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Fret Buzz, middle of neck, fix?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Mar 24, 2002.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Hi all,

    I have fret buzz starting around the fifth frett going down to roughly the 10th or so. All strings are doing it but the A string is the worst. I assume that this is probably a truss adjustment thing. The other fretts are vitually buzz free. Which way would I turn the truss rod (clockwise or counter clockwise) to cure this? I know only to turn the truss roughly 1/8 turn and let it sit for lots of hours to let it take. I realize that raising the bridge might help a little, but this will raise my action (a bad thing for me) and prob not cure the real problem which I believe to be a truss issue. So if my theory is right, I just need to adjust the truss but I'm just not sure which way to turn it. Help please :)

  2. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Turn it to the left , counterclockwise. Loosenining the TR allows the string tension to increase the relief. Be sure to retune to standard pitch after each adjustment.
  3. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Thanks PKr2!!!!!
  4. PeninaD


    May 26, 2001
    Me, I only have fret buzz on A string, 7th fret...no other string, no other fret...so I really don't think it is novice me causing this.
    Driving me nuts...anyone know a really good luthier in the Poconos (PA)???
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Hi Quadzilla, It seems by your description that your neck is bowed. To solve this problem, you need to tighten the truss rod by turning it clock wise, straightninigthe neck. After you straighten the neck, you'll need to raise the action on the string.

    If you loosen the neck, the bow will become worse & the buzz w/become worse.
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I believe you may want to rethink this advice.
    75fjbass likes this.
  7. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    thats what I was thinking, sounds like you need to increase the relief or "bow". Like pkr2 said
  8. Jeb T

    Jeb T

    Feb 19, 2002
    San Carlos, CA
    I've got a buzz on the 12th fret, D string. It's also on the 11th and 13th frets, but not as bad. Do you folks think this might be a relief problem solved by truss-rod adjustment (like above) or a problem with frets?

  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I did & I beleive my advise is the best advise from the problem he is describing.
  10. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Now I am confused. I have been told that tightening the the truss (clockwise) give the neck more bow. Loosening the neck gives less bow. That's what others have said but now Nino says the opposite. What do I do??? :confused: :confused:

  11. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Quad, The adjustment is easily reversible if you go the wrong way. May I suggest that you just try loosening the TR by a little more than 1/8 turn, let the bass set for a little while and see if the problem improves. If not, it can be adjusted the other way.

    A quick check that can be made without even touching the TR nut is to simply tune the bass about one fret above standard pitch and try it. If the problem improves or goes away, you have proven that the neck needs relief. The extra tension on the strings will increase the relief.

    Don't tune any more than 1 fret higher because even if the string(s) doesn't break, it will stretch the string too much.

    Nino, I still think you need to rethink your advice.:)

    My experience has been that a buzz near the nut on open strings calls for a nut or tilt adjustment. Around the middle of the neck, a TR adjustment, and towards the bridge end of the neck, a bridge height adjustment. There may be some slight interaction between the adjustments.

    I repeat, loosening the truss rod allows the pull of the strings to increase the relief which gives the string room enough to vibrate without touching the frets.

    If what I'm saying is incorrect, I need to do some rethinking. :)
  12. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    PLEASE excuse the BAD drawing I did on my computer, As you can see I better @ playing bass that messing w/my computer. ;)
    <IMG SRC="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?s=&postid=488965">
    This is (supposed to be) a side view of a bowed neck. He said he only has buzzing in the middle whick is normal w/a bowed neck. When playing on the upper frets (1st-5th lets say) there is no buzz. Playing higher on the neck there is no buzz (12th-last fret) BUT IN THE MIDDLE, if you press the string, there is no clearence for the string to ring. While you are holding the string on lets say the 7th fret, the string is going to lay on the rest of the frets. Depending on how bad the bow, the buzzing will be worse. If you straighten the neck, the action will be too low. so you have to raise your action accordingly to suit your needs.

    I still feel that I'm right. :p :D
  13. catwig1


    Mar 4, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    I think Nino is right.

  14. Nino would be right if the neck were attached to the bass half-way down. it's not, though. it's attached at the end.

    according to nino's model, as you increase the bow in the neck, both ends of the neck are raised, which would mean more buzzing in the middle of the neck.

    when you lossen the truss rod, the nut-end is raised slightly, but the bredge-end of the fingerboard stays still.

    that doesn't mean nino's wrong in the logic behind the problem, though. it does sound like the neck is bowed that way.

    i think the fix may be some shims in the neck pocket, and a truss rod adjustment......rather than just raising the action. that way, you bring the angles of both ends of the neck down a little......
  15. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Ninos model would be closer to correct if the relief were not spread over the entire neck. Also a string doesn't describe a straight line as it vibrates. Its vibration profile closely matches the relief profile on a properly adjusted neck.

    The relief occurs only in the half of the neck at the headstock end. The strings on a properly adjusted neck, for all practical purposes, are paralell to the fingerboard over the bridge half of the neck.

    I don't believe there is any possible scenerio where decreasing the relief will correct a buzz anywhere on the neck. Tightening the TR can only decrease the relief.

    The truss rod is the only adjustment that affects only the middle of the neck. There is no way that decreasing relief can do anything but aggravate a buzz problem anywhere on the neck.

    I am aware that changing relief changes the heigth of the headstock in relation to the plane of the body but it only does so on the order of a few thousandths of an inch.

    Anyone that doubts what I'm saying can easily prove it to themselves.

    Tighten the truss rod in very small increments untill the neck becomes nearly straight. Check to see if it's developed a buzz anywhere on the neck. If it hasn't, continue to tighten the TR untill it barely develops a buzz. I can gaurantee that the first place the neck will start buzzing will be around the middle of the neck if everything else is adjusted properly.

    All that I can say is to try it.

    By the way, Nino, we are clear that this is a friendly discussion, right? I will admit that you have me thinking. :)

    DISCLAIMER: Keep your cotton picking hands off the TR unless you have a clear understanding of the procedure. A bass can be totally destroyed in less than a heartbeat if you don't know what you're doing.

  16. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I still think I'm right;) If the neck is too tight, it'll start buzzing even @ the 1st fret. IMO, I like alittle bow in the neck & the action alittle higher that most people like. But when people play my basses they say the the feel great. :)
  17. *pops head in* what on earth are you boys doing in here! ;)

    I'm keeping a close eye on this one....

    If i hear any slapping or screaming, or crying i will have to shut this baby down.... :rolleyes:


  18. JoeyRamone9

    JoeyRamone9 disabled

    Mar 30, 2002
    YOUR BASS NECK IS BENT sorry to tell you, but i had that too, look straight down the bass starting from the necklook down it parralel with the strings, it might be bent:(
  19. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    We "boys" (I'm 64 and Nino is 29) are having a friendly discussion about truss rod adjustment.

    Why are you keeping such a close eye on this one, boss man? I haven't seen anything in this thread that remotely resembles a flame. Have you?

    No slapping or screaming but Nino is making faces at me when you're not looking. Make him stop!

    Seriously, Merle, wouldn't a discussion board be pretty bland without discussion?

    Pkr2 :confused:
  20. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Well then. :) :) :)

    Joey, your signature I don't understand.

    Why would it bother me if your underpants ride up?


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