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  #1  
Old 04-07-2019, 09:42 AM
therbulus therbulus is offline
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Default One bad note on one string

This is only on the high E string: If I depress it at the 10th fret, I get the note that is at the 11th fret. Only if I press much harder do I get the proper note. Does this mean the 11th is too high in only that spot? (Otherwise the intonation seems very good.) If so, what's the solution?
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:48 AM
therbulus therbulus is offline
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Default Forgot to say...

Visually, it seems that all the frets are tight on the fingerboard--so I think I'd rule that out.
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:54 AM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
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Use a fret rocker (a credit card will work) to determine if the 11th fret has a high spot.
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:05 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
Use a fret rocker (a credit card will work) to determine if the 11th fret has a high spot.
One really doesn't have to: based on the information given, it is a given that the 11th fret is too high compared to the 10th.

Try using the eraser-end of a pencil to press down on the end of the 11th fret. If it moves up and down, the fret can be glued down - or other options that require removing and reinstalling the fret.

If the 11th fret does not move, the 10th fret is lower than the 11th. If this occurred "suddenly", humidity changes might be a contributor, though, unless you have very low action, it would have to be a pretty large change in geometry for the 11th fret to sound when the 10th is fretted. You can sight down the fingerboard looking for high or low spots - specifically if there is a "bump" at the 11th, or a valley at the 10th.

More than likely, the end of the 11th is loose and sticking up just enough. It can be glued down. If the 10th is too low, it can be raised slightly and glued in its elevated position. It requires some tools and skill to do that well.
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:13 PM
therbulus therbulus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
One really doesn't have to: based on the information given, it is a given that the 11th fret is too high compared to the 10th.

Try using the eraser-end of a pencil to press down on the end of the 11th fret. If it moves up and down, the fret can be glued down - or other options that require removing and reinstalling the fret.

If the 11th fret does not move, the 10th fret is lower than the 11th. If this occurred "suddenly", humidity changes might be a contributor, though, unless you have very low action, it would have to be a pretty large change in geometry for the 11th fret to sound when the 10th is fretted. You can sight down the fingerboard looking for high or low spots - specifically if there is a "bump" at the 11th, or a valley at the 10th.

More than likely, the end of the 11th is loose and sticking up just enough. It can be glued down. If the 10th is too low, it can be raised slightly and glued in its elevated position. It requires some tools and skill to do that well.
No such thing as simply sanding down the higher fret a little?
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:23 PM
Arthur Blake Arthur Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therbulus View Post
No such thing as simply sanding down the higher fret a little?
https://www.amazon.com/Buzz-Off®-Fre.../dp/B003WRG9SK

Too bad it is no longer available. I used something called "Buzz-Off" fret leveling kit. Had steel bars for use as a fret rocker and a piece of wood with a groove to match the fret profile.

By varying the pressure applied, I was able to sand portions of a fret.

You wrap the fine sand paper over the wood form, then restore the finish on the fret with 0000 steel wool after taping the finger board with blue masking tape.

I also have a small triangle file, but didn't have the courage or skill to try using it.

Perhaps the right sized round file could allow you to make a curved slot in a piece of hardwood, and you would have your own tool for the fret.
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:29 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is online now
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Quote:
No such thing as simply sanding down the higher fret a little?
Yes, but you should first eliminate a lifted fret as the cause of the problem. If the fret is loose, it can deaden the note played on that fret. I tap on the fret with the edge of a 6" stainless steel ruler. If it sounds a dull 'clank' instead of a sharp 'ping', it is loose. Compare the sound of several frets, and the loose one will be more obvious.
I prefer to do the fret leveling and crowning with files, then final smoothing with progressively finer sandpaper.

Last edited by John Arnold; 04-07-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 04-07-2019, 04:34 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therbulus View Post
No such thing as simply sanding down the higher fret a little?
It's possible, yes. However, that can lead to simply chasing around which fret is low. If you lower the 11th fret, for example, it might end up low compared to the 12th fret... simply moving the problem.

Before "spot" levelling individual frets, one needs to understand the lay of the surrounding frets so that one doesn't just end up chasing the low fret around. Depending upon the situation, levelling an entire area makes sense. Ideally, the fingerboard is "flat" and is assessed in the process. That gets into having the right tools and applying them with knowledge and skill - not generally something a novice is likely to do.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:09 PM
Sonics Sonics is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Blake View Post
https://www.amazon.com/Buzz-Off®-Fre.../dp/B003WRG9SK

Too bad it is no longer available. I used something called "Buzz-Off" fret leveling kit. Had steel bars for use as a fret rocker and a piece of wood with a groove to match the fret profile.

By varying the pressure applied, I was able to sand portions of a fret.

You wrap the fine sand paper over the wood form, then restore the finish on the fret with 0000 steel wool after taping the finger board with blue masking tape.

I also have a small triangle file, but didn't have the courage or skill to try using it.

Perhaps the right sized round file could allow you to make a curved slot in a piece of hardwood, and you would have your own tool for the fret.
https://www.jsbguitars.com/buzz-off-fret-leveling-kit/

Very interesting and worth the $20 bucks.
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2019, 06:17 AM
jazzguy jazzguy is offline
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Take it to a qualified Luthier. They will be able to fix it + there could be other minor issues that they can fix. A good setup makes the world go round.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2019, 10:51 AM
therbulus therbulus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
Yes, but you should first eliminate a lifted fret as the cause of the problem. If the fret is loose, it can deaden the note played on that fret. I tap on the fret with the edge of a 6" stainless steel ruler. If it sounds a dull 'clank' instead of a sharp 'ping', it is loose. Compare the sound of several frets, and the loose one will be more obvious.
I prefer to do the fret leveling and crowning with files, then final smoothing with progressively finer sandpaper.
If I don't have the ruler would a butter knife work also?
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