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Options to eliminate pickup induced fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Drop1, May 13, 2019 at 8:56 PM.

  1. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019

    View attachment 3416205
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    Put some nord dual coils in and had to raise my action quite a bit. I've lowered the pickups a lot but it still causes buzz.

    Do the dual coils use a really powerful magnet ? Do single coils pull this much?

    I can play a touch lighter but really prefer to play with a medium touch so I can go lighter or harder on demand for more dynamics.
    There is a sweet I try to stay in for maximum usable range.

    Any advice would be well received.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 1:20 PM
  2. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    A buzz like a humming sound when not playing or a distorting type buzz?
  3. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I changed the pickups. The new pickups have a much greater magnetic pull and cause fret buzz even when I raised the action and lowered the pickups. The magnetic field is pulling HARD on the strings.
  4. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    The pickups should not be causing this fret buzz. Nordstrand paperwork probably had a recommended pickup to string height. If it is lower than that I would double check everything else.

    You probably had the strings all off to change the pickups. Perhaps one of the tuner nuts is slightly loose? I assume you did a proper setup and didn’t drastically change string gauges.

    Sometimes a strong vibration can cause a buzz and the first thing we blame is the frets. Last time for me it was the strap button. Time before that the A string tuner.
    Gravedigger Dav, MattZilla and rtav like this.
  5. thewildest


    May 25, 2011
    A thought here: perhaps the noose was there already and your new pickups are capturing a wider spectrum of sound, which includes the buzz sound you hear.

    I would (just to prove this) play notes so the string vibrates along the side of the bass, and not perpendicularly. That way the strings will vibrate freely “up and down” instead of “back and forward” from the bass, thus hitting the frets. If this results in fret noise, you may need to tweak your technique a little.

    I hope this helps
  6. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Its absoluty the pickups. I had it set up for no buzz at all. Installed, restrung and checked everything over. I have relief, about 3 mm at the 12th fret and 4 mm at the 24th. Every was buzzing. I raised the saddles, gave more relief and lowered the pups to over 1/4" away when fretted at the 24th. As I changed the the pickup height it got better but it's still there. I can eliminate it but I have to raise the action quite high. Its already higher than I'd like.
  7. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Dang, I’m sorry to hear that. Hopefully someone else can give you better advice.

    It definitely sounds abnormal. @Carey Nordstrand has been known to visit here from time to time. It might be a bit of headache but their customer service is good, especially if it is a faulty product.
  8. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I dont think its faulty. I took out bart mk1s. They didnt pull like that. The strings didnt even stick to them when you took the tension off. I believe the Nords just have a much stronger magnetic field.
  9. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Pickups can't cause fret buzz. It just doesn't work that way. No matter how how strong the magnets are.

    Either it's a buzz from a different source than the strings hitting the frets, or your setup changed, or it was there before and you're just hearing it now.
  10. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Dont dismiss what im saying. I'm not ignorant. I play at least 6 hours a day. I played 10 yesterday. I played all morning until the post arrived. When I took the strings off, I had NO BUZZ. None. I took the strings off, changed the pups, restrung and immediately had severe buzz on every single fret but not open strings. From there I lowered the pickups and it got better. I raised the relief farther than I ever had before and raised the saddles and it still buzzes. You're telling me I have a non existant issue and I'm telling you flat out , it went from none to drastic fret buzz. Removing the neck pickup eliminates it completely and allows me to set my action to about half of what I can get with the neck pup installed.
  11. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Whatever it is, it is not due to the pickups. Take some of the advice above to get this sorted.

    Strong pickups can cause a detuned/chorus-y sounding warble when playing up high. Are you hearing that at all? Even then they will not cause fret buzz.
    DavC, thetragichero, rtav and 3 others like this.
  12. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    How many hours you play is completely irrelevant to you misdiagnosing the source of the buzz you're hearing.

    Different pickups can not make the strings hit the frets more than they were before. That is not physically possible.

    Therefore the buzz you are hearing is coming from somewhere else.

    If removing the neck pickup makes it go away that means the buzz was probably from the strings hitting the neck pickup housing because you installed it incorrectly.

    You'll never be able to fix a problem if you decide something impossible is the cause rather than hunting down the real issue.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019 at 10:11 PM
  13. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Lol at you telling me I dont know what fret buzz is.
    Exactly how can my steings be hitting pickups 1/2 inch away from the strings. Just because you cant comprehend it doesnt mean it's not happening. And the time I mentioned playing was posted to let you know I am super familiar with my instrument. I can set my own action perfectly. I do so by listening and checking for fret buzz because I dont play with any. You're telling me it's impossible yet its absolutely happening. If you persist in arguing what I absolutely know to be true I'll post a video which will make you look like an absolute fool.
    RyanOh likes this.
  14. Post the video plz
  15. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Update. I've got to worked out to a degree. This is nuts. If I raise the pups to 4 mm I get buzz, if I lower it to 6mm it goes away. My action is a touch higher than I'd like but I'll have to live with it.
    Maynjo likes this.
  16. Maynjo

    Maynjo Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    I hate to go against the grain on this one, but I’m pretty sure op is actually right about the source of the buzz. I have an American Standard jazz bass, and a Schecter CV-4 with MM/J pickups. I put Aguilar 4j 60s in the jazz and the Aguilar 4m jhc set in the schecter, and they both developed really bad fret buzz from them. I was able to lower the ones in the Schecter enough to make it bearable, but in the jazz I ended up switching back to the stock pickups and the problem went away. I know for a fact it was the pickups because taking them out fixed it. If you put a stronger magnet underneath your strings and it’s pulling them down harder towards the fretboard it can most definitely cause the strings to vibrate downwards instead of sideways.

    Your only options are to lower the pickups more, and maybe raise your action, or go for a set with less magnetic pull. Or you guys can just keep arguing about whether or not it’s possible.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019 at 10:29 PM
    onda'bass likes this.
  17. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Don't threaten me with a good time. Let's see that video.
    rojo412, Kriegs, onestring and 12 others like this.
  18. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    So you're saying that the pickups are creating a very strong magnetic field that is strong enough to PULL THE STRINGS TO THE FRETS?

    That is fantastic, please post vids.
  19. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I believe the Barts use a less aggressive magnet, but more importantly , the poles were covered. I dont think the plastic hinders the magnetic field but it does keep the metal poles further away from the strings. The Nords have exposed poles and dont have the extra distance due to the plastic cover. They also have many more poles. I believe it's the combination of more metal, closer.
  20. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Does talk bass have hosting? I always set my bass up to not buzz at all unless I really dig in. Even then it's not buzzing on all frets. Just near the top. When I changed the pickups it had severe buzz on every fret. Every single fret. I make adjustments daily to the truss if it starts to buzz. Something I've noticed too is that my strings never stuck to the Bart pups when I took the tension off. They stick to the Nords like glue.

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