Do you allow string buzz

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by X1X, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. X1X

    X1X SS.org Regular

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    I'm setting up my 6 string floating tremolo height after changing the posts (typical Ibanez swap to newly designed posts). Looking for opinions. I set this up so that the first 4 strings do not really buzz at the higher frets. 5th string has some buzz against the frets and the 6th string more. I know there are many variables like the quality of fret work but do you generally accept some string buzz or go for a "buzzfree" sound (Marty Friedman said he doesn't like any buzz).
     
  2. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Some fret buzz is fine. I’ve never played a guitar that I couldn’t make buzz, it’s just the nature of a fretted stringed instrument. better fretwork and construction allows you to get very low without any buzz coming through an amp so it’s just finding a balance with technique and setup. I used to aim for about 1.2mm high E to 2.2mm+ low B with a noticeable relief so I get zero chocking and minimal buzz.

    You’d be surprised how low some guitarists play. Jari Maenpaa plays with strings almost on the frets with every note chocking out. It sounded awful when I played it but he makes it work no problem. If you check out lesson videos with Gilbert or Satch you can hear the buzz over the amp. Hi-gain will mask a lot of fret buzz but if you’re playing clean then you will need to raise your strings or get frets levelled.
     
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  3. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I hate the buzz. It's gotta sound good unplugged to me. Can't stand when notes choke out. Some people are exactly the opposite.
     
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  4. mmr007

    mmr007 SS.org Regular

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  5. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    I like to set my guitars up so the strings either juuust barely buzz on higher frets, or no buzz at all. Depends on the guitar though
     
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  6. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    My guitars and basses rattle because the strings are set super low. But I can't stand notes choking out.
     
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  7. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    i play with about 1mm high E to 1.5 mm low b on my sevens.

    Other players can definitely make my guitars buzz.

    They don't buzz when I play.

    so it's really up to your technique versus the limitations of physics.

    String gauge, neck relief, how well your frets are leveled all play a part.
     
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  8. LostTheTone

    LostTheTone Elegant Djentleman

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    I dislike fret buzz, and I am happy to sacrifice a little action height to avoid it. Sure, I want to be as low as is reasonable, but if it buzzes then it'll get tweaked. It feels like the guitar is just not set up right if it buzzes. You know that horrible screech when a cars fan belt is slipping? And the car is fine, it works, and you could just ignore it but...

    Guitars need to feel good to play. If you don't care about fret buzz, more power to you, but to me it doesn't feel right.
     
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  9. gabito

    gabito SS.org Regular

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    As long as I can't hear it when connected to an amp: buzzing yes, choking no.

    I have the action on my guitars set as low as possible (something between 1.0 or 1.3mm at the 12th fret, depending on the guitar) and there's almost not buzz I'm aware of. I could set it even lower, but that would make pull ups choke when using the tremolo (I should rise the action even more if I'd go all 'make this thing squeal like crazy' à la Dimebag, which I don't).

    I have a light touch, though.
     
  10. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

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    upper fret access on the low strings isn't important to me, so I allow some buzz in the 17+ range. Anywhere else is a no-go.
     
  11. Dumple Stilzkin

    Dumple Stilzkin SS.org Regular

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    Some buzz is fine, notes choking or not ringing out fully is where I draw the line.
     
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  12. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    It's always a trade off with action. I find that 1.5mm low B or E and 1.2mm high E at the 12th fret, with a small amount of relief makes things pretty buzz free and feel very comfortable to play.

    Going much lower than that without creative fretwork is going to start getting annoying. Also, I tend not to like how it feels when adjacent strings try to slide under my fingers when bending. That also happens when action is too low.
     
  13. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    This.
     
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  14. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    On an electric guitar, yes a bit of buzzing is fine and is to be accepted when very low action is desired. So long as it's not audible through an amp, and notes aren't choking out or anything then I'm fine with it and that's how my guitars are set up.
     
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  15. mpexus

    mpexus SS.org Regular

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    If it doesn't buzz then its not a Guitar.
     
  16. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    I setup my guitars myself and I prefer not to have any fret buzz like most members. If the guitar is buzzing when you just play an open note, I'm pretty sure that you are likely to see some choking of notes when you fret at the higher registers, because that is just how the laws of physics work, with the string touching against the frets at the lower registers.

    I also find it an annoyance when that buzzing sound makes it into a recording, like a metallic pinging sound with high gain. Better to set up the guitar with higher action if it's incapable of being set up suitably low without touching a fret.

    If someone is having problems with fret buzz, I'd suggest going to a guitar store that has a plek machine, explain how low you want your action to be and let the machine file the frets for you so that it is achievable. A good tech can do this too, but the machines are how I prefer getting it done.
     
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  17. Tracker_Buckmann

    Tracker_Buckmann SS.org Regular

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    I'd rather it had slightly higher action than fret buzz. Clarity of notes is something that i work very hard for when playing, so why would i set it up to make that impossible?
     
  18. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    actually, I think the better way to ask this question is...

    how low can you set the action without buzzing and is that range within what you want.

    From my tests and all the guitars I've owned I think this lower limit is around .75mm at the 12th fret. If you need lower then this then some buzzing is unavoidable.

    But if you're higher then this and you are buzzing then you should figure why it's buzzing and fix it.
     
  19. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

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    0.75mm is so absurdly low. I think Ive only ever played one guitar ever that allowed that and it was my green dot universe
     
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  20. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

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    I like my action low enough to the point where there is buzz when unplugged, but only just, and even then it doesn't come through through the pickups. Just enough where it doesn't happen if I pick lightly, but if I pick a bit harder the note doesn't lose its energy.

    It's hard to find that point.
     
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