Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

String buzz on 330/12
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Author:  j.alderton [ Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:40 am ]
Post subject:  String buzz on 330/12

hi everyone, i'm new to this great forum and have recently just obtained a new 330/12 in beautiful mapleglo. needless to say, i absolutely love it. i have a question regarding the set up for this instrument, and have carefully studied the manual, this forum, and the roger mcguinn dvd in an effort to get the action just right (for me).

here's the scoop: the neck initially had a slight relief and the action was a bit high (higher than the typical goal ranges mentioned in this forum). i straightened the neck with the truss rods and gradually lowered the action at the bridge. however, i encountered significant string buzz and determined that i might have caused an actual bit of back bow in the neck. so, i adjust the rods just a bit to induce the tiniest bit of relief, and again worked on the bridge. the action is still a bit high, and the low E and A strings buzz most of the way up the neck. just a slight buzz, but still noticeable.

the neck looks to have equal relief on both sides (just the slightest visible space at the 7th to 10th fret when strings are fretted at 1 and last position). The D through high E strings are great, however. no buzzing with those. there is no twist in the neck at all, as best i can tell. all of the frets seem very level.

does this sound like i might need a bit more relief on the bass side of the neck? or, should i look more at the nut and saddle to see the strings are sitting a bit low?

thanks very much.

Author:  buchrob [ Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: String buzz on 333/12

Two simple things to check out:

1) put a capo on the first fret and see if the buzz disappears. If it does, you probably have a nut problem. Poorly cut nut might also contribute to action seeming too high whatever you do.

2) make sure the tension on all the screws that hold up the bridge is similar. A loose mounting screw on the thick string side could give you the buzz you describe.

Author:  j.alderton [ Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: String buzz on 330/12

thanks very much for your helpful reply.

in the midst of checking those two things you've suggested, i noticed that the buzzing may, in fact, have more to do with the way i've been fretting those particular strings. (i'm new to the 12-string).

i've found that with a bit more attention to the position of my fingers on the frets of the low E and A stings, and by fretting the strings with just a bit more pressure, the buzzing isn't there anymore.

so, it looks like it may simply be an adjustment (on my part) to the different tension on the strings than i've been accustomed to. even so, i find it a very easy and enjoyable instrument to play.

again, many thanks.

Author:  jbudweiser [ Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: String buzz on 333/12

Hi and welcome to the forums, you must have a 330/12, glad to hear your enjoying it.
It is a bit better to measure relief in a slightly different way. Put a capo on the first fret and press down on the 16th fret ( this is where the neck leaves the body/heel). Then measure the distance in the gap between the bottom of the string and the fret on under the 7th or 8th fret. Yes you can use the string as as straight edge and just sight it, but I do prefer to actually measure the gap by using a feeler gauge. The gap measurements I tend to go for are .002 on the Low E, and normally flat on the fret on the High E. I measure the action height at the 12 fret and get it to 2mm to 1.8mm . One thing of note, you should have the guitar in the play position ( not flat with a neck support) and do your relief measurement in this position. If you do it with any other tension on the neck the measurement will not be exact. The feeler gauges I use are from .008 to .002, I have to use glasses and light to get an exact measurement, I also inspect the frets at this time.
The feeler guage must just fit for an exact measurement.

Some others get a flat neck and just raise the bridge until there is no buzzing, that works OK too!

Relief gap measurements of .004 to .002 or a tad lower are considered a flat neck

All guitar have their idiosyncrasies as to how or how well you can set them up. Consideration has to be given to other factors as well.

Some folk don't worry if they get a buzz, unless it's coming through the amp!

Author:  j.alderton [ Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: String buzz on 330/12

Many thanks for the helpful information. It's much appreciated!

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