Only two frets buzzing really bad

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by LouieV2, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. LouieV2


    Jan 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Hey everyone. I received a Michael Kelly Dragonfly 5'er I purchased from GC used. I got it for a great price, and it's in excellent condition. There is only one thing about the instrument that I do not like, and I'd really rather not return it. The G and low B strings have some terrible buzz on frets 13 and 14. It's almost bad enough to call a fret out. The note dies almost immediately and the clank is very disrupting. All other notes on the bass sound great.

    Is a fret job the only way to fix this issue? The action is not really low, the neck does not appear to be twisted and the fret itself does not appear to be coming out of the slot so I would assume its a high/low fret. Generally, is swapping or recrowning just one or two frets an expensive job?

    Any other theories on why this is happening would be appreciated as well.
  2. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    have the frets levelled, it shouldn't be too expensive.
    hdracer likes this.
  3. LouieV2


    Jan 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for the quick reply... my usual tech is not available today so I'll give him a call tomorrow
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Fret leveling is easy for a pro. You can detect it by testing the frets with a straightedge to see if they're high relative to the frets next to them.
  5. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    A few of the frets might not be seated properly as well. I've had that happen more often than needing to have frets re-crowned.
  6. LouieV2


    Jan 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I took it to my tech, he said the bridge saddle just needed a shim because it was too low. Now it's great, buzz is gone. I think I am going to return the bass though because I just can't get the B string to be level with the other strings, and the D is a bit louder than the rest also. Getting pretty tired of these piezo pickups
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    That's the nature of piezo pickups. They take a lot of fine tuning on each instrument, and many manufacturers don't have that in the budget. Before you give up on it, your tech should be able to get a better balance between strings by working with the shims under the saddle. Some trial and error with little shim segments. The piezo strip depends on the vertical loading on it, so the loading under each string has to be even to get even signal output levels. It's fussy, but it can be adjusted.

Share This Page