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whats the secret to low action with no buzz?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Asa Samuel, Aug 13, 2007.


  1. my action seems quite high compaired to what i have seen on other basses, i've seen some that look really really low but get no buzz, mine seem to be quite high to get no buzz.

    i'm only getting the buzz around the 12th fret.

    so i just need heavier guage strings to get that tightness?

    anyone help?
     
  2. kalle74

    kalle74

    Aug 27, 2004
    construction of the bass, I´d say...
     
  3. shim the neck!

    To learn how, buy "Guitar Player Repair Guide" or "How To Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great!" (both are by Dan Erlewine and available from Amazon) Those books are second to my Bible! They unmask the mysteries of guitar/bass setup and show you that you can make almost any guitar/bass play beautifully.

    Shimming is quite a complicated procedure, but Dan explains how to do it perfectly.
     
  4. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Are you saying that all basses that have higher than desirable action need the neck shimmed? Seems that they would just shim it at the factory.

    May I ask what your setup experience consists of? I'm pretty familiar with Erlewines repair techniques and I've never seen him make a blanket statement like you give him credit for.
     
  5. mellofello

    mellofello

    Mar 10, 2006
    prolly need to tighten the truss rod.
     
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    The secret is the RIGHT curvature of the neck - and perfectly even frets.

    To get the right curvature, you may need to shim - and to get the frets even, some fret leveling may need to be done.
     
  7. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Touch.
     
  8. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    Everyone is forgetting a good set-up at the other end of the bass as well- the nut.
    Even though once you fret a note, the nut is removed from the equasion, it still makes a world of difference.
     
  9. JHL

    JHL

    Apr 8, 2005
    London, England
    Awwww man, you beat me to it :smug:
     
  10. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    And I wasn't being sarcastic,it really does start with touch.
     
  11. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    touch

    lack of relief

    good frets
     
  12. A good basic setup is probably what you need. You can get the specifications off the manufactuers website. If you are a little handy and have the basic tools to do the job, you can do this yourself and save some cash. Once the bass is set up, check for that buzz. Once the buzz issue is gone, you can make other small adjustments to suit your taste.
     
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Light touch.
     
  14. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh

    May 16, 2005
    Set relief, check nut height, adjust saddles. If you still get a buzz around the 12th, you may have a high fret and need a fret level and crown.
     
  15. OrionManMatt

    OrionManMatt

    Feb 17, 2004
    Houston
    Invisible Touch
     
  16. Sorry...you know when you read something back and it doesn't sound anything like you intended it to? well it just happened to me:(

    Fender used to shim the necks on their P basses back in the 60's, then they stopped when they introduced the micro-tilt system. but I'm not sure after that. Some guitars' necks are shimmed, some aren't, I'm not really sure what makes a manufacturer decide whether to put one in at the factory or not.

    I set up a lot of guitars and basses, going (mostly) on Dan Erlewine's vast library of knowlage and information from this forum. Because I set up my friends' guitars/basses, what I work on are mostly cheap instruments which come out of the factory with a neck angle of 0°. (As a reference, nearly all set-neck and acoustic guitars have an angle between 3° and 10°, with Gibson It's between 5° and 7°).

    So when I'm working on entry-level Ibanezez and Squires, a shim usually goes in, and it does help to achieve a lower action and improve playability.

    I hope I answered your question ok without sounding too much of an idiot.:)

    All the best

    JBJ
     
  17. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    +1000
     
  18. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I've played basses that buzzed like crazy when another bassist played them and when I played the same bass,there was no more buzzing.It really has a lot to do with touch first because if it didn't how would one know to fix other aspects of what may be causing the buzz.
     
  19. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    You could always get a fretless. I'm not kidding.
     
  20. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I understand neck tilt and how it affects an instrument.

    This is the question asked by the OP: "my action seems quite high compaired to what i have seen on other basses, i've seen some that look really really low but get no buzz, mine seem to be quite high to get no buzz.
    i'm only getting the buzz around the 12th fret."

    The two facts given are a concern that his action is seemingly high, and, Buzzes only on the 12th fret.

    How does neck angle, or shimming, apply to either of these facts??

    Of course you don't appear to be an idiot.:) I just don't believe that you thought your answer through. We all do that.

    The remedy that you suggest is unrelated to the question. As are several other responses, unless the bass has every problem known to man.

    And
     

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