Buzz Feiten Tuning System

How the Buzz Feiten Tuning System Works

The Buzz Feiten Tuning System solves tuning and intonation problems with 2 simple steps:

1. Shelf Nut
Our exclusive Buzz Feiten Tuning SystemĘ (BFTS) Shelf Nut moves the strings closer to the first fret according to our Patented Formula. This eliminates sharp notes at the first three frets.

Buzz Feiten Tuning System Shelf Nut

BFTS Shelf Nut Top ViewTop View : Each Shelf Nut is precision machined from high quality bone for superb tonal response.

BFTS Shelf Nut Side ViewSide View
: The strings are moved closer to the first fret a precise distance based on the scale length, fret width and string gauge of your guitar. The slight overhang of our nut (the 'Shelf') does this without altering your guitar in any way. So it's even fine for vintage guitars.

2. Intonation
Your guitar's bridge is adjusted according to our Patented Pitch Offsets, creating balanced intonation over the entire fingerboard - every fret - every string.

BridgeYour Bridge Is Adjusted to BFTS Pitch Offsets



Rumor Dispelled

Some dealers who are not qualified to install the "Buzz Feiten Tuning System" are starting vicious untrue rumors!!!

"If You have a Buzz Feiten System you cannot play with other people unless they have a Buzz Feiten Tuning System." That's Absolute Bull.   Anyone who tells you this is an out and out liar!!!!!

Since we started installing Buzz Feiten's revolutionary guitar tuning system 1n 1991 twenty years have passed. We have done countless numbers of them and we have attracted all the professional business in the Las Vegas area. I have installed it on my guitar,  I really can tell the immediate difference.  I can wholeheartedly recommend the Buzz Feiten Tuning System.

The Prices On The Buzz Feiten System Are Lower Than They Were Back In The Early Days.

Ed Roman

Important Note:

It has come to my attention that there are installers out there who do fake Buzz Feiten Systems. Before you let some hack do it, make absolutely certain that they are registered with Buzz Feiten. Make absolutely certain that you are getting the real Buzz Feiten System. This installation is not an easy thing to do. My shop even had several problems when we were first starting to do Acoustic Guitars. In one case we actually screwed up a Tacoma Amazon. Of course we corrected the problem, but we actually had to go back to Buzz Feiten School for 3 more days. So at this time we have actually attended Buzz Feiten's Installation course 3 times (Ouch).

Why Buzz Feiten?

The Problem

Everyone has experienced it:
You play one chord shape, like A, and it plays in tune, but when you play another chord shape, like D, it's not quite in tune; close interval chords often sound wildly out of tune; and no matter how carefully you tune your guitar, it just doesn't come out exactly right. It makes a big difference on electric guitars but it is an absolute necessity on acoustic guitars. The difference is incredible.

The Reason

Centuries of Complacency
For centuries guitars have been designed and built using unchanging formulas for nut placement and intonation, and for centuries intonation problems have been accepted as an inevitable deficiency of the instrument. But incorrect nut placement and improper intonation methods directly influence intonation. The historical method of  intonating each string to itself results in "equal temperament" - an intonation formula abandoned by piano tuners in the 1600's.  Equal temperament may be mathematically "perfect", but it is not pleasing to the ear.

Guitar builders have tried various methods to  improve the guitar's intonation, but none of these methods has produced truly gorgeous, spectacular intonation... until now.

The Solution

An integrated tuning system
An integrated tuning system that is an entirely new approach to achieving pleasing intonation for guitars - anywhere on the neck,  regardless of chord shape! In fact, the Buzz Feiten Tuning System TM  permits every stringed and fretted instrument to play in every key with equally pleasing intonation. Combining correct nut placement with a  new, easy to use intonation model, the Buzz Feiten Tuning System TM allows the guitar to sound better than ever before.

Send or bring your guitar to my custom shop and let us set your guitar up the same as Steve Vai , Joe Satriani and Robert Fripp.

This is No Gimmick!

When I took the training course to learn how to do the Buzz Feiten retrofit, I assumed it was some kind of Gimmick!  After the whole thing was explained to me and I actually got to sit and make comparisons I realized that I had been horribly wrong.

Brent Lynch


Quicksilver Guitars
Now Available with Buzz Feiten's Original Tuning System 

What Idiot Would Pay Three Times For a License?

I first became involved with  Buzz Feiten's Tuning System about 15 years ago, The "East Coast Music Mall", which I owned at that time was one of the first two stores ever to sign up as a retrofitter for Buzz's revolutionary new system. 

In any case I am certainly the first and probably the last person ever to pay twice for the cost of the licensing myself as a retrofitter. Oh well it's only money, The cost to become a  retrofitter is quite a substantial sum. Between the actual cost of the license, the special tools involved the cost to send key people away for 4 to 5 days, Hotels, food airfare, rent a car salaries, Plus bringing in people for extra hours while techs are being trained etc etc can be right around $5,000.00.

