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Buzz 'N' Gangle

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by xristos, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. xristos


    Jan 21, 2005
    my dad and i just recently bought some Squire guitars for christmas, because both of us are noobs. i got a p-bass. well i just tuned it up using my dad's tuner from his Strat (which the tuner can tune basses too) and the sound sucks. the way i had the strings tuned before was fine. now that the strings are in "tune" they buzz and gangle no matter where i put my fingers on the frets.. it sucks, plus the sound isn't really any better. should i tighten up the strings so that they don't buzz or should i just leave it because it's normal. any advise would be appreciated, other than a new guitar! :spit: :bassist:
  2. Well, to start off, congradulations on the new bass. With regards to the buxx and gangle my first idea that came to mind was that maybee the action is set too low. The action (if you didn't know,) is how high above the fretboard/bass the strings are set. Possibly if you got the action raised it should sound better. I'm not a profesional but i was fooling around with the action on one of my basses once and when it was too low i got a lot of fret buzz and such. Hope it helps.
  3. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    You just need to have it properly set up to get rid of the Frett buzz, However the sound will still be displeasing.
  4. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    More of a Setup issue, moved to the appropriate forum.
  5. Lets get some basics out of the way here...

    The neck of a guitar is not a perfectly stiff, unbendable object. It is flexible and this flexibility is quite evident when the tension from the strings is present. Because the neck bends from string tension, manufacturers install a device in the neck called a "trussrod" that can be adjusted to counteract the tension from the strings and bring the neck back into a straight, playable form.

    The term ACTION refers to the very small measurement of the distance between the top of the frets and the bottom of the strings with the guitar at rest. This small dimension is one of the more important ones in assuring a comfortable playing instrument. High "actions" can reguire more movement to fret the note and while low actions can be almost effortless. There are no wrong ways to set action - it's all a matter of preference. Setting the action is done primarily through the raising or lowering of the saddles on the bridge of the instrument.

    The term RELIEF is another small measurement of the space between the fret and the string but is completely different from ACTION and is adjusted in a completely different way. Relief is a measurement of how much bow is allowed to remain in the neck from the string pull. A guitar neck usually has to have a small amount of bow - measured in thousandths of an inch - to allow all of the strings to be fretted on the upper frets (1-5) without buzzing on frets further down the neck. It's a matter of getting the proper geometry between the string, neck, nut, and bridge. Relief is measured by pressing down on the string at the second fret and at the 14th and measuring the distance between the fret and bottom of that string at the 7th fret. That small amount you see there is all that keeps most instruments from playing well. Relief is adjusted using the trussrod mentioned above. While the strings pull on the headstock in one direction, the trussrod is tightened to counteract that tension in the other. When the balance between the two is so close as to allow only .020" to .030" to be measured between the 7th fret and the string in the way described above - that's a well adjusted relief for the majority of players but it's again, a matter of personal preference.

    These measurements and adjustments, when done correctly and brought into balance, are the only way to have a good playing instrument. They must be done in a particular way and in a particular order to get right. None of the adjustments or measurements can be substituted for one of the others. Each has their own precise place in the equation of the perfect setup.

    In my opinion, all new instruments should be checked out and setup to playable standards by a qualified technician before any serious attempt is made to learn with them. Unfortunately the manufacturers don't take enough pride in their product (at this price level) and don't have the foresight to understand that unplayable instruments are just that - unplayable. This process isn't extremely hard or extemely complicated but it DOES require the dedication and aptitude to want to learn it and then learn it cold. A large portion of the members of TalkBass have learned how to do their own setups right here and now won't have anyone but themselves touch their instruments. IMO, that's what all serious players and hobbyists should do. Not only does it save money, it assures you that your instruments will always be playable to your specifications and, should conditions change or your tastes change - you can change your setup right along with them.

    Look at the top of this forum to begin your education. Read, then download and keep for reference, everything in those sites. If you come across a term or concept that baffles you, don't assume that it's got to be something like this or that...ASK! or more precisely, ASK HERE! We will set you straight. This is an empowering skill that you can acquire in an afternoon if you are inclined to. It will set you apart from your yahoo buddies that have guitars that aren't in tune, won't stay in tune and aren't playable at any tuning at all and you won't be paying the Ogs with stone tools down at Guitar Center to work on your own precious instruments. You'll be doing it on your own and laughing at the rest!

    I hope this helps.