Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jonandtice

Fret Rattle

Recommended Posts

I need to ask because I could just be crazy, but to me fret rattle (or buzz) seems to be a lot more noticeable when using the Helix compared to just my real amp by itself or even Helix in 4CM with my amp.  I was trying out some IRs last night and some of them made it even more pronounced.  It is also more noticeable in the headphones than in my speaker cabinet (powered by the effects return of my amp).  I only notice it when I am strumming.

 

I realize the actual solution is to make sure my guitar is set up properly but I'm just wondering if anyone else has made the observation that the amp modeling can expose ugly defects sooner than real amps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's probably due to the expanded frequency response of the Helix and different IRs. Fret buzz will be most evident in the high-mid to high end of the frequency spectrum (as far as guitar is concerned), so it will be more evident with just Helix. A guitar amp is essentially cutting those higher frequencies making fret buzz less evident. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. In my experience both amp and guitar modeling can highlight the nasty artifacts of fret buzz. It's even more pronounced in Variax guitars. A proper setup is important.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another possibility is if total system gain/level/volume is too low, it tends to cause the player to hit the strings harder increasing fret rattle in the first place. Small changes to volume or EQ can make things better or worse. This is because the player is part of the guitar/amp/speaker feedback loop. If the guitar is already marginally setup with uneven frets, incorrect relief, or super low action, this effect would be exacerbated.

 

It’s like playing an electric guitar unplugged. It tends to rattle because you hit the strings harder to hear it. Plug into an amp and you play softer which reduces or eliminates the fret rattle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread, I've been dealing/ struggling with this for the past few days. got a brand spanking new Ibanez Prestige 657 msk....

I've gone in lowered the action ever-so-slightly as per Rich Harris's instructions at Ibanez rules, and have been finding when I get down to the 1.5 1.6mm recommendation for "Low" that when playing on a crystal clean setting I can hear the occasional rattle.

what I've realized is that my technique could use much improvement lighter touch, Etc.

I'll also look at how I have things eq-ed

It's imperceptible on a high gain/ distorted crunch tone, just triggers my OCD, lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

got a brand spanking new Ibanez Prestige 657 msk....

I've gone in lowered the action ever-so-slightly as per Rich Harris's instructions at Ibanez rules

 

High five on the guitar and for Rich. Before Line 6, I had worked as a guitar tech for years.  That dude knows his stuff for sure, and I learned a ton of stuff from him on how well those guitars can be with some minor adjustments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the idea that most players compensate when playing unplugged or at very low volumes by hitting harder, which can affect buzz.  And I agree with the idea that those frequencies are probably more discernible on modelers with FRFR or monitor systems.  

 

The other idea I'd add in is that using headphones or studio monitors usually has the speaker placed closer to your ears than a guitar cab would be.  So even if those noises were coming out of a guitar cab, they might be hidden a bit more with distance and at gig volumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread, I've been dealing/ struggling with this for the past few days. got a brand spanking new Ibanez Prestige 657 msk....

I've gone in lowered the action ever-so-slightly as per Rich Harris's instructions at Ibanez rules, and have been finding when I get down to the 1.5 1.6mm recommendation for "Low" that when playing on a crystal clean setting I can hear the occasional rattle.

what I've realized is that my technique could use much improvement lighter touch, Etc.

I'll also look at how I have things eq-ed

It's imperceptible on a high gain/ distorted crunch tone, just triggers my OCD, lol

Depending on how low you want to go with the action, some mechanical buzz is inevitable. As long as it isn't dominating your tone or killing your sustain, I wouldn't worry too much about it. 

I mean, have you heard the clean tones on any Animal as Leaders? its pretty much all buzz, lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's what I mean by ocd, I realized at some point even the humidity fluctuations could make such a minute change that I could hear the buzzes and rattles more, that's when I decided I'm not going to worry about .30 .50 relief lol, I was making myself crazy.

Came to the same conclusion that depending on how low you want to go it is indeed inevitable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I’d rather sacrifice action to avoid fret buzz, especially when using Variax models. Also, having the strings fight you a bit can have other advangates for tone and feel. And if I don’t play quite as fast or as many notes, that’s not a bad thing either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I’d rather sacrifice action to avoid fret buzz, especially when using Variax models. Also, having the strings fight you a bit can have other advangates for tone and feel. And if I don’t play quite as fast or as many notes, that’s not a bad thing either.

All depends on your goals, of course. I wouldn't even want to play guitar if I couldn't get my action between 0.75mm and 1.6mm all the way across the board. Everyone attacks the instrument in a different way, with a different goal in mind. I don't even play that fast, but I like to tap a lot, and some 2-3mm action isn't gonna let me do the things I wanna do at the tempo I like to do them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All depends on your goals, of course. I wouldn't even want to play guitar if I couldn't get my action between 0.75mm and 1.6mm all the way across the board. Everyone attacks the instrument in a different way, with a different goal in mind. I don't even play that fast, but I like to tap a lot, and some 2-3mm action isn't gonna let me do the things I wanna do at the tempo I like to do them.

 

Practice more. :) I like a nice high action, 3mm at the 12th fret, and do a lot of fast tapping.

 

But like you say, everyone plays differently and has their own preferences, developed over time. Some people probably even have preferences they don't even know about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just set up all my guitars to play buzz free with the action as low as I want it to be.  It's not very difficult and there are tons of videos and books on how to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

to the opening poster, if you aren't already, try hi cuts to the cabs. you can get fairly drastic and a lot of people cut to 5-6 khz or lower.. it might help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Practice more. :) I like a nice high action, 3mm at the 12th fret, and do a lot of fast tapping.

 

But like you say, everyone plays differently and has their own preferences, developed over time. Some people probably even have preferences they don't even know about.

Practice isn't the issue, lol. When you're skipping 5-7 strings with either hand and tapping with 3-4 fingers on each hand, depending, a high action and hitting harder aren't going to be friendly to that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

to the opening poster, if you aren't already, try hi cuts to the cabs. you can get fairly drastic and a lot of people cut to 5-6 khz or lower.. it might help

 

Yep. I did that and it did help with the harshness of the buzz and with certain IRs it is even less harsh.  It is still more noticeable with cab/IR in headphones than with no IR through my speaker cabinet, but it's not distracting anymore.  I have adjusted the tension on my truss rod to the dimensions recommended by PRS for a "heavy strummer" and that, of course, had the biggest impact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless I’m going for Coral/Jones  “Sitar†effect I work to avoid fret buzz.  

 

 

Good simple tool to keep in ditty bag is a Fret rocker from Stew Mac.  Easy check for uneven frets.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good simple tool to keep in ditty bag is a Fret rocker from Stew Mac.  Easy check for uneven frets.  

 

Yup. No amount of setup adjustments are going to fix uneven fret issues. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×