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A string fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by codiak, Jul 7, 2017.


  1. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Before I start, I have a Fender Aerodyne jazz. The A string buzzes on the 2nd or 3rd fret when I pluck the open string. I've checked the frets, they seem to be level. No other strings buzz, just the open A. I've heard this is somewhat common, just looking for some advice.
     
  2. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Push the wraps of the string down the tuning post as far as you can. If you cut it too short so you can't do that, you need a new A string.
     
    MCF likes this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yep. You need more break angle at the nut. So, like @Gorn said, wrap the string around the post in a way that forces it downward.
     
  4. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    I like to see 12-13 degrees from nut to tuners on basses without an angled headstock.
     
  5. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    There are about 3 full wraps around the post already. I didn't even cut the string when I restrung it last time I replaced them.
     
  6. Look at the nut (from the head) and see if it sits lower than the rest of the strings. It could be that your A string has eaten it's way deeper into the nut. If you use round wound strings this can happen after awhile. The only cure that I know of, is a new nut, for this.
     
  7. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Wouldn't that cause it to rattle on the first fret instead of the 2nd or 3rd?
     
  8. I think that would have to depend on a lot of different things. It may only need a tweek to the truss rod. I was just trying to think of all the different causes for this problem and the easiest ways to check before making any changes.
     
  9. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Yeah I get what you mean. I've had this going on for a while now and I've gotten to the point where I just want to fix it.
     
  10. My Dean 5 string acoustic would get some rattle (B string 5th fret, and E string 5th, 6th, and seventh) when I was using bronze strings along with temp. and humidity changes it would need a slight truss rod tweek would be necessary to keep it at bay every, about every 6 months or so. The root problem I found was that the PO had round wound strings on it and they ate their way into the nut. Now, with tape wound strings and increased diameter most of my problems are solved (increased dia. keeps the strings higher in the nut, above the sharp point of the grove in the nut) but, if I go back to the original bronze strings I think I would have to replace the nut. Larger diameter bronze wound strings like round wound strings are a lot like taking a round file in the grove if the nut is soft material.
     
  11. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Hm, maybe I'll have to go from lights to mediums and see if that fixes it. Thanks for the help.
     
  12. audioglenn

    audioglenn

    Jul 14, 2012
    Pennsylvania
    It may be that the groove in the nut for the "A" string in cut too low. If you have a feeler gauge, you should check the
    nut action. If the gap between the A string and the first fret is lower than the gap on the other three strings, you may
    have found the problem. Solution? You should have a new nut installed with a shallower depth for the A string.
     
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Don't forget to re-set your witness points at the nut and bridge. Pics, please...don't change anything yet.

    Riis
     
  14. Got my white 2011 Epi Custom Shop Thunderbird back from the shop about a month ago, had the nut replaced and they did a setup on it as well. Problem with the setup was that when I got it home and looked at it the bridge was set way high in the rear and way low in the front, which is exactly opposite of what I've read and been told (mostly here) about proper setup for a floating 3-point bridge. Action was also a bit higher than I like it. So I've redone the setup so the bridge is a bit higher in front than back and got the action where I like it (low). The reason it came back that way according to the guy who did the work (very reputable shop, he's done two of my other basses and did a fantastic job on them) was to get rid of a buzz at the 2nd fret on the A string, which was a known issue when I took the bass in to be worked on thinking it was caused by the jacked up nut that I had him replace. When I fret the A string at the 1st fret (A#) I get a very distinct buzz. Goes away when I play the B (press the string down at the 2nd fret) and on up, this is the only place on the entire freaking fingerboard is buzzes and it's making me crazy. I only need that note on a few songs but it's just a real PITA to have to work around.

    To me it seems like I could just file the 2nd fret down a bit to get rid of the buzz, the luthier tells me that it's not that simple, that it needs a full fret job to get everything even. Really don't want to put another $100 in it for a full fret job that IMO it doesn't need. If anyone has any input on how to solve this I'm all ears (or eyes as it were). FWIW I did try putting some aluminum foil under the A string at the nut to raise the string a bit at the nut but didn't help so took it back out (I'm obviously no expert).
     
  15. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Alright, I'll get you some pics later today. Anything specific you want to see other than the nut?
     
  16. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Nut, headstock, & bridge....front & side / lateral shots.

    Riis
     
  17. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Here are some pics, needs a good wipe down. If you need some more let me know.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    What's the A string / 1st fret gap when fretted at the 3rd? Re-set your witness points as a matter of routine. Your string spacing at the bridge looks peculiar...are you trying to align with the polepieces or fingerboard? How much relief do you have on board?

    Riis
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  19. codiak

    codiak

    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Yeah I was just aligning the polepieces, but that I just did the other day to see if it would make any difference in sound. It's been buzzing way before that. I'll get you a picture of the spacing when I can.

    EDIT: The A string is just barely resting on the 1st fret when I fret the 3rd.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Don't sweat the spacing...just an observation. The string should not be resting on the 1st fret; you should see a gap ~.003-.005". How's the relief? Any chance you kicked it into an "S" curve?

    Riis