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Fret-buzz? Something else?


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I've got an Ibanez SR496 6-string. Fairly low/good action. TI Jazz flats.


I don't have what I know as fret-buzz, since I don't hear any frets buzzing on the fretboard (knock on wood...). On the other hand, when I put my ear to the "horn" of my bass and play it un-amplified, I hear a distinct buzzing (physical/mechanical, since the bass isn't plugged-in) on some notes. 3rd-fret A-string is especially bad, but I get it on multiple strings to various degrees - does not seem to be string-related.


The buzzing, when I listen closely in a quiet room seems to be coming from the body of the bass, in the area of the pickups. I loosened the pickups, and jiggled them around, but it didn't make any difference (didn't remove them, since strings were still on). I also opened-up the electronics/battery cavity, but didn't see/hear anything there.


I'm kind-of suspecting the bridge, since the sound does not SEEM to be coming from the neck (truss-rod or frets). On the other hand, if I squeeze the string especially tight (on any string/note), the "buzzing" is a little less pronounced.


Question: Before I buy a new Hipshot "style A" bridge, can the apparent source of vibration on a bass "fool you"? Might I be hearing what is really neck problems (truss or fret), even though it sounds like the vibration comes from the center of the body?


I don't really want to spend money for a luthier to work on the bass - it is only a $600 bass. On the other hand, I don't want to invest over $100, and risk messing-up the bass if the chance of this being the problem is in question.

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I had a buzz recently that came from the nut, since I'd just put on slightly heavier strings - they didn't sit quite right in the slot & the D was buzzing - little bit of filing fixed it.


On the other hand, could it be your truss rod?



"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix


The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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Since you aren't hearing the buzz when you play open notes, that would seem to rule out loose tuners. I'd also expect that if the bridge was the source of the problem, you'd hear it on most notes as opposed to only some.


To rule out fret buzz, why not try raising your action at the bridge a bit just to see if the problem goes away? If it does, you can start from scratch with your set up by adjusting your truss rod/bridge.

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