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How much buzz do you allow in your setups?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dave120, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Well with the weather changing to cooler temperatures now and the humidity levels tapering off for a while, it's about time for that usual truss rod tweak.

    Here's my situation:

    I have 2 basses that I use primarily, my SX and my T24. The T24 I leave at home where I use it at band practice so it's always plugged in whenever I play it. My SX is what I have with me at school where I have no amp, so it's only plugged in at practice.

    Now with my SX since I practice more with it unplugged than plugged, I've tried to dial out every bit of fret buzz because it annoys me to hear it. I always assume thats how they're suppose dto be setup. However, with my Taurus, since it's always plugged into my GK when I play it, I never heard any fret buzz until recently when I was actually playing it unplugged. Since it needs a truss rod tweak it was getting some buzz that it didn't have prior, but I never noticed cuz I hadn't played it below practice volume in so long.

    So when you setup your basses do you dial out ALL that fret buzz or do you get it to where it's comfortable to play but has buzz not bad enough to be audible through an amp? It's easier to get the action lower the second way, but I can't imagine it's all that good for the frets when it buzzes on them. Someone please clue me in! :)
  2. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    OK . . . There's a lot of things that cause fretbuzz, as well as a number of things we can do to correct it.

    Causes: unequal fret wear, lack of relief in neck, low action (at the bridge). lack of relief will cause problems close to the nut (below, say the 5th fret). action that is too low can effect frets all over the fretboard. Unequal fret wear will cuase the fret that is worn down to buzz because the string will hit the next fret when sounding.

    Solutions: fretwork, bridge height adjustment, neck adjustment, and playing modifications (to avoid problem frets)

    My bass has a few spots that are much more worn down than others, I'll accept some buzz there, in exchange for considerably lower action, I often avoid these frets in playing situations. Other than those 2 or 3 problem spots, I don't allow for any buzz at all.