Does string buzzing really matter?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RickenbackeR, Aug 10, 2000.

  1. RickenbackeR


    Mar 28, 2000
    I was experimenting with the action of my ric the other day and i found a string height that i really, really like. However, it makes the strings buzz against the fingerboard when i play on certain frets. I noticed the buzzing when i was playing unplugged, but when i plugged it into my amp and cranked it up, the buzz was gone.

    My question is, if i cannot notice the buzz through the amp, does it really matter? Is it bad for the neck/strings/etc? Thanks for the info.

  2. mr2112


    Mar 31, 2000
    Technically speaking, I dunno, but I've had my 4001 set like that for many years, and have had no problems. I can hear it acoustically(sp), but when I plug it in, I hear nothing but a KILLER tone!! RIICC!!!:D:D

    BTW, Looks like your sig. works now...YIPPEE!

    [Edited by mr2112 on 08-11-2000 at 12:10 AM]
  3. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    the bass i currently use does the same thing, i dont think it does any wrong to the bass though, i also dont hear the buzz when plugged in, i never really thought anything of it though even though ive noticed it


    Mar 3, 2000
    some people make their basses do that (John Paul Jones). say if you like the action and it does not choke sustain then it is fine. But if those frets that buzz don't sustain to your liking raise it up just a little. I have a bass i have been playing for four years that did buzz,does buzz, and god willing always will buzz i think its kinda cool.
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the only thing i would worry about is the fact that the buzzing is uneven - there on some frets, not on others. the ideal setting is the same amount of buzz on all the frets. :D

    seriously, what you are saying could mean that your bass needs a fret job, and with the bound neck, that is not a job for the mediocre repair man. still, a level and crown should do the trick, if you can find a guy who is competent.
  6. Chop


    Dec 12, 1999
    I don't know if I would go as far as saying that you should get an even buzz across all of your neck.... I know V. Wooten has a tone of buzz going on on his neck cuz of the low action..probably won't matter. When I leveled my frets on my current bass, I brought a couple down too far. It hasn't made any noticeable difference. Also, depending on your style (mine is light-fingerstyle, I don't dig way in) you may not here buzz as much..but if someone who does dig way in played it would be buzzing all over the place.
  7. Acheiving the ultimate low action is always a compromise of fret buzz vs. low strings. You have to find the balance that works for you. If you can't hear it buzzing when you play then there's no problem.
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i'll say it again - if you are experiencing fret buzz only on some frets and not others it could be indicative of needing a fretjob. something you _definitely_ don't want to attempt yourself, especially with a ric, which has a bound neck, making the job more difficult.

    if the strings are buzzing the most down at the lowest frets, near the nut, your nut grooves may be too deep. this was the case for my ric back when i used to play it, i took the top metal cuff off of some pencils, flattened them with a pliers, and bent them into a triangle shape around my strings where they sit in the nut. this helped my strings stay seated in the nut better, a bit higher, and minimized fret buzz on the lowest frets. and was cheaper than a new nut. :D
  9. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I've always been told that buzz is ok as long as it isn't hear through the amp. But then again a lot of pro players actually use the buzz to their advantage. I guess it's however you want to sound. I personally hate it (which is why I have gotten used to a very high action).
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i like a little buzz evenly across the neck, which manifests itself momentarily on every note attack - makes it sound a little distorted, and also helps my attack have more percussiveness to it.
  11. RickenbackeR


    Mar 28, 2000
    Hey guys, thanx for all the replies, now i feel more confident that my buzzing is ok.

    JT, thanx for your concern, i understand how uneven buzz could mean that my neck is warped or something. Actually, my fret buzzes pretty evenly, its just that it all depends on how fast im playing, how hard im plucking and if i'm using a pick or not (which i do once in a while). The thing is that generally i play around the same frets with the same speed and strength (because of my style), so it might seem like there is more buzzing there. I don't know if im making any sense. For example, generally i play open notes slowly and frets 5 to 9 pretty fast, and then around 12 slow again.. its just my thing.. makes sense now? I hope so.

    And about fixing uneven neck, i would never try to do it myself.. i just know i would screw something up :)