them, if they're any good, will put the guitar in a room with the proper humidity level and let it stabilize, before they attempt to evaluate it and perform any adjustments or repairs.
#6
First off, read the link that captain provided many times over until you are sure you understand it. My guitars all take a 3/16 allen key but I guess that can vary by brand. Make sure you get one that's long enough. The cardinal rule is to not force it. If it doesn't want to turn under fingertip torque or you run out of adjustment - time to take it somewhere. Also make small adjustments, 1/8 turn(no more than 1/4) and give it at least a few hours to settle out. You'll need something to measure the gap and a capo to put on the 1st fret (or else a second set of hands). A set of feeler gages is the best measuring device but you can get by with a business card.