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> Problem With Bending The Strings At Certain Positions
Prantare
post Oct 20 2008, 05:48 PM
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Something has happened to my Fender.. don't know what; but at some points at the guitar you can just bend about 1/4 tone before it sounds like someone is totally palm muting it. This didn't happen before and I have no idea what is causing it. I tried changing strings but didn't do any difference. It's only on the high E-string.

Any ideas or anyone who have had the same problem? unsure.gif

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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 20 2008, 06:47 PM
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Possibly a fret problem, when string is hitting the frets while bending that are in front of the fretted place. It's a common problem on fenders because of the big neck radius. Go check out with a luthier.


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Ajmurrell
post Oct 20 2008, 07:07 PM
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I have this problem on my strat since I re-strung with lower gauge strings. My assumption would be that because there's less tension on the neck, the neck is slightly more curved away from the strings, making the strings more likely to come into contact with the frets. I guess a small adjustment on the truss rod would rectify this. However, I'm far too scared to do any adjusting of my guitar's truss rod! So I'm probably going to re-string with the original gauge I was using, or take it in to get adjusted professionally.



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Noangels
post Oct 20 2008, 08:25 PM
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Two of my strats do this when I over bend up high on the top E string,will get it fixed if I remember!I know not to over bend in those areas now so I forget about it till I see a thread like this.

good luck with it,sounds like yours is a bad problem,and not something I could live with If one of my axes did that


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ztevie
post Oct 21 2008, 05:50 AM
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It's no biggie... Have you noticed your string action getting slightly lower lately? Your neck may have "adjusted" it self a tiny bit. Because Fender has a more curved radius, it needs higher string action for the bends to be clean and don't get muted. Unlike Ibanez and other guitars with flatter fretboard where you can set the actio extremely low if the frets and neck is ok...

On what frets does this happen?
Do like this:
Start with checking the neck by looking at it from the head towards the body. The neck should have a little bow, so that it's higher at the nut and at the body, with the middle bow down slightly. Also check if the neck seem warped in some way...

To test neck bow in a more exact way:
Hold down low E-string at 1st and 15th fret(easiest to use a capo at 1st). Now check the string at 7th fret, you should see a slight gap between the 7th fret and the string. With slight I mean less than 1 mm... If you have one hand free, you can tap on the string at 7th fret, if you hear the string click it has some gap..
If the gap is too big you need to tighten the truss rod to decrease the gap.
If you have no gap, you need to loosen the truss rod to increase the gap.

Many people are very afraid to touch the truss rod. I say it's something every guitarist should be able to do themselves. If the truss rod and the neck is ok, nothing bad will happen. Just remember to be very careful. Turn maybe 1/4 round each time, then tune and check that gap again...
Adjusting the truss rod is essential to a guitars performance, wood moves all the time, and the neck can change due to humidity changes, change of string gauge, and even change of string brand... At least once a year I do a setup where I set the intonation, string action and do the truss rod adjustment.

If the string action and neck bow is ok you may have some fret popping up a tiny bit, then you should take it to a luthier. I would have tried to bang the faulty fret down carefully with a rubber hammer, but you could take it to a luthier if you feel it's over your head...
Fret jobs like sanding them down is not something I would do myself... This can lead to disaster cool.gif


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Muris Varajic
post Oct 21 2008, 10:25 AM
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Could be low action or fret/s,
contact luthier if you don't have enough experience on these topics. smile.gif


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Lian Gerbino
post Oct 21 2008, 11:38 AM
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yes, that happened to me once, luthier is my only option... huh.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 21 2008, 12:31 PM
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Me too, he polished the frets, took, of some small microscopic layer of the frets and leveled them up, so now they work nicely.

The problem with frets is that they worn out after a while, and you worn out frets on positions where you play the most. Those are mostly 7 9 12 14 15 17 fret etc. The rest of the frets (specially from 19 and above) don't get played that much comparing mentioned above, so they stay thick (high). Then this problem is most likely to occur, and the solution is to level up the frets. Luthier can do this job. It can be done 3-6 times, depending on the size of the frets, until you need a complete re-fretting job.


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Noangels
post Oct 21 2008, 12:58 PM
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Interesting post Ztevie,just checked my Roadhouse Strat and it needed a tiny amount of bow.so have done it
As Ivan said my frets are worn in places where I play the most,so thats why I cant over bend on the top E high up with out it choking when I get extreme in the bends.

My esp has buzz on the low E and A string on the 1st couple of frets but apart from that is able to bend choke free on every fret-that has NO gap between the 7th string fret and the fret when I 1st fret and 15th fret it-Will have to loosen the rod a bit for it or put a shim under the locking nut to raise the action slightly for the 1st few frets

now the intersting part-My American BC Rich Strat has the same 7th fret no space on the low E string and it has no buzz any where and never chokes!mind you it is a realy thick and chunky maple neck and board.


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ztevie
post Oct 21 2008, 01:28 PM
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If you want as low string action as possible without buzz, then a perfectly flat neck without any bow is the best thing. But since this is very hard to achieve, the general tip is to have a very slight bow, so you know you're on the "right side" of that limit, so to speak... But try to keep the bow as low as possible so it's hardly noticeable, but you will have a click sound when tapping on the 7th.
Also the frets must be leveled perfect if you want that crazy low action without buzz, which is very hard to get...
Nowadays I always set my action low, but not too low, I have gotten used to have some action, it gives me a much clearer tone. When I was younger I always set the action very low, so I accepted a slight buzz, which is OK because it won't be heard through the amp anyway. There is a difference between slight buzz and buzz that chokes the strings... There is always a compromise between diffferent things: Low action/tone/buzz/playability. THat's why I think everyone should learn to do the setup themselves, cause you will need to do a setup more than every 10 years...

I don't think Prantares problem is because the frets are worn out because he plays certain frets more. I get the impression this happened very sudden, that some frets start to "totally mute" the tone? Wear happens during a longer period of time, not from one day to another...

This post has been edited by ztevie: Oct 21 2008, 01:30 PM


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* ESP Eclipse CTM1, Bridge EMG 81, Neck EMG 60
* Peavey Vandenberg 2nd Edition, Bridge Tom Anderson HN3, Neck DiMarzio Chopper
* Ztevie's Blue, Custom Handbuilt by Rek Guitars, Seymour Duncan Full Shred humbucker set
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