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Heimrich

Fret buzz at lower AND upper frets simultaneously

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I've finally had some time to check the frets properly, and I think I've found at least a few of them in not perfect condition...As a checking system I've followed @NancyJohnson and @Grangur suggestions, I took a metal string action ruler (this one https://it.dhgate.com/product/string-action-ruler-for-guitar-bass-string/388035345.html) I put the bass in horizontal position and I moved the ruler by groups of three frets at a time, using the fret in the middle of the group as a pivot. Holding the ruler at the extremities and slightly moving it to see if it rocked, I've found it does on several frets, oscillating up and down and producing an audible "tik" on the frets left and right of the "pivotal" one....The ones that seem to me the worst are the 6th, 7th, 9th and 11th, each on different points (6th towards the high strings, 7th and 8th next the low ones, 11th in the middle...)

To give you an idea of the situation I attach some pictures of the frets, can you please give me your opinion on their status?

Thank you again😉

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

4.jpg

5.jpg

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Compared to the old bass Rich @Grangur did for me, there looks like there's a lot of meat on those frets.  If all the frets are seated OK (and don't need tapping in), I'd suggest that if you're not happy trying this yourself, find someone to get the frets levelled and dressed. 

If you want a punt at doing this yourself, try here: https://www.crimsonguitars.com/collections/luthiers-tools

You could spend a small fortune on luthier tools (fret levelling, crowning and polishing tools), or find someone locally who could do the work for probably less.  Where do you live?  There's a lengthy list of luthiers somewhere on this page.

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On 23/08/2020 at 14:20, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

 

Never really saw the point of the Just-A-Nut. Seems a bit gimmicky to me.

 

... and I wish they all used that system :D

We seem to be ok with bridges that offer all kinds of adjustability, yet we stick to 'hard-coded' nuts. It makes no sense to me.

Just-A-Nut FTW! ;)

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17 minutes ago, mcnach said:

 

... and I wish they all used that system :D

We seem to be ok with bridges that offer all kinds of adjustability, yet we stick to 'hard-coded' nuts. It makes no sense to me.

Just-A-Nut FTW! ;)

I’ve just realised that I did used to have a bass with a Just-A-Nut fitted, but didn’t keep it long enough to tinker with it. In fitness, I had no need to as it was set up perfectly well on arrival. It was an Adam Clayton Reverso....I know, I know - I didn’t buy it new 😂

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Posted (edited)

@NancyJohnson 

Mmm.... No, I don't think I have the skills (or could acquire them in a reasonably short time) to do the job myself... I think I will take it to the tech who already did some repairs on another bass of mine. I haven't check the list of luthiers but... I live in Italy, near Rome... 

P. S. I know that judging by some pictures is not easy at all, but do you think those are frets needing some work? Because if not, I'm probably back to the starting point about my setup problems...

Thanks 

Edited by Heimrich

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2 hours ago, Heimrich said:

@NancyJohnson 

Mmm.... No, I don't think I have the skills (or could acquire them in a reasonably short time) to do the job myself... I think I will take it to the tech who already did some repairs on another bass of mine. I haven't check the list of luthiers but... I live in Italy, near Rome... 

P. S. I know that judging by some pictures is not easy at all, but do you think those are frets needing some work? Because if not, I'm probably back to the starting point about my setup problems...

Thanks 

The frets look like there's wear, but they really don't look that bad.  There's a lot of fret material left.  Try a local tech guy.  He'll be able to ensure the neck is straight, that the frets are set OK and get level the frets out.  This should sort out the issues you're having.

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We have a builder over here (Crimson Guitars), who posts some detailed videos about guitar building.  While this is for a guitar, the levelling/dressing process will be the same for a bass.
P

 

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@NancyJohnson very interesting video, that's definitely a work beyond my poor skills... Seems like I'm going to plan a visit to the luthier 😊

Ehm.... Forgive me for another dumb question but... When you say "to ensure the neck is straight", do you mean completely straight after removing the strings and eliminating the tension they generate? Watching the video I'm assuming that in order to be considered perfectly straight the neck must not be under any tension at all, neck relief is only to allow the string to vibrate properly...What if the neck is bowed even without the strings but just a bit (let's say 0.15, 0.10mm)? Couldn't it be considered as "normal" relief once the strings are on? Or must the neck be absolutely straight without the strings to be considered ok and not bowed/damaged? 

