Repair Opinions Needed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CandidPicker, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized

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    My 2015 McCarty's high E-string fret buzz has returned after being corrected several times with a truss rod adjustment. The fret buzz occurs mostly with a clean amp channel and can be heard the length of the high e-string from 1st fret to about the 7th or 8th.

    My gut feeling tells me the E-string nut its cut too deeply, and that the fret buzz occurs because of this.

    My question involves the repair/replacement of the nut. If it were you, would you:

    1) Ask the tech to backfill the E-string nut slot with graphite and some type of contact filler, allow to dry and then carve to the correct .010 string gauge spec, or...

    2) Replace the entire black core nut with an aftermarket bone nut and direct the tech to carve the nut slots according to .010-.046 gauge spec?


    Neither option includes the cost of a pro set-up following the repair. The set-up would be my responsibility.

    Option 1 would be the tech's call if he determined that the high E-string nut slot was indeed cut too deeply.

    Option 2 would cost about $40 to $45 without a set-up.

    Set-up would be about $45 to 50 more, something I'd like to avoid need paying for.

    Both options are beyond my personal scope of tech ability; the reason a qualified tech will make the repair. Which option might you have done if ease of repair were the primary requirement? Knowing the the core nut has its own tone, would a bone nut be an improvement?

    Or lastly, if it were possible to raise the right bottom side of the adjustable bridge slightly so as to raise the string action, would this help solve the fret buzz, along with an additional truss rod adjustment and intonation? (These tasks I can perform for myself without involving a tech)

    Thanks for your responses in advance...
     
    #1 CandidPicker, Apr 28, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  2. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

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    Alnus Rubra, bodia, andy474x and 3 others like this.
  3. Stephen J.

    Stephen J. New Member

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    It is not the nut. The nut is removed from the string buzz equation once you fret a note. If it is not fret buzz, it could be at the bridge, or a loose part that is vibrating from the string resonance. Does the bridge lean forward at all?
     
  4. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized

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    No, no bridge lean. The adjustable bridge is a MannMade 2300 with MannMade USA studs. I think when replacing the wraparound bridge with the adjustable, the studs were tightened a tad too much, which would account for the right side low-action fret buzz.

    My plan to save cash and effort is to raise the right side of the bridge slightly, and loosen the neck, allowing for more forward bow.

    It's also entirely possible that increased humidity is playing a role in this. Two weeks ago, no issue, today, fret buzz.
     
  5. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized

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    Serg,

    That would work except my skillset stops with set-ups, intonations, and info available on the PRS support page. Beyond that requires more expertise than what I can do myself. I think there are some who could do a better job than I could, and to these folks I refer my work.

    A buddy of mine who performs guitar tech and luthier repair (who also owes me a favor) said that if it's the nut slot, there are several things he could do short of replacing the nut. He couldn't elaborate at the time because he was settling in for dinner, but would call once he'd finished with the dishes.
     
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  6. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized

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    EDIT: My buddy elaborated regards the humidity issue. In between our conversations, the adjustable bridge was raised on the right side, and about ½ of a turn loosening the neck for additional forward bow.

    That seemed to do away with the fret buzz, and pickup height adjustments were also made to curtail any resonant buzz occurring there. Long story short, no more fret buzz, but a lot of distance between strings and frets.

    My hope is that in the coming weeks as air temps increase and humidity follows, the neck will settle back slightly for easier fretting. At this point, I've got plenty of room to bend notes with, but playing quickly will need to take a backseat until either the neck settles or the truss rod can be tightened slightly, still while avoiding the fret buzz that might result.
     
    #6 CandidPicker, Apr 29, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
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  7. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Energized

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    With the help of the folks on this forum, it was determined that my McCarty's fret buzz issue was not caused by the nut, but more accurately, the neck relief/action, the bridge height, and the neck pickup height.

    My first step included raising the right side of the bridge one 360° stud turn so that the string action would be level across the strings.

    My next step included adjusting the truss rod yesterday, though I think I went a tad too far leaving distance between string and fret. The string/fret gap at the 8th fret with fretted 1st fret and 22nd fret is significant, and is obviously not to spec. What I'll need to do is tighten the truss rod but leave enough room so the fret buzz doesn't return.

    What was also discovered was that the neck pickup height also contributed to the fret buzz (apparently, the E-string resonated when the neck pickup was in closer proximity to the string; backing the height off a little allowed the string to ring more freely without the resonant fret buzz.)

    I'll set about doing this maintenance after lunch, and will report back my findings once the work is complete. It may require a slight truss rod adjustment and some intonation for best results, but that pesky fret buzz was disturbing. Hopefully, some smaller adjustments will return the McCary closer towards factory spec but disallow the fret buzz.
     

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