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Thread: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

  1. #1
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    Default Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Hi all,
    I know that setting up and configuring the guitar (neck, bridge, truss rod, saddles, etc) is a veeeeeery common topic with lots of explanation.
    However there is something that I don't understand and that's why I am opening this thread.
    I recently bought a second hand J5 mexican Telecaster.
    The guitar was generally very little played, the frets looked actually pretty new. The guitar must have been abandoned for the last 4-5 years.
    SO, I tried to set it up/configure it by applying was is written in this official description:
    https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/...itar-properly-

    The truss rod was a bit loose, so I tightened it up a little by bringing the distance between 8th fret and the bottom of the string at .010" (0.25 mm). That's the distance for a 12" radius.
    I went on following step-by-step the saddles height set up at 4/64" (1.6 mm) at the 17th fret of the bass E string.

    The total setup and action is what I really like. BUT the problem was that all frets and strings were buzzing!! Everything!!
    I had to increase a lot the saddles height in order to have an almost buzzless guitar. The height of the E string from the 17th fret is almost double 8/64" (3.2mm).

    QUESTION:
    Is it possible to apply the telecaster factory settings without having all this buzz?
    What could the source of the problem be?
    Is there any other part of the guitar to be configured?
    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Super Toneologist DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    I set my guitars up with no relief in the neck and very low action with no buzzes.

    Once I had a customer bring me a Tele I had put together for him, to replace the bridge saddles with graphite saddles.

    They were your typical small barrel saddles for a six saddle bridge.

    As I was getting it set up again I found that every note buzzed. Open strings buzzed. It was very strange. After checking all the usual things I deducted that the only thing that changed was the saddles.

    So I swapped an original saddle on the high E strung, and no buzzing!

    I speculated that the string angle over the curve of the saddle must have been such that it created a buzz like you get on a sitar.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Can you hear the buzz through the amp?

    Two points:

    1. If an electric guitar sounds fine amplified, and feels fine to play, then it's fine.

    2. The general recommended setup specs do not work with everyone's technique and/or style. Some people need higher strings (like myself; I need them significantly higher to feel and sound "right" and work with my technique).
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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    Mojo's Minions JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    At the risk of stating the obvious, keep your technique in mind, as well. I swapped guitars with a guy once who complained that the Jackson I traded to him buzzed like crazy on the lower frets. When I played it, no buzz. When he played it, buzz city. After awhile, I noticed the way he held his hand had him fretting almost over the fret, causing the buzz.

    My right hand attack is way too heavy for action that low. Make sure the same isn't true for you.

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    I set my guitars up with no relief in the neck and very low action with no buzzes.

    Once I had a customer bring me a Tele I had put together for him, to replace the bridge saddles with graphite saddles.

    They were your typical small barrel saddles for a six saddle bridge.

    As I was getting it set up again I found that every note buzzed. Open strings buzzed. It was very strange. After checking all the usual things I deducted that the only thing that changed was the saddles.

    So I swapped an original saddle on the high E strung, and no buzzing!

    I speculated that the string angle over the curve of the saddle must have been such that it created a buzz like you get on a sitar.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    the fact is that I have replaced the bridge and saddles with a Babicz,

    http://www.fullcontacthardware.com/f...le-coil-pickup

    do you suspect that this could be the source of the buzzing? I will try it but I cannot figure out how this will solve the problem as I hear the buzz coming from the frets directly

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    Can you hear the buzz through the amp?

    Two points:

    1. If an electric guitar sounds fine amplified, and feels fine to play, then it's fine.

    2. The general recommended setup specs do not work with everyone's technique and/or style. Some people need higher strings (like myself; I need them significantly higher to feel and sound "right" and work with my technique).
    1. The buzz from the 6th string does come out from the amp and it definitely does not feel fine.
    2. I understand about how personal style can affect buzzing but at its factory settings it does buzz even with finger picking on the right hand!

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    At the risk of stating the obvious, keep your technique in mind, as well. I swapped guitars with a guy once who complained that the Jackson I traded to him buzzed like crazy on the lower frets. When I played it, no buzz. When he played it, buzz city. After awhile, I noticed the way he held his hand had him fretting almost over the fret, causing the buzz.

