Setup guy told me it should buzz

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by rexbinary, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King

    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    582
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    So I took one of my 6 string guitars to this tech for a setup. When I got it back I was getting some buzzing on the 5th and 6th string on the lower frets. I called him and he told me this was normal as it's not an acoustic guitar. He said it's fine as long as I don't hear it though the amp. I took it back and had him adjust the buzzing out regardless.

    So he's full of crap right? A good setup shouldn't buzz at all regardless if it's amp'ed or not right? I'm just making sure I'm not :nuts:
     
  2. ibanez4lifesz

    ibanez4lifesz @TheGuitarRack

    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    387
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Completely depends on the guitar, player's preference, etc. Buzz can be quite common on a very well set up guitar. Low action and low tension, for example, can buzz in certain scenarios, but it is perfectly normal and acceptable as long as it doesn't deaden the guitar's response, or come through the amp.

    On the flip side, there are some players that will not accept ANY buzz. That is fine too :yesway:
     
  3. toiletstand

    toiletstand /\'...'/\

    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    175
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    El Paso, Tx
    i agree with the tech

    edit:
    and the post before mine
     
  4. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,832
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    :yesway:
     
  5. mniel8195

    mniel8195 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,425
    Likes Received:
    37
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle,WA
    your hitting strings that are very close to the fret board so buzz is going to happen. I set my suhr modern to factory spec with very little relief in the neck and i can play soft and get no buzz or play hard and i have some. If you can't control the buzz with your playing technique then you may have some issues with your guitar or setup.
     
  6. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    13,713
    Likes Received:
    6,037
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    Agreed with all said. I like my action as low as possible, which means accepting some buzz.
     
  7. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,549
    Likes Received:
    583
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Location:
    Helsinki
    It should not buzz if you are fretting correctly and hitting the strings normally. I suppose it is personal preference if you want to deal with that but personally I don't want my guitar to buzz so I will raise action a tiny bit if it gets rid of it.
     
  8. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,006
    Likes Received:
    2,778
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    china
    You can have quite a bit of buzz before notes start to get choked and the amplified signal starts sounding lousy. How low do you need your action? If you want it as low as possible it will buzz.
     
  9. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King

    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    582
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    I grew up with a Jackson that had great action and never buzzed. So that was what I was used to. I'm glad to hear my tech is not messing me around. Sounds like if it bugs me I just need to be sure to tell him I don't want any buzz. I'm OK with it not being as low as possible.

    Thanks guys I learn more from this site about guitars than any other site.
     
  10. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,895
    Likes Received:
    1,235
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    Not here
    Did your Jackson have a "compound" fingerboard radius, with your current guitar having a constant one? Because (for me, at least) that's a big determiner as to what action you can get away with.

    The traditional shredder's setup, paraphrasing Van Halen, is to lower the strings until the buzz becomes annoying, then raise it a hair. This compromise yields a purely subjective, "acceptable" degree of buzz.

    My own personal action setup involves setting the floating trem on a conical or flat-radius guitar to pull the G up a minor 3rd, then lowering the action until pulling up to that point causes the string to begin to choke out.

    My point is that setups are quite personal; and I wouldn't expect a stranger performing setups to know my or your preferences until after it's been patiently communicated to them, then ironed out with trial and error. What the OP's tech is quoted as saying sounds diplomatic-enough, but can easily be taken as dismissive. In any case, he's not "wrong", so much as generalizing on the side of a shredder's setup.
     
  11. Jeffbro

    Jeffbro Banned

    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    Physically impossible to get very low action without any buzz

    A lot of people want that low action, if you don't just make it clear to him
     
  12. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes Received:
    306
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Every time I've ever taken my guitar to a tech it's been returned to me with action a hair lower than I'd like and a little more buzz than I like.

    That's not the tech doing a bad job, it's the tech setting it up for someone who doesn't hit the strings as hard as I do.

    Solution is just to back off the action a hair - the neck will still be straight and the frets will still be crowned, so it really makes no difference.

    Recently I've been lightening my touch so I imagine next time they need setting up I'll be able to leave it where it is with no buzz. No hassle.
     
  13. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King

    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    582
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    It did. It was an RR1. The guitar I took to him is compound radius as well. Seems it's all just a matter of him setting it too low for my tastes like you and everyone else is saying.
     
  14. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

    Messages:
    1,911
    Likes Received:
    1,703
    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Seattle
    A lot of guitars I've set up over the years that have a bit of fret buzz around the 20th+ frets typically had some sort of shim in the neck pocket. Once I removed them, and the frets were leveled properly, I can get the action low without buzz. But, string size(tension) can also play a role in buzz. Lighter strings should sit a bit higher as they can oscillate more. It is easier to press a light string to the fret so the playability doesn't seem to suffer.
     
  15. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,006
    Likes Received:
    2,778
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    china

    It's not as simple as telling him you don't want any buzz.
    What doesn't buzz for him might buzz for you.
     
  16. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King

    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    582
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    He has it not buzzing for me now with just one trip back. He asked to see me play and mentioned it seemed like I hit the strings fairly hard. He's a good guy, and I kinda feel bad for doubting him now.
     
  17. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    220
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    Indiana
    This almost angers me: the misconception that necks should be straight in a good setup. A bit of relief in the neck allows for the string to move without rattling against the frets lower on the neck. Strings, when moving, form an ellipse, not a straight line.
     
  18. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,895
    Likes Received:
    1,235
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    Not here
    That prejudice generalizes in the other direction.

    The manufacturer and determinants such as whether the neck is shimmed or has the back-angle appropriate for the bridge, as well as the most recent fret-leveling, are what dictate whether a guitar plays best with relief, zero relief, or (yes, sometimes even) backbow. That the strings vibrate elliptically is just one consideration in the big picture - No different from the fact that constant fingerboard radii are "nonsensical" in the respect that none of the strings travel parallel to the center line in their path down the neck: That doesn't mean 99% of guitars on the planet with that design are suddenly crap. If a guy insisted on setting my guitar up with more relief than I prefer (which is minimal, and no one's business but my own), I'd expect him to tighten that truss rod with minimal sass.

    If I didn't know better than to expect a Les Paul Junior to be set up with a Parker Fly's relief, or the Parker to be set up with a Vigier's relief, I'd be liable to severely annoy a tech with such demands. 80s Steinbergers, for example, were made without truss rods and have bowed forward over time as a consequence - The simplest fix for that is to level the original or new frets to compensate for the current relief; which is still less than many other guitars leave the factory with.
     
  19. thraxil

    thraxil cylon

    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    463
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    London
    Great. Honestly, he should've had that conversation with you before he did the setup. A good tech will understand that different people play differently and have different preferences and will happily accommodate whatever you need/want. There is no universal "best" setup.
     
  20. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes Received:
    306
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    That only works if you only play open strings.

    Straight with fallaway is optimal.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.