I've created a short and long version of my question in the interest of quick answers vs. heavily detailed responses. I appreciate any response.
I've leveled a guitar with no truss rod. Up to tension, the frets are dead level. Say you've refretted a Martin with no truss rod, and you have the same constraints, dead level, 53-12 strings. Do you have to set the action a little higher due to the lack of relief to avoid buzz? Or is there a repeatable, predictable way to put some relief into the frets? How low do you go on a dead flat fretboard? What do you say to customers is "low action without buzz"? Long Version
: I've read Frank's buzz bible, so I've read about diagnosing it, but I am working on a guitar here which has buzzing issues. It's very light buzzing, but it's pretty much even all the way across the board. My question goes to people out there who have dealt with picky customers who say the words "Lowest action without buzzing". How low is that, measuring at the 12th?
At a certain action, I start to question how low you can go without the buzz of a simple rotating string. I'm looking for concrete answers now instead of just assuming that I messed up on a process, or that a customer can insist that they've got a guitar with lower action.
The question ponders how low you can go without any relief? The guitar I'm working on has been made dead level with a 24.5" scale length, and I'm wondering if anyone has documented either personally or otherwise, the limitations of low action in various environments. Eg. various string tensions, amounts of relief, scale length, and so on. The reason I ask is because some times guitars buzz in certain areas, like the D and G string, but not others.
Here's the notes on the guitar in question.
- Frets have been leveled, and from the first fret to the 18th, it's dead level, confirmed with a .0015 feeler and a precision straightedge.
- 16" radius, used a 16" stewmac radius beam to level the frets with 600 grit PSA, so I wasn't hogging off material.
- They are all crowned (no flat tops), and have been polished up to 1500 grit then a dremel/jeweler's rouge buff.
- There is no truss rod in this guitar.
- The action at the 12th fret on the low E is 3/32nds, and the High E is 2/32nds.
- There is no open string buzz, so the nut is not an issue.
The only way to test this out is with other guitars of the same specs, and spend time experimenting. I'd love to do, but don't have the available instruments to try it on. I'd like to be able to have the background knowledge with a bunch of other guitars, but I don't, so I go to the board full of experience.
Any help would be great. I deal with this occasionally, and I need to be able to say to myself, "This is just the limits" or "I've done something wrong, this is how to fix it". I'd love to talk to someone on the phone, so if you're willing, send me a message and I'll give you my phone number.