    My right hand attack is way too heavy for action that low. Make sure the same isn't true for you.
    I understand about how personal style can affect buzzing but at its factory settings it does buzz even with finger picking on the right hand!

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    I will most probably stand corrected once the elders chime in, but what about the nut slots? If the slots are cut too deep and your strings are anchored too low at the nut, it makes sense to me that it buzzes all over the place and can only be corrected with a ridiculously high action @12th fret. That being said, I've no idea what your first fret action should be with a properly cut nut. Also, how level are the frets? You said that the guitar was not used for 4-5 years, maybe it was stored in a too dry/too humid place and something went fishy with the wood and the frets became unseated.

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    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by fatecasino View Post
    1. The buzz from the 6th string does come out from the amp and it definitely does not feel fine.
    2. I understand about how personal style can affect buzzing but at its factory settings it does buzz even with finger picking on the right hand!
    1. You stated in your original post that "The total setup and action is what I really like." Now you say, "It definitely does not feel fine." So you don't like the total setup and action.

    2. You state that you understand that personal style can affect buzzing...but then finish the sentence in a way that shows that you do not understand at all. Why would the fact that you are finger picking mean that you can't have buzz? There are a million ways to finger pick, many of which can easily cause buzzing. Who knows what you are doing when you say "finger picking."

    Factory recommended specs are terribly low IME. I usually need to go up to 1.5x–2x factory specs just to "feel" right to me.

    The 6th string (low E in standard tuning) needs to be raised the most of any string, because it swings in a wider arc than any other string.

    It's time for you to post a video or something that shows what "buzz" you are talking about, and how you are playing to get it, because you are responding in confusing contradictions.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

  10. #10
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by nexion218 View Post
    I will most probably stand corrected once the elders chime in, but what about the nut slots? If the slots are cut too deep and your strings are anchored too low at the nut, it makes sense to me that it buzzes all over the place and can only be corrected with a ridiculously high action @12th fret. That being said, I've no idea what your first fret action should be with a properly cut nut. Also, how level are the frets? You said that the guitar was not used for 4-5 years, maybe it was stored in a too dry/too humid place and something went fishy with the wood and the frets became unseated.
    Deep nut slots will only affect the open strings, not fretted. The OP complains that it buzzes at all frets.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    fatecasino, you said that the trus rod was loose so you tightened it. Did you check that the fretboard is straight? Does it now have a backbow? If it
    is a dual action trusrod maybe you have to loosen it (tighten it in the reverse direction) to create a slight upbow/relief.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    1. You stated in your original post that "The total setup and action is what I really like." Now you say, "It definitely does not feel fine." So you don't like the total setup and action.

    2. You state that you understand that personal style can affect buzzing...but then finish the sentence in a way that shows that you do not understand at all. Why would the fact that you are finger picking mean that you can't have buzz? There are a million ways to finger pick, many of which can easily cause buzzing. Who knows what you are doing when you say "finger picking."

    Factory recommended specs are terribly low IME. I usually need to go up to 1.5x–2x factory specs just to "feel" right to me.

    The 6th string (low E in standard tuning) needs to be raised the most of any string, because it swings in a wider arc than any other string.

    It's time for you to post a video or something that shows what "buzz" you are talking about, and how you are playing to get it, because you are responding in confusing contradictions.
    Look, I liked the factory settings, but I had to increase the height of all saddles in order to decrease buzzing. I did so and I didn't liked it then.
    I have played with others' people guitars (mostly strats) and I found out that they had the factory set up and the sounded fantastic with no buzz at all while I was playing.
    I do play the same style and this particular guitar buzzes at the factory settings.
    HENCE,
    is there any other guitar parameter that I could possibly configure?

