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Single string fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by crikker, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. crikker

    crikker Yooper From Way Back Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2004
    I have a Peavey T-40 (that's not the problem :smug:) that only has fret buzz on the E string. I've been going back and forth with a guy on the T-40 site about this too without any luck. Here's the last thing I "discovered".

    Some more interesting info (at least to me). Just was fooling around with it and found this:

    All on the E string only.
    A#-played normal, no buzz. If string is bent, it buzzes.
    B-played normal, no buzz. If string is bent, it buzzes but not as much as the A#.
    C-played normal, BUZZ bad. If string is bent, no buzz.
    C#-played normal, Buzz. If string is bent, no buzz.

    I also seem to get a clanging while fretting in this area that I don't get in other areas. It's probably my fretting technique but it's only on these frets. Is this a problem with the higher frets somehow? Again, it only buzzes on the E at those frets. I did a search :D and I see some recommendations for this kind of problem is to tap the fret wires down. My only concern is when the string is bent, the buzz comes or goes. Thanks for reading all that.
  2. crikker

    crikker Yooper From Way Back Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2004
    Tonight while fooling around on it, I found that I could tune the E to G instead and the clank and fret buzz is gone. Any ideas what I have now, other than problems.
  3. sounds like you can raise the action a smidge on the E and you'll probably be all better.

    But always start at the beginning...how's the relief?
  4. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    And just for the sake of it; how old are the strings? As strings get worn they can flatten out where the contact the frets and sit lower. This can sometimes lead to fret buzz...
  5. crikker

    crikker Yooper From Way Back Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2004
    Sorry for taking so long to reply here. Working to much. Anyway, some questions to your questions.

    How can I tell how the relief is? By looking down the neck and seeing if it bows up or down? Not sure on the terminology.

    I have no idea how old the strings are. I bought the bass last winter and haven't changed the strings. I'm seeing the light on this one and should change them and see what happens.

    Thanks for the replies and I hope you can help me through this one.
  6. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    If checking the relief is not familiar to you, I'm guessing the whole setup issue might be a bit new to you? The thing about buzz and action is that there are several things that contribute, and might need adjustment -- relief, intonation, action, neck pitch, and the nut; then there are a variety of other things that play into it -- fret-wear (condition of the frets), string gauge (and action), etc. Put another way, buzz could be caused by a high fret, a low neighboring fret, action that's too low, etc. So two thoughts: if you are up for the challenge of learning all this, google "how to set up a bass" and you should be able to find one of the many diy guides to making the necessary adjustments. If you are more pragmatic about this and just want it to play great, take it to a shop and have it handled by a pro -- you CAN learn how to do these things yourself, but it'll take a while before you can do for your bass what a pro can.

    I'm a big advocate of learning to do it yourself -- it's like changing the oil on your car -- if you can do it yourself, you'll save money, and will be more likely to care for it more frequently.

    So the first thing to do if you're gonna have a go at it is to search these forums, or google, for "how to check relief" -- there are a ton of discussions here and on the web to explain that process for you.

    Keep us posted how it goes, or if you reach an impasse.



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