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Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

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  • Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

    My guitar has fret buzz on the 12th fret of B string, just that one fret. The note is not dead, but the buzz is severe enough that both vibrato and sustain suffer.

    Took it to a luthier, the fret seems to be fitting in the neck properly, he suggested that I refret the whole neck as my frets are pretty worn already.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

    Sounds like a harsh first measure to take... Based on the knowledge and experience I gathered thus far, complete refret is really the last resort. Fret buzz in general can be the result of a number of factors: too low action, wrong amount of neck relief, unseated frets, unlevel frets... If it is really just one spot, I'd say that either the fret next to the buzzing note (e.g.: you're fretting the 12th fret playing a B note and it's buzzing, then it's the 13th fret) is high or your 12th fret is so worn that the deep indentation causes the the string to sit lower than optimal when fretted. Without seeing the condition of your frets and knowing the luthier you took it to, I'd seek other opinions too. If you're lucky, a simple spot level might solve the issue (work is only done one the faulty fret). If not, then levelling and recrowning all of your frets might work too. Bigger work, but still around half the price as a complete refret. Worst case scenario is that the first guy was right and it is unsalvageable or the level and recrown job would leave you with borderline nonexistent fretwires, then you most probably do need that refret.

    Oh, and definitely wait for others to chime in too - there are experienced builders and luthiers on here, not just hacks like myself!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

      what guitar is it
      a tele or strat may just need the bridge saddle raised

      any guitar might just need the bridge raised just a smidge on the High E side
      EHD
      Just here surfing Guitar Pron
      RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
      SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
      Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
      Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
      Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
      Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
      GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

        It's an epiphone les paul.

        I forgot to mention that the set up is proper. The luthier I took it to checked the action and it is not too low. In fact he said the action is perfect.

        He suggested refretting the whole neck because I got around 60% of fret wire left.

        The fret wire next to the buzzing fret, i.e. the 13th fret on B string is sitting in the neck properly. So my guess is that either the 13th fret is too high or the 12th fret is too low.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

          If you get it sorted, let me know. I have a guitar like that where I've had it sorted more times and I can count and it just won't go away.
          --------------------------------------------------------
          1973 Aria 551
          1984 Larrivee RS-4 w/ EMG SA/SA/89
          1989 Charvel 750 XL w/ DMZ Tone Zone & Air Norton
          1990's noname crap-o-caster plywood P/J Bass
          1991 Heartfield Elan III w/ DMZ mystery pups
          1995 Aria Pro II TA-65
          2001 Gibson Les Paul Gothic w/ PG-1 & SH-8

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

            Originally posted by Coma View Post
            If you get it sorted, let me know. I have a guitar like that where I've had it sorted more times and I can count and it just won't go away.
            What kind of 'sorted' did you do with it, might I ask?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

              Originally posted by VergDan View Post
              What kind of 'sorted' did you do with it, might I ask?
              When I bought the guitar the bridge posts (Floyd Rose) were rocking back and forth due to missing chunks of wood around them, and the fretboard had sort of a bulge in it (though the neck was straight).

              Had a luthier fit the bridge posts with brass inserts, remove all frets, level the fretboard and then out in new frets.

              Eventually started having problems with the 14th fret where it was high enough to kill the F (13th feet note) on the high e string, but just that one spot though.

              Since then I've had one guy trying to hammer it back in a bit and one other guy went to town on it with a fret file and it still won't play nice.
              --------------------------------------------------------
              1973 Aria 551
              1984 Larrivee RS-4 w/ EMG SA/SA/89
              1989 Charvel 750 XL w/ DMZ Tone Zone & Air Norton
              1990's noname crap-o-caster plywood P/J Bass
              1991 Heartfield Elan III w/ DMZ mystery pups
              1995 Aria Pro II TA-65
              2001 Gibson Les Paul Gothic w/ PG-1 & SH-8

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                Originally posted by Coma View Post
                When I bought the guitar the bridge posts (Floyd Rose) were rocking back and forth due to missing chunks of wood around them, and the fretboard had sort of a bulge in it (though the neck was straight).

                Had a luthier fit the bridge posts with brass inserts, remove all frets, level the fretboard and then out in new frets.

                Eventually started having problems with the 14th fret where it was high enough to kill the F (13th feet note) on the high e string, but just that one spot though.

                Since then I've had one guy trying to hammer it back in a bit and one other guy went to town on it with a fret file and it still won't play nice.
                So both hammering it in and filing it down didn't work quite well. Bummer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                  Your luthier is looking for his next boat payment. I suspect all it needs is a spot level. Also, 60% of the frets is enough to keep.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                    I would suspect that just that fret and possibly the few around it might need re-leveling. Maybe a 2nd opinion?
                    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                      I’d start with filing/sanding the 13th fret. Do a little at a time and check
                      regularly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                        All he did was check the action? what about neck relief?

                        If you see any divots worn on the fret crowns (caused by years of bending notes), there might be enough material worn down on the 11th to cause a rattle to the 12th fret. To fix that you would need to level and re-crown the frets. to warrant a re fret depends how much material has to be widdled away to get rid of the divots.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                          Originally posted by ICTGoober View Post
                          Your luthier is looking for his next boat payment. I suspect all it needs is a spot level. Also, 60% of the frets is enough to keep.
                          That's what I thought as well
                          EHD
                          Just here surfing Guitar Pron
                          RG2EX1 w/ SD hot-rodded pickups / RG4EXFM1 w/ Carvin S22j/b + FVN middle
                          SR500 / Martin 000CE-1/Epiphone Hummingbird
                          Epiphone Florentine with OEM Probuckers
                          Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
                          Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
                          Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
                          GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                            60% of the frets left is usable, but will make the guitar worse playing than it used to be. Bigger frets are much better for legato, tapping, and bending.
                            Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                            Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                            This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Fret buzz on just that one fret, any suggestions?

                              If you like the guitar, having big stainless steel frets are really a luxury because they play well and don't wear. So I wouldn't write off getting a refret. Otherwise you could get a spot level. If the problem happens to be a fret that's really low, you could replace only that fret.
                              Originally posted by NegativeEase
                              I'd wager that Clint can best GuitarStv at Wat and WAAAT... but not Watts.

                              I think in the International System of Units (SI) a "WAT" is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint besmirchment per hour

                              and WAAAT is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint kilojoule of described Nirvana transgression per post.

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