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stout71
Intermediate Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 129
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 8:14 am:   Edit Post

Ok, guys. So I just received my new spectacular bass. When I played it right out of the case, it had a fair amount of fret buzz from about the 3rd fret all the way up to the 12th, diminishing "slightly" after that. I figured I'd let it adjust to the new environment for 72 hours or so to see if it helped. This is most noticeable on the Low-B and E strings, which I would guess is where the buzz would be most pronounced anyway. I've read all the posts about setup, truss rod adjustment, etc., but the buzz remains. Loosening the truss rods has no noticeable effect and it's getting to the point where I feel uncomfortable loosening them more. I'm about up to a half-turn (counterclockwise) already. The low-B buzzed slightly when I played an open string, which was fixed by heightening the nut ever-so-slightly on that side only. Keep in mind that I am a heavy player, a la Geddy Lee, so I can't really have super-low action. Anyone else experienced this?
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 3029
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post

As far as heavy players go, John Entwistle had ridiculously low action on his Alembics. So no reason you couldn't have super-low action. :-)

After the initial acclimatization (three days sounds a little short, to be honest, depending on the difference in climate from where you live and Santa Rosa) you'll have to allow some time after each change in setup, for the bass to settle in.

As I recall, the main difference is most often humidity, which comes out in the bow of the neck. So usually the first thing to adjust on a new Alembic is the trussrods, and to get that settled over a few weeks, before messing with the bridge and nut.
stout71
Intermediate Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 130
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post

Thanks. I will give it some more time. Here in Atlanta, the altitude is about 900 feet higher than in Santa Rosa, but the relative humidity is similar, usually 85% here in the morning and 50% during the day (right now, in May). However, I would tend to think that any adjustments to the neck would show SOME sign of change right after tweaking them, even if 100% of it didn't settle in for several days/weeks, etc.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7979
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post

I would losen the truss rods more - that's what they are there for. When I adjusted Stanley Clarke's bass that he restrung tenor, I turned the nuts about 1.5 times. With te extra humidity in Atlanta, the fingerboard is swelled up bigger, making the neck back bow. That's why you have to lossen the rods and let the strings pull some forward bow.

I played for your bass for a good long while, and though I'm no expert player, and my touch is quite light, I thought it played great.

If you are heavy handed (which may change after spending time with the Shamrock), do raise the bridge after you get a little forward bow adjusted in the neck.

If you find that the neck settles and there is too much bow in a couple of weeks no prob! Just tighten the truss rods up a little again and adjust the bow to where you prefer again.
stout71
Intermediate Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 131
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 12:30 pm:   Edit Post

How much tension should remain in the truss rod nuts when loosening? I have loosened them 1 full turn now (360 degrees) and now they are loose enough for me to turn them with my fingers. This can't be right.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 7981
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 1:46 pm:   Edit Post

First - did you notice any change in bow when you loosened the rods?

It must be VERY humid there :-( If you are out of room, we will have to see the bass back here sadly.
stout71
Intermediate Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 132
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 1:56 pm:   Edit Post

That's the thing, it's not really all that humid. It's about 85% in the mornings and in the day about 50%. Right now, because it's overcast and looking like rain, it's about 75%. This is totally normal here for this time of year. If it was 100% all the time like it is on the coast this would make more sense.

I do see a "slight" amount of change in bow, but like I said, I could only crank the things 1 full rotation loose before there was too much play in the truss rod nuts. I tried raising the bridge slightly on the low side and it made a modest improvement but not much. I always get the buzz at the next fret up from where I'm fretting the note, even from the 12th fret on up. The high side is ok. The B is really bad and the E is significant but not nearly as bad as the B.

