McNaught Guitar Forums
September 26, 2017, 11:22:42 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to ClubMcNaught.com!!! These forums are intended to be a sounding board for guitarists lucky enough to own a work of art made by David Thomas McNaught (and Dave Mansel too).
Home Help Search Arcade Media Login Register
Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Muted notes?  (Read 6515 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
diofan56
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 75


« on: March 19, 2007, 09:58:13 PM »

Hi all!

When playing my G-5 I hear some slightly muted notes and/or string buzz when I press my fingers on certain frets.

What is the best cure for this?  Raising the string height a bit or adjusting the truss rod a bit?

Thanks in advance!

Dave
diofan56
Logged
Warren
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 258



WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 08:28:02 AM »

*** Caution!  *** Don't ruin you guitar! *** This post is for Information Only! ***  Send your fiddle back to The Daves or another competent rapair shop if you're not sure what you're doing! ***

What you have to do depends on which frets are causing the strings to buzz. 

The basic components of any guitar set up are adjusting the "relief" in the neck, setting the height of the strings over the fretboard by adjusting the saddle, checking the height of the strings over the fretboard at the nut, getting the pickups set to the proper height, and finally getting the intonation dialed in.

First make sure you don't have any loose frets.  Frets sometimes come loose from their slots and cause buzzing.  You'll have to get up close and personal and press on each fret while checking for movement.  Krazy Glue works great if you need to reset a loose fret.  Don't attempt a set-up until you have ensured that all of the frets are firmly in place.  Smeared Krazy Glue probably won't enhance the look or value of your G-5 so practice your fret glueing technique on something less valuable first.

Next you'll want to measure the amount of "relief" you have in your neck.  "Relief" is the amount of forward bow in the neck.  The bow allows the string to vibrate without hitting any of the frets in the middle of the fingerboard.  I like to start with .010" of relief over the middle of the board, around the 7th or 8th fret.  You will need a way to measure this.  The easiest way is to lay an accurate straight edge along the frets between the D and G strings and use a feeler gauge to determine the distance between the bottom of the straight edge and the top of the 7th or 8th fret.  Make sure the strings are tuned to pitch because the tension of the strings will help put a little forward bow in the neck.

This figure isn't firm.  Some folks like almost no relief and others like as much as .030" of bow.  Less relief means that chords will be easier to finger but you could have more buzzing in the open chord positions.  More relief means less buzzing but it will be harder to press the strings down.  You may have to experiment and find a value that works for you.

You have to adjust the truss rod to dial in the desired amount of relief in the neck.  You have to make very, very small adjustments when adjusting the truss rod.  If your neck is too straight and has no relief or if the straight edge rocks when laid across the fretboard you'll want to loosen the truss rod by turning it counter clockwise to put more forward bow in the neck.  If your neck has too much forward bow you'll want to turn the truss rod clockwise in order to tighten the truss rod and straighten the neck.  Almost all truss rods work like this but double-check with the manufacturer to make sure their truss rods work as described prior to cranking on anything!

Once you have the neck straigntened out  Cheesy you should check the bridge height adjustment.  Adjust the height at the bridge so you have approximately 4/64" from the bottom of the high E to the top of the 12th fret and approximately 5/64" from the bottom of the low E to the top of the 12th fret.  Again, this is a starting point and you may be able to adjust your bridge or string saddles lower or you may prefer your action higher, but start with 4/64" and 5/64" as a starting point.

Nuts generally don't need to be messed with but you'll want to make sure you have good "action" at the nut too.  You should measure approximately .048" from the top of the fretboard surface to the bottom of the strings at the first fret.  (This assumes a typical fret height of .040" plus an added string clearance of .008" for the string to pass over the fret with buzzing).  Again this value is a generalization and your values may differ.  As long as the strings aren't too hard to push down in the open positions and you don't have any buzzing when you play open strings you're in good shape.

Next, get your pickups back in position.  There are no correct values here but make sure you don't have the pickups so close that the magnets in the pickups are pulling the strings into the fretboard and causing bad notes and buzzing.  Most players like their bridge humbuckers about 1/16" or so away from the strings and neck humbuckers about 3/32" away, but I usually start with them further away, about 5/32" or so, and slowly raise them while playing to find their sweet spot.  You obtain this value by pressing the high and low E strings at the highest fret and measuring from the bottom of the high and low E strings to the top of the pickup pole pieces your adjusting.  You will probably need to back off single coil pickups further from the strings because their magnets tend to be stronger, plus the bass side of single coils should be slightly further away from the strings than the treble side to balance them out. 

Setting intonation is the final step.  You need a tuner to do this accurately.  Adjust the saddle until a fretted note at the 12th fret and the harmonic at the 12th fret are the same.  If the harmonic is sharp compared to the fretted note you have to adjust the saddle so it moves away from the fingerboard.  If the harmonic is flat when compared to the fretted note you want to adjust the saddle so it moves closer to the fingerboard.   

You might still have buzzing if you have a "high fret" or some other kink in the neck.  You could attempt a fret dressing yourself.  It's not difficult but if you aren't careful you could cause more problems.  Fret work is outside a normal "set-up" and probably should be done by a pro unless you want to learn how to do it yourself.

Always proceed carefully!  Don't force anything.  Take notes as you go.  Inspect the hardware to see how it functions before cranking on anything with a screwdriver.  It's normal to have to make adjustments about once a year since guitars are made of wood and the wood is always expanding, contracting, etc.  Your G-5 is a valuable instrument and you might want to send it to The Dave's to have them give it the once over.
Logged

"Nothing happens, unless first a dream". Carl Sandburg.
BigAl
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 306



« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 10:46:41 AM »

Good info.  This just reinforces my decision to why I just hire someone to care take of issues like this for me ... lol
Logged
diofan56
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 75


« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 10:04:59 PM »

Wow!  Great information Warren!  Very detailed.

That sounds like a lot of work.  I imagine it is not that difficult if one has done it a few times.

I know of two luthiers in Des Moines that could easily handle the job.

Dave
diofan56
Logged
Warren
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 258



WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 10:44:03 PM »

It was harder writing about it than actually doing it!  I guess the easiest way to start out is to simply take measurements of a guitar thats playing great.  Measure the distances mentioned in my write-up and write the values down.  Then pick up a guitar that isn't playing so great and take measurements from that one.  Compare the values, then try to bring the not-so-great guitar measurements up to the standard of the guitar you like.

Each guitar design has certain limitations, but by experimenting and by keeping notes you'll quickly be able to set up LP style and Strat style guitars the way you like 'em.  Eventually you'll be able to go by sight and feel alone, but I love taking measurements anyway!   
Logged

"Nothing happens, unless first a dream". Carl Sandburg.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to:  

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
Home Help Search Arcade Media Login Register

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Gold Charm by Shadow82x in association with SMF Themes 2008
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.052 seconds with 19 queries.