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  #1  
Old 2009-01-27, 11:58
Nightwind Nightwind is offline
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Guitar technical help - string buzz and bad intonation

I got a Ibanez SER Prestige as a christmas present from my parents, and I really like the guitar in many ways. However, I've ran into some problems that I don't intend to ignore any longer.

Firstly, there's a strange case of string buzz which only occurs around the 12th fret. The guitar has 24 frets, so around the middle area between the locking nut and the tremolo (edge pro). It makes sweeps sound terrible with distortion, even simple sweeping of three strings, especially if I implement string skipping. It's not entirely because of my lack of skills either since the guitars in my school work perfectly all around the fretboard, and I can pull of the same sweeps elsewhere on the fretboard on my own guitar without any buzz. I've changed strings once, and it helped a little (and also increased tuning stability a lot). There is a little (quite little) string buzz on the lower e-string aswell, but it's not a problem.

Possibly related to the first issue, there's one fret in particular, I think 15th on the high e-string, which sounds dubbed and weak. Everything from the high e-string sounds weak however, especially compared to the lower string.

The second problem is that, while I think the manual that came with the guitar explains how to fix it, is bad intonation. The guitar is perfectly in tune on the lower frets, but past the 12th fret (I'm not sure from where exactly though), the intonation gets worse. On 19th fret or so, some strings are about 10 hz too low and others are similarly too high. Yet, I think b-string is perfectly in tune in the higher frets too.

Could these problems be related? What could possibly fix it? Normally, I'd return it to the shop, but the shop where the guitar was ordered from is about 600 kilometers from where I live, so it's a bit of a problem. So if theres anything I, or someone who knows their thing, could do, please post suggestions. At least I've learned not to buy a guitar without trying that precise one, even if it's a big name like Ibanez, and not a cheap guitar either.

Thanks in advance! I really hope to get some replies.
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  #2  
Old 2009-01-27, 14:52
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Arsis Arsis is offline
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Sounds like you need a set up.
First of all if you use lower tunings on a tremolo it has to be set up and the springs have to be tightened/loosened accordingly.

secondly your neck could be bent. (I don't know what term to use really) a Somewhat simple fix with some truss rod adjustment.

Basically find a trusty guy in a guitar shop say you want a setup tell him your tuning and how you like your action (space between strings and fretboard)
They should charge you no more than 30 bucks. The guy i go to does it for 20.

to my understanding higher=better tone, lower= playability.
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  #3  
Old 2009-01-27, 15:51
Nightwind Nightwind is offline
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I use standard tuning, and since the strings I now use are of somewhat higher gauge, I adjusted the springs so that the tremolo is in ideal position, possibly in a better one that it initially was.

If it's a set-up I need, then I guess it's no big deal then. Frankly, I was afraid that there was something wrong with my guitar, a factory defect or even damage. I'll take it to a music shop then. Thanks a lot for your reply!

To my understanding, lower action can possibly mean more string buzz, and most guitarists would want to use as low an action as the frets allow without too much buzz. I definitely prefer a low one, I think, since I use a lot of barré type of chords that will surely come easier with a lower action, and in general I'm sure it's better for a relatively inexperienced guitarist like myself.
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  #4  
Old 2009-01-27, 16:10
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Arsis Arsis is offline
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No problem. It is however, highly possible that your guitars neck is damaged.
I was reading a review on a Jackson soloist i believe on Harmony-Central and the guy stated that his guitar's neck got bent to the point of no fix by the harsh weather changes when it was mailed. I surely hope thats not the case, thats when customer support comes in.
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  #5  
Old 2009-01-28, 04:01
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johnmansley johnmansley is offline
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I had fret buzz around the 12th fret many years ago on an old guitar. The problem, at least for me, was solved by lightly tapping the 12th fret itself a few times with something heavy and metal (e.g. a small wrench). Do it LIGHTLY!

To be honest though, your problems sound more involving than just simple fret buzz so I'd be inclined to follow Arsis' advice.
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  #6  
Old 2009-02-18, 03:07
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Somnus Somnus is offline
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I don't have any comments on the problem of the OP, but I have a related problem.

I have a fixed bridge ESP and the strings are just too damn stiff. When it's in standard tuning it's impossible to bend more than a couple of millimeters.

Is that a neck relief issue or what? It does'nt matter if the strings are new although a lighter gauge string help a little bit.

Any thoughts?
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  #7  
Old 2009-02-18, 03:56
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What string guage and tuning are you using?
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  #8  
Old 2009-02-18, 05:07
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Somnus Somnus is offline
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Currently 10-46 gauge string tuned down to D, but the gauge doesnt seem to matter. I've tried lower gauge but it only helped a little bit so I figured it must be the neck :/
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  #9  
Old 2009-02-18, 05:53
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You might need your truss rod adjusting then. I'd take it to your local guitar store and get a professional to look at it.
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  #10  
Old 2009-02-18, 18:37
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Yeah, I figured I might but wasnt completely sure.

Thanks a million!
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