#1
Hey guys --

I bought a Washburn T12 Taurus bass a few weeks back and changed out the strings to something a little beefier (lowest string is around .120 gauge, too lazy to go check) since I tune my guitar down to C# Standard. I was hoping to tune this to C# standard as well, but I just get too much fret buzz. Currently I have it tuned to D Standard and still get buzz.

The buzz is heard pretty much only on the lower frets, i.e. from the 12th fret down to the first, getting worse as I get closer to the nut. It is heard through the amp as well, so it's a big deal to me. I've tried raising the bridge on each string, which helped some, but I don't want to make it too high on the upper frets. Is this something where I might want to adjust my truss rod? The action is pretty low, especially on the lower frets. I wouldn't care it it was higher overall. Thanks for your input!
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Last edited by KailM at May 18, 2014,
#2
Before you start screwing with the bridge saddles to raise of lower the action, have a good guitar/bass technician to ensure that the bow in your instrument's neck is proper. If it is not, a 1/4 to 1/5 turn of your truss rod nut should clear up the buzzing problem.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#3
^^Thanks for the tips. However, I like to do everything myself, rather than pay someone to do something that is usually pretty easy once you know what you're doing. I checked a "how to deal with fret buzz on a bass" page and it certainly appears that I don't have enough neck relief.

When I finger the first fret (on any of my strings) and then finger the 12th fret as well with my other hand, the strings touch all the frets in between. The article suggested turning the truss rod counterclockwise 1/4 turn at a time, then retuning until there is up to 1/2 mm gap between the strings and frets.

Does this sound like good advice? Having never tuned a truss rod before, should I detune the guitar completely or simply adjust the truss rod and then re-tune? I know the critical issue is to not go for large adjustments all at once.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#4
If you raise the saddle so the buzz stops is that action too high?
Yes? Then maybe the truss rod, maybe the nut. The nut may be cut too deep for the string.
Truss rod is the LAST adjustment to make when the others fail.
#5
Quote by AngryHatter
If you raise the saddle so the buzz stops is that action too high?
Yes? Then maybe the truss rod, maybe the nut. The nut may be cut too deep for the string.
Truss rod is the LAST adjustment to make when the others fail.


Yes, I think if I raised the saddles any more the action might start to get too high near the upper frets.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#6
A great many basses and guitars - even expensive ones - are getting out of the factories with bad fret dressing. Have someone check your frets to see if they are level. If they are not, a fret dressing is not too expensive and can vastly improve the playability of the instrument.

Too many people fear adjusting a truss rod. Some people take it to extremes. I've seen people act as though they were in a Level IV Biohazard Zone when they so much as touched the truss rod nut with a wrench. Such over-caution is not necessary. While I agree that it is probably not the first adjustment, if the bow in your instrument's neck is off, then adjusting it is the only thing that is going to fix it. So if the relief in your bass' neck is not correct, well; no amount of bridge monkeying, nut filing, or anything else is going to fix it. So check your neck relief, and have a professional check your fret dressing/levels, and proceed accordingly.

It is easier to spot a bad neck relief in a guitar than in a bass, because guitarists bend notes frequently and if the strings "fret out" at some point on the neck, then it is a strong (but not certain) indicator of bad neck relief. Fret buzz on one fret is frequently indicative of a bad fret - too high or two low. Now; if all of your strings are buzzing across the whole fretboard, then you might need to raise your bridge or check to see if the slots in the nut are cut too deep.

Whatever the problem, it is probably an easy fix.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#7
Quote by FatalGear41
A great many basses and guitars - even expensive ones - are getting out of the factories with bad fret dressing. Have someone check your frets to see if they are level. If they are not, a fret dressing is not too expensive and can vastly improve the playability of the instrument.

Too many people fear adjusting a truss rod. Some people take it to extremes. I've seen people act as though they were in a Level IV Biohazard Zone when they so much as touched the truss rod nut with a wrench. Such over-caution is not necessary. While I agree that it is probably not the first adjustment, if the bow in your instrument's neck is off, then adjusting it is the only thing that is going to fix it. So if the relief in your bass' neck is not correct, well; no amount of bridge monkeying, nut filing, or anything else is going to fix it. So check your neck relief, and have a professional check your fret dressing/levels, and proceed accordingly.

It is easier to spot a bad neck relief in a guitar than in a bass, because guitarists bend notes frequently and if the strings "fret out" at some point on the neck, then it is a strong (but not certain) indicator of bad neck relief. Fret buzz on one fret is frequently indicative of a bad fret - too high or two low. Now; if all of your strings are buzzing across the whole fretboard, then you might need to raise your bridge or check to see if the slots in the nut are cut too deep.

Whatever the problem, it is probably an easy fix.


Thank you, that was very helpful and informative. I agree, people act like adjusting the truss rod is akin to skydiving without checking your parachute first. With most projects in life, I've found that if you proceed with caution and don't try to do too much too fast, most risk can be alleviated.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#8
Update: Well, I loosened the truss rod by about 1/4 turn, and the buzzing improved -- but isn't completely gone. The problem is, I thought I was using the correct Allen wrench (4mm) and when I try to adjust it a little further (there's a tight spot), I can tell the socket wants to strip. It's hard to see the end of the truss rod clearly, so it's difficult to check for a good wrench match. I've tried a 3/16" wrench, and that's too big. 5/32" is too small. And obviously my 4mm is close, but it's going to strip out the socket!

Maybe it's not even an Allen socket after all??? The Washburn site has no info for me...


**Edit: Never mind. The truss rod was a 4mm allen all along. I just didn't have the wrench in far enough before -- there's not a lot of room to get the angle just right for full engagement, but I finally got it. After adjusting the truss rod for about 3/8 of a turn, the fret buzz is all but gone/it plays beautifully. The best part is that the universe didn't implode after all...
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at May 24, 2014,