Epiphone SG Problems

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Iwantaguitar, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Iwantaguitar

    Iwantaguitar New Member

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    Hello all, I just joined, so if this is the wrong spot for this just let me know and I'll move along. I've owned a lot of guitars in the search to find the perfect one for me at this time, and at one point it led me to an Epiphone G-400. I loved it-absolutely perfect. However, about a week after I got it, there was buzzing. So I took it to guitar center, as I have bad luck with repairs. They raised the action crazy high to no avail, and even adjusted the truss rod. Didn't help at all. They offered me a replacement, but it had the exact same problem. Is that a common issue with SGs? I really love them and want to get another one soon, but I don't want to fall in love with one again just to have to return it.
     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I own 2 G-400s and maybe 6 SGs and have never had this problem.
    One more time with feeling....
    Begin by tuning to your normal pitch, i.e. if you normally play in drop D, tune to drop D. Retune between each adjustment. Start by setting the bridge height for frets 16 to 22, so that the strings play buzz free at the lowest possible height.

    Start with low E. Plucking normally play fret 16. Lower the bass side of the bridge until it buzzes, raise until clear. Now play it from fret 16 to fret 22. Raise slightly if needed. Check A and D and raise slightly if needed to get clean notes. Remember to retune between steps. Then do the treble side. If you bend notes up here, try a few typical bends, to make sure they don't buzz out.

    When all strings play clean go to the lower frets and neck relief. Remove the trussrod cover and insert Allen wrench. Clockwise rotation will draw the strings closer to the fret board (decrease relief), , counterclockwise will increase relief. Play the high E string from fret 1 to fret 15, increasing relief (loosening trussrod counter clockwise) to relieve buzz or decreasing relief (tightening trussrod clockwise) to lower the string height. So tighten, by fractional turns (1/4 of a turn), until it buzzes and back off until it doesn't. If you bend strings , do your typical bends to insure they don't buzz out. Once satisfied, check the other strings and make small adjustments as needed, loosening by the slightest amount (1/8th of a turn) to relieve buzzing.

    Once you have acceptable relief, (i.e. no buzz) and easy action, set your intonation and you're done.

    This is the opposite order of most setup directions. It is based on performance and not measurements, hence, I don't take any. It works because the neck is immobile between frets 16 and 22. The truss rod only affects lower frets. By setting the upper end first, you know any buzzes are coming from too little relief. This method works for most guitars, with truss rods.
     
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  3. Iwantaguitar

    Iwantaguitar New Member

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    I'll give it a shot if I can convince myself to get another one. I found a different shop and I may be able to get one set up for me before I buy it, so it may rule out the issue one way or another, but I figured I'd save myself a trip to buy a crappy guitar if that was a typical problem (my college doesn't let me have a car right now, so trips to shops are hard to come by). But I guess it isn't, so the next guitar I buy might just be an SG, and this help might be enough to fix the random problems I have with guitars (I've owned 4 different guitars this month and not one has made it over 2 weeks). Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I've had a few Epi SG and never could I not adjust the action and intonation properly. I would guess the tech at your local GC is not terribly knowledgeable. You have a local independent luthier in your area ? Ask for references and go see him. Then ask to stay as he adjust the guitar and ask to be explained how to do it next time.
     
  5. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG... You've come to the right place, and you're among friends.

    Seems like your bad luck with repairs has continued. I feel your frustration.

    I don't know if the buzzing you describe was an electronic buzzing from a poor connection
    or if it was a string kind of buzzing from improperly adjusted action. But most SGs play
    fine, without anything like that going on.

    Whatever it was, it's likely to be easily fixed, and nothing much was wrong with
    the guitar. Ask local pro musicians where they take their guitars for professional service,
    and that's who should work on your guitar, not the sales guys at GC.

    My next suggestion is this: Get a used one. Get one that somebody traded in, because
    you might still need to take it to a luthier, but you pay so much less for a used G-400 that
    the luthier's bill should be considered part of the price.


    Biddlin's method above is a good one to copy down and keep. All guitarists should know
    how to do this. There are also excellent online tutorials about how to set up your guitar.
    But usually I take any new or used guitar to my favorite luthier shortly after buying it.
    I pay him to check it all over and set it up properly, and then I can usually keep it that
    way.

    I recommend this, especially if you aren't comfortable working on your own guitar.
    IMG_1100@100.jpg
     
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  6. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Definitely not a problem with G400s, they're great guitars.

    It's best to eventually learn how to adjust these things yourself as things will shift over time due to climatic changes. Last Summer's great action is this Winter's fret buzz. There are many great books, videos and online tutorials. I recommend anything by Dan Erlewine as he is quite good at explaining things in easy to follow terms.

    But a local independent luthier is a great place to start.
     
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  7. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

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    My brother got a bum Squier Tele Afinity once. The truss rod didn't work. He only learned this after taking it to a local luthier for a setup.

    So, as Plankton said... ask around for a good luthier and take it there for a setup.
     
  8. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Well-Known Member

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    FYI Using the term "guitar tech" and Guitar Center in the same sentence can get your account suspended on some forums...........
     
  9. JazzyJeff

    JazzyJeff Member

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    Right! LOL
     
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  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    My G400 buzzed for a while, and I knew it wasn't the action. Turned out it was the spring that holds the bridge screws in place. Worth a look.
     

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