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Buzz in Specific spots on strings (not a loose peg)

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ThomClaire, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. ThomClaire


    Dec 31, 2012
    Asheville, NC
    Hello folks, I've been lurking for quite awhile and have not been able to find a similar issue to mine. I just bought a bass, that had the neck replaced and I'm afraid that the supposed "luthier" who did the work may not have known what they were doing. There are a few different spots on the fingerboard that are giving off an atrocious buzz, but it is not the entire string. For instance, at the B on the A string and a little flat and a little sharp of the B, the buzz occurs. There are a few other spots that do the same thing. I'm a bit confused by this because it isn't the entire string. Does anyone know what may be causing this?

    At the same time, I am looking for a reputable bass luthier, as the only luthier in my town (Greenville, SC) primarily works on Violins, Violas, and Cellos and I have no way of knowing how experienced he is with Basses as I haven't seen any basses that he's worked on. If anyone knows of an experienced luthier in or near Greenville, South Carolina, please let me know.
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    James Condino in Asheville will set you straight.
  3. There's quite a few different ways this can happen, and they pretty much all need a luthier's experience to diagnose and fix. Fortunately, they tend not to be particularly expensive... at worst, a full fingerboard dressing, but probably not nearly that much work.
  4. OP, do you get buzzing from the 5th fret to the nut on all strings?
  5. ThomClaire


    Dec 31, 2012
    Asheville, NC
    I don't. I only get buzzing at the second "fret" on the A string, first "fret" on the G string and a few others in the higher registers.

    What is a fingerboard dressing?

    EDIT: Nevermind. I just googled it. My thought was that there may be some plaining (sp?) issues either on the top of the neck (where the fingerboard fits on to it) or on the bottom of the fingerboard, that would cause a gap between the fingerboard and neck in only a few select spots. Could that be a possibility?

    I have also noticed something else. From just right of the A string (if you are facing the bass) the fretboard is significantly slanted back towards the body of the bass and has less of an arch than the rest of the fingerboard. Perhaps that is also a cause to this issue.

    Unfortunately, I have no way of taking pictures of it, otherwise this may be much more simple.
  6. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    That slant is called a Rorschach Bevel. It is built into many fingerboard blanks to elicit an emotional response when playing on the E-string.

    Gaps in the glue joint are not good. Just take the bass over to Meister Condino and he'll fix everything, even though he's not a licensed Psychoanalyst:hyper:
  7. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    The Romberg bevel would be just left of the A string when facing the bass and would be the surface under the E string. Here's a cross-section of the cello version:
  8. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    PM sent re: Greenville Bass Luthier.
  9. ThomClaire


    Dec 31, 2012
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks to all of you for your such great help.
  10. If the A string is on the wrong side of the bevel break, that would definitely cause trouble on the A string.

    Sounds like there's more issues than that... you need a luthier, and someone has pointed you in the right direction.
  11. ThomClaire


    Dec 31, 2012
    Asheville, NC
    No, the bevel is on the correct side of the A string. I was just confusing myself trying to picture it in my head from a different perspective than how I see it every day.
  12. Ah, ok. That's good then.
  13. ThomClaire


    Dec 31, 2012
    Asheville, NC
    I took the bass by a shop to get an estimate of the repair and a setup. They say the fingerboard needs to be recambered. Is that the same as a fingerboard dressing?
  14. Recambering is changing the scoop of the fingerboard, either by bending the neck and fingerboard or by dressing (which means removing material). Normally it needs a bit of dressing after bending anyway to get the details right.

    So yes, dressing will be involved, but it might be a bit more (to bend the neck you pretty much have to remove the fingerboard).
  15. jnel

    jnel Guest

    Dec 19, 2012
    I guess this is a question for the experienced bass luthier-do necks need bending very often when dressing the finger board. I would think that the neck would not need bending as routinely as has been implied by Mr. M. Just sayin, just askin..
  16. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    You absolutely have to remove the fingerboard, and even then, bending the neck is not going to be very successful.

    By the way if you want to see if the neck has warped forward ("bent"), sight along the glue seam between the ebony FB and the maple. Should be straight. A slight curve 1-2mm deflection in the middle is common. More dan dat you have a problem.

    But it sounds to me as if you just need to get the fingerboard lightly dressed to get rid of any bumps causing the buzz. You don't need to rebend a neck to do that.
  17. BHBassman


    Jan 5, 2013
    I have a similar problem on my American Standard- especially now, in winter. Strings go closer to the board- up in summer/ more humid weather.
    Careful shaving too much ebony off of the fingerboard-had my bass repairman do that 30 yrs. ago when I got the AS Bass from him with a new neck/ board/ bridge & didn't have the experience or strength in my hands at the time- wanted the strings so close to the board.
    Raised the bridge way up-most all buzzes are not heard.
    Also, had a thick price of leather put over the saddle ( his suggestion) to raise that(off now!) to lessen what seemed like too much tension for me.
    Wondering about raising the NUT,rather than getting new bridge cut. Leather piece to try, maybe?!?
  18. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    that suggestion, to get rid of a few buzzes, is nuts! You need an adjustable bridge.

    Also, a fingerboard dressing is a gentle operation with little risk of shaving too much ebony off unless a butcher is working on it.
  19. jnel

    jnel Guest

    Dec 19, 2012
    you can trust what Mathew says - he knows his luthiery-

    Mathew, did you finish that French bass that you posted for awhile the restoration of- very impressed seeing the pictures and reading about the restoration- just wondering since i had not seen it lately
  20. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    french bass - still going. long job.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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