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got my bass out of shop, but crazy fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by xcental34x, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    I picked up my Stingray from TK on Tuesday and I play a couple of notes and first thing I notice above anything is that the fret buzz on it is ridiculous. This guy is known for doing great work, and he did on everything else. The neck is straight as an arrow, the action is perfect except its set radii style, and the fretboard is the cleanest i've ever seen. So what should I do? Take it back and ask him to adjust it?

  2. I would. If you paid the guy to set it up and it isn't to your liking then you should take it back. I always make it a point to play it in the shop after its set up just in case it isnt to my liking.
  3. MMSterling

    MMSterling Guest

    Feb 19, 2004
    Leicester, England
    Definately take it back and ask him to re-adjust it. I'm sure that the guy strives for perfection so I doubt he would have any problem with you asking. So yeah, go get it sorted :p !

  4. If the action and neck are to your liking...it might be a bad fret that need to be filed...
    Id take it back and get your tech to look at it.
  5. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    My guess would be a high fret that needs to be filed, or maybe the neck is too straight... the truss rod might need some loosening
  6. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Well, I took it back. He adjusted the action. I played a few notes at the end of the fretboard and slap, alittle buzz, but I settled on it. Well I got home and start playing some of my bands songs, which include alot of notes around the 7-8th frets, and it was just as bad as before. I tried adjusting the action myself, I raised it pretty much as high as it would go and it the string tension was too high, so I set it back down to as close to TK's set up as I could get. What do I do now? Take it back and tell him to try again? Take it to another place? Try myself?

    I didn't pay $40 for a set up with lots of fret buzz, when I could taken it to a closer shop for $30. Everyone was telling me TK is the best around and that he does amazing work. I expected better.


  7. Take it back again.

    I have a question for you though, does the bass buzz through your amp when you are playing (with TK's setup) around the 7th -8th fret? Buzzing on a bass that does not come through the amp is acceptable to most players.

  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Yeh my first thought when you said he set the neck as straight as an arrow was that string slap doesn't come through the amp. Which is not a problem in my book.

    Historically I figure if a jobs not done right the first time, I don't give someone a second chance, let alone a third. Whether I go back is just my gut response to the person I'm dealing with and what my alternatives are.

    But it seems some miscommunication is going on here somewhere. Sounds like you've taken you're crack at it yourself without satisfaction so I'd take it back to him, tell him exactly what you want out of the bass and ask him if he's seen anything in jacking with the bass that would indicate that's not going to happen without surgery.

    If you decide to give him another go, clearly define what payment will be forthcoming depending on the results. You may not have to pay anything. You may have to pay for a whole new setup since you jacked with it. You may not have to pay at all if he doesn't produce the desired result. Or you may have to pay regardless. But spell it out before hand. And if you don't feel good about the conversation that's transpired - take your bass to the other place.
  9. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    I suggest that you at least diagnose the problem so that you know what's causing the buzz. Buzzing problems have very predictable causes. There are only a very few things that can cause fret buzz.

    these causes are usually lack of relief, bridge saddles too low, twisted neck or faulty frets. buzzing on open srings suggests a miscut or worn nut slot.

    There are any number of people here that can diagnose what the problem is if you give us enough info to go on. First, You actually messed up a bit when you started adjusting it yourself without knowing what the problem really was. NEVER make any adjustment unless you KNOW what the normal result should be.

    I wouldn't be too down on your setup tech untill you are sure that he's at fault. Things like humidity and temp changes can drasticaly affect the setup of a bass, especially if you request that the action be set as low as possible. a super low action is more prone to temp/humidity changes becuse any change in the setup geometry that tends to lower the action will result in fret buzz. Simply a matter of not enough tolerance insofar as string height etc. is concerned.

    Exactly which strings are buzzing on which frets?

    Ditto what Treena said about the buzz coming through the amp or not.
    Harrell S.
  10. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Took it back today. Had it set. No buzz. Brought it home, the action is too high for me. Its ridiculous. So now I'm solely depending on myself to fix this thing. I've had very novice experience. Someone tell me what the easiest was to get mid-slightly high action, keeping the neck straight as possible, with no audible buzz. I've been toying with it for the past hour, adusting the bridge saddles, turning the truss rod to both ways. At the risk of being chastised, turning the rod clockwise will raise or lower the neck angle?

    As far as I'm concerned, I wasted $40. I'm just so furious that everyone told me to go down there, and he'd give me the best set up ever for $25, then picking my bass up for $40, and not being satisfied after being back three times and specifying each time how I like my action and that I play with a pick. Geez.

  11. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Did 40 include new strings? What is the weather like in your area. Hot to cold really jacks things up. I have taken my bass back to my tech a couple days after setup and he adjusts it. It's a piece of wood. If it goes through major stress it tries to correct itself. Did you play it in the shop this time?

    Like my gramps said, "Any person that doesn't listen to the customer, won't have customers".
  12. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    No, I didn't ask for new strings. The weather has been around 40-50 the past couple of days. I'm taking it to this other local shop tomorrow to have them look at it and tell me what needs to be done. I'm going nuts and getting frustrated. My friend has had my amp for a week and won't volunteer to return it, I can't get my bass set up the way I need it to be.

  13. seratone


    Feb 27, 2004
    I’ve had similar experiences with getting my basses set up by the ‘guy in the music store’, often they’re guitar players who know very little about the requirements for a bass setup. I’m surprised this guy was referred to you (he was referred to you by a guitar player was he?).

    I have found out in recent years that no matter how messed up a bass can be, if it’s made of wood , it can be fixed…even if it means shaving down the fretboard and re-fretting it.)

    Two years ago I bought a bass sight unseen on Ebay, it turned out to have the traditional al 12th fret wobble a lot of early P bases have. In the past I had sold my P with that condition thinking it was unfixable. I was referred to a guy (very eccentric) who did a full neck shave and re-fret on the bass for 240$ CAN. I was blown away by the result. I honestly think finding a good Bass tech is like finding a good butcher…I m having a hard time with comparisons…anyway if you find him, don’t let him go!

    Anyone who would let a bass walk out of the store after a setup with fret buzz of any kind hasn’t done his job, say goodbye to your 40$ and find a new guy. I’ve owned three Musicman’s and I’ve never encountered a neck problem I couldn’t fix myself, they have really nice necks and the truss rod adjustment mechanism is really accurate – not flying blind like some Jazz’s and P’s
  14. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    2nd the motion on guitar players doing basses. There's a lot more guitar players than bass so a lot more money flowing in that direction. Same principals so if you can do one you can do the other. But if the guy doesn't do many basses or play bass himself, he may have a hard time understanding what a bass player's needs are and/or a hard time putting into play what a player has requested. But some pups don't pick up string slap so if someone asked for really low action on a given bass, he may get a bass back that slaps.

    I'm curious to see what the outcome will be from another setup guy. From my experience, I know until I put my time in on many basses, I really didn't know what I wanted or what was realistic to expect. But I do know that if someone had my amp, I wouldn't be waiting for them to volunteer to bring it back if I wanted it back.

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