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Buzz from only one fret?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Desirsar, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Desirsar

    Desirsar

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    When fretting the 8th fret on the E string, the first fret buzzes. There is no buzz fretting anywhere else on any string. Action is around 4.5 mm. Couldn't find anything on this forum or elsewhere that matched this lone symptom.
  2. sotua

    sotua

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    I assume you mean the 9th fret buzzes (the first one after the note you are fingering). I'd say your 9th fret is too tall on the E side.
  3. Desirsar

    Desirsar

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    The buzz sounds like it's coming from close to the nut, rather. First fret.

    Lowering the action to 3mm didn't help. I can't imagine going any higher will help (and certainly won't help my playing.)
  4. MothBox

    MothBox

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    You can get your frets levelled with a good setup however you shouldn't be getting any vibration along the string between nut and 8th fret if your holding the string against the 8th fret.
  5. Immigrant

    Immigrant Supporting Member

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    If its buzzing between where you fret and the nut, you have too much back bow. Add relief. Done.
  6. HCEarwicker

    HCEarwicker

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    Hi Desirsar,

    I don't know much, but I think this is called 'back buzz'. I had a similar problem. Zooberwerx diagnosed it and put me on to the (temporary) solution: putting a bit of paper or foil in the nut slot (and maybe adding a bit of relief) -

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f18/simple-fret-buzz-question-1022463/ (feel free to ignore the feeler gauge/MacDonalds jokes).
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes I did. This sounds suspicious as well and may be caused by one of 2 things:

    *Nut slot(s) are cut too deeply. Should be .003-.005 between the first fret and string while being fretted directly on top of the 3rd fret. A set of feeler gauges is indispensable for this type of project.

    *Relief has been cranked into the dreaded "S" curve where the 1st-6th fret region has actually begun to bow backwards.

    A quick qualitative diagnosis can be had by placing a small slug of aluminum foil in the nut slot, replacing the string, and tuning to pitch. An even quicker method is to fret at "ground zero"...I believe you said it was the 9th fret...with your middle finger then use you index finger to fret the 8th simultaneously. If the buzz goes away with either method, you've found your culprit....or two of the usual suspects as described above.

    Edit: I re-read the previous thread per the attached link. What the hell was I smoking?!?

    Riis
  8. Desirsar

    Desirsar

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    Truss rod hasn't been touched since I bought it, there is just enough relief to be visible, but nearly straight. Fretting below does stop the buzz, but I had tried that already. I went back to 4+ mm action simply because it's easier to pick and bend.

    I've gone up a gauge since I got it, to 105, would that be enough (from 100, I think) to need to add relief? I'd have to run out to get a feeler gauge to check the nut.
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Time to verify the fundamental parameters including the nut slot as cited previously.

    *Set your witness points at both the nut and bridge.

    *Make sure your strings are wound to the bottom of each string post.

    *Check your existing relief with the 1st fret and 17th-18th fretted (point at which the heel starts). Repeat with the 1st and last frets. You'll probably see a difference of no more than .001-.002 between the two measurements, more so if a ski jump is present. Normal relief is .012-.014. A capo comes in handy...unless you've grown a third arm. Feeler gauges are available on the cheap at any well-stocked auto parts retailer (Pep Boys, etc).

    *Any changes in string brand, type, gauge merits a re-check and possible modification of the existing set-up. Yes, going up to 105 may induce changes at all levels.

    Riis
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Sponsored by Jagermeister Supporting Member

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    Make sure it isn't the string itself. If I use cheap strings (GHS Boomers), I have knocked into the mic stand (I sing alot)causing more than usual divot being kinked into the string by the fret.
  11. Desirsar

    Desirsar

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    Got around to adding truss rod relief. On a new set of strings, with added relief, it now buzzes on the third fret A string only where it never did, and buzzes on the E and A strings on frets 8, and 11-16. Fretting below no longer stops the buzz.

    None of this comes through the amp, mind you.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Then I wouldn't give it a second thought ;)
  13. Desirsar

    Desirsar

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    If I was playing through headphones or a sufficiently loud amp, it wouldn't bother me. Actually, I probably shouldn't mess with it more for the fact that I finally got it to ring like a piano with the right amp settings. (Went up to Cobalt 105-50, not sure why the last few sets of strings couldn't sound like this. Of course, only the last two sets had the buzz...)
  14. Desirsar

    Desirsar

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    I tried tightening the truss rod and raising the action, still no help. I loosened it, now a half turn from the original starting position, and raised the action on the E and A strings to 4mm, and the buzz is pretty much gone. This seems like a ridiculous amount of relief and action. Will bigger strings really change this much, or could a single rogue fret cause this?
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Where's the relief set now? Not saying that's the problem...I just like to compare apples-to-apples.

    Riis
  16. Desirsar

    Desirsar

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    1.2 mm, or so? Fretted at 1st and 17th and measured at 8th.
  17. workdaddy

    workdaddy Supporting Member

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    I've seen/heard this on a couple of basses on the E string, around the 7th fret. Either of these two things will work---1. add relief. 2. shim nut or replace and cut string slots not quite as low.
  18. narud

    narud Supporting Member

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    or youve had stubborn customers like me who refuse to add relief and take off fret height where the neck is backbowing:bag:
  19. workdaddy

    workdaddy Supporting Member

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    Ha! But I've had this happen to my stuff, too. A SLIGHT raise in the nut height of the E string cured it for me.
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    How are you measuring this stuff? Feeler gauges or otherwise? The widely-accepted high end of relief is .015" or .381 mm.

    Riis

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