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Levelling fingerboard instead of frets?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rimbaud, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
    Hi guys,

    just some quick explanations: my Jazz bass is "quite new", built in april 2010, I have it since november 2010. A buzz started some months ago at the upper area of the neck, over 9th or 10th frets, annoying when I slap or play strongly in that area.

    I've heard that bolt-on neck's wood can inflate at the neck join: moisture issues? I had some flood damages some months ago in my home, so I'm naturally thinking about this.

    De facto, I thought that removing last frets and levelling the fingerboard would be an option. Any advices ??
  2. The amount of unevenness would dictate what type of repair is needed. If very minor, fret leveling may be all that is needed. On full refretting, the finger board should be leveled before installing new frets.
  3. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
    Frets rocking at 19th, 18th, 17th, 15th for now.... quick measures
  4. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
    only under D and G strings, seems that my slapping technique is too agressive ?
  5. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    Raise your bridge saddles a bit, and check your neck relief. A quick trip to the luthier should tell you what's up after that.
  6. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
    Already done some weeks ago, 3mm high and it still buzzing so I raised down as my settings usually are.

    I'm really thinking about some high spots or wood inflation. Setup is really fine, I've been setting instruments for 20 years, as a roadie or local shop tech ;)

    When it appears before the 9th fret, I know that truss rod adjustement can solve something, but in that case the neck relief isn't the problem. I can hear the biggest buzz on the 13th fret.

    @ 0.45, 2 months ago, these days it's bigger:
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Flood damage you say? Insurance claim I say; then you have two basses.
  8. rimbaud

    rimbaud Banned

    Nov 17, 2011
    Lol I'd like it to be so simple... the bass has not been submerged, I think that ambiant moisture has affect her. They will bring me an insurance's expert, he will say that it's not "visible" (in facts that's not visible... ahem, well you know what I'm saying...), bla bla bla... and worse of all: I didn't made any photograph of the bass for them... yes, stupid, now I know I'll have to do that....

    He could also tell me that except for that flood damage, it could be another problem, for what they do not cover.

    The fact is: finding a good luthier is really a nightmare in my town, for double bass you can find someone, but when I say "electric bass" to those guys...

    The one who can really help is in Paris area, one of my sister live 10 mn far from him. Problem: 400 km, no car, the train ticket would cost me the same amount of bucks as the repairing :meh: (in that case I change the neck !!) and his assistant said that he's not really "open" for helping people on the phone, seems normal I know....
  9. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    Pulling the frets would mean installing new frets, which would likely involve some leveling and crowing...and buzz is something caused by the TOPS of the frets. So if you think it's ramp-up, why not just re-level and re-crown the high frets to bring them down.

    "Frets rocking at 19th, 18th, 17th, 15th for now" Not entirely sure what you meant here, but if you're saying a rocker rocks on those frets, then I'd check to see if any frets have popped up or are loose (and could be glued down). If not, sounds like you just need them leveled.
  10. SF_Bass_God


    Aug 6, 2012
    very lightweight rubber mallet. Sounds dangerous to the instrument but trust me with the tension put on these necks a slight tap here and there will not do to much damage. Just don't go overboard with it. Also try adjusting the truss rod if the mallet thing doesn't work. For the mallet thing to work unfortunately you have to take the strings off for this to work perfectly. If either option seem a little out of your comfort zone, and the buzz is not coming through your amp... Don't worry about it.
  11. Prostheta


    Mar 19, 2010
    Pori, Finland
    Fingerboard levelling is a very invasive and permanent procedure. I would see how the neck reacts over a period of time to bear out whether this "neck inflation" thing happens with the seasons. If it does, levelling the board will do nothing but cause the problem to recur in reverse since the wood will continue to warp in and out of reality. A brief tachyon pulse aimed with the deflector dish should disrupt subspace and allow your bass to return to normal space.

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