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shoulderpet

Fret buzz on first fret E string

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Hi 

Hoping someone can help with this, I figured I would ask before I loosen the truss rod due to my assumption that more relief is needed.

I have a bass that has some fret buzz on the 1st fret of the E string. 

It had a touch of buzz on the first couple frets on the other strings (barely audible unless digging in)but it was small enough that raising the action a little got rid of it however there is a bit of buzz on the first fret of the E string, it is not a straight sitar like buzz like you get if you have a bass with bad fretwork but sounds more like the note is being choked by the string bouncing against the fret due to the string excursion

 It sounds like not enough neck relief but I could well be wrong and one of the things that makes me think i may well be wrong is that I am using Rotosound swing bass 105-45 which are not exactly known for being low tension.

With the above in mind I think it must be one of

*Nut cut too low 

*High(or low) fret 

*Not enough neck relief

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hard to say without doing a basic setup to get a starting point. Set neck relief to 12thou (0.3mm) and action at 15th fret to 5/64 (2mm) and see if it still buzzes on the first couple of frets.

If it does you can then go looking for 1st fret string clearance and possible high frets. 22thou (0.55mm) is a good starting point for 1st fret clearance.

(the Elixir strings "Setting Up Your Bass Guitar" series of videos on YouTube is a good introduction if you haven't done setups before)

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Are you sure its off the first fret? 

Check the fret, is it sitting as flat as possible in the fret slot like the other frets. Frets can sometimes ride a little high and will need to be ‘tapped’ back in to place.

Check the nut....maybe its cut too low for that E string..If it looks good maybe try a round file, give a few passes through the nut groove, sometimes the nut can be a little ‘tight’ ...then run pencil lead in the groove to lubricate it for the string to run a bit freer over it.

From what you are saying I can’t see neck relief helping down at the first fret unless there is a drastic move.Lastly....maybe try a new string just in case the string itself is the culprit.

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14 minutes ago, nilebodgers said:

Hard to say without doing a basic setup to get a starting point. Set neck relief to 12thou (0.3mm) and action at 15th fret to 5/64 (2mm) and see if it still buzzes on the first couple of frets.

If it does you can then go looking for 1st fret string clearance and possible high frets. 22thou (0.55mm) is a good starting point for 1st fret clearance.

(the Elixir strings "Setting Up Your Bass Guitar" series of videos on YouTube is a good introduction if you haven't done setups before)

Thanks, I checked the first fret and the action at the first fret is around .55mm so I don't think it's the nut that is the issue so it must be either neck relief or a high or low fret

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When you say 'some fret buzz on the 1st fret of the E string' do you mean the first fret buzzes when you play an open string, or that you get buzz when you fret the first string and play an F?
 

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3 hours ago, ikay said:

When you say 'some fret buzz on the 1st fret of the E string' do you mean the first fret buzzes when you play an open string, or that you get buzz when you fret the first string and play an F?
 

I mean that there is fret buzz when I play the first fret of the E string, open E is fine 

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Ah, well that removes nut issues from your list which at least narrows it down to neck relief, string action or frets. As you've already raised the string action that leaves neck relief or frets. If the bass has seen a lot of use, the lower frets are generally the first to show signs of wear so that's the first thing I'd check. With a fret rocker if you have one, or a short straight edge (10cm or so - enough to cover 3 frets). If that doesn't show up any high/low frets then your probably right in thinking a small tweak of the trussrod is what's needed. Although that depends on how much relief you've already dialled in - too much relief will give you other problems. If the neck is currently pretty much dead flat (or has only the slightest smidge of relief) then loosen the trussrod 1/8 turn and see if that helps. It's easily reversible so no harm in giving it a go.

Edited by ikay

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6 hours ago, shoulderpet said:

I mean that there is fret buzz when I play the first fret of the E string, open E is fine 

Yeah, that changes the picture a bit.

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Very generally if frets are in good level condition, nut correct height and the neck pocket angle is correct, then string buzz in the first 5 to 7 frets is too little neck relief and ones buzzing after that  is string height at the bridge. 

Sometimes if only one string is buzzing then possibly there's a partially high fret somewhere. Can also be a warped neck. That's worst case scenario. Or a unlevel neck pocket. 

Check neck relief first. 

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Assuming neck and frets are OK, before adding a bit of curve to the neck, I would make shures all the strings are following de radius of the fretboard at the same height. You might have your E string lower than the others. Then I would check the neck relief. 

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