Sorry, thanks for the patience! 

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@Heimrich Over the years, I've had many basses and pretty much all of them have needed neck adjustments one time or another to suit my needs.  As a start point, I personally would always strive to get the neck as straight as possible with the strings off and work from there.  Once you're tuned up, check how the neck is, if it's pulling forward a bit, slacken off the strings, tighten the strings and check again.  A bow of a millimeter or two over the length of the neck isn't a huge problem...if the truss rod is doing it's job and maintaining that when the strings are on, it's fine.

The thing is, and I hope this has come over in these postings, is that there isn't one adjustment to getting a bass or guitar to play the way you want it to; it's a combination of few little things and there's a lot of adjust, tune-up, play, de-tune, adjust, repitition involved.

 

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Posted (edited)

@NancyJohnson What you say about setup being a combination of multiple factors and a trial-and-error process is absolutely clear and correct, and once again I thank you and the forum for the great infos you provide...So if I got it right, the sequence should be:

1. Remove the strings and aim for a neck as straight as possible (checking it with a ruler) 

2. Re-string (is that what you mean when you say "once you're tuned up"?) the instrument and check how it goes, tightening the truss rod if necessary (when you say "a bow of 1mm or 2 over the length of the neck" do you mean with the strings on? Isn't it too much? Maybe you mean 0.10/0.20mm?) 

Sorry if I keep bothering you but I'd really love to learn how to be able to fix the problem myself without taking it to the luthier or, at least, if that's not possible, to get a full knowledge of what the problem is... 

Edited by Heimrich

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1 hour ago, Heimrich said:

@NancyJohnson What you say about setup being a combination of multiple factors and a trial-and-error process is absolutely clear and correct, and once again I thank you and the forum for the great infos you provide...So if I got it right, the sequence should be:

1. Remove the strings and aim for a neck as straight as possible (checking it with a ruler) 

2. Re-string (is that what you mean when you say "once you're tuned up"?) the instrument and check how it goes, tightening the truss rod if necessary (when you say "a bow of 1mm or 2 over the length of the neck" do you mean with the strings on? Isn't it too much? Maybe you mean 0.10/0.20mm?) 

Sorry if I keep bothering you but I'd really love to learn how to be able to fix the problem myself without taking it to the luthier or, at least, if that's not possible, to get a full knowledge of what the problem is... 

It's fine, honestly.

Yep, strings off, adjust the truss rod to get the neck straight as possible.  Restring, tune up and check whether the neck has moved.  If it has, detune, give the truss rod a quarter turn, tune up again.  This is just an exercise to ensure the truss rod is doing its job.

When I'm tweaking, I'll just continue adjusting until I get to a point that the notes are all cleanish through the whole neck...I can't better describe it than that!

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On 27/08/2020 at 22:36, Heimrich said:

@NancyJohnson very interesting video, that's definitely a work beyond my poor skills... Seems like I'm going to plan a visit to the luthier 😊

Ehm.... Forgive me for another dumb question but... When you say "to ensure the neck is straight", do you mean completely straight after removing the strings and eliminating the tension they generate? Watching the video I'm assuming that in order to be considered perfectly straight the neck must not be under any tension at all, neck relief is only to allow the string to vibrate properly...What if the neck is bowed even without the strings but just a bit (let's say 0.15, 0.10mm)? Couldn't it be considered as "normal" relief once the strings are on? Or must the neck be absolutely straight without the strings to be considered ok and not bowed/damaged? 

Sorry, thanks for the patience! 

As @NancyJohnson says, your bass looks good for fret levelling. With a setup it will take a tech about 1-2 hours. If you were here I'd be happy to do it, but there must be many good people near you. I'm sure it will play well when it's done.

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On 23/08/2020 at 15:13, Silvia Bluejay said:

Fie! Fie! Fie! 👿

Just-A-Nut is brilliant. It's the non-adjustable nut that's the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my bass-setting-up life. It's the only aspect I absolutely loathe in my new Ibby. You can make absolutely everything individually higher or lower, but not the nut. Complete idiocy.

The ABM brass adjustable nut should sort the ibby out 👍

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I suspect that the Adjustanut bridges people have so much disdain for may be different from what was on my old Streamer.

Mine looked like this and it worked brilliantly:

bn-0889-008-jpg.1640368

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