I'm thinking that I shouldn't have to raise the bridge all that much to get rid of the buzz. This is crazy.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1530
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 2:50 pm:   Edit Post

That sounds pretty humid to me! Today the humidity in Santa Rosa is 17%. California is on the coast, but it's still got lots of areas that are more desert climates than humid temperate climates. It does get wet sometimes, but the air tends to be dryer than the Southeast. When I was touring regularly around the country, my trussrod would get adjustments depending on where we were. Northwest and Southeast definitely required a bit of a loosening.
5a_quilt_top
Intermediate Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 112
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 4:20 pm:   Edit Post

7% - 10% on average during the day in the Phoenix area right now.

I run a humidifier in my guitar / bass room 24/7 and can only achieve 35% (+/-) at this time of year. I'd prefer high 30's to low 40's.

I received two Alembic basses from Florida last summer. They took several months to settle in (with fairly regular adjustments) and are now set up correctly to my touch.

Correct humidity level is crucial to proper instrument care.
hammer
Advanced Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 356
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 4:25 pm:   Edit Post

That's a LOT of humidity in Atlanta...a ton more than I'd expect in Santa Rosa! When my Signature arrived here in Minnesota in January it was 45-50% humidity and I needed to tweak the truss rods to stop some buzzing. We are usually at 40-70% here and I consider that humid. 50%-85% is quite high. I waited until my bass had been in Minnesota for 2-weeks before making any adjustments and then made my adjustments in increments letting things settle for 5-7 days after each adjustment to make sure I didn't go to far and then have to reverse the process. It took a few weeks but the bass if perfection now.
stout71
Intermediate Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 133
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 6:10 pm:   Edit Post

Ok, guys. I totally get it about the humidity swings, but it's not like the axe is spending its time on the front porch. It's inside in a temperature and humidity (low humidity) controlled environment. I have acoustic instruments as well that need to be more humid than what it is here inside, so I have have one of those spongy things that goes in the soundhole. Works great.

But anyway, this doesn't explain why 1 counterclockwise turn of each rod fully loosened the thing to where it can't be made any looser. So Mica is gracious enough to take the baby back to its momma for a bit of nursing.
tncaveman
Intermediate Member
Username: tncaveman

Post Number: 182
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post

When I got my Elan fretless from Texas (humid to humid), I actually placed a light weight (about 8 pounds) on the neck overnight to get the bow right. The nuts are barely on for the truss rod. It's fine now. The nut is all the way down too. I'm running light gage strings (.105 - 0.045) and there is hardly any tension on the rods.

Good Luck!!!

Stephen
jon_jackson
Intermediate Member
Username: jon_jackson

Post Number: 173
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 04, 2013 - 7:39 am:   Edit Post

Just a suggestion based upon a little experience with various Alembics coming to the humid midwest from other parts of the country. They do seem to take some time to "learn" what part of the country they are in (yes, it may sound odd). I personally would wait a few weeks to see if it resolves naturally before going to the time (and shipping risk) of sending Shamrock back to Santa Rosa. You can always do that at any time. You could also try Stephen's technique as well.

It is a beautiful bass, by the way. Best of luck, what ever you decide to do.
Jon
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3590
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 4:42 pm:   Edit Post

I found this informative video on truss rod adjustment on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_qZ_QGXI4w
stout71
Intermediate Member
Username: stout71

Post Number: 165
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 5:52 am:   Edit Post

That's a great video, Jazzy. It's one thing to read text explanations of the process, but seeing it in action (no pun intended) is altogether easier to understand from a practical perspective.

The good news is that the buzzing is GONE. I did send it back and they did a heat treatment on the neck, because it was pretty bad upon arrival there. I got it back in June and I didn't touch anything. It finally adjusted to the wicked humidity and except for a couple of frets on the low-B, which was almost inaudible amplified, the buzzing was gone. I made a slight adjustment to the neck to give it a little relief and now the only things that buzz are the windows in my house when I crank it up!
hammer
Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 408
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 - 7:37 am:   Edit Post

It's great to hear that the bass you put so much thought into and for which you waited so patiently has adjusted to its new home (with some help from Santa Rosa).

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