5 string fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 50watts, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. 50watts


    Jan 18, 2002
    hello all
    i'm new to this
    so thanks in advance

    i have recently purchased an epiphone eb-3 5 string

    it's straight from the musicians friend warehouse

    nothing upgraded

    i am getting a ton of buzz from the low b and moderate buzz from the other 4

    none buzz when open
    buzz up to the 5th fret or so
    and gradually lose the buzz as you go up the board

    the strings are whatever round wounds come from te factory

    is this a bridge issue
    or a truss rod issue (the neck is dead straight)

    any help would be greatly appreciated
  2. I guess it's the truss rod. The neck should be slightly bowed.
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    This may help you find and correct your problem. If it is a problem with your necks relief. But we dont really know if our relief if good or not just by looking. Just eyeing the fretboard to see if its right is a bad way to guesstimate if you have a problem. The strings and frets create an optical illusion when you site up the neck (unless of course there is a severe or very noticable bow in it)

    I couldnt get the link to work, so I cut and pasted instead.

    Basic Tools

    • 6" ruler with 1/8", 1/16", 1/32", and 1/64" increments
    • A large quick-release capo, such as a Kyser
    • Feeler gauge with a range including .010"-.025" (available at auto parts stores)
    • Allen wrenches in metric and standard measurements
    • Small flathead and phillips-head screwdriver set
    • Tuner

    Specialized Tools
    • Radius gauges (check fingerboard curvature)
    • Straightedges of various lengths
    • Multimeter (checks for ground continuity and pickup output)
    • Caliper (measures thickness)

    Measuring relief. Place the capo right behind the 1st fret and hold down the last fret of the string closest to you. Slip a feeler gauge between the string and the 8th fret. Increase the feeler-gauge size until the string moves slightly. Return to the previous gauge and double-check. To measure relief on the treble side, flip the bass over with the strings facing toward you and repeat the process. A good amount would be .015"-.020" on the bass side and a little less on the treble side

    Intonating your bass. Plug into a tuner and play the 12th-fret harmonic, and then fret the note; if they register different pitches, the bass isn't intonated properly. If the fretted note is flat, move the saddle forward (toward the nut); if it's sharp, move it back (toward the butt end).

    Measuring action (string height). Hold a ruler upright behind the string at the 12th fret. Don't let the ruler rest against the string—this could affect the height. Measure from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. Medium action heights would be around 3/32" for the B or E strings gradually descending to 1/16" for the G.

    Measuring pickup height. Hold down the outermost strings at the last fret and measure the distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the pickup. Begin with1/8" and adjust to suit your playing style.

    Checking for high or low frets. A precision-ground straightedge should not rock on the frets.

    When working on your bass, remember to tune it up between adjustments—strings over or under pitch will change the amount of relief due to different tensions. Take measurements while holding the bass in playing position. Adjustments to relief, action, and intonation can affect each other—
    double-check all measurements.

    I included everything after "measuring relief", because if your relief is off you are going to have to adjust your truss rod, which in turn will make you have to do all the other things listed, with the exception of checking for high low frets, thats just usefull info to know. Especially for more expensive basses imo.
  4. A dead straight neck is ok. How is the action? I tend to get picky and change the strings straight away. keep the factory set, they're good for emergencies.

    Check string height and your intonation. Do the easy things before the truss rod.


  5. moxshyfter


    Jan 19, 2002
    cass....are you the groovaholic listed on the warwick website???
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    50watts, Did you try to raise the string height a little bit from the saddles?

    i should've pointed that out myself.

    no, i just use this nickname in forums and chats most of the time.
  7. 50watts


    Jan 18, 2002
    no, i haven't tried anything yet

    the action feels pretty nice where it is
    i didn't want to raise it much more

    maybe i'll have to
  8. moxshyfter


    Jan 19, 2002
    oh, it said on the warwick famous users page that the bassist from the band groovaholic played their basses
  9. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Gradually all the way up?
    Or gradually from 5th to 9th?

    If it stops at, say, 7th, you may have one high fret, namely the next. A ruler, three frets long, must never rock on a fret.
  10. 50watts


    Jan 18, 2002
    they lose the buzz gradually
    somewhere between frett 5 and 8

    except the d buzzes all the way up
  11. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I'd thought it is a high fret, 7th or 8th, but the thing with the D confuses me....:confused:
  12. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    It sound like you need a little relief in the neck.

  13. 50watts


    Jan 18, 2002
    well i tried adjusting the trust rod today

    less than a quarter turn clockwise (at headstock)
    to add some relief

    it does not turn easy

    i don't want to force it

    it's a few hours after the adjustmant
    and i see and feel no difference

    should i send this one back and try again?
    or should i try adjusting again tomorrow?
  14. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    If you're turning clockwise (as you look into the fitting) you will be tightening the truss rod and straightening (or causing back-bow).

    Lefty-losey, Righty tighty.

    At least on every bass I've ever owned.
  15. 50watts


    Jan 18, 2002
    my mistake

    i loosened the rod
    (turned counter clockwise)

    not clockwise like a said earlier

    and it's sat overnight
    and no sign of added relief

    i don't want to damage it
    and risk not being able to return it
  16. Finn


    Nov 20, 2001
    I suffer from same thing.
    I took my bass to pro and he couldn't do much about it.

    When the neck is reliefd last frets don't sound good.
  17. 50watts


    Jan 18, 2002
    do you have the same bass?
  18. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Put some heavy gauge Rotosounds on that thing. That'll put some bow in the neck.