Action and buzz (truss rod question)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Shomy, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. I wanted to lower my strings so i put the saddles on my bridge lower. After that ther was buzz after 12th fret, so i tightened the truss rod for little more then 1/3 of a turn. I did it in two steps. It now buzzes only on D string on 18th fret. How much time should i wait before the neck settles in. And if after that it still buzzes on the same spot should i tighten it a bit more?

    thanx guys and girls, you've helped me so many times before
  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Wait a day...but don't go overboard with the tightening...

    and check the saddles.
  3. i lwered the saddles, then tightened truss rod, then fiddled with the saddles a bit more, for the intonation and final check up. So tomorrow it should be checked again. I'll tell you what i observe
  4. if its only buzzing at one spot. that means a fret has lifted or sunk.
  5. today, i got up, and first thing i did even before brushing my teeth is to check how bass is doing
    buzz has diminished now it is located only on 17th and 18th on A and 18th on D.
    I think i'll give a rod another 1/4 turn.
    But if a buzz remain on 18th on D after another 1/4 turn, and it is a sunken or elevated fret, how can i find out which one of this two is the problem, and how can i solve it?
  6. if it is a raised or sunken fret, the only way to fix it is to take it to a tech or luthier. you can figure it out which one it is, by having the neck straight and using a straight edge thats ~3inches long or so, just enough to span a 3 fret distance. if teh straight edge touches all 3 frets, alli s good, if one is lower that the out side two it wont touch in the middle, if it rocks back and forthe its the middle one.
  7. ok. i checked. the 18th fret is elevated. But here is the catch. everything that i had problem till now, i did it by myself with help and suggestions from you guys. So if i want to solve this one i want to do it by myself. So what do i need? A pile, a little bit of sand paper, a little patience and a handful of precaution. I'll try with some finer sanding paper, and i will sand in small steps. Or maybe I should nail the bastard down with hammer :D
    What do you guys think?
    Hambone, I would really like to hear from you on this topic. And all you other guys & girls are invited, too.
  8. Im not Hambone but allow me to jump in. Your problem is up in the higher fret area, specifically 17-18. This is an area that truss rod adjustment isn't really designed to fix buzzes in, you'll see the greatest impact on frets 3-12 (or thereabouts) when adjusting the trussrod.

    A single fret buzzing when the one's around it aren't usually means a high spot or a lifted fret, but (no offense) as you aren't a trained setup person, it might be better to let someone who is figure out what the problem is. Fixing a high spot isn't just sanding; you have to make sure the fret is level with the frets around it and all the frets on the board, then once level the fret still needs to be crowned to play properly.
  9. I know the best way to fix something is to take it to a pro, but i intend to make my own bass guitar, so i need to get familiar with everything. I could do it by trial an error, but then again there are more expirienced people who can steer me in right directions (with accent on the plural :) )

    The problem is the elevated fret. I checked using a ruler. It rocks back and forth on 18th fret.

    I used Gary Willis article to setup my bass, and only after that i posted my question, because it was to delicate to deal with it on my own. I setup my bass to my preferences, and now the nly problem is elevated fret.

    As for my expirience, i have my own workshop which i don't use much, and i thought to make some use of it by making a bass guitar. I am familiar with most of tools (i don't know their names in english) but ever since I was 7-8 years old (i'm 23 now) i was fiddling there with my grandpa who taught me everything i know. We were doing both with wood and steel, though a lot more with wood. We were making frames for beehives, and making doors and window frames. On the other hand i don't have any expirience with lacquers and other stuff thats used for coating wood, because we were mostly using waterproof wood paint for those stuff that we made.
  10. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Well, the first thing to do is determine why that fret is high.

    Is it not fully seated? Or was it not crowned and dressed to match the others? Usually, it will be the former.

    Do all the strings rock on that fret, or just one one side of the neck?

    Tap the frets, the good ones and the bad one, with the metal shaft of a screwdriver. Do they all make the same sound? Or does the bad fret sound dull in comparison?
  11. D and A strings buzz on 18th fret. G and E are fine. I think that it should be filed down because i tried with soft hammer and it didn't give any results. So after all i will have to take it to a pro. Rats! I was really hoping to set up my bass completely by myself
  12. Shomy, all of the advice given so far has been pretty much right on, or as good as it can be from long distance. It does sound like you've found your offender. Here's where I would fall on the repair - do no harm. If you are going to file that fret, mask it, and do it very slowly and evenly with your small flat jewelers file. After you're done leveling it with the adjacent frets, you will need to recrown the fret if you want to have good intonation and a precise witness point. If it's not a bother to you, polish it and leave it but the next step for learning is to recrown. Usually you would do this with a concave file that shapes the top of the fret back into an arch. I bet you don't have one in the shop? ;) That's OK, for this one fret, you are going to work really hard and do it with the flat file. Now, I wouldn't tell most folks to try this but you sound determined so doing one fret the hard way will be your best introduction. The idea is to use the file working from the sides of the fret and rolling it over to make a peak like the other frets. The peak has to be even and level all the way across the fret. It can be done with small files but you'll soon see the need for the specialty tools. Be careful not to remove the material at the very top of the fret - that is the level area. Once you get it crowned, you can dress the ends and polish it with some steel wool. I don't think any harm can be done here even if you screw it up royally. The worst that can happen is that you'll have to file that fret lower, in which case it won't buzz anymore. And that's what you wanted in the first place :D

    Hope this helps
  13. to hambone: thanx for having confidence in me :)

    i'm not sure that i have jewellers file, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one in the w-shop. I have there a lot of odd tool for which i don't know how to use, although i can probably guess. On the other hand i have lots of small files of all kinds and profiles, and i know how to make an arch with a file on a piece of metal.
    I just need to secure the fretboard around that fret with some paper-tape.
    OK, thanx a lot guys. As soon as there is some progress I'll let you know
  14. I forgot to ask. What should i do if it's elevated fret?
  15. Mikefish07


    Apr 6, 2003
    I have the exact same problem on a 96 Fender American Jazz Bass. It buzzes only on the 18th on only A and D strings. I was trying to find a tech but after doing a search on this forum, I found this thread. How did it come out? I was wondering if this is a common problem with Fenders since I have a 97 Fender Precision that has a same problem but not as bad. I was just going to raise the action to eliminate the buzzing but I like the low action now. Advice? Thanks.