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Thread: My strings are buzzing like hell

  1. #1
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    Question My strings are buzzing like hell

    Hi,

    I bought a PRS CU24 in 2004 and never had to set it up again. Because I left to live abroad, I had to leave it in its case for 3 years without playing. When I came back I tried to play on it but it was really buzzing. So I removed all the strings, cleaned the neck and the frets with the fretboard conditioner and a cleaning cloth. I then restringed the guitar with my usual gauge (the stock one ie. PRS 9.5-44) but it's still buzzing like hell on almost every frets!!! Open strings are not buzzing for some reason.

    What can I do to stop it from buzzing?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    HFS Lover
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    Take it to a good tech and show him what is going on, let him have a look and give recommendations. A couple questions I would have are; does it make the buzzing on all strings? and Can you hear the buzzing when it is plugged in?

  3. #3
    If it played well when you put it away, I'd guess your truss rod needs to be adjusted. It's simple to do yourself but if you don't know what you're doing, take it to a qualified PRS tech.

    That advice assumes that your guitar is now in a stable temperature location and that is has been there for at least 24 hours. If not, let it settle before you make any adjustments. It could be that it just needs to warm up.

    Did you store it with the strings on and tuned to A440?

    If it is (and has been) in a stable temperature location, I'd guess your trussrod is too tight (from your description).

    To fix it... Loosen the trussrod by turning it counter-clockwise an 8th of a turn (small adjustments!!!), then retune the guitar to A440 before you check the string height at the center of the fretboard -- after depressing the string at the 1st and last fret of the high E. The string should be very close to the fret but not actually touch the fret in the middle of the fretboard. This is a personal taste issue as well. The closer the string is to the fret, the less relief you have in the neck. Some people like just a little relief. Some people like NONE but it makes the guitar more susceptible to the issue you now have.

    I'd bet your string is actually touching in the center right now.

    Oil your fretboard soon and leave the trussrod cover off. You'll probably need to tweak it again as the guitar settles back in.

    One last thing... POST PICS!!! We're here to share guitars, not just talk about how to tweak them.
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ; 07-04-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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  4. #4
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dantedayjob View Post
    Take it to a good tech and show him what is going on, let him have a look and give recommendations. A couple questions I would have are; does it make the buzzing on all strings? and Can you hear the buzzing when it is plugged in?
    I would like to fix it by myself if possible, I have 6 guitars and I don't want to pay 70€ each time I want a screw to be turned! To answer your questions, yes it's buzzing on all strings (not on open strings though) starting from the very 1st fret.

    I forgot to mention that the fretboard is straight and when the 1st and 24th frets are pressed, there is the 0.010 gap recommended on the PRS website.

  5. #5
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    I'd bet your string is actually touching in the center right now.
    Thanks for the suggestion, both E strings are not touching the fretboard on the 8th fret but the G string is. On my Jackson guitar I would level up the bridge but I don't know how to do that on the PRS.
    Last edited by Mr Pringles; 07-04-2012 at 01:08 PM.

  6. #6
    If the guitar played well when you put it in the case, leave the bridge alone. Fulcrum and action screws don't turn on their own. The trussrod, on the other hand, will move.

    1) Did you store the guitar with the strings on and tuned to A440?
    2) How long as the guitar been in a stable temperature environment?
    3) Oil the fretboard.
    4) If you add extra relief (more than .010 gap) does the buzzing get better or worse?
    5) If you set the neck perfectly straight (NO gap) does it get better or worse?
    6) Might be worth checking the springs on the trem. if they have stretched a little (not likely), you might need to tighten the two screws on the trem claw by 1/4 to 1/2 a turn.
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  7. #7
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    1) Did you store the guitar with the strings on and tuned to A440? Yes
    2) How long as the guitar been in a stable temperature environment? About a year
    3) Oil the fretboard. Did that with the PRS fretboard conditioner
    4) If you add extra relief (more than .010 gap) does the buzzing get better or worse? Don't know, I thought I would have to touch the trussroad so I'll try that.
    5) If you set the neck perfectly straight (NO gap) does it get better or worse? I'll get back at you tomorrow with an answer as a luthier told me that the guitar needed 48 hours for the neck to find a stable position
    6) Might be worth checking the springs on the trem. if they have stretched a little (not likely), you might need to tighten the two screws on the trem claw by 1/4 to 1/2 a turn. I'll check that now

    Thanks for the suggestions

  8. #8
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pringles View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, both E strings are not touching the fretboard on the 8th fret but the G string is. On my Jackson guitar I would level up the bridge but I don't know how to do that on the PRS.
    Stringheight?What does level up the bridge means?What kind of bridge on your Jackson guitar?
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  9. #9
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    It's a Tune-O-Matic.

