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Specific area with Fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Nevtendo, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Nevtendo


    Aug 28, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Hey everyone,

    I just swapped to a new set of strings which is of lower gauge than previous and naturally a little buzz came around so i put some relief in the neck. All is well except around the 15-19th frets, on the A string only, major buzz occurs. I am pretty noob when it comes to setting up guitars and basses, but I've never come across a buzz problem where it was isolated to just one string and area like this. The rest of the fretboard has none to very minimal buzz. I tried raising the saddle and it still buzzes like nuts. I just wanted to get some opinions of where the problem can be coming from.

  2. I just got done fighting a similar problem on my recent purchase 70s MIM Jazz. On that instrument, I had one fret, the 10th specifically, that was high for some reason, under the A string only. I fixed it by masking the fretboard between the 9th and 10th, and 10th and 11th frets, and smoothing down the 10th fret under the one string with some fine abrasive pads, plus tweaking the relief and saddle height.

    Your problem might be that the frets need to be leveled or smoothed in the 15th to 19th fret area. But first I'd check what the relief is...it should be around .012"-.014" at the 8th fret. If it's lower than that, I'd put some more relief in with the truss rod, and then check again for buzz.

  3. Been there, and was convinced that it was a fret problem, when actually I had simply set that string too low. I'd raise it more before doing anything else.
  4. Nevtendo


    Aug 28, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Well I measured it and its about .3mm at the 8th fret, which converts to about .012". However I recently adjusted the truss rod so it hasn't had much time to set.

    I've raised it pretty high just to see how high it would go before it stopped buzzing, and unfortunately it was unplayably high before that. I wouldn't mind for the time being having it a bit higher than the rest of the strings, but it still buzzes like mad anyway so even that isn't an option.

    I'll check the relief again tomorrow and see how everything turns out. I just want to make sure i don't need to do anything major if all it needs is just a minor adjustment.

    thanks for your input guys
  5. vejesse


    Apr 8, 2006
    Madison, Wi
    Double Bass Workshop
    Ever think that the problem may be a high fret farther up the fretboard? Like the 20th fret? You might want to look into that.
  6. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT

    Any resolution yet?

    I have the same issue on my new Jazz bass. Same area but on the (stock) D string. I've messed with the action and the saddle, but I haven't been able to dial it out. It's at its worst at the 15th fret, but extends to the 19th. I wonder how likely it could be a high 20th fret on mine.

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