fret buzzing

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by koty, Jan 23, 2009.

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  1. I, for one, completely support the idea of curing fret buzz with higher action:)
  2. This is a subject that can open a can of worms in it's own right.

    There are a few different camps as to what part the nut plays in the initial setup process. Roger Sadowsky has openly said that he can't quantify an exact number for nut slot height. I found that curious. You can go to his website and see a video of him talking about his instruments. Very much worth watching.

    While we are talking about a musical instrument, we are also talking about a technical tool. There should be a way to mathmatically derive an absolute minimum starting point dimension. After looking at the issue it's more work than it's worth. It's easier to start high and work down. Everything about an instrument is ruled by math. This is my opinion on the variables of nut slot height.

    Some people set relief tighter than spec, some looser than spec. As a general rule, without changing your action. A straighter neck will require a slight bit more slot height, than a looser neck. This is why it is important to set your relief, then your action, then start lowering your nut slots. Most basses come with slots that leave some room for adjustment. My Geddy was cut so low that I need to run .015" relief to minimize fret buzz in the first few frets. My action is at 5/64-4/64 across the bass.

    Two necks milled to the same dimension will minutely bend differently under the same load. Each piece of wood is unique, and reacts differently to the same load. Not all necks are milled to the same profile so they all bend differently under a load.

    Example, If I set my bass to a zero relief condition, and then cut my nut slot so that I have 1/64" at the first fret. Then I loosen the trussrod so that the bass has .015" of relief. My initial cut will read higher at the first fret. The neck has bowed ever so slightly increasing that distance. Depending on how the neck is profiled will determine the overall bend in the neck.

    Your bass neck is essentially one half of a bow. My Geddy neck bends much more in the last few frets than my Precision neck. Even with both basses showing the same relief, they will show different bends along the length.

    I have my standard jazz set with a relief of .012". I can lower it as low as .010. My nut slot height is right in between 1/64, and 2/64. To get it down to, .010" I then need to play easier when in first position. I don't want to do that, so I keep it at .012" and can play my own style.

    I have the Geddy setup to the exact same action setting, but I have to run the relief at .015" to have the same playability as the standard. The geddy plays like the standard does at .010", when it is set to .012" relief. The nut on that bass is cut to 1/64". They feel about the same but there are minute differences between them. The differences in the final slot height have an effect on how tight I can set my minimum relief.

    So. final slot height is dependant on your relief, and action. If you know exactly where you want your numbers to fall, then you can finesse your slots to their absolute lowest. Slot height is important for the most part in only the first couple frets . Normally, the relief after the 2nd fret is enough to leave adequete clearance.

    Having the slots to high has it's own issues to deal with. Slots that are to high, excessively so, can manifest playability issues much further up the board.

    I change most of my basses nuts as a normal course of my intial setup. I just don't like the cheap plastic nuts on most basses. The Geddy still wears the factory nut. I don't feel like dealing with the binding and the poly.

    Gotta go for the night will check back tomorrow.
  3. Buzzing where on the neck? Frets 1-8 9-20? Each part of the neck has a different place to start the process of dialing out the fret buzz.
  4. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    You know what? This thread represents what us long time S&R folks despise about internet message boards. This is not how we roll, and anyone who's been here for any length of time knows this.

    If the OP wants this re-opened he/she should feel free to pm me. Beyond that; closed.
  5. stinkyfingers


    Feb 10, 2008
  6. Essthreetee


    Aug 19, 2007
    Visalia, CA
    Just reading through this thread and found this statement...I hope you don't mind...but I am gonna quote you...
  7. If I had anything to do with this, I'm sorry. I was only trying to help. From now on I'll try to stick to, as a poster, threads that I either know more about or that have nothing to do with "right" or "wrong" answers, and are more subjective.

    :confused: :(

    Regardless, I have gleaned some valuable information from this thread, including the most recent post from mrhardy, who obviously knows what he is talking about. :) I hope that OP is able to solve his/her issue, which is really the most important thing.

    - kdiggity -
  8. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    It was not any one single poster, and as long as you are respectful you should contribute anywhere and way you want.

    And I forgot to actually pull the trigger, so...
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    Sep 22, 2021

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