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Thread: BFR Fretbuzz Issues

  1. #1

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    BFR Fretbuzz Issues

    Hi, I purchased a mint BFR DD3 Stingray Special recently and am somewhat disappointed with the frets thus far. I have brought it to a couple of techs after trying my best to adjust it to specs but I cannot get the bass to reasonably setup without all of the frets buzzing on the E string. When I get the truss rod setup nicely, the A, D, & G strings are great with the action setup to EBMM specs but the E string buzzes on all of the frets. I've had to raise the action a few 360 degree turns to about 3.5mm on the E string (and all the others to try to balance the volume between strings). What is the best course of action for this situation? I like the way the bass sounds but it would be nice if I could have it setup like my other stingrays which have much lower action. Do I need to have the frets fixed? I'm assuming the frets are screwed up towards the E string, or maybe the neck twisted or something. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

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    Does anyone have any advice? Would it be a good idea to get the bass plek'd? I've never done it with any instruments but I've read that it is the best option for getting perfect frets. Has anyone here had a Stingray bass plek'd and what were the results like?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by N4860; 08-08-2020 at 11:36 AM.

  3. #3

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    Contact Customer service

    Customer Service Hours:
    Mon-Thursday: 9AM - 4PM PST
    Friday: 9AM - 3:30PM PST

    Telephone: 866-823-2255
    Fax: 866-893-2255

  4. #4

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    I think this issue is frets are not level with each other
    The rule is the frets on your guitar are supposed to be level with each other. That means they should all be the same height. There is an exception to this rule (upper fret "fall-away"), but I will not be getting in to that here. When the frets are not level with each other, that means some of the frets are shorter and some of the frets are taller. It's the tall frets that the string physically comes in to contact with, resulting in fret buzz. The string does not buzz against the low frets.

  5. #5

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    Have you checked the action and measurements? It seems odd that only the E string would get buzz. Did the "techs" you brought it to say anything? Seems odd that they would not be able to fix it, or not give you a reason why it could not be fixed.

    Do you play with a pick or finger style?
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmang View Post
    Contact Customer service

    Customer Service Hours:
    Mon-Thursday: 9AM - 4PM PST
    Friday: 9AM - 3:30PM PST

    Telephone: 866-823-2255
    Fax: 866-893-2255
    Thanks, I have contacted customer support but haven't heard back yet.
    StingRay Special BFR Fretless Vintage Sierra Burst (2019)
    StingRay Special HH BFR Dargie Delight 3 (2019)
    StingRay Old Smoothie Butterscotch (2019)
    StingRay5 True Gold (2010)
    Bongo 6 Egyptian Smoke (2009)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterFarmer View Post
    I think this issue is frets are not level with each other
    The rule is the frets on your guitar are supposed to be level with each other. That means they should all be the same height. There is an exception to this rule (upper fret "fall-away"), but I will not be getting in to that here. When the frets are not level with each other, that means some of the frets are shorter and some of the frets are taller. It's the tall frets that the string physically comes in to contact with, resulting in fret buzz. The string does not buzz against the low frets.
    Yes, I have been told it was most likely the frets since it is predominantly just the E string (and some of the A string) that cannot seem to be corrected. That's why I thought getting the bass plek'd would be a good option since that is supposed to result in perfectly leveled frets but I have never actually done it and I would be surprised if it needed to be done on a new bass, let alone a Ball Family Reserve bass.
    StingRay Special BFR Fretless Vintage Sierra Burst (2019)
    StingRay Special HH BFR Dargie Delight 3 (2019)
    StingRay Old Smoothie Butterscotch (2019)
    StingRay5 True Gold (2010)
    Bongo 6 Egyptian Smoke (2009)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Have you checked the action and measurements? It seems odd that only the E string would get buzz. Did the "techs" you brought it to say anything? Seems odd that they would not be able to fix it, or not give you a reason why it could not be fixed.

    Do you play with a pick or finger style?
    Yes, the action was set to music man specs first after adjusting the neck for the proper relief. A local tech adjusted the trussrod and couldn't get the fretbuzz on the E to go away without having to raise the action. The consensus was that the frets are not properly leveled but I didn't want to go through with doing that on a new bass yet before asking you guys and customer support.

    I play finger style only and while I do sometimes have a hard attack, the buzzing is not an issue with my SR5 or my old smoothie which are setup to music man specs. With those basses, I can dig in and get a nice sting without the note fretting out and then I can lay back a bit and get a clean tone but I cant seem to do that on my new SRS.
    StingRay Special BFR Fretless Vintage Sierra Burst (2019)
    StingRay Special HH BFR Dargie Delight 3 (2019)
    StingRay Old Smoothie Butterscotch (2019)
    StingRay5 True Gold (2010)
    Bongo 6 Egyptian Smoke (2009)

  9. #9

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    If it’s E boarding onto A all across the board, to me that sounds like the neck is starting to cork screw.
    Not the easiest of fixes but easily fixed by a tech who knows what they are doing.

