String height question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Volpe25, Aug 27, 2013.


  1. Volpe25

    Volpe25

    May 5, 2012
    Ireland
    I was doing my bi annual bass cleaning and after taking off and cleaning the bridge I decided to lower the string height to test out tapping with a lower action and I noticed that if I place a capo on my bass at the 5th fret (or any fret above) and play the 12th fret and above it theres no fret buzz its all clear notes but if I adjust the string height to the height it was at when the capo was placed on and play the 12th fret and above then I get an immense amount of string buzz. Why could that be?
     
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Geometry. With the strings capoed, the "triangle" of the level of the fretboard and frets, to the height of the strings, and back down the string to the capoed fret, has a greater angle on the string going up than does the longer distance from the nut to the bridge, up to the strings, and back down to the nut.

    It's the same as when you are close to a building. You look up at a greater angle to the top of the building when closer than you do when you are some distance away from the building.

    This is one reason that many manufacturers specify some sort of relief to the neck, in order to give the string room to vibrate. Because the longer effective vibrating length of the string its full length will result in greater string excursion than the shorter effective vibrating length of the string when capoed.

    These two concepts together make for the difference fret buzz versus no fret buzz on any instrument.
     
  3. Volpe25

    Volpe25

    May 5, 2012
    Ireland
    Answered the question perfectly thank you :hyper:
     
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    A very good analogy there. Kudos!
     
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Thanks. Glad to be of help.
     
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