View Full Version : Washburn N2 questions

12-01-2005, 07:43 AM
I just got one and I have a few questions.
#1. The truss rod adjustment is at the heal. There is a cool removable cover to access the truss rod adjuster. Does anybody know what size allen wrench I need?
#2. The guitar plays beautiful but has some decent fret buzz on the A and D strings around the 9th and 10th frets.
I am thinking I should tighten the truss rod a little and lower the trem.

12-01-2005, 08:35 AM
Can't help you one #1. Never had a Washburn.

#2, on a normal truss rod, tightening will straighten to back-bow the neck, reducing action height and increasing buzz. Lowering the trem will lower the action, increasing buzz even more.

First, did you change string sizes or was the guitar subjected to a change in weather, causing the need for action to be adjusted? Are you tuning it differently than the guitar was originally set up for ('D' instead of 'E')? If so, explain to us how the guitar was before vs. after (i.e. it used to be tuned to 'E' now it's tuned to 'D')

Check the current relief. If the neck is too straight / backbowed you need to loosen the truss rod, to give the neck some bow so that the strings can vibrate without hitting the frets. Not too much, 1/8 turns, wait a day for it to settle, check again.

In reality, adjusting the truss rod should be the last step you do in a setup. Get the action the height you want, the correct string sizes, tuning you plan on using, nut height, then when everything else is done adjust the truss rod for the right amount of relief.

After all that, you might have action too low to get low buzzing with the correct amount of relief, in which case you have to raise the action and start over (i.e. you are tuning to 'C' with super low action on a short scale neck, something has got to give).

12-01-2005, 08:51 AM
The guitar shipped from Canada to Connecticut.
It looks like it originally had 9's (or maybe 10's.. they were very old strings!) on it and it was tuned to 440 standard E. I threw a new set of 9's on it and tuned it to Eb. I loosened the springs a little to rebalance the trem. I also loosened the truss rod a little more than a 1/8 of a turn to allow for the lower gauge strings and tuning. The neck relief looks perfect to me. The A and D strings were buzzing around the 9th fret so I raised the bridge until the buzzing stopped. Unfortunately, the action is now too high. Its at the point were the low E string is sharp when fretted (if that makes any sense to you). I prefer my action a little on the high side but this is a little higher than I am comfortable with.
The guitar is a 1992 with very little if not any fret wear. Judging by the condition of it, I wouldn't think it needs fret work.

12-01-2005, 09:16 AM
I forgot-the very last thing after everything else is setting the intonation. That's why your low E is sharp - saddle needs to be moved back to make the fretted scale length longer.

Another thing (longshot) to check is the radius of your bridge and nut vs. the radius of the fretboard. If the bridge has a flat radius (16") and the fretboard is very round (7 1/4"), the outside strings will be high when the inside strings are at the correct height.

If it's an OFR, you could get a high saddle for the A, but the D is already using the highest saddle.

What type of bridge is it, by the way? Maybe you have individual saddle height adjustments like a V-Trem?

But getting back to the simplest solution, it sounds like the neck simply needs more relief. This will give more bow in the middle of the fretboard (where you are having buzzing issues) and will let you lower the bridge and action higher up on the neck, where you say the action is too high.

12-01-2005, 09:22 AM
It has a Floyd Clone Washburn 600S trem on it. I will add some relief tonight and lower the trem to an acceptable level. If it stops buzzing I will set the intonation.
The fretboard on the N2 is pretty flat. I think the climate change messed with it a little. Thats why I didn't mess with it too much last night to give it a chance to settle in a little. I will check back tonight after I give it the once over. Thanks Don.

12-01-2005, 09:33 AM
If giving the guitar a setup doesn't fix the problem, it is time to look a bit deeper. Don't assume it doesn't need fret work just because the frets look OK. I've taken brand new guitars on the bench and leveled the frets because they just were not level. Most factory fret work sucks to be honest. Some older guitars can also develop other problems like fingerboard humps. Jacksons are notorious for that, the dreaded 2nd/3rd fret hump where the headstock joint is. I've had to refret many a Jackson because of that.

12-01-2005, 10:32 AM
There are no humps in this fret board. I have owned a Jackson in the past that had one. This doesn't. It could have 1 high fret. If so, I will have the frets leveled.

12-01-2005, 11:37 AM
Most of my stuff I learned from Dan Erlewine and his books. They are very good if you are into doing your own setup.

I agree with you Lex, you can't do a decent setup if you aren't starting with a good foundation. I have some factory new Gibsons that probably need a good leveling, but I'll take them to Dan (need to save up some bucks first).

I'm just such a crappy player that I probably wouldn't know a good setup if it hit me in the face LOL!

12-01-2005, 06:52 PM
I had an N2 (now have two N4's). Not sure on the allen wrench you need for that cover, but based on the N2 being an import, it should be metric. Just get a $6 metric set from the hardware store and your covered.

Be careful with the Washburn 600S trem, the main plate isn't the hardest material and I've seen cases of the plate's threaded holes stripping out when tightening the saddle position screws.

Sounds like you might have 1 high fret in that 9th fret A & D area. A leveling would fix for sure. If you don't have someone to do that, you could lower that fret yourself. I've done that on a few guitars. cover the fingerboard on each side of the fret with masking tape, and then using little strips of 320 grit emery paper sand along the fret. Use your index finger and thumb to make a pocket that curves the paper so it matches the curve of the fret. Do this for a few seconds. I then repeat with 400 grit, 600 grit, and then polish with #0000 steel wool. When you're done, the fret looks new and should be a few thousandths of an inch lower. After you're first try at the 320 grit, you could bring the strings to pitch and see if you've lowered it enough or if you need to remove more material (Naturally you have to proceed carefully and double check frequently as you don't want to remove too much!). You mention only the A and D strings have the buzz. I've had this problem also, just a couple strings affected, and have sanded down just the 'affected' area of the fret (I use masking tape over the areas of the fret I don't want to sand). If you are doing an area this small, you can leave the guitar strung to pitch and just pull the two strings out of the way when you sand. Then its easy to check your progress buy fretting the guitar and seeing if you've removed enough material.

12-01-2005, 10:15 PM
Its definately a high fret. The truss rod is adjusted perfect. The guitar plays great except for the 9th and 10th frets on the A and D string. The 9th fret on the A string is practically dead unless I raise the strings super high off of the neck. I also tried shimming the neck. No dice. Any suggestions on where I could bring it too in the Milford, CT area?? I really need to get it fixed.

12-02-2005, 10:21 AM
Don't rule out that it might be 9'th fret too low as well. Is there a lot/abnormal of fretwear in this area on that fret?

12-02-2005, 03:51 PM
There is no fret wear to speak of at all. The neck has the perfect amount of relief and all the frets look mint.
It has dead and semi-dead frets on the 8th thru the 10th on the A and D strings only.