I own a Fender Performer HSS Strat and I absolutely love it for what it is.

I just noticed today as I was playing the Minor pentatonic on the A root, I'm hearing this annoying buzz sound especially on the low E. It is so annoying, but when I go on the low E to the left or the right, the buzz kind of reduces, but still audible. The buzz is so evident that even without plugging in the amplifier, I can hear it. Is this something to worry about? Should I exchange the guitar for another one, given the fact that this is pretty new? Or is this something just some silly setting.

I got the action lowered when I bought it at the local shop. When I pluck the open E, there is no buzz. It happens only when I fret on the 5th Fret low E and it reduces as I go left or right! I can try adjusting the truss rod to see if it makes it better, but I do not have any equipment at home to do it by myself. So what could be the best course of action for me to get this fixed?

  • High or low E? Thin or thick? – Tim Feb 7 at 10:30
  • The thicker one, isn't the thicker one called the low E? – sparkr Feb 7 at 10:32
  • Sorry it was my typo error in my original post! I have corrected it now. Yes the problem is on the low E string! – sparkr Feb 7 at 10:33
  • The problem for some is the lower one physically is the higher one sonically. I stopped calling them high/low about 50 yrs ago. Thick/thin works every time! Someone convince me the guitar isn't built upside down. – Tim Feb 7 at 10:36
  • You still have some editing to do. – Tim Feb 7 at 10:39

Makes sense to take it back, since it appears quite new and it's already been tweaked. They can re-tweak it. It may well not be the truss rod that needs altering, but simply a height adjustment on whichever E string it could be...

You should have had a tiny Allen (hex) key with the guitar just for this purpose - screw the two small Allen screws (either side of the offending string) down half a turn, and that will probably do the trick. If not, screw some more.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion. Could you tell me more precisely which Allen screws are you referring to? I see one on the bride close to where the Humbucker is – sparkr Feb 7 at 10:40
  • Precisely on the saddle each side of each string. – Tim Feb 7 at 10:41
  • Can you point me to some pictures of it? – sparkr Feb 7 at 10:43
  • No! It's very simple. Put your finger on a string. Slide it along until it touches the bridge. At that spot you see one tiny socket screw either side of the string, just where it goes over the saddle. Those are they. With due respect, it sounds like the guitar needs to be returned to the shop. Don't want anything going awry. – Tim Feb 7 at 10:46
  • I do see those two tiny Allen screws on either side of the low E string where it meets the bridge. I can try adjusting it. But why do you say that I should return this guitar? Is it from your experience that you suggest it could be a much bigger problem? This guitar is just two days old! – sparkr Feb 7 at 10:57

Often a guitar set-up is done and the instrument is given back to the owner in a short period of time. This is understandable because the owner is anxious to play with the new set-up, but it is recommended for a new set-up to set for two or three days and then have the tech check and tweak the set-up, before returning the instrument to the owner. This process allows for a much more stable set-up. I recommend that guitar players learn to set-up their own instruments. There are books available that lead one, step by step through the process and explain the purpose for each step, allowing the owner to become more familiar with their instrument. A small investment in a few tools and a little knowledge and understanding can help to avoid problems in the future with your instrument and make your instrument much more enjoyable to play. Also, just to add to Tim's answer, turn the saddle screws down into the saddle to raise the saddle and the string higher.

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  • I took the guitar to a ner by luthier. He just adjusted the truss rod, but unfortunately the problem still persists. After adjustment the buzz kind of moved towards the 8th fret. Earlier it was buzzing around the 5th fret and now it buzzes around the 8th fret. The luthier had a look at the guitar and told me that the guitar itself is Okay. May be tomorrow I will take it to the shop where I purchased it and ask them to set it up properly! – sparkr Feb 7 at 19:09

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