Because I had sold East Coast Music Mall, The license stayed with the new owners. Who incidentally were my junior partners and good friends. If I had sold it to a stranger, I probably would have made some kind of an arrangement with Buzz & Greg to keep the license.

In any case I did delay my re-licensing for quite some time  because, Let's face it, who wants to pay $5,000.00  for an intangible item like a license to tune guitars correctly?

This Idiot did and Here's Why

I was recently looking at Buzz's web site and I noticed something incredible,  I was reading a little about Buzz's amazing history and I happened to hit the dealer link by mistake.  I noticed a funny thing there were lots of retrofitters on the west coast and only about 5 on the whole East Coast.  "East Coast Music Mall" was the only retrofitter for New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire & Rhode Island.


Seven whole states and not one since I had signed up in 1993. That only bears out what I have been saying for years that most music store owners are dull, bland, uninteresting, overly conservative, backwards thinking, cretins. Sorry guys, nothing personal. Of course there are several exceptions that I know of but I can count them on 2 hands.

But wait there's more, this gets better.

New York City

Not one single retrofitter in the entire state of New York, never mind a city of easily 15 million people if you count the surrounding suburbs.

In New York City, musicians regularly drop down $800.00 for a fret job. I will perform a fret job in my shop for $250.00 to $300.00.
I will also give you a written guarantee that there would be absolutely no way you could tell the jobs apart.

My prices have been the same for about 15 years.

The absolutely amazing thing is that in the city where people will spend that kind of money no dealer will spend the relatively small amount to set himself up as a retrofitter. Well I'm looking for my share of that market.

In all actually that was really not my main reason for re-licensing. Many of my pickiest pro player customers are demanding that I install the system.

Everyone Who is Anyone Uses Buzz Feiten Tuning

In my conversations with Buzz & Greg,  I became painfully aware that I was not allowed to print many of the names, of many of the famous guitar players who have this system on their guitar.  In fact some of these players refused permission because of previous commitments to other guitar companies.

For example lets say for a minute that,  Joey " Guitar God "  Van Murklewitz uses the Buzz Feiten tuning system on each and every one of his guitars. Now let's say that Mr. Van Murklewitz has a Peavey endorsement, or maybe an Ernie Ball endorsement, or even a Charvel  endorsement or any endorsement for that matter. It makes absolutely no difference what company.

The company who pays the freight (PYZ Guitars) might feel that it would escalate the cost of the guitar to a level where many of the younger buyers could not afford them.  Remember, it's usually the younger more gullible buyers, who are influenced to buy the signature models in the first place.  How would it look to Mr. Van Murklewitz's fans, if his endorsement guitar didn't come standard with the Buzz Feiten tuning system on it.  It might look like the customers were not considered smart enough to be able to tell if their guitar was correctly in tune.  Therefore the bottom line is not to endorse it,  and better yet just don't talk about it.

Ed Roman

But Wait There's Still More!!!

I actually went back to Buzz Feiten School again in 2003 to get better trained on acoustic guitar installations. The acoustic guitar sounds incredibly better with the addition of a Buzz Feiten Tuning System. I installed it on one of my own Tacoma Kahuna guitars. You can feel the difference in intonation down to your bones. I keep it at the store most of the time, so you can demo it if you come in.

Centurion Guitars

Available with the Buzz Feiten Original Tuning System

At this time major companies like Gibson, Ibanez, Charvel, Jackson, PRS, Fender, & Peavey, are not offering Buzz Feiten's Tuning System.

In my opinion, I believe they probably don't want to pay the fees and royalties for each and every guitar sold.

Only the most discriminating 10% off the players are going to request the system.  Ed Roman Guitars caters to these players almost exclusively. Many of our customers are using it today.


2 Schools of Thought

Tom Anderson on the Buzz Feiten Tuning System

This Buzz Feiten designed tempered tuning system allows our guitars to play more in tune than you have ever heard before!

As we all have experienced, a guitar is not an instrument that can play perfectly in tune. When we intonate and tune a normal guitar, even when using a very accurate tuner, we find that chords, especially, don't sound very in tune. For instance, play a C chord and the 3rd might sound sharp. Play a D chord and the F# is really off. G may sound pretty good but an E chord's G# note is very off. Go up the neck and play a D shape on the 9th fret (an A chord) and it really beats. Does this sound familiar? So for the sake of illustration, let's say that a regular guitar plays about 80% in tune.

