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Fret Problem


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well, i dont know how or why i did this.

but on this second explorer im working on, i decided to just put about a 1 degree neck angle, and have the bridge really really low(tune o matic)

now here is the problem. it almost directly relates to that fret fall of thread.

my frets are perfectly level all the way across.

when i lower the action to a preferable height, the strings are almost paralell to the board due to the no neck angle. so when i fret it on any fret, the string goes down parrallel, and hits every single fret in front of it. ive never had this proble before. and that also brings to mind,

if you recess a tom,

how does this not happen then also?

i mean, it would seem like the string would also be parrallel to the frets.

i dont know how i managed to do this on this guitar.

its not much different that i normally do, but i cant get it to not hit the other frets in front of it. any suggestions/ help?

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Sounds like you just ran into a problem when you did your scale drawing to get the neck angle. Even with a recessed TOM you can get it too low that it is parallel to the frets. That's where you have to plan out the lowest you'll go with the bridge, an maybe add in a few 64ths extra just incase. If I have the angle set up for the lowest possible action, I can always raise it if the action is too low, but I can't lower it if it is low as possible and still too high.

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well, i never calculate neck angle. i do it as i go. i cut my neck angles into the heel of the neck. so when i have my neck pocket routed, i string it up and cut my neck angle to work with the string height. but i always recess the posts of the toms as far as i can before the base of the bridge hits the face of the guitar.

but ive never had a problem like this.

i can get the action really low,

but to get it to not buzz, the strings have to be almost uncomfortably high. never had this problem doing this before. anything i can do?

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A lot of LP Jrs and Melody Makers have really slight angles too, so I don't think that's the problem. And the lack of an angle would usually mean that you can't get the bridge low enough-- so the strings would never touch the frets anyway--unless the fretboard itself stood high enough. That's because TOM bridges usually stand higher than, say, the Fender style bridge. So I'd think that problem lies elsewhere, like there's no relief in the neck.

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this might sound stupid, but hey what the hell it came to me anyway, is your nut fine? i mean, are the strings hanging far from the first fret? coz i can't imagine how now having an angle would lead to your problem! but lowering the strings from the nut side (if it's sufficiently high) can allow you to raise the bridge a little so this parallel thing wouldn't happen...

eh, just a thought, if it sounds dumb then maybe i'm affected by working for too long =S

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A lot of LP Jrs and Melody Makers have really slight angles too, so I don't think that's the problem. And the lack of an angle would usually mean that you can't get the bridge low enough-- so the strings would never touch the frets anyway--unless the fretboard itself stood high enough. That's because TOM bridges usually stand higher than, say, the Fender style bridge. So I'd think that problem lies elsewhere, like there's no relief in the neck.

what i did was combine 3 things to get the strings low enough.

1 degree neck angle

little bit thicker fretboard

counter sunk the studs and posts of the tom so it is much lower

sami:

i tried the nut too.

i cut the slot so that i was as close to the first fret as it could get without hitting. the middle frets still hit, with or without relief.

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I didn't mean to sound insulting or anything, but it just sounded like a standard set up problem rather than anything mysterious.

I know that I like action of about .06 at the 12th fret. Some people like it much lower but in my experience you can't do it without getting a little bit of buzz even if your frets are perfect. You might get 0.040 on the treble side.

When you raise the action a bit to get away from the total fret out you were describing, does the buzz still happen everywhere?

And you also mentioned that even with neck relief it was fretting out....did you try adjusting the neck relief with the action raised a bit?

I'm just trying to help get to the bottom of things.

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i also use an accurate machinists rule for a rough way of measuring action... mostly i do it by feel after that. If you want accurate measurements get yourself some feeler gauges

if you can set the bridge low enough that the strings touch the frets and high enough to give you higher action than you want then you definately dont have a problem with neck angle geometry.

Thats means your problem is most likely in the set-up, particularly in string choice, fretwork and neck relief... hard to say since you say you have checked these things thoroughly.

you need to get some rough measurements of where you want the action to be and were it is buzz free if you want more accurate advice. but if you want it superlow with a perfectly straight neck (no relief) then the fret job had better be damn good!

we also probably need to know what string guage you are using?

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im using 9 gage strings

yes with a bit of neck relief and a the height i want the strings, it still buzzez (24 frets)

i have no idea of what height of the action i want. i just want it to be low, and very smooth playing. ive never had a problem with acheiving that before.

with my fret leveler, they are dead even all the way across. but if i give it some relief, of course it gets really high in the middle and it is not good playing.

i know, i keep saying all of these things, and there is nothing left i can really check so it must be one of them. but i must be overlooking one of these and not seeing it. thanks for your time guys, hopefully i can get this figured out with your help.

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With the way I set my neck relief, the action does not get higher in the middle of the neck. If you start looking at the string height at the first fret and work your way up the neck, it just ramps up a little earlier. It still gets higher as you go, but it doesn't get very noticably higher between the 12th and 24th frets.

You may want to play around with how much neck relief you use. I don't typically try and measure it, I just sight down the neck and look for a very subtle arc. I'll fret at the 1st and 14th frets and eyeball the string height, it should be very slight.

I don't know if this helps.

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sorry, i dont have any of those measuring tools.

i guess it sounds like im shooting for a super low action. i just want an action that a factory guitar would be able to be set up to. some jacksons ive played can acheive such a low action that it is unreal. this has to be at least 3 times as high.

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well

i adjusted it just now to the point of where it was the most playable. it still buzzes quite a bit but is the lowest it will go to where the notes can at least be distinguisable.

and at the 12th fret, its about the thickness of a quarter.

to where it plays well and doesnt buzz, a little over the thickness of a nickel.

it does seem to be working a bit better now, i hope when the final setup comes around i can get it to play well.

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A quarter's thickness is about where I set my action actually. That goes for my USA Jackson too, it may have been a hair lower from the factory - but that was a long damn time ago...lol. That's around 0.065" by the way.

You should be able to get at least that low without any buzz, provided you have no high (or low) frets. If you're certain of that, you may just be a few truss rod tweaks away from the sweet spot.

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i have no idea of what height of the action i want. i just want it to be low, and very smooth playing.

you know exactly what height you want you action to be... that comes down to intuition and experience and you have enough of that to know when its too high or not quite right. but you really should have some kind of ruler or measuring device to roughly measure between 1 and 3mm.

its hard to know what the issue is because neck angle sounds like it isnt the problem and you say everything else is perfect... if it was one of mine and i was struggling to find the problem i would go right back to the start, even if i wasnt convinced the problem was one of the things i had done perfectly already - .. maybe setting the neck with a tiny amount of backbow without strings (depending on how much the neck bows with strings on) and going right back to re-leveling all the frets. then set the nut height first, the relief second then action and intonation last

go back through all the steps and let us know if you still have a problem

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ok,

thanks Wez. i know what the action i want feels and looks like, i just dont know measurements.

when things like this happen, i always to overlook something because i focus on just one thing.

i will start from scratch. i will get back to you guys in a few days, i have to take this appart and finish the... finish.

thanks for your time guys.

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If the bridge allows you to set the height where you want it, the neck angle is fine.

If the strings buzz at the height you want them set at, you have 3 explainations:

-Your neck isn't straight = adjust trussrod

-Your frets are not level = relevel the frets

-You're aiming for an unrealistically low action = readjust your expectations

It's really that simple...

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