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Is fret buzz to be expected?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Crofts, Jun 5, 2001.


  1. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    I have a 2nd hand Ibanez SR305 and I get fret buzz on pretty much all the strings on all frets and have had to raise the action loads to compensate, and I also got a shop to do the truss rod so the higher frets are quite far away from the strings, so what I want to know fret is whether buzz is to be expected on a bass and is just one of those things you have to put up with? It has a rosewood neck btw.
     
  2. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    btw what is that make of bass that does custom 5 strings for $600 or something, I looked at the site a weeek or so ago I think oysterman mentioned it... I think they're a pretty small company.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Are you talking about fret noise, like metallic "clicks and clacks" and not a vibrational buzzing like a bumblebee?

    I've read other Ibanez owners as well as some Ernie Ball owners reporting this. Hell, Fieldy buys his groceries with it from his Ibanez. My Carvin, another brand known for this, does the same thing. The action isn't as low as I'd like, ( it's not "quite far away from the strings" like yours), but I have minimized it with adjustments like yours.

    I don't think it is something we should put up with. Eventually, I'll either get it taken care of by a tech, or sell it.

    The luthier you asked about is www.dpcustom.com . He's got my final spec's for a custom right now.
     
  4. BigJH

    BigJH

    Jan 20, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    You should try http://www.mtdbass.com/ the grendal series is in the price range you are looking for.
     
  5. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    If it's a true buzz and not just incidental fret noise, you shouldn't have to live with that. If the place you had it set up is competent and it's still buzzing, I'd contact the manufacturer. Maybe there's something wrong with your particular neck. Is it still under warranty? Ship it back and have them put a new neck on it if it is.
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think that some basses are easier to get a lower action with than others; but another thing to bear in mind is how you are playing the bass. I'm not saying that this is what is happening in this case, but how accurately you fret notes and how light a touch you have, also affects this problem.

    If you're really pulling hard at the strings and putting your fretting fingers on the neck between the frets, then there is no doubt that you are going to get some noise unless you have a pretty high action. Whereas if you pay with a very light and consistent touch, pluck close to the bridge and always fret precisely just behind the fret you are playing, then you can get away with a much lower action, without this type of noise.

    The other thing that hasn't been mentioned, which I've experienced a few times is the nut slots - if these are cut too low or wide for the strings you are using, then you will get very annoying rattles.
     
  7. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    I don't know what he's experiencing, but if it's a true buzz, and by that I mean the an aberration derived from the very sounding of the note itself--the production of the note itself--creates a very discernable and sickly honking buzz, then that's a problem that has very little to do with attack or anything else. That's something inherent in the instrument, whether it's the neck, the nut, the bridge or a combination of the above. Metallic rattles aren't buzzes that emanate from the plucked note. Those are incidental, not fundamentally emitting from the note. When my neck has buzzes, it didn't matter how gently I plucked or lightly I played. The buzz was pretty much there all the time. True buzzes seem to swell and bloom rather than fade, as collateral rattles do. Now I know that you should have fewer expectation with a budget bass as compared to a boutique one. But this is their product, whichever manufacturer it is. The product should at least function in a basically acceptable way. And the person who started the post began by asking the question, "Is a buzz to be expected?" I don't think so.
     
  8. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    It's buzz caused by the frets further down towards to the bridge, I'm pretty sure of that, I've lowered the action slightly and surprisingly it sounds a bit better. The nut is ok but the guy in the shop told me that the frets didn't need stoning (I think that's the one) and that all basses get a bit of fret buzz. It could be the neck, I know the Ibanez's have very skinny, weak necks (lovely to play though). Could hitting the neck on something make the truss rod move slightly?

    BTW thanks for all your help!!! It was dp that I was looking for, does anyone have any info on them? Or does anyone own one?
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The current TalkBass owners, like mcrracer (sp?) have been pleased so much by their DP's that he ordered a second one. Luis Fabara's should be finished soon. Do a search here and you can find posts like some by Luis, where he posted some pictures of the one he has in progress.

    Other than Dave's website and the TB posts, there isn't much info, as he is not exactly a big name luthier......yet. Judging by the apologies he has emailed me about signing off on my spec's, I can say he is quite busy. The more research the customer does about what they really want, in detail, the better of they are, because what he will make is almost totally up to the customer. That's "custom", ain't it?
     
  10. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    One of my basses, is experiencing something like that. Its like a metallic click sound when I pluck the A string on it. Only the A string too. Ive tried adjusting the action etc and it just wont go away. The neck is a factory replacement. I've had it on there for about 2 months now. Do you think the manufacturer would replace the neck again? Im almost positive the nut slot is too wide. Also the new neck has a small knot in the wood. But thats another story.
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well it would probably be much easier just to replace the nut or to fill the slots with something like quick-setting glue and ground up "nut dust".
     
  12. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    true it would, but the neck has a small knot on it as well, and the more i think about it the more i dislike it, I wouldnt buy a bass that had one there initially. It also doesnt feel quite right. But what can ya do right?
     
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Metallic fret noise is accentuated by using the bridge pickup, trebly EQ, etc. A bass like a StingRay with only a bridge pickup is by it's very nature going to have more fret noise when amplified than a bass like an EB-0 with a pickup stuffed up against the end of the fingerboard.

    If your amp has EQ around 800 Hz, try cranking it and listen to all the clacking! Now you know why slappers like to cut mids at that frequency :)
     
  14. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    When I try to slap I always get a clicking sound (like Fieldy) from the end of the fretboard even with treble and mid all the way down, wherever I'm slapping on the string. I've tried everything, however high the action is I still get it. It'd be kind of cool if I didn't just get accused of copying Fieldy every time I slap. I want to use that sound but I can't without it being obvious copying, even though I'm not. Do any other bassists play like that, bassists that aren't from koRn tribute bands that is ;) Ah well, I guess I'll just stick to playing normally I suppose...
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well this does sound more like a "technique" problem to me, as I 'm sure there are Ibanez owners who can slap without clicking!!

    But this just goes to show the limitations of a forum like this. If you were standing in front of me playing the bass, then it would be possible to say exactly what the problem is and provide a solution of some sort - without actually being there, we're really all just guessing.

    The other thing this shows is the value of getting lessons - if you only have one lesson with a decent bass teacher they can spot things in your tecnique that you might not be aware of and you have the chance to hand your bass to them and say "why does it make this sound whn I do this?" At least then you could be sure whether it's you or the bass!
     
  16. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Yeah, I'm self taught and I've only been playing for about 7 months. It's pretty much definitely me, I'll stick with my crap slap for now... Until I can afford lessons anyway. Do any other pros play like Fieldy?