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Discussion Starter #1
I find out today, if my recently acquired 2013 Telecaster American Special can be fixed. I have nicknamed it "Buzzin' Betty" because of the fret buzzing I am getting on the top of neck lower 5th and 6th strings. I have had two techs do set ups unsuccessfully, and it is currently being worked on by yet another. I have been told that the neck may be warped and the possibility that a new neck will be the only thing that can solve the problem.
If that be the case, where can I get one in Canada and what kind of cost might it be? Thanks.
 
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Warmoth in the usa makes a sh1t ton of necks. Easton Instrument in Ottawa has a Plek machine. It can scan and level the neck you have. If it's fixable, he's the guy.
 
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Keep in mind you will need to have a new neck setup- frets leveled and crowned, angle set etc. Warmoth sold me a neck and said they are fine, just bolt it on... When it didn't work they pointed me to a buried disclaimer on their website. $500 later in luthier fees it is really just ok.
 

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Jesse Brown of Brown Bear Guitars in Toronto. Makes them by hand. Gorgeous roasted maple, often with birds eye grain.
 

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I just got a buzz on one guitar today at the 12th fret of the E-string, and only the 12th fret. I found a little kink in the string right at that fret. You can feel it with your hand, and you can see it if you look closely enough.

This is the second time I've had a kink like this, the last time was on the third fret of the g-string on a different guitar. I did nothing about it and it caused a problem that migrated up the string, one fret at a time.

I'm not sure where the "top of neck" is. If it is the first few frets it could be related to the nut or setup. Up the neck there could be loose frets or rubbing on the pickup. There are lots of other things that buzz on a guitar, loose hardware especially on the headstock, screws and knobs. Check on the bridge and bridge plate.

A twisted neck sort of makes sense if it is the first few frets on the lower strings. Up the neck...these guitars do not have fretboard extensions, so there's no ramp...

There isn't any warranty left? There's some seller on eBay, Strat-o-sphere, that seems to part-out guitars. I would like to know how they get their guitars before I bought from them.
 

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If you're getting buzz, It's the frets that are out of level, or the nut is cut too deep for the strings.
Get some automotive feeler gauges, and check your string height at the first fret wire slot.
It should be approx. 30 thousands of an inch above the fretwire. that's about 0.76 mm
If not, re slot the nut or replace as needed

If that's ok check the frets for a high spot with a short flat bar that can span 2-3 frets and can wobble to look for a high spot.

If you're buzzing on the top part of the neck (for some reason most people call the nut section of the neck the top - it's actually the bottom) that should point you in the correct direction.

Always set the neck from zero.
Meaning, make it flat with 0 bow, then set the neck bow(relief) Check and file nut slots if necessary, or replace, then check fret level and sand/level, and re-crown as needed


Nut Making and Setup | stewmac.com
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got it back from the tech. He ended up putting in a shim. Sound wise, it got rid of about 90% of the buzz. To the point that I would probably be the only one that would hear it. The sacrifice is higher string height, but I think I can get used to. It is different though. I am tempted to lower the strings a little but know that increases the chance of the buzz returning. Not a great situation, but not as bad. Think I can deal with it once I get used to it. Thanks for all the comments, people.
 

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Congrats on getting your guitar sorted. But I think that having fret buzz higher up the neck is an indication of too much neck relief. When you sight down the neck towards the headstock, does it appear that there is a very noticeable curvature? Or is the neck 'almost' flat.

I was having a similar issue with a Peavey bass; there was too much relief in the neck, so I tweaked the truss rod to flatten it. That still wasn't quite enough, so I needed to raise the strings at the bridge slightly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Congrats on getting your guitar sorted. But I think that having fret buzz higher up the neck is an indication of too much neck relief. When you sight down the neck towards the headstock, does it appear that there is a very noticeable curvature? Or is the neck 'almost' flat.

I was having a similar issue with a Peavey bass; there was too much relief in the neck, so I tweaked the truss rod to flatten it. That still wasn't quite enough, so I needed to raise the strings at the bridge slightly.
Mine is very flat. Still notice a little buzz on the 5th string 1st,2nd,3rd fret area if I am listening for it. Little or no buzz anywhere else. Between the higher strings and jumbo frets, my fingers are taking quite the beating. But, for the most part loving the sound.
 

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Mine is very flat. Still notice a little buzz on the 5th string 1st,2nd,3rd fret area if I am listening for it. Little or no buzz anywhere else. Between the higher strings and jumbo frets, my fingers are taking quite the beating. But, for the most part loving the sound.
They are a great sounding guitar. With those giant train track frets you'll likely learn to play with a much lighter left hand touch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Maybe the issue is not the neck but rather the nut. Look into that.
Ya know, that occurred to me but none of the tech that I had look at it seemed to think so. Still...it would make sense. Thanks.
 

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I mention it simply because:
a) that's the thing that sets the initial height of the strings, and
b) the frets you indicated as buzzing were lower frets.

Usually, if it's a matter of a neck bending, or the relief being adjusted wrong, it's going to be higher frets that buzz, not lower ones.
 

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Usually, if it's a matter of a neck bending, or the relief being adjusted wrong, it's going to be higher frets that buzz, not lower ones.
I agree with mhammer; I got my directions messed up when I made my initial observation. Mhammer is 100% correct on this one.

I had a strat I bought used that had the nut cut too low and the symptoms were quite the same as what you are experiencing. As an easy fix, try placing a piece of card or other material under the perceived low side of the nut and shimming it up. Tune up and see if the buzzing is still present. If the buzzing is gone, you'll know the nut is too low.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
They are a great sounding guitar. With those giant train track frets you'll likely learn to play with a much lighter left hand touch.
I am wondering if at least a small part of the problem, is me. Not having owned a tele before, I am hearing and feeling things that I am unfamiliar with.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree with mhammer; I got my directions messed up when I made my initial observation. Mhammer is 100% correct on this one.

I had a strat I bought used that had the nut cut too low and the symptoms were quite the same as what you are experiencing. As an easy fix, try placing a piece of card or other material under the perceived low side of the nut and shimming it up. Tune up and see if the buzzing is still present. If the buzzing is gone, you'll know the nut is too low.
I am going to investigate this possibility. Thank you so much for your post.
 
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