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Thread: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

  1. #1

    Default Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Recently got this in the mail. The distributor that I purchased it from set it up for me for chicago tuning. With the current strings there is an awful string buzz on the bottom two strings (D and G strings), on the first 5-8 notes of each string.

    I like the action of the guitar, the next seems straight, but it's kind of hard to tell. I also like the string tension of the strings provided. Ill probably be changing the strings here soon. But I believe the current ones are 10's (from a standard electric guitar string set). I understand I can do some truss rod adjustment, change the strings to something with more tension, and possibly adjust the bridge, but I really like where everything is at right now. Is anyone else experiencing string buzz in this tuning? What else can I do? its almost unplayable.
    Last edited by EJMUSIC; Apr-01-2020 at 2:40pm.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    I thought they came set up for Chicago tuning, no?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    I use Rotosound Purples (0.012, 0.016, 0.024, and 0.032) for Chicago tuning on my Eastwood Warren Ellis electric tenor guitar. They sound great and no string buzz. A 0.010 E string on a 23 inch scale instrument just seems a little thin to me.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Yes, they come set up with the proper string gauges for Chicago tuning. Sounds like the nut slots need attention unless the distributor for some odd reason changed the original strings. Take it to a competent set up person but before I would have anything significant work done Id find out what the distributor thinks. It could be as simple as lubricating the slots.

  6. #5
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Check the nut slots, but get the frets checked. You might be lucky and it's just a truss rod adjustment. Look for how to adjust a truss rod on youtube - I like the StewMac site...
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Quote Originally Posted by Mace View Post
    Yes, they come set up with the proper string gauges for Chicago tuning.
    Well, maybe not. They shipped with 9-11-16-24 which is very light. I agree with Chip, too light for the 22.75" scale.

    In my opinion: Besides adjusting the truss rod, changing strings is the cheapest and fastest solution.

    Unfortunately the OP said he likes the current setup. Even though "it's almost unplayable."

    Here's the tension of the stock strings:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Sorry didn't get a chance to reply till now.

    The distributor (elderly instruments) mentioned something about probably putting 10's on the guitar. I talked to the guy in the repair shop there and he had stated he might put on 10's, and he would probably replace the original strings. That being said, he could've maybe just set up the guitar and realized that the stock strings were fine, and if they are in fact 9's then maybe replacing it with some D'addario XLs that are 10's or maybe 11's would get rid of the problem.

    The weird thing is, is the string buzz is less present when a finger pick as opposed to using a guitar pick. I guess it's not that odd because the guitar pick makes the string vibrate more intensely.

    I mean I look at the neck and it seems straight, its really hard to tell, im also looking at the nut and the strings seem to be in the right place at the right height. Replacing it might be difficult because i'm not sure where i'd find a nut for this particular guitar.

    This problem tends to present itself with a lot of my tenors, but it's never really been this bad before. I live in a very high and dry climate.

    I'm thinking ill bring it to a luthier when there is one available and this coronavirus crisis has calmed down.

    So i'll order some D'addarios and see if it changes anything.

  10. #8
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Just tune it up a notch, tighten the strings and see if that makes any difference.

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Likely your neck is back-bowed slightly from having the truss rod too tight for the light strings. The neck bow that truss rods adjust happens mainly in the low frets where the neck is thinner. So if the neck is curving down, towards the plane of the body, your first few frets will not have enough string clearance. The fatter strings will make the most noise.

    Place a straightedge along tue fingerboard starting at the first fret and see if it rocks. Or, sight along the strings from the bridge. Either should show the neck's bow, or straightness. Most players that spend their time playing in the low frets like a little up-bowing, or "relief", which yields clean sound there while being a bit easier in those upper frets. The cost of this popular setup is the high frets not giving a rich tone and less power if you pick hard.

    As suggested above, a performance test of tuning a step higher might prove the case. If more tension cleans up the sound, adjust the truss rod looser for your light strings.
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    What did the set up from Elderly entail?

  14. #11

    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    Likely your neck is back-bowed slightly from having the truss rod too tight for the light strings. The neck bow that truss rods adjust happens mainly in the low frets where the neck is thinner. So if the neck is curving down, towards the plane of the body, your first few frets will not have enough string clearance. The fatter strings will make the most noise.

    Place a straightedge along tue fingerboard starting at the first fret and see if it rocks. Or, sight along the strings from the bridge. Either should show the neck's bow, or straightness. Most players that spend their time playing in the low frets like a little up-bowing, or "relief", which yields clean sound there while being a bit easier in those upper frets. The cost of this popular setup is the high frets not giving a rich tone and less power if you pick hard.

    As suggested above, a performance test of tuning a step higher might prove the case. If more tension cleans up the sound, adjust the truss rod looser for your light strings.
    This sounds like the most probable cause to me.

    To check the relief, capo at the first fret and with one hand hold a string down at a fret just before the body joint. With your other hand, tap that string down onto a fret at around the midpoint. If you feel it move, you have some relief but might need a touch more. Adjust the truss rod anti-clockwise in 1/8 turn increments, testing each time until you like the way it plays.

    I suspect you'll find the thicker strings are already touching the frets, so you might need a 1/4 turn or more anti-clockwise (but still do it in 1/8 turn increments!). Note that the neck might take some hours to complete moving, so adjust one day and then do fine adjustments the following day.

    If you have feeler gauges, measure the relief you like. The neck will move a little with humidity changes, so you might want to check and readjust every few weeks,

  15. #12

    Default Re: Nasty string buzz on Fender Tele

    Mine needed a full set up by a luthier. It sounded like trash out of the box but is now perfect.

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