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Old CGS Forum > Upgrades & Parts

Open high E and B string buzz nut or truss rod?

posted Apr 14, 2014 11:34:25 by ViTOEK9
Hi guys,

My chibson is back together and looks great,

Ive got a Tusq nut that I put in, I filed its width to fit the guitar but not the height.

The guitar tunes up fine and I have the desired action but the High E & B string buzz in the open position. Could this be down to the nut or truss rod adjustment any ideas? Too tight or loose? Ive got this far (wiring etc) without a guitar tech and want to see if i can tackle this myself.

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3 replies
ParéjJózsef said Apr 14, 2014 13:10:13
can it be a high first fret? maybe the sides aren't filed down properly- thats just a wild guess.
Just call me Joe ;)
Proud owner of my 7-string "Bear" LP.
MichaelWamback said Apr 14, 2014 14:11:55
I agree with Joe, the first issue is likely to be uneven frets. I would check that first.

You can check the height of the strings at the nut by pressing the strings at the 3rd fret. Now closely examine the strings at the first fret and there should be a very tiny gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the first fret. If you tap the string, you should hear a faint "ping" as it hammers on the top of the fret. If the string is laying on top of the first fret when you press at the 3rd, then your nut is cut too low, which will cause the open string to buzz.

But all these guitars should have a full setup, including fret level if necessary. That would mean checking the neck relief and adjusting as necessary, setting the action height and the intonation. None of that is too difficult to do on your own, if you haven't done it before.

1st - Make sure your frets are level, or it will throw off your measurements for relief.
2nd - Set your relief (most guitars play great with .010 relief in the neck, but it's preference. Metal shredders like their necks perfectly straight, jazz players like a bit more relief.)
3rd - Set your action height. (Gibson standard is 3/64 on the smallest string and 5/64 on the largest, Epiphone is 4/64 and 6/64 respectively - but it's a question of preference.)
4th - Adjust your intonation. (Notes at the 12th should be in tune - if slightly flat, more the saddle forward (both start with "f") and if slightly sharp more the saddle back.)

If the frets are level, all you need to do the setup is the Allen wrench for adjusting the truss rod, a feeler gauge for measuring the relief gap, and a screwdriver for adjusting the bridge.)
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
T.Lloyd said Apr 15, 2014 22:07:14
My guess would be the nut is too low if the buzz only happens when the open string is strummed. I changed the nut with a new tusq nut and my high E sounded a little dead and buzzed a bit when played in the open position. The string sounded fine when fretted in any other position. There are a few videos on you tube on getting the proper height. If you press down on the 3 fret you can take a measurement of the clearance on at second fret to the nut . If the nut is easy to free up you can try a very thin shim just to check the height, I used an exacto blade and it made an improvement.
I took the old nut and filed it down to collect the dust, This was my second attempt I messed up and put the low E to close to the edge. I then mixed the dust with super glue and made a paste. I had to move quickly. I used a tooth pick to fill the slot for the E string, just enough to fill the slot. It set up pretty quickly, I used a razor saw to recut the nut slot. I watched a couple of videos on you tube to get an Idea of the proper angle. I was pretty annoyed that I paid like 16 bucks at GC for nut and I had to fix it. Just back off the string and put it to side off the fret board, I made a very shallow cut and tested the feel of the string. I did this a couple of times until I was satisfied with the height in relation to the B string. If the nut is cut too deep or the wrong angle it can cause the string to bind up or deaden.

I hope that this was useful. Take it slow and don't force anything. I look at this as a learning process.
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