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Archtop Buzz

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I have a vintage single cutaway hollowbody acoustic archtop. It has a set neck. The action is medium-medium-low. I get a fretbuzz on almost all strings when fretting just above 12. It clears up for the final frets after 15. Yes, the problem is occurring where the neck joint is, but the set looks really sound. The fretboard does seem to angle up very slightly at this point. By the way, the end of the fretboard is, by design, off the body. That is, there is an intentional gap between the fretboard/and the body.

I just got the instrument and it came with electric strings (9s). A replaced them with acoustic 12s. I tecj adjusted the truss rod, and I didn't notice the buzz then. I didn't notice it with the light strings, but then again I didn't get into the upper registers. Could the neck have settled into a buzz based on the new string tension.

Readjust truss rod?

Go to lighter strings?

Avoid playing up there?...(I don't like that one)

Thanks for any help

The tech is on vacation and I'm anxious to figure this out.

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... The fretboard does seem to angle up very slightly at this point. ...

If the fretboard is rising past the neck/body joint, that could certainly be your problem. The truss rod can't fix that. It has no effect past where the neck heel starts. Perhaps the neck angle has changed over time and it was flat all the way up to begin with. That's why "fall away" ... the fretbeard dropping away past the neck/body joint ... is so common.

First, you'd want to get a good straightedge to really check it. It's really not that easy to eyeball something where a .005" difference can cause fret buzz. If it's not actually rising I'd suspect a high fret. They can pop up over time.

If you don't have enough fallaway, which I suspect is what's happening, you're going to need some fret levelling done past the body joint to get the proper amount.

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