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    Bongo 5HH. Firemist Purple. 2019
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...

    https://www.facebook.com/DanSmithBassist/

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by danny-79 View Post
    If it’s E boarding onto A all across the board, to me that sounds like the neck is starting to cork screw.
    Not the easiest of fixes but easily fixed by a tech who knows what they are doing.
    Yeah, that's kinda of what I'm afraid of. If it was frets not being level, at least that would be easy to fix. Hoping the neck isn't twisted or at least is only very mildly twisted and easily fixed. I will see what customer support says when they get back to me and decide what I will do.
    StingRay Special BFR Fretless Vintage Sierra Burst (2019)
    StingRay Special HH BFR Dargie Delight 3 (2019)
    StingRay Old Smoothie Butterscotch (2019)
    StingRay5 True Gold (2010)
    Bongo 6 Egyptian Smoke (2009)

  11. #11

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    Ok, I'm gonna call a bit of BS here. There's a very simple tool called a fret rocker. Any tech has one, and should have been able to take 10 seconds to identify the high or low fret. Sometimes a fret "pops up" and all it needs is 10 minutes to clamp and glue it down.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Ok, I'm gonna call a bit of BS here. There's a very simple tool called a fret rocker. Any tech has one, and should have been able to take 10 seconds to identify the high or low fret. Sometimes a fret "pops up" and all it needs is 10 minutes to clamp and glue it down.

    I'm afraid it's not and I'm not sure why you'd think I would be lying. Now in defense of the people I brought it to, I didn't leave it to them to work on as I had just received the instrument within 24 hours of bringing it in to show them and with it having travelled from florida to ontario they said the neck adjustments may have just needed to settle in. So it was only after waiting another day after setting the relief that I began to be alarmed. The neck twisting does appear to be the cause as it is still looking straight on the E string while the G string shows some relief after adjusting. I have inspected for any frets that need clamping down and I don't see anything that looks suspicious. Is there something I should be looking for? I'm just waiting to hear back from customer service to see if EBMM has a designated tech in Canada or if I have to send it to California. Otherwise I will send it to my local tech to see if he can fix the twisted neck.
    StingRay Special BFR Fretless Vintage Sierra Burst (2019)
    StingRay Special HH BFR Dargie Delight 3 (2019)
    StingRay Old Smoothie Butterscotch (2019)
    StingRay5 True Gold (2010)
    Bongo 6 Egyptian Smoke (2009)

  13. #13

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    I would give it 2 weeks to "equalize", but I would also recommend possibly getting a Stewmac String Action gauge. It's been a great tool, and is definitely long enough to detect high frets as a "fret rocker". Sighting down the neck is also not a very effective way of detecting a warp. A straightedge is, and your bass has several of them. Just hold down the strings on the 13th and 1st fret and check for clearance under the strings at the 5th fret.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    I would give it 2 weeks to "equalize", but I would also recommend possibly getting a Stewmac String Action gauge. It's been a great tool, and is definitely long enough to detect high frets as a "fret rocker". Sighting down the neck is also not a very effective way of detecting a warp. A straightedge is, and your bass has several of them. Just hold down the strings on the 13th and 1st fret and check for clearance under the strings at the 5th fret.
    Thanks tbone, that stewmac string action gauge looks quite handy. I've seen those before but I just picked up a 6 inch ruler a while back that has the 32nd's and 64th's measurements but the Stewmac one looks more accurate and reliable.

    What kind of clearance should I be looking for under the 5th fret when holding down the 1st and 13th? I would say mine is currently a little more than a business card. I tried with my feeler gauge and it shows about .016 of a gap at the 5th fret.

    I will continue to be patient and hope that things equalize. It looks like to me that the neck just needs more relief but the trussrod seems pretty loose already. Any suggestions for that if the neck is too flat but the truss rod is already loosened?

    Thanks, I very much appreciate the help.
    StingRay Special BFR Fretless Vintage Sierra Burst (2019)
    StingRay Special HH BFR Dargie Delight 3 (2019)
    StingRay Old Smoothie Butterscotch (2019)
    StingRay5 True Gold (2010)
    Bongo 6 Egyptian Smoke (2009)

  15. #15

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    Feeler gauges in my experience are not the best for measuring sting heights as the string moves.
    But as mentioned. Fret the string and either end (1st and 13th) then play the string in the middle. If it rings with no buzz. Job done.
    By eye as you say a business card is about right

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    Bongo 5HH. Firemist Purple. 2019
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...

    https://www.facebook.com/DanSmithBassist/

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