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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / How I Solved My Jazzmaster's Buzz Problem

NBarnes21

Boulder, CO

Apr 14th, 2008 08:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey everyone- bear with me, this is going to be a long post, but I hope it will be worth your while reading it ;)

I wanted to give everyone an update and share my experience in trying to solve my AVRI 62 Jazzmaster buzz problem. Keep in mind this is just my experience and opinion for my particular style of playing, so it might not work for everyone. I play pretty aggressively and mostly play Classic/ Alternative Rock, so I'm not in the Surf or Jazz vein that many JM owners are.

After getting the guitar shipped from Fender, it arrived with a pretty nasty buzzing issue. I then had it set up by a pro luthier, and had him install a buzz-stop, which at the time solved all buzzing issues and gave the guitar more sustain and an overall better feel. I still think the buzz-stop is a great add-on for those playing heavy/agressive rock, as it makes those high bends sing better and gives it a smoother, less plunky sound overall. The only downside is it's harder to get to the trem-lock switch with the buzz-stop around it.

After about a week and a half, the buzz returned to my JM. Thanks to the help of people in this forum, I found some temporary solutions for the problem. The buzz was coming from the small individual string height adjustment screws on either side of each string saddle coming loose and rattling. This was simultaneously lowering the action as well. I followed the advice I received here, and used loctite on each of the screws and got them to a good height where there was no buzzing.

Throughout this process, I found that there really was no set position where the screws would stop rattling. I would sometimes have to tighten a screw to eliminate the buzz, but some screws actually required loosening to eliminate it, and this was also adjusting the action of each string in the mean time. This was a tedious process as I also had to finish all adjustments before the loctite binded to the threads. After finishing the procedure, my guitar played great and buzz free for a couple of days before the buzzing returned. Perhaps it was from my hard style of playing, but either way the loctite did not end up being enough to stop the screws from loosening.

After reading some more responses from this forum, I decided I needed to make some changes and ordered some Mustang style bridge saddles for $25 from Allparts.com. This was half as expensive as buying the whole bridge, and after having installed it, I can vouch that they fit perfectly and the stock bridge piece is identical to the one you would get with the Allparts bridge if you ordered the whole thing. The saddles also allow the guitar to play properly because they are both designed for a 7.25" radius.

Changing the saddles was a very easy process- this was my first time doing any sort of work or modification to my own guitar, and it went without a hitch. I didn't even have to change the strings (they were still pretty new)- once you loosen the strings almost all the way, you can scoot them to either side of the bridge and pull it right out, making it very easy to work on. So long as you have had your guitar recently set up, or know how to set it up yourself beforehand, there shouldn't be any issues performing this procedure.

After installing the saddles, all I had to do was put the bridge back in and re-tighten the strings. I then had to raise the action a tiny bit using the allen wrench holes on each of the bridge posts (I had some of the original JM saddles set a bit higher than where the Mustang ones lie), and set the intonation of each string (which was also surprisingly easy), and Voila! No buzz whatsoever and the guitar felt great. The issue most people have had with the mustang saddles is the low E string popping out from strumming it heavily. However, having the added string tension over the bridge from the buzz-stop made this a non-issue for me. I've tried hard to knock the strings out, and they won't budge. I also haven't noticed any difference in tone from only having one saddle vs. the multiple saddles that the stock JM threaded rod ones offer.

If you are looking to eliminate buzz and want to have a more reliable, consistent bridge, the Mustang saddle/ buzz-stop combo worked great for me. I also tour a lot, and having a low maintenance bridge that doesn't buzz or loosen is going to make my life a lot easier.

Thanks again to everyone here for helping me out and answering my questions- hopefully this in turn can help someone else out!

(This message was last edited by NBarnes21 at 09:01 PM, Apr 14th, 2008)

Tom(2)
Contributing Member

dot dee ee

but... it is one louder!
Apr 15th, 2008 01:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hi Nate, thanks for sharing!
I've never been a friend of the buzz-stop device, since I really like the ring of the strings behind the bridge which to me is responsible for the unique sound of the JM (and Jag, come to that).
But ... everytime I pick up my Tele, I find that I really strum the hell out of her, whereas on the JM I find myself playing softer. Hmmm. Perhaps I shuld try one of these. After all those years...
:)
Tom

The Higher Evolution Of Off-Set-Waist Guitars

(This message was last edited by Tom(2) at 01:30 AM, Apr 17th, 2008)

NBarnes21

Boulder, CO

May 24th, 2008 03:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, I've changed my tone. I am officially a buzzstop flip-flopper :) I decided to try and go without the buzzstop- I had yet to try the mustang saddles out without the buzzstop on, and got some recommendations to give it a whirl, so I did. What I found was a few things I didn't like, but many things I did.

First, the cons. One of the main problems I have without it is the low E string jumping out of it's saddle if I strum really hard. The other is that if I do a big bend on the high E string, the string slides slightly (but not all the way) out of it's saddle and chokes the string immediately, but that's mainly on really big bends. I also started getting a buzz in the bridge housing which I fixed by wrapping the bridge posts in a bit of gaff tape.

Now, the pros. I finally get what everyone was saying about how the strings reverberating behind the bridge add to the signature Jag/JM sound. I could hear a clear difference both unplugged and through an amp, and really liked what I heard. It's almost a bit of shimmer that is added, very nice sounding and pleasing to the ears.

Other plusses are that the strings are easier to bend and the tremolo system feels much smoother. I was also finally able to set up the tremolo system (thanks to Tom from webrocker.de's instructions) and utilize the trem lock feature since the switch was no longer obstructed by the buzzstop.

I also was having a couple of problems with the buzzstop on- the bridge was always angled forward toward the pickups instead of sitting upright in the bridge housing, I could scoot it back but it would always work it's way back forward. I'm pretty sure this was from the added tension from the buzzstop behind the bridge. This also caused the intonation screws to be touching the strings, which would sometimes cause a buzzing- both these problems were fixed when I took the buzzstop off.

Overall, I am really liking the sound without it on, the string jumping and choking is a bit of an annoyance, but it's also helping me to play lighter, which is probably a good thing :) Who knows, maybe I'll eventually put it back on if the string jumps get to be too much for me, but for now I am really digging the sound and feel I'm getting. Thanks again to everyone who helped me in my quest for the ultimate feel and sound for my guitar!





SPudnik
Contributing Member

Parsec 351 R, VA

Bass VI - - - a what?
May 28th, 2008 09:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Having the strings pop off the saddle with aggressive strumming or bending is unacceptable.

I'm a Bass VI player but had a similar problem when I first got it.
Solution: I [carefully] filed notches in the saddles, solving the issue.

The last thing I need while gigging or recording is bridge malfunctions.

And yea, the strings behind the bridge add a unique sound.

RabidHamster
Contributing Member
*

USA

Fender, I dont even know 'er!
Jun 3rd, 2008 02:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

you quit letting it drink before shows?

NBarnes21

Amurica

Jun 3rd, 2008 02:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

wha?

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Jaguars & Jazzmasters / How I Solved My Jazzmaster's Buzz Problem




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