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I can't get used to the fret buzz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bloodshot sun, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. bloodshot sun

    bloodshot sun

    Nov 21, 2011
    i tried tweaking the action myself to get to low action with minimum buzz , but i couldn't really get there, so i took it to a technician and he set up the action real good , playability is top notch, but there still is that string rattle which isn't heard through the amp but annoys me while playing. Is there anyway around this or will i just have to get used to it, the technician said this is the law of nature the string's gotta vibrate and with low action this has to happen . He said i could try to file down the frets but he didn't recommend me to dnno why.

    ROOTSnFIFTHS Low-end Lover since '78!

    Oct 25, 2012
    NJ to Sin City
    Can't say for sure the actual condition of your neck or why the tech told you it could not be done. But a level fretboard with level frets can get you very low action without buzz IMO.
    Sometimes a fret is higher than the others and causes buzzing. A good fret leveling can do wonders for that. Low action+level board= No buzz. Generally speaking.
  3. bloodshot sun

    bloodshot sun

    Nov 21, 2011
    it's a brand new fender MIA standard jazz bass , and he didn't say it can't be done, he just advised he wouldn't do it
  4. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    how hard do you use your right hand (assuming your right handed)? I like pretty low action myself but I've learned to play very lightly over the years so I don't have any issues with fret buzz. Just a thought.
  5. bloodshot sun

    bloodshot sun

    Nov 21, 2011
    not too hard , but not light either , around moderate.
  6. Relayer71


    Jun 25, 2009
    Could be your technique? Strings are bound to rattle with ultra low action if you have an aggressive, heavy-handed picking/fingering technique.
  7. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Can you tell where the rattle is coming from? If you've got the neck relief set very nearly flat, you can get string rattle behind fretted notes, i.e. between the fret you're pressing down and the nut. Since you said it doesn't really come through the amp, I suspect this might be what's going on. A slight loosening of your truss rod will help with this. Only loosen a little at a time, maybe a quarter turn, and be sure to allow the neck some time - at least 6 hours, preferably a full day - to settle in before deciding to turn further.
  8. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Play light if you want low action.
  9. turn the amp up til you cant hear it :bassist:
  10. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    ^^^ This :bassist::bassist:
  11. David_70


    Mar 28, 2012
    I cannot tolerate string buzz/rattle either. So, I learned to do my own setups (and I'm not a handy guy). But, didn't want to have to take to a technician everytime something needed a minor tweak. I set the neck relief, per Fender's specs (according to the neck radius I'm working on). I then do the full setup. I generally lower the action until I get buzzing, and then make minute adjustments to raise the saddles until it stops. Sometimes it'll settle in and be fine for a while, and then I'll notice it rearing it's head again (perhaps due to temperature or humidity changes in my house). So, I'll raise the action ever so slightly, until the problem is eliminated, and then live with it - if/until it happens again. No one will do a better setup than you - as they generally don't have the patience to bear with you wanting to tweak it as many times as needed to eliminate the issue. You can get good action, and no buzzing - just learn to do it yourself, and adjust whenever necessary. You don't have to 'live' with this condition. Even if you don't hear through the amp - it's annoying as hell to me.
  12. ejmy


    Nov 30, 2008
    Buy a fretless (sorry coudn't resist)
  13. One question...

    What type of strings are you using?

    When I switched from D'A Chromes (40-100) to DR Sunbeams (45-105) on my Jazz a couple of months ago, I started noticing more tendency to buzz despite the increase in gauges. This, of course, is due to the more flexible nature of the round-core rounds (Sunbeams) vs. hex-core flats (Chromes).

    Round-core = flexible = more string excursion = more buzzing.
    Hex-core = stiffer = less string excursion = less buzzing.
  14. bloodshot sun

    bloodshot sun

    Nov 21, 2011
    @David 70, i think i agree with you almost completely i guess but before i give in i will look into the fret leveling thing.

    @ejmy, i love fretless basses dude and i already have one they're just the greatest, but i need my fretted too for slapping and stuff
  15. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I don't think you can completely eliminate fret buzz with a fretted bass and roundwound. You can reduce it greatly but completely remove it, I don't think so unless you use flatwound or a fretless, but even fretlesses can buzz if the neck or the nut isn't well adujsted.
  16. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Technique needs to be refined.
  17. PazzoBasso


    Jan 21, 2011
    I can make any bass buzz (we'll just about any)...

    The set-up should be tailored to your playing style... if done right & there is unwanted buzz, the problem should be diagnosed & repaired, whether it's a high fret(s) or other issue...

    I like my basses set up so they will buzz on command, but can be buzzless when played with a light touch... I also wouldn't worry about any buzz that doesn't make it to the amplified sound...

    Disclaimer: I like a little buzz
  18. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    Plucking the string so that it vibrates perpendicularly to the board instead of parallel to it can also increase the chance for buzz. That may be a simple change from a more flat-handed approach to a more upright-handed one. Will it eliminate it? No. But it will help somewhat.

    All things being equal, we listen to a lot of bass players on records and you think there is no fret buzz on their basses, yet, when you isolate the bass track, it's evident that it's there, and sometimes to a very surprising amount. I never set up a bass specific to how it sounds alone because I'm not a solo bass artist. I play in a musical ensemble, and prefer to set my basses up to where it works with a comfortable playing technique, and mixes in well with the other instruments.
  19. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I agree with all of this. If you really don't like the sound, yet it's not what you hear when the bass is amplified then I would say you shouldn't worry about it. Fret buzz on a bass is always more noticeable when you are playing it unplugged, when you plug it in it's like "oh, no problem".

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