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Is this fret buzz?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Speedbird, Sep 23, 2000.

  1. Speedbird

    Speedbird Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2000
    Northern Virginia
    Bass: 4 month old Modulus Quantum SS-4. (35" scale, Lane-Poor p/u & Bartolini 3bnd pre-amp, composite neck, wood fingerboard, flawless medium size frets, factory 40/60/80/100 nickel strings, action medium low, almost zero neck relief)

    Problem?: All notes ring through loud and clear on every fret. However, unless I fret the note very close to the fret (last 25%), I get a buzz from the still vibrating string against the fret directly below my finger. It is quite loud acousticaly, but maybe 25% gets amplified. If I release the note faster/crisper & play closer to the fret it goes away. Also it is worse in the first position. Is this fret buzz or just a characteristic of the instrument? No other frets are involved just the one beeing fretted upon release. I don't have a lot of time to experiment with the set-up and would appreciate a point in the right direction (increase relief, file nut, raise action?)

  2. Speedbird - obviously from your description none of the remedies you have suggested would work since they would only affect the more common buzzing of subsequent frets. You are using a fairly light gauge string and it is here that I can see the only possible solution. Perhaps a slightly heavier set of strings is in order. A medium gauge set starting at about .105.

    Are your hands particularly small or fingers especially thin? The reason I ask is that there should be plenty of mass in your fingers to dampen the string at the fret as you release a note.

    Maybe it IS just a characteristic of the instrument. This has kind of got me stumped.
  3. Speedbird, I'm not stumped anymore!

    I sat down with my basses and tried to replicate the condition you have been describing. I did it with no effort at all. All of my fretted instruments have just a little buzz as I release the note just like you noticed. This is not "fretbuzz" per se. It is, however, a natural occurence and is probably more noticable with fresh, bright strings.

    Don't worry, I think it's supposed to be this way.
  4. Speedbird

    Speedbird Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2000
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks for the reply. I am tending to think that it is just the nature of the instrument. With a bass so solid, punchy and sensitive with almost infinite sustain there has to be a compromise somewhere. I put a little relief in the neck and it did nothing. I don't want to raise the action, so I just might tighten up my technique a little. Re: strings on my last bass I must have tried every single brand/ gauge from .95 all the way to those ridiculus "Snarlin' Dog" 1.15! I ended up sticking to 100 or 105's for the feel. With my 35" scale I can keep the 100's with the tension like 105's.

    Anyone with similar buzzing experience?
  5. I have / had a similar buzzing experience. The buzzing is all acousticaly. Though some frets buzz more than others.
    Some buzz not and one somewhat louder than the rest (5th fret, A-string).

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