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Fret Buzz on 1st Fret Only


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So the wife was kind enough to purchase an Ibanez RG370 for me. The one and only problem I have with the guitar is a buzzing on the first fret. It happens on all strings to an extent but the high e and b strings seem to be the most affected as the f and c notes just die. From what I've read a nut shim may be in order to fix the problem. I was just wondering what other peoples suggestions are.

Thanks

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Hey, I wouldn't worry about it too much, unless the buzzing is REALLY bad. Sometimes you have to compensate occasional buzzing for low action. I own a Gretch White Falcon with exceptionally low action that buzzes only on the first fret, but personally I think that a faint buzz adds nice character and twang to bassier notes. To some that might sound stupid, but as a recreational player I prefer low action over buzz-less strings!

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Nut shim won't help you then...when you push on the string behind the first fret, the height of the string is set by the fret height. Sounds like first fret might be too low; lay a really straight straight-edge on the frets and see if you see a gap.

You could either replace the first fret, or lower the offending downstream frets where the strings are actually making contact. I'd take the first suggestion, as indiscriminant fret-lowering can easily cause problems at other places on the neck, especially with low action.

Its also possible the neck has a slight twist.

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Raising the action could help; it is certainly an easy thing to try, easier than a refret. The further down the neck it is buzzing, the more it will help. However, it will NOT help if the first fret is too low (and it is buzzing, say, on the second fret).

If you get buzzing in the first fret position, but not the second, then I think its the first fret being too low.

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