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Fret buzz on E string at the 6th fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dessunx, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. dessunx


    Dec 2, 2008
    My Ken Smith BSR5GN played like a dream when I bought it last year. Action was right with no buzz on the frets. I left it in a mono bag standing upright for the past 2 or 3 months without much action since acquiring other basses. Yesterday when I took it out for a spin, I noticed a bad fret buzz on the E string at the 6th fret. There is a slight buzz on the B string at the same place but it is not as pronounced. What possibly be wrong here?
  2. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Could be a high fret. My Ric 4003 has the same issue, only around the 7-9 frets on the E string. My tech is working on it as we speak. He adjusted the truss rod to see if it would level some on its own but if not, some fine filing work.
  3. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    I have no idea what the weather is like where you are at this time of year.

    I am in Northeast US and here's what happens in my area:

    Since necks forward bow in the dryness of winter, I usually tweak truss rods to lessen the seasonal increase in relief. That works well if the bass is racked, is hanging on the wall or is in a case off the floor.

    When I put a bass in a bag anywhere near the floor for more than a day or two, even if it's just the tail end of the bass touching the floor, increased moisture will migrate inside the bag and the neck will backbow a bit. The amount of relief is reduced and I get fret buzzes.

    When that happens, I don't adjust the rod - I just move the bass away from the floor and give it a couple of days out of the bag in a drier area, which usually does the trick. I try to avoid tweaking the rod and chasing around after neck movement as much as I can.

    Check your neck relief and see if it isn't less than what you had it set at when you stood the bass on the floor.

    There's an easy way to monitor this type of change. When you put the bass in the bag, have it properly tuned. Then when you take the bass out again after being near the floor, check the tuning again. If the neck has back bowed a bit, the strings will be sharp when you go to retune.
  4. dessunx


    Dec 2, 2008
    Thanks for the reply thus far. I doubt it is a fret issue as the buzz was not there previously. As for the climate, I stay in Singapore where there isn't significant change in weather. I can't rule out that the neck has not moved though. If this is the case, won't there be buzz on other frets as well instead of just the 6th fret?
  5. dessunx


    Dec 2, 2008
    Sent the bass for a checkup yesterday. The nut was found to be low. After the nut was shimmed and a setup was done, now the bass plays perfectly.

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