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Fretless buzz on the Ab

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jimmy rocket, Sep 8, 2008.


  1. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Perhaps the specificity of my problem was beyond the capacity of the almighty "search, "I've searched and I've read plenty before posting, so if I missed something and someone can point me in the right direction that would be fine.

    I just picked up a SX SPB-57 fretless off of the bay, and overall I'm quite happy with the bass. A few mods like upgrading the pots and a new bridge and I'm off right? Wrong.

    I set it up approximately the same as my other basses, but I get this terrible string buzz on the "fretted" Ab (E string). No where else is there buzzing, and if I play it a tad sharp or flat it goes away, but dead on the Ab and the buzz returns.

    I've got the action set medium to high (hey I'm a bolt on Fender guy), and I'll admit this is my first setup on a fretless, but I set my other basses up all the time with no problems.

    Anything I can do to alleviate the problem? Is it an uneven fret-board or something?

    2840761704_32c0567174_b.
     
  2. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    bump for luck
     
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    It sounds like a classic case of a slight hump in the fingerboard. My fretless does the same on Bb - I just haven't gotten around to levelling the board yet. Why is it that my own basses have to wait at the end of the line? :rolleyes:
     
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Just noticed that your bass is a lined fretless. It could be that the fretline is slightly raised or lowered at the Ab position. You shouldn't be able to feel the fret line at all. If you can it will need to be levelled.
     
  5. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Thanks. I've never leveled a fret-board. Is this something that I could do myself or should I seek out a tech? I'm pretty adventurous with my instruments and I like to learn to do things myself.
     
  6. therex

    therex

    Jun 24, 2007
    lima
    if your freatboard has some kind of finish take it to a pro
    if not just sand it a bit
     
  7. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    It has that vintage "nuclear orange" clear coat that SX puts on their basses, but I went after it with some sandpaper anyway. I started getting down to the wood so I decided to remove the finish from the whole fret-board and sand it smooth. It looks nice w/o the finish, and is much smoother to play. The buzz is almost completely eliminated (almost). I'm tempted to remove the finish from the back of the neck too.

    pics forthcoming
     
  8. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    It's not a good idea to leave maple unfinished - it will be affected by changes in humidity. Rosewood boards and other oily woods are much less affected, but maple does react to the moisture content of its surroundings.

    If you have removed all of the finish on the fingerboard, I recommend that you put some back on. And I recommend against removing the finish from the back of the neck for the same reason.
     
  9. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    That's what I had decided as well. What would you recommend? Poly? Epoxy?
     
  10. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Turnaround,

    thanks for pointing me in the right direction. The fingerboard is nice and flat now, no more buzzing. After reading up on the subject a bit, I'm leaning toward an oiled fingerboard rather than poly or epoxy. I like the way it feels right now, I just want to protect it and shine it up a bit.

    thoughts?
     
  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I have never found oil to be an adequate sealer for maple. I prefer lacquer. Poly is OK, and lots of folk swear by epoxy, but it's the most difficult to apply and finish.

    If you insist on going with oil, well - it's better than nothing. But not by much.
     
  12. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    So here's the neck thus far. I've applied a sealing oil stain and multiple layers of tung oil that have dried into a nice smooth and hard finish (clearly not as hard as poly or epoxy, but harder than I expected.) I then buffed it with rubbing compound to a nice smooth and fast surface.

    Sounds great, and no more buzz

    2850884332_2e46122983_b.
     

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