  10. #10
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Hi There,

    After being in storage for a while, the guitar probably needs a new set up. Here is a link to our set up guide which will walk you through each step. http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/setup.html

    If the guitar is still giving you trouble, I would suggest taking it to a qualified tech. As Hans mentioned earlier, if the guitar played fine before it was put in storage, a good set up should take care of the buzzing issues.

  11. #11
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pringles View Post
    It's a Tune-O-Matic.
    Never level up the PRS tremolo bridge,raise or lower the saddles when setting your stringheight.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pringles View Post
    It's a Tune-O-Matic.
    Cool! Now we really need pics.

    Don't make us beg.
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  13. #13
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Cool! Now we really need pics.

    Don't make us beg.
    Ok here are the 2 guitars I'm talking about:

    PRS CU24


    Jackson DKMGT

  14. #14
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Check your stringheight now.Measure with a ruler at the 12th fret,from top of the fret to the bottom of the string.Try to have it around 2/32 on all strings,not any lower.Note that before you set the stringheight your relief should have been adjusted.
    Last edited by swede71; 07-06-2012 at 06:11 AM.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  15. #15
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    Hi There,

    After being in storage for a while, the guitar probably needs a new set up. Here is a link to our set up guide which will walk you through each step. http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/setup.html

    If the guitar is still giving you trouble, I would suggest taking it to a qualified tech. As Hans mentioned earlier, if the guitar played fine before it was put in storage, a good set up should take care of the buzzing issues.
    How much time do PRS techs recommend to wait after each truss rod adjustments? A luthier told me to wait for 48 hours between each adjustments but he sounded a bit crazy to me. So what's written in the PRS bible?

  16. #16
    PRS Custom 24 Owner Mr Pringles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swede71 View Post
    Check your stringheight now.Measure with a ruler at the 12th fret,from top of the fret to the bottom of the string.Try to have it around 2/32 on all strings,not any lower.
    What's 2/32? Sorry I only know about millimeters!

  17. #17
    Senior Member swede71's Avatar
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    Ahh...well im swedish and also go by the metric system but have teached myself about the imperial system.2/32 means 2/32 of an inch(the way i see it).Im sure the americans here can explain it better .Buy yourself a steelruler.Often comes with metric on one side and imperial on one side.2/32 of an inch is 1.6 mm.
    Last edited by swede71; 07-06-2012 at 06:20 AM.
    I de-modded my CU22 soapbar and made a factory spec setup.Im in love again.I very much believe now PRS guitars are perfect as they are.

  18. #18
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    1.6mm is a good place to start on the treble side.

    Depending on your playing style you may want to up the bass side a touch to around 2mm or just shy of. I think that's around 5/64ths?

    Really depends on your playing style. Even on a well set up guitar I need a slightly higher action than factory specs.
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  19. #19
    Junior Member rschleicher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues View Post
    1.6mm is a good place to start on the treble side.

    Depending on your playing style you may want to up the bass side a touch to around 2mm or just shy of. I think that's around 5/64ths?

    Really depends on your playing style. Even on a well set up guitar I need a slightly higher action than factory specs.
    I'm OK with a 2/32" string height for the D through high-E strings, but need to be more like 5/64" for the low-E and A. This is with 10-46 strings. I've also thought about using some form of "heavy bottom, light top" strings, perhaps 10-52, just to have a bit more tension on the low strings.
    2011 Custom 24 - Amber Black 10-top (love the 59/09's!)
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  20. #20
    Wheels cjmwrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rschleicher View Post
    I'm OK with a 2/32" string height for the D through high-E strings, but need to be more like 5/64" for the low-E and A. This is with 10-46 strings. I've also thought about using some form of "heavy bottom, light top" strings, perhaps 10-52, just to have a bit more tension on the low strings.
    I use 10-52 specifically for this reason. I did have to open my nut slots a bit on both of my PRSi (only the bass strings), but I have minimal string buzz, even when drop tuned. I was a good change for me.
    BDR-529

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