If string height is maxed, does it still effect fret buzz?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by dannnnn, Nov 28, 2017.


  1. dannnnn

    dannnnn

    Nov 14, 2007
    Beaufort, SC
    I'm going crazy trying to setup my bass. In trying to find the right amount of relief, would setting the bridge saddles at the max height (or close) take that part out of the equation? It probably won't work, but I want to be somewhat scientific about it.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I don't understand. Relief and saddle height both contribute to the overall set up and string height. What are you trying to take out of the equation?
     
    Axstar likes this.
  3. dannnnn

    dannnnn

    Nov 14, 2007
    Beaufort, SC
    If the saddle height is maxed out, will neck relief be the only factor which contributes to (potential) fret buzz?
     
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    No. High or low frets will also factor into the equation.
     
  5. dannnnn

    dannnnn

    Nov 14, 2007
    Beaufort, SC
    Right. I guess what I’m asking, or trying to confirm, is that high saddles won’t cause buzzing. If I max out the saddles and then try varying amounts of relief, I should be able to get the buzzing to stop, provided the frets are leveled properly. (In theory, anyway)
     
  6. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    You are correct high saddles won't cause buzzing, but they'll cause other problems, like sharp notes. Be warned though, high saddles may not stop buzzing either.
     
  7. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    When there is buzz trouble in set up look to the frets.

    If you want set up to be trouble free, have the frets dressed.
     
  8. cocoune

    cocoune

    Jan 28, 2012
    Higher strings height can cause buzzing. It's another kind of buzz sound but you can actually have more buzz.
     
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    That's counter-intuitive. Please explain.
     
    ddnidd1 likes this.
  10. cocoune

    cocoune

    Jan 28, 2012
    umm if you try once I think you can understand. Kind of hard to explain. U need to put extra force to fret a note. When you don't put enough pressure with your left hand, the string want to come up the fret. So it start buzzing with the fret/note you want to hit. It most noticeable when you switch position. Every time you would hear a buzz between the time the string is completely fretted vs it is completly released.
     
  11. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    That is a technique problem. It is not a set up or fret issue.
     
    JLS likes this.
  12. cocoune

    cocoune

    Jan 28, 2012
    No it's not. You can't put everythings on technic. Higher strings will buzz more often than proper heighs strings. No mather how good your technic is. Having to put more pressure than you need is not good technic.
     
  13. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Scotland.
    High saddles don't automatically equate to high string height, so I would only consider saddle height in reference to a single instrument rather than a universal set of truths. You could, for example, inlay the bridge of your bass a half inch into the top of the instrument (some people did this in the '70s to chase sustain). If you max out the saddles on that bridge you might still find the string height is quite low.

    To some extent a high action will overcome limitations in the quality of fretwork in a bass. However this seems to basically equate to making a bass less playable simply to try and get around one problem. Adjusting relief of a neck with a very high action doesn't really demonstrate anything. If anything small adjustments in relief are more perceptible if you keep the action low. If the buzzing can't be dialed out by adjusting relief then the fretwork is probably not very good.
     
  14. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    I tend to agree with 2O2dy. More pressure than you need is one thing. Enough pressure is what is required, applied at the right spot just behind the fret - enough pressure to fret the note cleanly, regardless of string height.
     
  15. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    Just for my own curiosity, what is going on that you are trying to solve? If you raise your bridge saddles as high as they will go, it's likely you will eliminate any buzz problems you are having, but the high saddles aren't going to help you find the right neck relief or high frets that may be causing the buzz. You aren't planning to leave the bridge saddles at max height, are you? Raising them to max height is going to make whatever is causing your string buzz problem harder to find.

    My guess is there are several TB members that will help you solve your problem if you just explain your problem. Turnaround is already involved here & can help diagnose. There are others that can & will help.

    Asking about the effect of making an extreme adjustment of one element of set up might result in you receiving some information, but it's not likely the information you receive will be of great value in solving your problem.
     
    TrevorR likes this.
  16. cocoune

    cocoune

    Jan 28, 2012
    Enough pressure for high strings can be too much pressure overall. Thats what i'm saying. You dont understand what i'm saying. It's not about technic. If the bass buzz because the strings are too low, nobody will say : clean your technic. When the strings are too high. It's easier to have buzz.
     
  17. dannnnn

    dannnnn

    Nov 14, 2007
    Beaufort, SC
    I’m primarily trying to come up with a plan/sequence to eliminate factors so I can determine what/where the problem is. It probably won’t work the way I envisioned it.
     
  18. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    So just go to one the stickies about setup and follow it. That will do as much as anything to tell you where the problems are.

    Here's one: How do I set up my bass guitar properly?
     
    TrevorR likes this.
  19. dannnnn

    dannnnn

    Nov 14, 2007
    Beaufort, SC
    I’ve used the recommended settings (as a starting point) in the Ibanez literature and the Jerzy Drozd guide with no success. I think a fret level may be needed.
     
  20. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    This, frankly, is taking, "Ready! Fire! Aim!", to another level...
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Aug 4, 2021

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