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Fret buzz with high action and straight neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Beth McPherson, Mar 8, 2020.


  1. Beth McPherson

    Beth McPherson

    Jan 19, 2020
    Hi all!

    I recently purchased an EBMM Stingray 5 string HH and I'm getting fret buzz all over the neck on all strings. The action is a bit higher than I like and the neck appears to be pretty straight when I fret the first and last frets and look at the space between the fret and the string at the 8th fret. It seems like the right amount of space is between the strings and the frets there. I've tried adding relief as well as lessening the relief and still have fret buzz. I haven't messed with the saddles too much. Any advice?
     
  2. JKos

    JKos

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Do you any numbers for relief and action? Are you playing hard? What strings are on it? Did it do it when you bought it or start later?

    - John
     
    Vinny_G likes this.
  3. AEVAREX

    AEVAREX

    Jun 10, 2013
    Western Ma.
    Does it happen on open strings as well? If it only happens on fretted notes it could be back buzz from the nut slots being too low.
     
  4. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    There are a lot of possibilities; insufficient relief, ski slope, poor fret level,neck twist etc. You are going to have to do some basic measurements to find the cause.
     
    Vinny_G likes this.
  5. Beth McPherson

    Beth McPherson

    Jan 19, 2020
    The string height at the 12th fret is about .100 mm. If I strike an open string even moderately hard, it will rattle. Even when I'm playing fairly lightly, the string will rattle when I am fretting.
     
  6. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Let me ask you to clarify: You’re saying the string height, unfretted, is 0.10mm — one-tenth of a millimeter? That’s very low. Normal would be about 2.5mm on the bass side.
     
  7. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
  8. Beth McPherson

    Beth McPherson

    Jan 19, 2020
    My apologies; I was looking at the inches side. It's 3.5 millimeters on the bass side and 2.5 millimeters on the treble side.
     
    Stevorebob likes this.
  9. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Take it to a pro.
     
    btmpancake likes this.
  10. Buzzing open strings with high action usually means the nut slots are too deep, or you have insufficient downward break angle from nut to tuners. Of course, it's only a guess without having it in my hands.

    If the break angle is sufficient, you may be able to keep the nut as-is if you put even a slight amount of relief back in the neck. I'd twist the rod 1/4 turn counter-clockwise and see if the buzz on open strings goes away. If so, you'll know that was the problem.
     
  11. Beth McPherson

    Beth McPherson

    Jan 19, 2020
    I was thinking the break angle might be an issue. So by putting more relief in the neck, wouldn't that raise the action? Would I then use the bridge saddles to adjust the action?
     
    electracoyote likes this.
  12. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I still say take it to a pro. Even if the nut slots are too low, that doesn't explain the buzzing on any of the fretted notes.
     
  13. Yes, putting relief in the neck will raise the action slightly and if you want to get it back down you would lower the saddles and re-intonate.

    Taking all relief out of the neck will expose even the slightest uneveness in the frets, which could contribute to the buzzing fretted notes. Ideally, you get your frets leveled, but sometimes a slight relief will cure the buzzing.

    If these tasks are outside your skill set and you're just not able to dial the bass in to your playing needs you should take it to a reputable tech for an evaluation. Pretty close to impossible for any of us to say with any certainty without holding it in our hands.
     
    AEVAREX likes this.
  14. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    When a neck buzzes everywhere, that usually means that the problem is at the heel. Either a "ski jump" condition, or one of the last frets is high.
     
    rockinrayduke and Lownote38 like this.
  15. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    ^^^^ This!
     
  16. Beth McPherson

    Beth McPherson

    Jan 19, 2020
    I think I've got a ski jump problem :crying: I played around a bit with the saddles and measured at the 12th fret and the 21st. The 12th fret measured 2.5 mm and the 21st was 2 mm.
     

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