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Problems With Fret Buzz On The 7th Fret Of The A String

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by supernaut_1, Mar 21, 2003.


  1. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    Texas
    does anyone else have a lot of problems with buzz on that fret? i have two basses and they do it on both. on the washburn xb-102 i raised the action so high (really high) it stopped . but i just got an ibanez sr490 and it does it on that one too. i raised the action but i still can't play hard on that fret without it buzzing. is there anything i can do besides raising the action more? i hate high action, but i love a buzz free sound so i guess i'm screwed.?
     
  2. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    If the problem occurs on several frets around the 7th fret, it's probably insufficient forward bow in the neck. Have you tried adjusting the truss rods on your basses? Raising the bridge is only one part of adjusting the action.

    If it's just the one fret, then you have a high fret (the 8th, most likely) and you should see a luthier to get the frets leveled.
     
  3. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    Texas
    my truss rod is at a perfect bow, i guess the fret is uneven, but i don't think i need to adjust the rod.
     
  4. i have the problem on fret 9 on G, & D strings
     
  5. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    It's pretty easy to check for a high fret.

    Using a straight edge, go across any three adjacent frets. If the straight edge rocks at all, it indicates a high fret. Never let the straight edge span more than three frets or the results are meaningless.

    If the instrument buzzes on the seventh fret it indicates a possible high fret at fret eight. etc.

    A playing card makes a decent straight edge for fret checking. The card will have to be cut for the closer together frets.

    Pkr2
     
  6. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    it sounds like by the position of the buzz its an adjustment issue with the neck relief, stand the bass up on end(body strap button on floor)stand directely above the headstock and look straight the neck on either side and look at the neck,is it slightly bowed in? or out? is it totally straight? try looking from a few different positions above the headstock(right side left side)if the neck is off in any way its easily viewable from this angle,if you dont see it,it dont make sense to just raise the string height,its not solving the problem,for a reference try looking down a neck that is straight,it was hard for me at first but my teacher showed me on a couple of basses and now i can pick right up on a problem neck,by no means am i saying this is the precise issue,its just a possibility,but judging by the question you are not overly experienced in bass set-ups(no offense intended please)so if you are struggling with it, bring it to a pro,my first 3 basses were from e-bay and i recieved them really messed up,i purchased them from people who were less experienced than me(at the time i was only playing bass for 1-2 months)and i played them like that till i took a lesson from a guy that was offering i free lesson,and he recomended me to a luthier,he fooled around with my basses one at a time and when i got them back man was i shocked,i didnt realize how messed up they were till i played them all set-up properely, i think i'll stop now sorry about the life story,i hope ONE thing i said helped
    adam:bassist:
     
  7. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    Texas
    you got that right, i know baredly anything about bass setups since i've only been playing for six months. i know how to adjust everything and i know a fair amount about bass but i'm no good at setting it up and finding the problem. anyways, i think i'll do that thing to check uneven frets. thanks for everyone's input. and i looked at my neck and it has a very slight bow in it. it looks and feels perfect so i don't think that's the problem. but i suppose it could be.
     
  8. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    As ChuckO pointed out, a problem with only one fret is NOT a relief problem. If it was a misadjusted truss rod the problem would show up on several frets.

    Most likely the repair will have to be made by a competent repair person anyway since fret leveling is beyond the scope of most people. It is a skill that takes some time to develop.

    By the way, a properly adjusted neck is NOT supposed to be straight.

    Pkr2
     
  9. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    no problem dude, i've only been playing for about 13 months,i'm lucky to have an aewsome teacher who is also a luthier(bass tech)or i would be in your position,i did just what you did,i asked questions,now i do most of my own repairs,(set-up,bridge and p-up replacement)just start off slow,dont do something that you mite not be able to fix,start small ,like set-ups and string height and intonation,neck adjustment is a biggie.you can really mess up your axe that way
    good luck:bassist:
     
  10. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Although I tend to agree, Anthony Jackson does not. He says a "perfectly" set up neck should be absolutely straight (no bow/relief) with all the frets perfectly leveled to prevent buzz.

    In theory he is correct, but in the real world this kind of precision would be very costly (like his Foderas) and the everyday maintenance (due to fretwear) would be difficult and prohibitive, so the answer/compromise is neck relief.

    But who am I to argue with Anthony Jackson (one of my Idols)?:)
     
  11. I've had that problem twice over the years with different basses, where only one fret is a problem, no matter how I adjusted string height (unless you go super high, which bites), or neck bow.

    As you play the offending note, the problem 'high' fret will be the next one towards the bridge. In other words, it's not the fret that is being used to make the note, it's the immediate following fret that is high enough where string vibration is causing the buzz.

    Anyway, the first time, I held a small piece of wood over the bad fret and tapped it gently with a hammer. It cured it, as it seems to have set the fret back into a proper seated position.

    The second time, the wood trick didn't work, so I took some fine sandpaper and, two swipes at a time, gently sanded away the high area. After about six swipes with the sandpaper, it worked. Smoothed out the fret with very fine steel wool.

    If you don't feel comfortable with your skills, let a professional do it. But he will be doing essentially the same thing.
     
  12. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Or the "offending" fret could be worn/low. Make sure you know which it is before hammering anything or you'll just move the buzz up one fret.