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Author Topic: Capo buzz from adjusting truss rod  (Read 1921 times)
JamesT
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« on: January 10, 2011, 10:00:57 PM »

Last month I went to the music store where I bought my larrivee to see the tech about tightening the truss rod because I was unable to. He was also unable to tighten it and suggested I take it to the larrivee factory since it was just a few blocks from us. I did and I ended up having someone there tighten it for me.. it turned out that the truss rod was so loose it didnt feel like anything was happening when you turned it. Anyways, he flattened the neck nicely and barre cords were much easier and the action was better (for me) so I took it home. I noticed that on several songs I play with a capo on the 2nd 3rd or 4th fret I get a buzzing when I hit certain frets in combination with eachother (for example, a F# on the b string along with a E on the A string). It also happened when I would play a certain open string with a certain fret with the capo in a different position.

I took it back to the factory and we figured out that the problem was a buzzing on a string between the fretted note and the capo. Which meant there was a hump in the guitar neck, and loosening the truss rod fixes the problem (which is why I never had the problem before I got the truss rod tightened).

So.. right now I have my truss rod quite loose so I only have the buzzing when I hit those 'certain frets' really loudly.. I just play softer when I get to the part of the song that may result in a buzz. The tech at the factory said there isn't really anything that can be done about it, but he suggested I check out this forum to see if anyone has a similar problem and has found a way to avoid it somehow.. like in a really tight capo or something?? Although I don't think that would do much if its a hump in the guitar neck.

Any thoughts?
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BenF
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2011, 10:27:44 PM »

Larrivees have a flatter fretboard than most guitars, so trying to get a capo with a bigger radius might help. I use 12 string capos for that very reason, as they tend to pull the E strings less sharp than standard 6 string capos.

If it persists, and you need to play certain songs with a capo, try using two capos, one on the 1st or second fret to stop the buzz, and one in the desired place.  It might been additional tweaking to get it in tune, but would likely cure the problem.
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Ben
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2011, 10:41:36 PM »

Take it to a good tech and get the frets leveled and crowned. There is a lot of adjustment to the truss rod it doesn't have to be either loose or tight.
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Roger


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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 10:57:46 PM »

Take it to a good tech and get the frets leveled and crowned. There is a lot of adjustment to the truss rod it doesn't have to be either loose or tight.
I'd be very surprised if that were a viable solution and wasn't suggested by the Larrivee factory tech?

It is the most logical solution in theory.
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Ben
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2011, 11:21:54 PM »

I ended up having someone there tighten it for me.. it turned out that the truss rod was so loose it didnt feel like anything was happening when you turned it. Anyways, he flattened the neck nicely. I  took it back to the factory and we figured out that the problem was a buzzing on a string between the fretted note and the capo. Which meant there was a hump in the guitar neck, and loosening the truss rod fixes the problem (which is why I never had the problem before I got the truss rod tightened).

So.. right now I have my truss rod quite loose

He didn't say who tightened it for him. I don't know who he talked to, or even which factory he took it to but I don't think they level frets at the factory. People build cars at car factories but that doesn't mean they are capable of servicing them.
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Roger


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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 02:47:18 AM »

First you have to figure out why there is a hump and why the truss rod is so loose?It sounds as if the guitar doesn't have enough relief in it.If the rod is loose and its got some sort of hump then you would need to put some bow into it.If its new then it should/would be covered under the warrenty.If its not under warrenty then you need to put some relief in it.I would do a reverse clamping to produce bow,more then needed.I would snugg the truss rod so I had some adjustability.The clamping process take's a few weeks as you are trying to create a new memory for the wood.Its really hard to say without it in my hands.Find a good tech and have it gone over.
Like Mr_LV19E say's just because you can build them doesn't mean you can fix them.I have a friend that build guitars but has admitted that he has no real world concept of how to fix them,well thats not completely true he does wonderful refinish work.
You may want to get a second opinion from someone else at the factory.
By the way I have found after a few thousand guitars that after the first month in its new home most if not all need to have the frets releveled and crowned as after a month the guitar has settled in and grown accustomed to there new home.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 03:11:04 AM »

I stand corrected and shamed, sorry.
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Ben
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2011, 04:21:19 AM »

Ben no biggy.I've about 10 seenario's running thru my brain as to what is the underlying problem and what can be done to fix it.So many paths and I know for the next  day or so I'm going to be think about it.James keep us posted.
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2011, 05:04:53 AM »

I stand corrected and shamed, sorry.

No shame, maybe a new song.  "Got a buzz while adjusting my truss rod blues".      
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JamesT
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2011, 11:54:52 PM »

The tech at the Larrivee factory in vancouver was the one who was able to tighten the truss rod for me.
Before seeing him, the truss was as loose as possible. After seeing him, the truss was tight enough to make the neck perfectly flat. After going home and discovering the buzz and taking it back to him, the truss was loose enough so that the buzz won't occur if I play softly. This way, its at least a bit less bowed than it was before bringing it to the tech, in sacrifice of this weird hump-buzz on certain frets played at what I would say a slightly 'harder' pluck than normal (like perhaps at the climax of a song when you start to hit the strings louder).

I think that changes made to the way its capo'ed unfortunately wont help because its a buzz between the fretted note and the capo. My intuition tells me that leveling off the fretboard like someone mentioned would be the only fix, although I feel hesitant to go that route. I was suprised the tech didn't even mention that option ( I am covered under the warranty ).

Is this a very common issue with guitars? In some sense I feel like the guitar is incapable of playing properly (no buzz) when set up properly (flat neck) which is forcing me to play it with a bowed neck to avoid a problem that traces back to when the guitar was made. That was a really long sentence sorry

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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 12:00:51 AM »

No shame, maybe a new song.  "Got a buzz while adjusting my truss rod blues".      
I believe it would be a hit 
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 03:05:38 AM »

Jame's there needs to be at least a small amount of relief.I found that as I've said that most if not all guitars need a fret leveling and dressing after a month.The guitar settle's over that first month.Get the frets dressed and have a little relief put in the neck and things should be fine.Have a full setup done which should include the dressing/leveling.
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 04:08:25 AM »

Jame's there needs to be at least a small amount of relief.I found that as I've said that most if not all guitars need a fret leveling and dressing after a month.The guitar settle's over that first month.Get the frets dressed and have a little relief put in the neck and things should be fine.Have a full setup done which should include the dressing/leveling.

 +1  unclrob is correct in saying that most guitars need a setup after they settle from the factory.  BTW the frets are not a warranty issue.

I wouldn't worry about getting the frets leveled, its really a very small amount removed. I don't think you could see the difference in the frets after its done, it will allow the action to be its lowest without buzz and you will definitely feel that the guitar plays easier
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Roger


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JamesT
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2011, 10:09:56 PM »

Hey,

I went to a very experienced tech today who fixed this problem for me. The buzz was due to the balls of the string (just under the saddle) vibrating.. he showed me a trick where you bend the ball to the side before inserting it into the hole. Problem solved!

We also talked about using custom gauge strings since I never tune to standard, but am usually in DADGAD. Im wondering if any of you are successful in ordering strings individually online? Im thinking of getting a .13 1st string, .17 2nd string and .56 6th string.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2011, 02:56:05 AM »

Jame's a standard set of 13-56 should do just fine.Check Dean Markley strings.
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