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    fatecasino, you said that the trus rod was loose so you tightened it. Did you check that the fretboard is straight? Does it now have a backbow? If it
    is a dual action trusrod maybe you have to loosen it (tighten it in the reverse direction) to create a slight upbow/relief.
    what I really did is to put a capo at the first fret and hold the 6th string at the last fret. The distance at the 8th fret was more than 0.010", maybe 0.015"
    Then I tightened up a little bit the truss rod and made the distance around 0.010.
    I didn't notice anything strange at the shape of the neck compared with the 6th string, no backbow at all.
    Yesterday I did a little experiment by giving more relief to the neck and this did not help much at the factory settings. I still had to increase the action
    Theory says that the 6th string follows the neck radius, but in order to have a clear tone I had to put the saddle height higher than A 5th string.

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Deep nut slots will only affect the open strings, not fretted. The OP complains that it buzzes at all frets.
    True, the only thing left probably to do is to find proper tools to examine if any of the frets has become unseated
    Last edited by fatecasino; 10-10-2019 at 10:15 AM.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    fatecasino, you said that the trus rod was loose so you tightened it. Did you check that the fretboard is straight? Does it now have a backbow? If it
    is a dual action trusrod maybe you have to loosen it (tighten it in the reverse direction) to create a slight upbow/relief.
    This was my thought too....put the saddles back to their original
    Position and adjust the truss rod.

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    This was my thought too....put the saddles back to their original
    Position and adjust the truss rod.
    there is not a lot of information about this model (J5) about the truss rod.
    I think it behaves nortmally, the most I tighten it (clockwise) the more the neck becomes straight.
    The more I un-tighten it (counter-clockwise) the more the neck becomes like a bow, the 6th string gets far from the 8th fret.
    Just as conclusion,
    there are only two parts to set up the guitar.
    1. Set up the truss rod
    2. Set up the saddles height

    Is this it, or is there anything more to do/examine/configure/repair?

  17. #17
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    Default Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by fatecasino View Post
    there is not a lot of information about this model (J5) about the truss rod.
    I think it behaves nortmally, the most I tighten it (clockwise) the more the neck becomes straight.
    The more I un-tighten it (counter-clockwise) the more the neck becomes like a bow, the 6th string gets far from the 8th fret.
    Just as conclusion,
    there are only two parts to set up the guitar.
    1. Set up the truss rod
    2. Set up the saddles height

    Is this it, or is there anything more to do/examine/configure/repair?
    Well there is more than just that in a complete setup. That would be two adjustments to set the action/playability of the guitar, assuming the nut is correctly cut and at the correct height and that the frets are properly level.

    Do you have a straightedge? I think I would adjust the truss so that the neck is perfectly straight.
    Then set the saddles to factory spec.
    If there is still buzzing, loosen the truss rod a 1/4 turn, retune and check for buzz. Rinse and repeat until the buzz is gone.
    If you have to keep adjusting so that the action becomes unplayable, your new bridge may be at fault or your frets need leveling.
    Others with more experience may add or correct something in my post that Iím overlooking....

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    (the nut has been replaced by a technician a few weeks ago)
    Hence, you suggest to keep the saddles stable at factory settings and adjust the truss rod, is that right?
    Somehow I was thinking that it was the other way round, fix the truss rod at a right position and adjust the saddles. However this made me increase a lot the height of the saddles in order to avoid buzzing.
    I will give it a try the other way round.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by fatecasino View Post
    (the nut has been replaced by a technician a few weeks ago)
    Hence, you suggest to keep the saddles stable at factory settings and adjust the truss rod, is that right?
    Somehow I was thinking that it was the other way round, fix the truss rod at a right position and adjust the saddles. However this made me increase a lot the height of the saddles in order to avoid buzzing.
    I will give it a try the other way round.
    Yes, I would set the neck straight first with the saddles at factory height.
    You may find that later you might need to re-adjust the saddles too....but I feel itís better to start with the factory settings and fine tune from there.

    Once you have the neck straight and saddle at factory settings....if youíre buzzing the first adjustment is to give the neck a little relief by loosening the rod a 1/4 turn at a time, retuning and check for buzz again.

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    Default Re: Telecaster MIM: All frets and strings buzz!

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Deep nut slots will only affect the open strings, not fretted. The OP complains that it buzzes at all frets.
    As expected: I stand corrected. Nevermind though, I joined to learn... Thanks Doc for actually using the jelly between your ears when I seemingly can't... :/

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