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Buzzing fret

Postby awjoe » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:55 am

So, imagine a buzzing fret on an acoustic guitar. I'm thinking there are two fixes to explore: a higher bridge, I mean just to see. Refretting. I don't want to begin to go there.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby Murray B » Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:51 am

Just the one fret?
On all the strings?
Which fret?

Sometimes a tiny adjustment in the neck relief or a little hammering on the fret one higher can fix this kind of stuff. But there are many variables and the guitar makers and menders here will need a bit more detail I think if you want useful advice.

If you can get the guitar to a skilled repairer they should probably be able to sort this, a re fret is quite drastic and most guitars have enough meat in the frets to stand them being levelled and re profiled. If you like the guitar it's a worthwhile exercise, all my guitars that have been professionally set up come back playing at their absolute best - and it's a very positive experience and worth the money spent.

Please Note: I've made a number of cheaper guitars (I daren't mess with the posh ones) worse by not really knowing what I'm doing but it could be a simple fix. But I wouldn't wish to offer any direct repair advice in this regard.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby John Egan » Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:47 am

awjoe wrote:So, imagine a buzzing fret on an acoustic guitar. I'm thinking there are two fixes to explore: a higher bridge, I mean just to see. Refretting. I don't want to begin to go there.

What condition are the frets in generally? Is this an old guitar or relatively new. I ask because if the frets are on their last legs, the remedy might need to be more drastic. If, on the other hand there is plenty of life left in them, then it should be possible to reseat/fettle it.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby CS70 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:00 pm

awjoe wrote:So, imagine a buzzing fret on an acoustic guitar. I'm thinking there are two fixes to explore: a higher bridge, I mean just to see. Refretting. I don't want to begin to go there.

A higher bridge is seldom a solution, and refretting is way too drastic unless the frets are really gone. If it's just one or few frets on certain strings, it can be simply seasonal variation in the wood - make sure the guitar is plenty humidified (keep it in the case with a sponge humidifier for at least a week), and have it looked over by a luthier - dry wood contracts and frets may come up a little and need to be gently put back in place with a little tough love.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby zenguitar » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:10 pm

All good advice so far. The only thing that needs to be added is that a decent luthier/tech has more options than just a refret to solve this problem.

Once all other options have been eliminated, if you still have one high fret for one or more strings it it perfectly possible to remove the high spots individually. If there are a lot of high spots, it is usually possible to dress the fret tops level and then re-profile rather than having a refret.

The important thing is that you need someone who knows what they're doing to look at it for you.

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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby Luke W » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:28 pm

Some good advice so far. A higher bridge will only hide the issue and it'll make the action higher and then introduce the issues that brings in terms of playability etc. As already mentioned, an adjustment to the neck relief could do it, but in my experience if it really is just one fret that's playing up then the more likely solution would be either a bit of a tap down on a fret that's lifted a little as Murray suggests, or a fret level.

Murray B wrote:a re fret is quite drastic and most guitars have enough meat in the frets to stand them being levelled and re profiled.

Agreed :thumbup:

Edit - Beaten to it by Andy. Listen to Andy!
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby awjoe » Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:00 pm

Good advice, all - thank you. I like this guitar, so it's off to a luthier.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby Dynamic Mike » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:21 am

Murray B wrote:Just the one fret?
On all the strings?
Which fret?

Are you 100% sure it's not just a resonance elsewhere on the guitar? Have you tried a different tuning to see if it moves? Sometimes just re-stringing is worth a try in case it's a duff winding.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby JRC1 » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:48 pm

awjoe wrote:Good advice, all - thank you. I like this guitar, so it's off to a luthier.

good choice, dont mess with things you arent 100% confident doing and in my experience with acoustics its either going to be the neck needs an adjustment or the bridge has become worn and will have to be recut or a new one cut for the guitar and those are not easy jobs if you havent done a lot before.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby awjoe » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:40 am

Dynamic Mike wrote:
Murray B wrote:Just the one fret?
On all the strings?
Which fret?

Are you 100% sure it's not just a resonance elsewhere on the guitar? Have you tried a different tuning to see if it moves? Sometimes just re-stringing is worth a try in case it's a duff winding.

I heard this thing recently - the moment that nylon strings fall reliably into tune for a couple days on end is the moment you should start to think about changing strings. Good joke, but it says something. Long story short, I'll see what happens the next time I change strings, and I'm really curious about the tuning change idea as well. Aside from having fun in a new tuning, it provides information about how the strings act on that guitar.

No, it's not a resonance.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby awjoe » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:57 am

JRC1 wrote:
awjoe wrote:Good advice, all - thank you. I like this guitar, so it's off to a luthier.

good choice, dont mess with things you arent 100% confident doing and in my experience with acoustics its either going to be the neck needs an adjustment or the bridge has become worn and will have to be recut or a new one cut for the guitar and those are not easy jobs if you havent done a lot before.

No adjustments on a classical neck.

I'd be willing to swap out bridges, but I'm not going deeper than that. There are people who are paid good money to do that sort of thing. If they've done it before, they're better at it than I am.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby JRC1 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:54 pm

Unfortunately for classical is that the only "adjustment" on a neck is a neck reset.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby zenguitar » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:15 am

Not quite true. You can reset a neck by removing it and refitting it. But there is also the option of removing the back of the guitar, adjusting the neck/body angle, and then refitting the back.

OK, so you have to refit the binding and then refinish. But it shows there's more than one way to skin that cat. ;)

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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby JRC1 » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:33 am

zenguitar wrote:Not quite true. You can reset a neck by removing it and refitting it. But there is also the option of removing the back of the guitar, adjusting the neck/body angle, and then refitting the back.

OK, so you have to refit the binding and then refinish. But it shows there's more than one way to skin that cat. ;)

Andy :beamup:

ok got me there, but I was going with the leastish work.
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Re: Buzzing fret

Postby zenguitar » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:40 am

For a classical guitar with a slipper heel it's the only option. And related to how the neck angle would have been set during construction.

And in terms of work required, it's no more than removing and refitting a glued neck joint. Just a different set of problems to solve. It's actually a very elegant solution as you have much finer control of the neck/body angle and you can avoid disturbing a well made neck joint.

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