#1
Ok, after reading through all of the stickies and searching 5 pages back for a collective topic to address this sort of problem (and finding none), I can only hope this topic is appropriate to make.

Basically, I've got an Epiphone Les Paul Custom, recently purchased (got it about two weeks ago, perhaps a little more). I love it; I've been playing it none-stop since I got it. Additionally, being a hands-on guy, I've been learning how to properly set up my guitar. However, I've come to something of an impasse, as I'm not really sure what I should try.

The problem is the low E string. It's got fret buzzing on precisely the 4th through 7th frets (I've got it sitting in my lap, testing it to make sure of this).

I've got the action on the bass side set to 2mm (or about 3/32nds of an inch, my ruler only goes up in increments of 1/32") and the treble side set to 1.5mm (actually about 2/32nds of an inch). I took it upon myself to make some minor truss rod adjustments on my own, and they've been pretty successful, as there was a bit of bowing initially that I fixed, and now I've got a relief, if I capo the 1st fret and put my finger on the 17th fret, that allows for a standard business card to fit snugly between the 7th fret and the string. I don't have a means of measuring this precisely, otherwise I'd give more accurate measurements; I can only hope these will suffice.

Lastly, I just read about barring the 3rd fret to check if the nut needs deepening, and I noticed there is a slight gap between the low E string and the first fret, but the string doesn't buzz if I strum it while open, so I'm not it's the nut that's the problem.

Any insight on this? I'd be glad to post pictures of those would help, I'd just like to eliminate this buzz; it's pretty frustrating. My only alternative besides making the adjustments myself is to take it to the only guitar store in the city that does guitar setups, and they want $80 and 3+ days for it. Personally, I'd rather know what to do and save myself the money (and the pain of being without a guitar for 3 days :P).

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
#3
I thought that might be the solution, only I'm a little skeptical, because as this is the first electric I've ever owned, I'm not sure what the action is supposed to be like (factory settings, anyway). Right now the neck has definite visible relief in it (it's not huge, but if I sight down the side of the neck and compare to the strings you can see a curve), and I'm afraid if I give any more relief the action will just be too high for comfort. What are some measurements I should aim for? Obviously I'm looking for something fast-feeling, but without sacrificing the ability to bend and the sustain and so forth. I guess I'm a little influenced by my friend's Gibson LP, which he got set up professionally and has an extremely low action.
#4
^I think 2mm may be a little low, as thats Ibanez's recommended action for their 25.5 inch scale guitars. If you raise the action a little, but find that you still have buzz, you may have some messed up frets (not uncommon, my Epi has a couple higher up).

If all else fails, pay someone to set it up, and ask if you can watch and see how he does it. That way you get a setup but you learn how to make your guitar personalized.
#5
Quote by which ones pink
^I think 2mm may be a little low, as thats Ibanez's recommended action for their 25.5 inch scale guitars. If you raise the action a little, but find that you still have buzz, you may have some messed up frets (not uncommon, my Epi has a couple higher up).

If all else fails, pay someone to set it up, and ask if you can watch and see how he does it. That way you get a setup but you learn how to make your guitar personalized.


Aye, I tried setting the action just a tad higher (half a millimeter or so) and it lessened the fret buzz on those 4 frets and eliminated it pretty much everywhere else.

I would pay, but right now I'm holding that out as a last resort. They want $80 and at least 3 days to set it up, and if I don't have to spend that money, I'm not going to. :P I'm actually dealing quite well with the fret buzz now, especially since I now know that buzz doesn't really matter if it's not coming through the amp or killing sustain, of which this buzz does neither. A question, though, is it very obvious when buzz is coming through the amp? Sometimes I wonder if my close proximity to my amp while I'm playing is making it sound like the buzz is only coming from the strings...eh, at any rate it isn't particularly worrisome.

I actually gave the truss rod a quarter crank clockwise, it had a little too much relief for my liking, and now my guitar is playing better than ever. It doesn't rule out a proper setup, but I may wait until I fly home for the summer and just have my piano/guitar teacher take a look at it.

Thanks guys.
#6
Clockwise so you tightening it, that was my first thought as I was reading your post. Too much bow and you needed to tighten the truss rod slightly and make the neck more straight so those middle frets aren't below higher ones, thus causing the buzz. Thats how I look at it anyways.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst