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High Fret!!How to level it?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Feb 5, 2001.


  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Hi!!
    I have a damn High fret at the 16 Position (Fret) but the problem is only present at the C string on my Six string bass.
    I get a PLANK sound instead of a musical sound. the rest of the notes over there are Ok.

    Now.. How can I level the fret? should I just sand the 17th Fret a little?
     
  2. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Has the bass always had this problem or did it just pop up all of a sudden?

    Pkr2
     
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    The bass is 4 Months old, and I suppose it was always there, but I didnt care much about it,also It was morenoticeable since I put a 32 Gauge C instead of a 28 wich I was using before.
     
  4. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Sanding on the fret is the one sure way to screw up your bass.

    Fret dressing doesn't fall under the DIY adjustments. I takes very specialized tools and a neck jig.

    The first thing I would do is change the string even though you have a new string on it. Bad new strings are more common than most people think.

    Sometimes a fret will rise up out of the fret slot and give either a buzzy sound or a "thud" sound. On the otherhand, It could have left the factory with the 15 fret not seated down completely and it gradually seated itself. Now the bass acts as though it has a high 16 fret.

    The point is, it can turn into a dog that's chasing its own tail real quick.

    There are totally nondestructive ways of checking the leveling of the frets. It' easier to do if you have two capos. start out with the capo on the 2nd fret. Look at the space between the bottom of the string and the first fret. Make a mental note of that spacing. Now put the second capo on the third fret. A capo on the first and third fret. This is where you need both hands to check the spacing at the 2nd fret. I use a magnifying glass and a good light source cause the spaces are pretty small.

    Just walk the capos down the neck, checking each fret. If you come to a problem fret, it will show up as an abrupt change in fret to string spacing. Keep in mind that there always must be at least some clearance. Tapping the string directly over the fret that you are checking gives a particular sound/feel to a problem fret. There is a little "feel" to it.

    If you do find a fret that appears to be high you can try tapping, very gently, on the fret with a mini-mallet of choice. :) I use the end of my pocket knife. Don't fram it, just light taps that wont dent the fret. A fret that has come up in the slot will have a dead sound that you will recognize instantly.

    Don't be tempted to just hammer it back in place. To start with you gotta have a fret caul that matches the radius of your fingerboard. Since nobody ever has the right caul, You have to stop here and make a caul. After you spend 30 minutes making a caul, you find the one that works buried on the bench.

    The one step that you don't want to leave out is to make sure the grunge is cleaned out between the fret T and the fingerboard. A couple of sqirts of lighter fluid and an air hose work for me but you try at your own risk!

    I'm not sure that grunge couldn't be what makes a fret come come up to start with.

    Now, It's time to either hammer(hammer in a gentle way) or use your handy-dandy drill press to press the old fret down, or a new fret in.

    Bottom line is that it's a lot more cost effective to just let a good luthier do it.

    Pkr2
     
  5. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I hammered it..

    It works now.
    :)
    Thank you.
     
  6. Would this be on one of your beloved Cort Curbows, by any chance?
     
  7. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    LOL, I figured you would. :)

    Pkr2
     
  8. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Yes. It was my Cort Curbow 6 String.
    I had a problem with all my basses last week.
    Humidity increased a lot in my room. Due to heavy raining in my City and becasue my air conditioner was not working fine. the walls of my room were presenting WATER in tiny drops...
    So My basses had to be adjusted about 3 times because of this ultra-high humidity,. (Even my computer monitor was blurry one of this mornings.)
    Im sending my air conditioner for repair today,but my poor basses were the victims.

    I just finally have the C. Curbow 6 string set up properly.