Fret Buzz on D string below 7th fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Phantasm, Sep 8, 2010.


  1. Phantasm

    Phantasm I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

    Sep 16, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    I've been enjoying my new Sadowsky Metro, but I've noticed that there's fret buzz on the D string below the 7th fret, even if the string is open there's a light drag that makes it a little lower output than the other strings. It sounds like the note is "choked" a little causing less clean vibration.

    I've also noticed that if I fret the 7th fret of the E and the 7th fret of the G, the notes choke if I play the two strings at the same time. 7th E / 8th G works, though.

    I've got the strings 5/32 off the last fret on the E and A, 4/32 on the D and G.

    Is this a job for the truss rod? The bass came to super humid south Louisiana from NYC, so I'm guessing it's going to be something to do with that.
     
  2. gfgfgf

    gfgfgf

    Apr 27, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    tighten the truss rod a bit, wait 5 mins and see what happens.
     
  3. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Basically speaking, what you are hearing is the difference between a B minor 3rd and a B major 3rd and is caused by the frequency of the two notes interfering or adding to each other. In the bass guitar frequency range this is normal. Notice if you play the same two patterns above the 12th fret (with less low boost on the amp) they start sounding better.

    mech
     
  4. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    A lot of things could be causing the buzz from the D below the 7th fret: unlevel frets, too little neck relief (too tight a truss rod), etc. It is hard to say without actually seeing the bass, but the first thing I would check would be the relief; how much is there on the D string? (let us know how you measure the relief, some guys press the 1st and 17th frets and check the relief under the 7th, other guys do something similar but press down the 1st and last frets).

    If there is less than about .008"-ish, you might need a little more relief for the D string's elliptical vibrations to avoid the frets (adding relief means loosening the truss rod). You could also look at the nut slot the D string sits in, does it look too wide or narrow? How is the break angle from the D string past the nut as it goes to the tuners? Press the D string down at the 3rd fret, how much space is there between the string and the first fret? If there isn't any space, the nut could be too low for the D-string, this could cause the problem with the open string (but not the buzzing below the 7th fret).
     
  5. Phantasm

    Phantasm I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

    Sep 16, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    If I hold down the 1st and 17th frets, the string is touching the top of the 7th fret. I turned the truss rod to the left a bit, after it sat for a few minutes the buzz is going away. I lowered the string height and now and I'll see how it fares as the evening goes on.
     
  6. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Hey Phantasm,

    I figured that too little relief would be the cause, that string touching the top of the 7th fret definitely means you had no relief (or maybe even a little backbow). Let us know how much relief the neck has after the adjustment. I'm glad to hear the buzz is going away!
     
  7. Phantasm

    Phantasm I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

    Sep 16, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Overnight the buzzies are all gone, and I've got even volume across all four strings. Thanks for the help!
     
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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