#1
Hi!

So. I've been playing for like a year now, which isn't long at all.. I bought myself a very very awful Stagg SG at first, but ditched it soon enough and bought a beautiful Epiphone Les Paul standard. It was brand new and looks and sounds just fine.

But it doesn't play nice. The strings are high, and if I lower the bridge the strings make this awful buzzing sound, but it plays fantastic. I like it way better with the strings lowered. But the buzzing freaks me out. And I know, if I just higher the bridge a little the buzzing isn't as much and if I crank my amp I don't hear it at all..

But the problem is, I'm a beginner and other family members don't like it if I'm practicing riffs at high volume. I think you understand that.

So I play with the guitars of my father in law sometimes. He has a Gibson Les Paul Studio and a Gibson S-1 from the 80's. Both these guitars have wonderfully low action and have no fret buzzing at all. I like that very much, and I want my guitar to be the same.

And I don't believe these being gibson is the reason for that. It probably has something to do with guitar setup.

So what have I tried already?
- Higher action
Makes it too hard to play for me. (Fret buzz only goes away with very high action somehow)
- adjusting truss rod.
Have done this with care and patience. Doesn't seem to work.. Fret buzzing keeps jumping around the fret board. I currenty have buzzing after the 9th frets. It's particulary awful after the 17th fret, on the guitar body.

By the way, all frets are new and there are no dents! I keep my guitar in a hardcase with fluffy material and I haven't dropped it ever.

I hope you people can help me making my guitar the guitar I will fall in love with.
#2
Either this is going to be caused by an out of position truss rod, or the frets are not levelled properly. Raising the action might remove the buzz but it doesn't fix the problem as the guitar is still set up incorrectly. If you have already tried tweaking the truss rod I would take it in somewhere for the frets to be levelled.

One way to check if this is the case is to put a capo on fret 1 and put your finger on fret 22 (or 24). Then slide a credit card or something behind the string. There should be an equal gap all the way along the neck. If the string is too close to the neck at certain frets, this is why you get buzzing.
#3
Your epiphone is just not correctly set up.
Leave the truss rod alone.
Almost any guitar can be set up to play with low action and no buzzing frets assuming that you have level frets; you may need to have the tech at the store where you bought the guitar handle the setup for you.
#4
Quote by Random3
Either this is going to be caused by an out of position truss rod, or the frets are not levelled properly. Raising the action might remove the buzz but it doesn't fix the problem as the guitar is still set up incorrectly. If you have already tried tweaking the truss rod I would take it in somewhere for the frets to be levelled.

One way to check if this is the case is to put a capo on fret 1 and put your finger on fret 22 (or 24). Then slide a credit card or something behind the string. There should be an equal gap all the way along the neck. If the string is too close to the neck at certain frets, this is why you get buzzing.


This isn't great information, sorry. You're correct that frets need to be level on the guitar neck. But relief on an LP is correctly checked by holding down the string at the 17th fret (and the first). This is because the truss rod doesn't extend down to the 22nd or the 24th fret on those guitars. You do not check relief with a credit card, but with feeler gauges (I set mine somewhere between .005 and .009"). The "rule of thumb" if you don't have feeler gauges is to allow no more relief than the thickness of a new *playing* card. A credit card or business card is much thicker than this. And relief is checked at about the 7th fret. It will NOT be an equal gap all the way along the neck. There's no way it could be.

Action, on a guitar with level frets, is determined by the nut and the bridge together. If the nut slots are cut too high, it will be nearly impossible to lower the bridge far enough to have low action without having buzzing on the upper frets. So the first job is to insure that the nut is cut properly for low action. Then you can lower the bridge. If the neck is flat, you should be able to nearly deck the action. Relief is then added to allow for string swing/vibration in the middle frets.
#6
You need to learn how to set up your own guitar properly. There are a ton of resources online that will show you how to do this.

You will also need to determine if the guitars frets are level. Take the guitar to a tech and ask them to check the levelling of the frets for you.
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#7
Take your guitar to get set up exactly how you want it. Then memorize it. Take pictures. And notes. Then next time set it up yourself to that standard.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
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#8
So I tried a few things. First thing I did was adjusting the truss rod carefully. It's almost perfectly flat, but when I put a capo at the first fret en hold the 17th fret with my thumb, the 12th fret has slight space between the fret.

This is a good thing right? Well.. I have the action quite high but it still buzzes after the 14th fret. On E and A string. Very anoying... Especially because the guitar was 300 euro's. (it's 6 months old or so) If I make the action even higher I can't play anything anymore because the strings get in the way.

And I have played guitars with action WAY lower than my guitar...

Anybody have idea what the problem could be?
#9
Hate to say it but I think you probably need to have the frets leveled and polished. This needs to be done by a qualified luthier and isn't cheap. Even better option would be to have it run through a Plek machine but those are often hard to find and even more expensive. I don't want to scare you off when I say expensive I don't mean thousands of dollars but over a hundred dollars for sure and possibly over 2 depending on how bad it is. Taking it to a good luthier will also get you a complete setup along with the fret job and you should end up with a much nicer guitar all the way around.
#10
But my frets are as new... No scretches at all. It's not like I've played 10 hours a day for the last half year..
#11
Some guitars need fretwork right out of the box. It happens
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#12
Quote by EPI51
But my frets are as new... No scretches at all. It's not like I've played 10 hours a day for the last half year..


That has nothing to do with anything. I bought three guitars (all LP-style) within a month or two of each other. One was a $4K Gibson Axcess Custom, one was an Agile Custom ($1160 shipped, with case) and the last was an Agile AL2000 Floyd B-Stock (under $200). Each of them had a minor issue, here and there, with fret level. All three went onto a PLEK machine and had their frets superglued. In the case of the cheapest guitar, the process cost more than the guitar itself. IN the end, all three played identically, and all three have very low action.
#13
Quote by EPI51
But my frets are as new... No scretches at all. It's not like I've played 10 hours a day for the last half year..

Whether you have or your haven't is irrelevant.

On many budget guitars like Epiphones, one of the areas where they can save a lot of money is skimping on the quality of their fretwork. So some guitars will need fretwork straight out of the box to get them playing right. That's often the price you pay with budget guitars.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
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