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Fret buzz in one specific area

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassplayer60, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. Please tell me if this is a 'luthier' problem?

    My bass originally had a rosewood neck
    which worked fine, but I had it replaced with
    a maple neck...I slap so I wanted that more
    compressed sound...etc.

    I like my action as low as I can get it...I like
    the ability to get a good 'growl' sound when
    I play hard, and sound changes when I play
    soft...so my action is quite low.

    Problem...When i replaced the neck with the maple...the sound in all areas were okay except around the19th to the 20, or 21st fret / on the E, A and D strings only. I have a 'neck contact' / therefore fret buzz so bad that it chokes off the sound of the strings.

    Do you think it could be a bad fret, or would it
    be a neck problem? The neck is new...should I return it to the factory / dealer?

    They already worked on it once, saying that they think it was a bad fret...buzz still there.

    Any help appreciated.

    Aloha from Hawaii

  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder

    Without seeing the neck it is impossible to be perfectly accurate with a diagnosis, however, I suspect that you should be able to have the last few frets shaved and redressed to get rid of the buzz. There could be a "hump" in the fingerboard, but unless it's too big a hump, you should be able to shave down and redress the frets to compensate for it.

    Any good guitar repair shop should be able to do this. Many luthiers/guitar techs will actually "slope" down (ie: shave them more than the rest of the frets...) the last few frets to get around just this problem. That way the last few frets are progressively lower in profile.

    Lastly, depending on how low you do run your action (I too, run mine MUCH lower than most, which requires me to shave my frets and dress them down accordingly), it will take more time and attention to be able to get the action where you want it.

    Bottom line? Find a good, local luthier/guitar tech to do the fret shaving and dressing for you.

  3. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    It sound like you possibly have one or more high frets but it would still be wise to have it checked out.