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Fret buzz : how much do you tolerate

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by H-evolve, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    I brought my guitar to the tech for its "yearly maintenance" and we talked about raising my action a bit. Like most metal guitarists, I like the action to be very low. But, especially since I have a ToM bridge, I tend to get a "decent" fret buzz, coming from the 1st couple of frets I assume.

    I guess that since we're playing mostly with high level of gains, it doesn't matter? Or maybe it does? Does it add unwanted resonance perhaps? Or is it just an issue for clean licks.

    Cause I think I have enough buzz so that the pickups "catch it". What is the lowest action that you think is ok? My tech told me slightly above 400 thou (if I remember his words right).

    I'm no tech btw, so maybe I misunderstood his numbers.
     
  2. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    I haven't worked it out yet, fret buzz is bit weird. I set up mine 8str Agile and my friends 7str Ibanez, where I have touch higher action than his and have a slight buzz on the lowest strings but Ibanez practically none. Yet both guitars have similar string through bridges. My Agile had no buzz before I put it in a case for few months I used my 2nd guitar for a job I needed it.
    Basically, I'd suggest to do some test recordings and listen to it from aside - are you ok with it.
     
    #2 nezvers, Dec 3, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  3. newamerikangospel

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    Fret buzz after a point will eat into attack and sustain. Play it unplugged and listen to see if each note sustain roughly the same way.

    Generally speaking, fret buzz below 7-8th fret is truss rod, above is bridge height, open fret buzz is nut slot issues. Fret buzz can also happen with guitars that don't have "good" fretwork, or uneven neck plains, which will cause specific buzzing on specific frets on specific strings (may only be one area, may be all over the neck). For what it's worth, I can tend to get the action lower with a hip shot than with a TOM bridge, with the same or less buzz barring any of the above issues not being present. My KM7 is almost uncomfortably low but I use it for lead work, My SLS is a bit higher just for clarity but still pretty low.
     
  4. Pxz

    Pxz Member

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    Hate fret buzz , i use high action and to me guitars with high action sounds better than low action. I think high action increase the tension a bit , resulting in more sustain , also related to the absence of fret buzz. Playability sucks for sure.
     
  5. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    I've always preferred higher action than most guitarist. I have a heavy left hand and the higher action helps me not mangle the shit out of my notes.
     
  6. YoungPoetBand

    YoungPoetBand youngpoetband.com

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    Idk if I'm weird on this one, but I have lower action on the thinner strings and gently raise it as they get thicker.

    I play pretty sporadic between rhythm and lead (we're only a 4 piece band), it helps the transition between heavy chugs (higher action, less buzz) and then them sweet leeds (lower action, less tension for faster playing).
     
  7. Megin

    Megin Member

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    I say it all depends on how you play. If youré a hard hitter you need a little higher action and if you're a little softer picker obviously you get away with lower action. If you put on heavier string gauge check if the nut slots need to be widen. Another way to get less fret buzz is to put on one step heavier string gauge. But the cost can be the strings feels too tense and you get a more of a scrapy sound. I agree, hipshot bridges makes it easier to mute strings than tom bridges. A well set up neck is a must. Low action makes the tone thinner with less sustain. A little higher you get a more full sound. Yes it means you need to work a little harder but it's just a habit. I struggled in the past to get the lowest possible action and was never satisfied how it sounded and decided to raise the bridge and I've never looked back.
     

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