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Intermediate Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 195
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 7:12 pm:   Edit Post

I've just noticed a minor problem with the Little Bear. When I fret the high E at the first fret, I get a bit of a "tinny" ring. Not as obvious through the clean channel, but very obvious when distorted. It doesn't happen at any other fret or on any other string. I've tried adjusting the nut, the bridge height and changing the strings...all to no avail. Does it sound like an uneven fret? Any thoughts?


Intermediate Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 163
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 8:34 pm:   Edit Post

I never had this happen on an instrument as "tweakable" as an Alembic, but with the change in humidity here on the east coast, I've often had to loosen the truss-rod (1/4 turn) on a couple of my guitars in order to deal w/ first fret buzz....

all the best,
Intermediate Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 196
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 8:42 pm:   Edit Post

I was afraid someone was going to say that. I'm a truss rod virgin. Would this problem involve a counter-clockwise turn?
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 483
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 9:38 pm:   Edit Post

Wait, cease and desist!

Are you only having a problem on this one note, first fret on the high E? (hmm, guess it must be a guitar...)

If this is the only place you're having a problem, then don't mess with the truss rod(s). Someday you should learn how, but not to address a problem of this sort.

If the problem is limited to the high string, and the first few frets, then you should start by raising the nut very slightly on that side.

Another possibility is that you have a very localized fret problem, like maybe the second fret is just a touch high under that string. This is a little harder to figure out, but if you like the way everything else plays/sounds, then experiment a little more in the first few frets on the high strings, and tell us what you find, before you go changing big stuff.

[added a few minutes later]

Actually, if the problem is really only with playing the F at the first fret, then it almost certainly isn't a nut height issue either (could be if it was at the 2nd or 3rd or so), so maybe you don't want to mess with that right away either.

First figure out whether it's just the F, or maybe also the F#, G, etc. If it's the first few frets, then try raising the nut, though it still probably won't help with the F. If it really is only the F, then as an experiment try raising the bridge a little on that side to see if it helps. In that case, I think you'd want to look at the next fret or two as a better long term solution.

You might also pay careful attention to exactly how you finger that note - are you perhaps pulling back on the neck with a little more pressure than you would elsewhere?


(Message edited by bob on July 14, 2005)
Username: alanbass1

Post Number: 98
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, July 15, 2005 - 5:01 am:   Edit Post

Raising the nut will not make any difference as the issue occurs when playing an F. I would say that either the second or third frets are not even, causing interaction with the vibration of the string, or that the neck relief is slightly out on that side (as per the first reply). I would consur with Bob and state that it is unlikely to be neck relief
if it only affects the e string. However, one way to find out is to adjust the truss rod for that side by a quarter turn anti clock wise. Retune the guitar and play for around 10 mintues and retune again. If the symptoms persist, adjust the truss rod back to it's original state (quarter turn clock wise) and get the frets checked out.
Intermediate Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 197
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, July 15, 2005 - 7:02 am:   Edit Post

Thanks guys,

It is only the F, though if I lower the bridge on that side, the problem extends to the F# and G. However, raising the bridge to where I still like the action, does not eliminate the problem at the F. If I play the F and bend up slightly, the problem lessens significantly, so maybe the second fret needs to be dressed a bit. Raising the nut doesn't help at all.

The problem may have been present since I first got the guitar...I hardly ever play that note individually and as part of a chord it's less obvious. I'll try to work up the nerve to adjust the truss rod. Hell, I'll have to do it at some point! If that doesn't do the trick, I may just live with it for awhile, as I don't currently trust anyone I know with my Little Bear.

Thanks again,


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