Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

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akpasta
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Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:42 am

Hi Folks,

I've owned a Fender Electric XII for about a year now and had various things done to it in that amount of time. I had the guitar re-fretted and I had the guitar fitted with a brass nut that increased the spacing between each string set. I also modified the bridge in a way that spaces the strings out a bit more. I found the guitar to be very buzzy in general, specifically because the strings pairs on a Fender XII are so close together they tend to vibrate against each other when you play a single note or strum. It took a while to figure it all out but these mods fixed all that.

I am still having one problem though. The high octave G string is shrill and buzzy. It's not the end of the world, but especially when amplified it just JUMPS out that this string is louder and shriller than any other, and it sounds like it's because of buzz, or something. I realize sometimes a high G string on a 12-string can sound a little shrill compared to other strings simply because it's tuned so tight. Since the E string set are the same gauge (.10) I tuned both E's up to G so I could compare, and the E strings when tuned up the same as the G much clearer, but the G is still shrill. So there's something going on.

For most of the time since I had the nut fitted it seemed mostly buzzy near the nut so I figured that is where the problem lied. But after I recently had the nut shimmed in an attempt to fix that, it now buzzes everywhere on the neck, seemingly equally. So it buzzes at the 12th fret and it buzzes open. Everywhere. I tried raising the action drastically and it *sort* of helped but not entirely. I tried changing the string. I tried routing the string through a different hole on the bridge, thinking maybe the buzzing was coming from someplace on the bridge. It doesn't seem to be.

I'm pretty stumped and the shop I've been taking the guitar to are getting pretty sick of working on it (I think).

Perhaps someone can help me out, please? I'm so close to having this guitar just perfect.

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by kapepper » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:27 am

Looks like you werent lucky with your xii or your luthier.... maybe a slight truss rod adjustment might solve all these buzzing problems
FYI I also have a xii, completely stock and plays and sounds superb

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:38 am

kapepper wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:27 am
Looks like you werent lucky with your xii or your luthier.... maybe a slight truss rod adjustment might solve all these buzzing problems
FYI I also have a xii, completely stock and plays and sounds superb
I'd need to make more relief to get rid of the buzzing, yes? Odd bit tho is like I said I raised the action super high and it sitll seemed to buzz. Still could be the neck I guess? But only on one string?

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by StevenO » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:59 am

What gauge string are you using for the octave G? Using something like a 8 gauge string might cut the output of the string so at least it won't jump out as much. Other than that, maybe you just don't particularly like the sound of an octave G? It's the highest note of the bunch, afterall. Maybe try removing the string entirely and see if you enjoy it without the string? Other than that, if it's buzzing, sounds like it's nut or fret issues, but if a tech can't solve it... Well...

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by kapepper » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:01 am

Well, I had a similar issue with another guitar and a very minor truss rod adjustment solved it completely.
But I assume that your luthier will have checked this.
Did you also check the saddles of the bridge? These might also be a possible source of buzzing, especially when thee is a very minor space between two saddl s

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:29 am

I've felt all around the bridge and saddles and I can't seem to pinpoint anything.

I've played many other 12 string electrics, and none have this issue.

After the nut was recently shimmed, the buzzing got worse. Could be the neck bowed from having strings un-tensioned, I'm not sure.

Taking it back to shop today, we'll see what they say...besides telling me I'm crazy :fp:

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by echobaseone » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:00 pm

Here's a weirdo crackpot conspiracy theory:
It might not be the guitar AT ALL.
I had a Silvertone 1484 amplifier that resonated to my G string and made it seem WAY LOUDER and WAY SHRILLER than any other note.
It was bizarre.
Try tuning a step down and see if it still happens.

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:40 pm

Nope. All amps. Even unplugged. Tuning down helps a little but.... ?

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:48 pm

Guitar repair shop says it has to be the saddle. He's going to have a closer look. :unsure:

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by timtam » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:44 pm

What is the relief ? (capoed at first fret and fretted at last fret) ?
What is the first fret action for the G ? And 12th fret action ?
If you have a long straight edge, does placing on the frets alongside the G find any high frets ?

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by kapepper » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:14 am

akpasta wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:48 pm
Guitar repair shop says it has to be the saddle. He's going to have a closer look. :unsure:
Maybe you can go to another guitar tech? Just to have a second opinion? I really think it will either be truss rod or saddles. Maybe any pictures of your EXII ? ;)

Its just difficult grasp for me that a fender XII is having so many issues.

if this was fender Coronado XII, i could more or less understand :blush:

But i have had 2 fender XII, and still have one now and if there is one thing to say about them is that they are solid and reliable. Never had any issues with them....

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by oid » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:30 am

if it buzzes open but not fretted it is the nut.

If it buzzes only when fretted at certain places it is the frets or the setup.

If it buzzes open and fretted it is the saddle, which could be either the saddle itself or the string vibrating against the saddle, which generally decreases or goes away the higher you fret up the neck.

The fact that it goes away when you slacken the string is odd, if you are just slackening the octave and leaving the low G at pitch that would suggest that the buzz is actually from the sympathetic vibration of the other G string and not the octave, muting the low with your finger at the bridge and plucking the octave would answer that question.

12 strings can be a real pain to trouble shoot.

Your luthier should fix this for free unless it is found to be unrelated to the work they already did, which is unlikely since they did frets, nut and bridge.
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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by Paul-T » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:12 am

All the previous suggestions sound good. I would definitely try a range of gauges for the high G, the simple difference in tension might cure the problem.

If yuo're not absolutely certain it is fret buzz for sure, I would also investigate the bridge saddle tension strings, they can give weird ringing effects. If it is fret buzz, it's worth also looking at how cleanly you're fretting the string, as the high G can often be problematic on a 12-string.

Some of your description sounds like fret buzz, some simply like a resonance with a item on the guitar (since I had my JM worked on, I have a ringing, I think from the tremolo spring). Would help get to the next step if you could work out which it is.
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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by akpasta » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:32 am

Thanks for the input everyone. It is "sitar-like" buzzing. And it occurs everywhere. The more I read about it the more it seems like it has to be the saddle. Also the XII saddles have a lot of real estate for the string to sit on. Any tiny burrs on that path could conceivable cause saddle buzz. Further more the saddles being so large and old can attract minor corrosion over time.

I've tried dampening everything else at the bridge that I can.

I'll let you know what the tech says today.

Truth be told I've been chasing this issue a long time. I've just narrowed it down to the last possible thing (I hope).

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Re: Fender Electric XII High G Buzzing

Post by Telemnemonics » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:31 am

Here's some things you might try:

Lower the pickups under the G.
Raise the pickups under the high E.
Use a gauge heavier wound G and a gauge lighter octave G.
Try a bit of folded aluminum foil under the octave G at the bridge to raise it and dull it a little.

What mods did you do to the bridge?
A closeup pic of the bridge saddles might help.
If you filed the saddle slots it may be buzzing in the opening of the slot.

I generally adjust a 12 string bridge so the wound and octave pairs are the same height on top, IOW I slot deeper under the wound strings, which means the octave strings have a higher action but get a stronger hit from the pick. But the wound G would be closer to the pickup, so louder than the octave G.
Not sure any of this will help, but the foil shim could tell you something while not being a long term solution.

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