View Full Version : Just got a brand new uke and OH NOEZ, fret buzz!

03-26-2011, 08:33 AM
I seem to be having a problem at the 5th fret... the frets seem to all be dressed and leveled properly, it's an Anuenue Custom Maui Mango Soprano.. all solid mango, buffalo bone nut and saddle.. grover tuners... ::drools:: it sounds beautiful. I wouldn't expect to be having any problems with it, purchased it here in Taiwan and the seller refused to do a refund.. he offered to "fix" it but I'm not sure I trust him. Playing this chord .. 558X, I seem to always get buzz although I know I'm fretting it properly.. there's also buzz while sliding and it's quite annoying.. the action looks about the same as my Ayers though, this one is strung with Orcas. Is it possible that the Ayers produces the same buzz and I'm just not noticing it because the bone saddle transfers more sound? Any ideas from anyone?> This one's been driving me crazy! I already contacted the Anuenue representative and he'll examine it when he gets back in the country. Sorry for the long post! TY everyone! Best community ever :D

03-26-2011, 09:52 AM
Unusual for the high standards Anuenue seem to be offering.

Before you do anything else I would suggest either a string change, or take the offending string and either just swap that one, or restring it the other way around - trust me, you never know.

If it is an instrument issue (and am appalled the dealer will not replace for you...) then follow this guide below to try to isolate it. I cant see how a bone nut makes a difference - a buzz is a buzz, and if it isnt a duff string it is a setup issue or another part of the uke buzzing.


03-26-2011, 09:58 AM
I would think it would be a quick fix or something small. Often times a change in climate can change the geometry of the instrument just enough to cause something like this. If you find witch fret is high, you may be able to give it a little tap back down.
And yes, that dealer... shame on him.

03-26-2011, 10:32 AM
Thanks a lot everyone! :D I appreciate the great advice. I threw a humidifier in the case since I assumed it might have been caused by a humidity change. I know, I even offered to pay a restocking fee and cover shipping costs myself (it came from outside of Taipei City) and he still refused, worst service ever!

As I mentioned, it came with Orcas which are medium tension strings I believe... I might swap them with my spare set of Aquilas :D I think they're higher tension and might help the issue.

P.S. @ Pauljmuk, Great link! Thanks!

mm stan
03-26-2011, 11:36 AM
Shame shame on that dealer...you want to call him out here..hee hee....I am glad tom hear the Anuenue representative is more responsive....tell him and report the dealer....just sounds like a high fret...sometimes a thinner string change will do the trick...but wait for the rep....before you change anything....don't wan't to void any warranties....good luck...and let us know how it turns out...MM Stan

04-13-2011, 07:11 AM
Sorry to open an old thread! I contacted the company and they've been very helpful in getting my ukulele set-up properly. I seem to have gotten rid of the buzz but the action now feels a bit high. I measured it at 5mms on the 12th fret and 1.5 on the 1st.. although that could be a bit off. I feel like the saddle may be unusually high. Perhaps I'm worrying over nothing, but I haven't had any issues like this with my other sopranos. Anyone have an opinion on the string height? I'd greatly appreciate any input at all, thanks for all the past help as well! :D TY


04-13-2011, 07:43 AM
I recently had a buzz on the E string of my Kelii Soprano. Thinking it was due to the (nice) low action provided by MGM's setup, I shimmed up the saddle. This didn't stop the buzz, so I took the shims out and simply changed the E string. The problem was solved instantly. Maybe you've already tried this, but it's worth mentioning.

I'd say that your action looks really high.

04-13-2011, 08:14 AM
1mm at the first fret and 4mm at the 12th fret are acceptable, anything higher than that I consider "high action".

04-13-2011, 12:15 PM
I've seen worse actions but that is higher than I'd accept, myself. In fact, it looks about as high as the action on my resonator conversion that I intenionally set up kind of high for playing with a slide.

It's probably playable, but it sounds like the dealer you bought the uke from "fixed" the buzzing problem simply by raising the action when it probably needed to have the frets leveled. (Also slightly possible that one or more of the string slots in the nut has been taken down too low, that's kind of hard to tell from a picture.) My bet is on poor fretwork, though (or a neck that bowed backwards a little after the frets were leveled). If the frets are properly level you can take the nut slots down until the strings are quite close to the first fret without having to raise the bridge saddle to compensate.

You can check to see if the neck is bowing or frets are unlevel by placing a straight edge on the frets, parallel with the strings. There shouldn't be any high frets and the straight edge should touch the first and last fret without "rocking." The rest of the frets should be very close to the straight edge, though it is okay, and sometimes even a little desireable, to have just a tiny amount of "relief" in the neck meaning that a little daylight between the straightedge and the middle frets is okay.

If you have one or more really high frets the only fix is to level the frets. If the neck is bowing backwards a bit, (the opposite of having the "relief" mentioned above) you might see if a heavy set of strings will pull the neck up. The higher tension of heavy fluorocarbon strings - after a couple of days - may pull the neck up a little straighter. Worth a shot, anyway.