Tempered tuning is primarily a visually undetectable structural neck change in combination with slightly altered bridge intonation offsets. Chords sound much more in tune. When you listen very carefully you can hear little to no out of tune notes in chords and very little to no beating. In fact, if you don't listen extremely carefully you may think that it is perfect -- however, nothing is perfect and we figure if a normal guitar is approximately 80% in tune then Tempered Tuning is about 95% in tune.

Every player here at Anderson is now using Tempered Tuning and is completely convinced that it is a marked improvement. As Tom himself says, "it changed my life." It spoils you and you want every guitar you play to tune like this.

So why not let Tom Anderson and Tempered Tuning spoil your life too.

The above excerpt is directly from Tom Anderson's website.

Ed Roman on the Buzz Feiten Tuning System

Tom explains it extremely well. However, I would like to make an observation.

Some companies offer the Buzz Feiten System as a standard appointment. Tom Anderson is one of them. When a company offers it as a standard it becomes much less expensive for the licensing and much easier to actually install.

Ed Roman believes that it is much better to actually install the system in each guitar individually.  instead of mass producing necks that will accept the BFT. Yes it costs a little more and yes it is much harder to do, but Ed Roman says that every guitar is different and  every guitar has its own idiosyncrasies and nuances.

Important Note:

It has come to my attention that there are installers out there who do fake Buzz Feiten Systems. Before you let some hack do it, make absolutely certain that they are registered with Buzz Feiten. Make absolutely certain that you are getting the real Buzz Feiten System. This installation is not an easy thing to do. My shop even had several problems when we were first starting to do Acoustic Guitars. In one case we actually screwed up a Tacoma Amazon. Of course we corrected the problem, but we actually had to go back to Buzz Feiten School for 3 more days. So at this time we have actually attended Buzz Feiten's Installation course 3 times (Ouch).


Player Quotes

"I've been playing the guitar since I was six years old, and it's finally in tune. Congratulations."
Larry Carlton

"What's the buzz about? Perfect intonation. With the Buzz Feiten Tuning System every note, every chord will be in tune across the entire fretboard. A fundamental requirement but something guitarists have never had until now."
Adrian Belew

"The effect is so undeniable that we switched over the very next day and we're now making our electric guitars differently... it's an incredibly pleasing experience to play..."
Tom Anderson

"For as long as I can remember, the guitars that my fellow classical guitarists and I have played always sounded slightly out of tune and I just assumed that tuning our instruments was always a matter of compromise - that they would never sound perfectly in tune in the upper frets if the open strings were in pitch. Having recently discovered Buzz Feiten's amazing system, I realize that what I had always believed is untrue. A guitar can be in tune in any fret! I would highly recommend his revolutionary approach to guitar tuning for any performer or builder, no matter what style. It will change your life.
Liona Boyd

"Amazing, it really works! from the 1st fret on my low E to the 24th fret on my high G, the bass is finally in tune. Having the 1st four frets in tune (not sharp) has made my life in the studio much easier. I'M SOLD!"
Stu Hamm

"With an amazingly simple adjustment my instruments are now all in tune! The Buzz Feiten Tuning System works. It has changed my professional life. Now, I can just concentrate on the music at hand with a new found level of confidence! A definite improvement to my overall performance."
Jimmy Haslip

"I'm over the moon about the Buzz Feiten Tuning System. Chords ring so true it's out of this world. It's one small step for the nut and , one giant step for intonation."  "After the constant struggle with intonation - some chords being in tune while others aren't - I can finally hear all my chords and voicings ring true in perfect harmony. The Buzz Feiten Tuning System is a giant step in the advancement of the guitar."
Lyle Workman

"It increased my efficiency in the studio by 30 percent, because I don't spend all that time messing with my tuning."
Gary Burnette

"Long overdue and overlooked, this system has finally made the guitar in tune from top to bottom. Radical bends and steel licks above the 12th fret have never sounded sweeter. I no longer have to fight pitch!"
Pete Anderson

"Listening to the Anderson 25.5"-scale and 24.75"-scale guitars they brought quickly convinced us of the Buzz Feiten System's abilities. We know Anderson builds great sounding guitars, but these were unreal. Gone were the sharp low-register notes. Close interval chords sounded much more in tune than they did on any of our guitars, and the bloom of sustained chords was beyond anything we've heard."
Bench Tests: "The Buzz Feiten Tuning System"
Guitar Player Oct. 1996

"Many have attempted ingenious systems to repair the fretting errors, but none have been entirely successful until now... Listen, do you hear that distant rumble? Sounds like the Big One coming... could it be? Yes, (cue the trumpet fanfare) a solution is at hand. With it a radical shifting of paradigms for designing and building fretted musical instruments. The Buzz Feiten Tuning System has arrived.
Luthiers Mercantile 1997 Catalog

"It's a pretty incredible system that really works. I'm not a tuning nut and I never really have been, but his system is so good that when you really want to get in tune, it makes it possible, whereas before - forget about it. You can never really be in [tune] with regular guitar tuning. It's in tune all over the neck now, which is something that most guitars aren't."
Scott Henderson

Turdland Guitar
Read this story

Hello Ed

This Gibson Byrdland was well over $5,000.00 and I waited for almost 2 years to get it.   When It finally arrived the pickguard was falling off and the top had cracked directly in the center of the F Hole. The fingerboard had delaminated at the top frets and there was actually rust on the tailpiece. I called the dealer who apologized to me and gave me a number to call at Gibson. It took me a total of 4 hours of phone calls before I was able to reach a human it was an exercise in futility to finally get someone who had the power to give me a return authorization code.

