I have an Alvarez AD-60SC that sounds fine except for the 13th fret - all 6 notes there are horribly tinny (even the low F). How can I fix this? I'd like to take care of it myself, and have a Dremel, some masking tape, and plenty of Flitz if I need to do some polishing. Any input you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated.
hmmmm, that happened to the 4th fret of my acoustic when i first started guitar, i took it back and they gave me a new one....
so i can't help you there
There is more than one thing i have to say...
I'm not sure, but It sounds like it could be that your 14th fret is high. Get good straight edge and make sure your 14th fret isn't sitting a little higher than the rest of the frets. If it is high then you might want to try tapping it down with a hammer or grinding it off with a file. If it's not high then I'm not sure what to tell you.
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This is weird...I put a straightedge on it and the 14th fret looks normal, but when I fret a note on the 13th, I can see the string buzzing against the 14th. My action's kind of low, but not super-low, and raising it hasn't helped (made it even worse, actually, except for the B & E strings).
The 14th fret shouldn't be in line with the other frets. It should start to drop off a bit. It sounds to me like you need to tap down, or grind your 14th fret.
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If gently tapping it in doesn't work in a case like this, I personally prefer to remove the fret altogether, rework the slot and then place a new piece of fretwire. Grinding it down is a less elegant but also a quick and easy solution that doesn't require special skills or tools though.
Make ample use of your masking tape, but leave the Dremel unplugged. Some medium sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood will be violence enough to teach it manners. Then use some fine sandpaper to shine the surface.
Fretwire is of a rather soft brass/nickle alloy that can easily be worked it into shape. Powertools (not in the hands of CorduroyEW) should be kept away from guitars as much as possible.
Last edited by Marcel Veltman at Mar 22, 2007,
You are right. When doing this kind of thing, don't use power tools. I like to use the fine side of a sharpening stone (like the ones you take camping with you so that you can sharpen your pocket knife) to level frets, and then I finish it off with 800 or 1200 grit sandpaper depending on how shinny I want the frets to be.

When fixing bumps in the fretboard it's self I fend it best to do a compleat refret. I pull everything then use a long block of wood with the fretboard radius carved into it so flatten out the fretboard. That seems a little drastic for 1 fret though.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Mar 22, 2007,
I'd take it back to the shop, if I were you.. You'd be sure you didn't ruin it, and you'll get your money's worth.
I was looking at this video on the taylor website about humidity, and Bobby Taylor said that he usually get's people saying there 14th or 13th fret buzzes, and it's usually a warped neck. I say take it to a professional before grabbing the files.
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I've decided to take it to a pro; I have no experience working on guitars, and get the impression that screwing one up could be expensive to fix. Plus, someone more knowledgeable about acoustic guitars can look at mine and tell me if I have it set up incorrectly. I appreciate you guys' advice, it definitely steered me in the right direction. Thanks!