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Fret buzz on high frets, but not on all strings

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Funky Maple, Dec 9, 2018.


  1. Funky Maple

    Funky Maple

    Nov 9, 2018
    Romania
    Hi! I have an MIM Jazz that is buzzing quite badly starting at around frets 9-10 and all the way to the heel, but only on the A and D strings. The E and G are clean on all frets. Is it a truss rod adjustment or saddle height? I've screwed up a Precision before while adjusting the truss rod so I'm really cautious now.
     
  2. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    How did you screw up a precision adjusting the truss rod?

    Was it always buzzing, or is this a new phenomenon? How long have you had the bass?

    To try to figure out the problem:
    1) Is the buzz coming from the nut side of the strings or the bridge side of the strings? Check to see if the buzz is there when plugged in or if it gets quiet when listening to the abilities sound. Or try muting the nut side of the string and setting off the bus goes away.
    2) How much relief it's in your neck? Take a straight edge along the neck and measure the distance from the 7th fret to the straight edge. You can use the string by putting a capo at the first fret and holding the string at the last fret. Is there any space between the string and the fret?
    3) How high is the not set to? Fretting between the 2nd and 3rd frets, is there any space between the 1st fret and the string?
    4) How high is your action? Measure the height of the strings from the 12th fret.
    5) Are there any high [spots] on the frets? You would need a fret [rocker] for this.

    Getting this information would be therethe he start of trying to diagnose what you need to do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  3. Funky Maple

    Funky Maple

    Nov 9, 2018
    Romania
    I put high tension flatwounds on it and tightened the truss rod to counteract the increased tension and the neck eventually warped and the truss rod stopped working.

    1) The buzz is coming from the bridge side
    2) The relief is about a credit card width, maybe a tiny bit more
    3) The nut seems fine; I get no buzzes there either
    4, 5) I don't have a ruler with me so it's hard to get an actual dimension
     
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Nothing to do with the relief on frets up that high. Set your string height to eliminate the buzz. If it’s too high, you may have a high fret or a ski jump at the heel.
     
  5. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    Has the bass always buzzed? Or is this a new phenomenon after changing something?

    If the bridge side is the area you are getting buzz and you have normal neck relief which it sounds like, then the two possibilities are a high area on one or more of the frets, a warped neck (ski jump), ill fitting neck pocket, or a low bridge saddle.

    You diagnose the unlevel fret with a fret rocker across three frets. You can have an unlevel part of a fret even. You fix unlevel frets by fret leveling and recrowning.

    A ski jump or a bad neck pocket joint you diagnose by measuring the point of maximum deviation. With a normal neck, this should be around midway at the 7th fret. With a ski jump, this would be near the 14th fret. If this is the case, you can try shimming the neck, but you will ultimately never get it to work right. Getting the Facts about Ski Jumps

    If it is a low bridge saddle, everything else would be normal, but your string action would be low. It is normal for this to be around 2-3mm and slightly higher on the bass side at the 17th fret on the Fender website. You will need a ruler where the rules come all the way to the edge of the ruler.

    This may be of use to you.
    How do I set up my bass guitar properly?

    I would generally agree except if the relief is really very high, in which case you can get back buzz on the nut side. I had this happen to me this year for the first time in my playing history. It was fixed by taking some relief out of the neck and lowering the nut height.
     
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I never knew you needed a ticket to have a door on your frets. Well, you learn something every day.
     
    96tbird likes this.
  7. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    LMAO! Spots and fret rocker, respectively. Auto correct and not reading. I edited the previous post if someone reads mine and is wondering what is up.
     
    96tbird likes this.
  8. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I really doubt the truss rod stopped working. You probably stripped the truss rod adjustment nut.

    Which is why you should only do it if you have a good truss rod driver. Don't use Allen keys.
     
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    An allen key is the right tool for the job - so long as you use the correct size and use it properly.
     
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  10. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    If I set up my bass by eye, Iend up with lower action on the A and D strings than on the E or G, but it looks right, and those strings will buzz.

    If I then set it up with a gauge set to my fretboard radius, I realize that I need the A and D yo be higher for the strings to follow the fretboard radius.

    You might just need the proper tool to set your bass up right. Stew Mac carries them.
     

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