Metal Guitarist Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Hates Richie Kotzen
Joined
·
14,719 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My SLSMG is my main guitar. I've done alot of work on it (almost nothing is stock) and it plays beautifully with lighter strings (50-11 in D standard and lighter gauges for higher tunings). The problem is is that now I tune to C# standard and with heavier strings (This set DR Strings Electric Guitar Nickel Plated Round Core with Stringlife, .010 - .056, SAL-10) it gets all sorts of buzz on the first few frets in addition to not being able to keep tune that well.
The only things I'm not comfortable doing myself (tech wise) is fretwork and filing a new nut. I had a tech do a setup with the 50-11 about a half year ago and he gave a clean bill of health for the frets, said they were in great condition and all was level. So I'm presuming the problem is that I need a new nut cut for this gauge of strings. The problem now is that there are no techs in the jackson area (The tech i took it too was in bozeman when I was attending college there) and I don't want to ship it off because a)its my only guitar at the moment b)I don't want to pay that much to ship two ways and risk getting my guitar damaged in shipping.
I don't know alot about nuts but everyone says its best to have the actual guitar in their hands to install the nut and adjust from there. I don't really have the option of having a tech do that since I don't want to ship my guitar off. So I figured since that I would contact a shop online and get them to make me a custom nut for those gauges of strings and ship it to me, since I'm comfortable aligning the nut and gluing it in myself. It seems like there ate alot of shops that have slsmgs/jacksons in stock so maybe they could just take the measurements form one they have in stock and make me a custom nut. Would the end result of this be close to if they had the actual guitar in their hands at the time of nut making?

Also-
-What would be a good,reputable shop to do this? I'm willing to pay for high quality
-What material is the best for nuts on guitars like the SLSMG?

Thanks,
Garrett
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,451 Posts
Before changing the nut, you might want to increase your relief until the buzz goes away, then try the playability - I'd be surprised if you really need a new nut. The seems more like a relief issue, since the lower-tunes strings need more room to vibrate.
 

·
Hates Richie Kotzen
Joined
·
14,719 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Before changing the nut, you might want to increase your relief until the buzz goes away, then try the playability - I'd be surprised if you really need a new nut. The seems more like a relief issue, since the lower-tunes strings need more room to vibrate.
I've tried this. But at any point where the buzz starts to dissipate the bow is far to apparent.

Would this nut work? I'm kind of intrigued by the concept. Fender LSR Roller Nut, 1 11/16" Wide, Chrome
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1 Posts
Before changing the nut, you might want to increase your relief until the buzz goes away, then try the playability - I'd be surprised if you really need a new nut. The seems more like a relief issue, since the lower-tunes strings need more room to vibrate.
I agree with Mike. You should check out your neck relief. I have a hard tail Ibby that i used for several different tunings. I have to adjust the neck when going down to D or lower...

EDIT

Maybe those telephone-pole gauge strings you were using wore out the bottom of the nut a bit and now lighter strings are buzzing??

I wouldnt jump to a new nut yet tho try putting a bit of graphite in your nut slots
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
I'd want to see a picture of the nut first before doing anything more drastic - I'm surprised that a simple neck bow tweak isn't enough to straighten this out, unless something else is also wrong. I wouldn't think heavier strings could "wear out" a nut, either.
 

·
Hates Richie Kotzen
Joined
·
14,719 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I've been messing with it all day and I had better luck using the DR Hi-Beams (I actually notice this quite often, I think the hi-beams are more consistent strings than the tite-fits) in my usual gauge of 52-44-30-17-13-10. I actually got it to a point thats a lot more playable now. A little more relief than I'm use to though, about a thick credit card/drivers license width (>.015") at the seventh fret (on all strings) when the first fret is capoed and the 24 is depressed. Theres still a little buzz but you can't hear it through the amp unless if you're digging in really agressively and its inaudible for high gain stuff. I'd still rather fix it because its affecting sustain on notes on the low frets. I'd say its about the same amount of fret buzz you hear on the average stock setup of a "metal guitar" in like guitar center or something. I'd still rather everything be perfect but its good for now.

Here are some pictures




I still think I'll replace the nut in the near future though. I don't really care for lower action (mainly a rhythm player) but I want the little amount of buzz gone and I still think the nut could stand to be cut a little better.

In terms of strings I'd like to go even lighter on the trebles (top 3 from a set of 9s). I also think the a and d need to be lighter, 40-42 and 28 perhaps. The low e is good but I wouldn't mind something like a 54 for when I do drop b. What does everyone here use for c# tuning? I've tried d'addarios, ernie ball, and dunlops in addition to DR. I like DRs the best by a longshot but the dunlops are also decent.
 

·
NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
Joined
·
7,276 Posts
The nut is absolutely fine - my strings run closer to the fingerboard than that at the first fret and I have no issues.

First of all, realise that buzz heard acoustically is completely irrelevant - unless notes are actively choking out, the only thing that matters is whether you can hear it plugged in. This isn't a Martin D28, it's a Jackson for chrissakes, one designed for weeedly sqweedly metal. :lol:

Get the strings to pitch and get the neck straight. You don't mention how you are sighting down the neck but you should be looking from the headstock end towards the bridge. The other way round tricks the eye and makes it think it sees curvature where there is not (this is to do with how your eye focusses and processes information apparently!) and the carved top nature of the SLS exacerbates that.

Once you have the neck straight, give it a play. it's important to reset all of this to zero because (particularly if you are not confident about what to do) starting from a fresh baseline lets you see and therefore learn what the process is. It's how I started out with all my setups.

If it is buzzing, find out where it is buzzing - it's quite easy to get confused and think it's coming from a different part of the neck! When setting up I run through chromatic scales - finger 1-2-3-4 patterns from the thickest to thinnest strings starting at the first fret, then fifth, then ninth...you get the idea. This a)sounds every fret cleanly, so you can spot if there are any flat spots on your frets and b)is great practice for alternate picking. Unlikely unless the guitar is from the 90's or you've been playing lots of Korn with massive strings and no talent.

This isn't reading terribly well. I'll maybe write this up for the site next time I set up a neckthru guitar.

So, we have a straight neck, in-tune guitar strings at pitch, and we've figured out where the fret buzz is.

If the buzz is at the first few frets then the neck, as you already pointed out, has too much backbow, or truss rod tension. Loosening the truss rod and allowing the strings to bow the neck to a degree should help. But go canny, you really do NOT need a lot of relief, because the miracle of TOM and Floyd Roses is that they are height adjustable. Give the neck the tiniest bit of relief (we're really not talking much here) and raise the bridge very slightly. Tune it all back up to pitch, do your ascending chromatic exercises and see how things feel. If it feels particularly high around frets 4-9 you've overdone it on the relief - if it feels high around the last few frets you've overdone it on the bridge raising.

Make sure you pay attention to high the strings are off the fingerboard on the treble and bass sides - remember the bridge is adjustable on each side!

The fact that you have a set neck or whatever it is and not a bolt-on reduces the amount of options but makes setting up easier - normally I'd consider shimming a neck but you need not worry about that!

Hope that was of help and not a case of tl;dr!
 

·
I like turtles!
Joined
·
722 Posts
it's important to reset all of this to zero because (particularly if you are not confident about what to do) starting from a fresh baseline lets you see and therefore learn what the process is. It's how I started out with all my setups.
For a TOM, where would you say the "zero" position for the bridge is? All the way lowered, midway, full height?
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top