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String Height

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rafterman, Feb 25, 2002.


  1. is it possible to have the string height the same height from the nut to the last fret on a fretted bass without getting any fretbuzz anywhere on the neck?

    i've had a problem with this and am not sure how to get that kind of setup.
     
  2. xax712

    xax712

    Dec 25, 2001
    Northwest Arkansas
    Ok I assume you are referring to adjusting the truss rod and the bend to the neck. The way I was taught to check on the height of your strings to get them the lowest possible and not buzz is to push the string down right on top of the fret closest to the pick-ups and then look from the side to see how far the strings are away from the 12th fret (usually marked with 2 dots). The E-string tends to work best to check this.
    I hope this helps.
    Brad
     
  3. ok,

    but I want to know how to get the setup I want, which is the lowest action possible w/out the fretbuzz anywhere on the neck.

    the action I have on my bass is ok (low) from the 1st to about the 5th fret. But the action gets higher as it nears the 12th frets. How do I get equal string height across the fretboard w/out fretbuzz?
     
  4. i can understand that...but there's got to be a way to get the setup that i want. I just adjusted the truss rod, hopefully i will get results i can be happy with tomorrow.

    WISH ME LUCK!!! :D
     
  5. Whats luck? lol

    How did it go?

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  6. xax712

    xax712

    Dec 25, 2001
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tell us if adjusting the truss rod helped or not. I now that over adjusting causes buzz that's why I told you that test. The action should be a lot better if you checked the way I said to, but something else to get rid of buzz might be to adjust your tone so that you aren't very touchy or your pickups aren't super sensitive. That should help also, then adjust how you sound through your amp or pre-amp. When I get a new guitar I know that I have to work on finding the exact spot on the fretboard that allows me to get the least amount or no buzz. So just keep working at it, and maybe it is something in your technique that your guitar doesn't like. Even when you adjust the truss rod the "sweet spot" on your fretboard moves. So just experiment.
    Brad
     
  7. still no change.

    I can't get the strings the same height off the fretboard all the way to the last fret. It gets higher as it gets closer to the pickups.

    is this normal?
     
  8. xax712

    xax712

    Dec 25, 2001
    Northwest Arkansas
    They will always get a little higher the farther down the fretboard towards the pickups that you go. All basses do this I have yet to play one htat doesn't. That's what prevents the buzzing. If you pressed down on a fret and one further down touched another fret it would buzz, so that's completely natural. Some basses always have better action than other basses also. What kind of bass are you playing? And what kind of playing it made for? Slapping? Quick fingering? What? These things all play into why the strings come farther off of the bass. It sounds like to me you want something with an extremely fast action. They are out there but usually at a price. I don't have the money to through down for a high dollar great action bass or I would, but for the cheap look into Ibanez and Peavey for faster action, form my experience they tend to beat out Fenders and such, but I'm sure there are better, but I'd have to drive a ways to find them and jsut don't have the time right now.
    Hope this helps,
    Brad
     
  9. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    xax712,

    Re:The way you were taught to check string height.

    Can you expand on that. I've missed something.

    Cheers.
     
  10. xax712

    xax712

    Dec 25, 2001
    Northwest Arkansas
    What are you not understanding how to check if it will buzz or how to adjust it?
     
  11. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    If you set up your bass with totally flat action=buzz. The strings need to vibrate to generate sound. They vibrate in eliptical patterns, not flat. So in front of your fretted note the string will bend at its belly(deepest point)and hit your fret thus creating buzz if you have the action too flat. So to prevent this the bridge end of the string needs to be higher than the nut end. You really adjust action at the saddles of the bridge, and not with the truss rod. The truss rod adjusts upbow/backbow of your bass neck and does figure into action,but is not your primary action adjustment. The lighter your.... touch=less buzz. An accomplished jazz musician such as yourself should have no problem with light touch. AND if you are trying to setup a mass produced bass with an ultra low action, you had better get someone to level the frets for you first. They just aren't produced with the tolerances necessary to get that super low action. I usually set mine up in stages. Get the upbow you want at the neck, and lower your action at the saddles till I get buzz. Then I slowly raise my action while I play with my saddles till the buzz mostly goes away. Make sure you keep it tuned to whatever tuning you use. Works for me.;)
     
  12. well, the action that i'm looking for is where I am comfortable with playing fast phrases and doing some slapping. I play at my church and we do a lot of gospel.

    my bass is a G&L L-2000.

    how should the bridge saddles look?

    I see on a lot of basses that the saddles of the E-string are usually pretty far back to the right (farther from the pickups), and they continue to move to the left (closer to the pickups) as you move toward the G-string....does this have something to do with the intonation of the strings?

    Also the saddle heights...???...
     
  13. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    (mentor voice on)
    Yes, grasshopper, it has everything to do with the intonation of the strings. :cool:
     
  14. well the bass feels great now...i know that I gotta get a different gauge of strings. I'm really liking nickel strings, they are way smoother and more flexible. D'Addario XL's are in my future. :cool:
     
  15. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Also don't neglect technique. If you're not properly attacking the string, if it is not syncronized properly with your left hand, you are going to get a crap load of buzz. ie..If you pluck your string early and then fret it, it will buzz just as it is coming down on the fret.

    So how did you get it to play satisfactorily? If you like soft strings, I have read here over and over again that Thomastik-Enfields are tops for low tension. And they say they sound great. Never tried them.
     
  16. well i tweaked the truss rod a tad and now there is no fretbuzz unless I attack the string very very hard, which is perfectly normal.

    I also learned to play with a lighter touch, i've also noticed and gotten used to the little buzz that I hear, but the amp doesn't pick up, you know what i'm talking about?

    about the Thomastik-Infleds...do they sell roundwounds? and when you say soft and low tension, does that mean that it will be difficult to play fast licks? or are they just smoother?
     
  17. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Never tried them so I can't say first hand

    Do a thread search. You should get a ton of info. Just giving you hear-say on what I have read here. Lots of really positive opinions. Especially about their tone and playability. They are pricey and I like a stiffer string so I have shyed away from them for myself. Another thing that keeps coming up about them is they get better with age!!!! I will probably give them a try someday.
     
  18. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    xax712,

    To see if it will buzz. (I know how to do the setup)

    Thanks.

    Cheers.
     
  19. xax712

    xax712

    Dec 25, 2001
    Northwest Arkansas
    Ok to see if your truss rod is adjusted too far, press down on the last fret, directly on top of it. While holding your lowest string down, look at the fretboard from the side and look directly over your 12th fret. If the string is touching the fret you should loosen you truss rod, if there is a large gap tighten it. This will determine how straight your neck is and allow you to adjust it. 5-Strings are going to need madjustment more often on average, because the stress the neck is under is greater.
    Brad
     
  20. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    I don't like pointing fingers, but misimformation is worse. I don't know how you could possibly make a truss rod adjusment with the information provided above, but maybe I misread something. To check the relief of your neck(ie truss rod adjustment) you need to hold your string down at the first fret also. So you ( I usually use a capo on the first fret) hold down your string at the first and last(closest to to the bridge) frets. So now your string is pressed down the length of the neck being held down at both ends. Now somewhere near the 9th fret you should see a small space between the string and the fret. This is upbow, or neck relief. How much depends on your needs and wants, but generally between .010 and .030. I keep my neck pretty flat. between .008 and .013. The drops from your guitarists strings make a great "feeler gauge" to check the relief. Make sure you label them so you know what diameter they are.;)