I sent them the guitar because the tard  told me they would replace it with a new guitar.  I waited about 5 months and the same guitar came back to me this time it was worse. They had repaired the crack and it was still visible, some churl had polished the tailpiece and you could still see the area where the rust had been because the plating was a tad corroded. The fingerboard had been sloppily repaired because there were apparent glue stains on the binding by the top frets. This time there was an indentation on the fret board where some bozo had obviously clamped the finger board down while the glue dried.

To make matters worse, much worse there were little red stains that looked like crayon markings on the top of the guitar. These markings appeared to be under the finish.  If you look closely at the picture you will see one of them by the back tone pot. There were about 9 more of them if you look carefully you can see them directly above the tailpiece.  One of the marks measured about 6" long it stretches from above the tailpiece to almost the bottom of the F hole. There are some small blotchy ones down by the input jack extending up to where the tailpiece is joined to the butt of the guitar.

The Flarb who inspected this guitar had to be blind in one eye and couldn't see out of the other.

But wait,  it gets even worse! The binding on the lower F hole came off within 24 hours of getting it back, The intonation sounded like it had been done by a monkey, not just any monkey, I figure it had to be a retarded monkey.

I contacted my dealer who apologized again, He also told me that he had been having similar nightmares with other Gibson guitars. He told me that he was going to drop the line and look for another brand to represent.

Again I called Gibson,  Surprise Surprise I got the same merry go round of moronic voicemail messages.  Al Capone would have been proud of me, if he had heard some of the death threats I left on their telephone voice mail.  Needless to say no one called me back.

The picture you see here is after I had the entire body polished and all the repairs done at a cost to me of over 600 dollars.  This is the same picture I used to put this piece of crap on EBAY, the guitar sold to a dealer in New York for 3300 dollars.  I thank Christ that I will never have to see it again. 

So now I'm in the market for another Jazz guitar, You sold my friend Victor Harris a Triggs R5, I have played it and it's easily twice as nice as "the Turdland "

I am still licking my wounds but as soon as I recover I will be calling you for either a Triggs, or an Eastman guitar.  I sure hope you print this it will give me a little satisfaction.

This episode cost me a 1700 dollar direct loss on the instrument,  600 plus loss on the repair, plus the freight to Gibson was over 150 because like a jerk I shipped it overnight.

Oh yeah. then FeeBay banged me another 55.00 dollars in the ass

I solemnly vow that as long as I live I will NEVER EVER purchase any Gibson product, new or used, not even a set of strings.

I LOVE YOUR RANTS   Keep em' comin'

Ronnie Lewicki
Overland Park, KS

Hey Ronnie

I am sorry to hear your story,  yes I will print it.  In fact,  I am going to start printing many more of these letters good or bad!

This syndrome is growing at an alarming rate, In my opinion large corporations have no place in the art world.  I mean would you buy a painting at a Wal-Mart?  Believe it or not, they actually do sell them!

Regarding your solemn vow not to purchase any Gibson products, Just in case you aren't aware I wanted to list some of them.  I wish I could make that same vow but I can't fight a brainwashed public.

Anyway here are a few of the names of brands that Gibson owns or distributes !!

Epiphone Guitars, Steinberger Guitars, Kramer Guitars, Dobro Resonators, Wurlitzer Jukeboxes, Baldwin Pianos, Maestro Effects, Tobias Guitars, Valley Arts Guitars, Truetone, Music Yo, Yo Gear, Garrison Guitars. Avante Guitars, Shadow Pickups, Oberheim Electronics & I am sure there are more that I don't know about.

Remember Gibson USA did not create or start 90% of these companies, they simply acquired them. They decided to use the name Gibson as their Flagship name. So I urge you not to be afraid of an old Epiphone or Steinberger Guitar. The original real Oberheim synthesizers from the early 80's before midi are awesome.

The Company was actually called Consolidated Music Instruments "CMI" But they acquired Gibson & simply renamed the company.


Again I am sorry to hear your story and I will do my best to make sure that you never have an experience like that with any purchase you make from me.

This I Solemnly Vow !!!

Ed Roman