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Knocking down only one fret


ricach

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I had a similar issue... My sustain was poor on high frets, took it to a nice tech and he looked at it for a second, pounded a few of the frets with a fret setter, and handed it back no charge. That will work only if your fret is loose like mine was, not if it's worn down.

 

Fret setter at stewmac: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Fretting/Fret_Setter.html

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I leveled the high frets on my dot with an oil stone but a needle file will do the same job for one fret.Just slacken the strings right off until they can be pushed to either side of the fret board ,popping them off the nut ,tape them in place to avoid catching them .Tape the fret board either side of the offending fret and then file down the fret gently until happy .you can check by a straight edge and tensioning the strings back .When happy with the hight of the fret then round the profile off until it matches the profile of your other frets .I used a flat needle file, then polish all frets with some very fine wire wool and /or wet and dry paper ..All this takes some care .I levelled every fret on my Dot to get a super low action and no fret slap or buzz .It worked well.It also helps if the truss rod is adjusted first.The key for me was to keep the strings on as this made the whole project easy to check .Just take it real careful ,remember you can only remove ,not add . Incidently I worked in reverse as I knew what string hight I wanted and set the nut and bridge to that .It buzzed and rattled like crazy so I then started levelling the frets until I was happy .its a bit unconventional to do but It plays like a dream now with the same string hight as my super low action Telecaster .

or you could put a capo on it and tell everyone your channelling Albert Collins ,which is a lot easier.

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Before you start grinding away, take a look at the other "good" frets up and down the fingerboard. Fret one and press down on the string above the next fret and develop a feel for what correct clearance is. You need something to compare to or you just might end up with a "low fret", which is a far more serious problem. Just a suggestion that might save you cash and heartache later on. (grin) And, tap before you sand. A high fret might have a little clearance along the edge that you can feel with a fingernail or thin feeler gauge.

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Well before waiting for the good suggestions, and since I needed to polish the fretboard and change strings, I went ahead and hit the fret with a 220grit soft block. Not sure what to call it really, but it's a block of sand paper that is soft enought to 'contour' to whatever surface your sanding. To be honest, I don't think I did a damn thing - saw no hint I even as much as took a molecule off the fret. But being afraid that i actually am cutting it down, I stopped, did my polishing and restrung it. Apparently it did do something because the 'sitar' sound caused by that fret is no more. #-o

 

Or was it the new strings?

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I recently put on a new set of DR Pure Blues (great strings, just got a bad one) and had the same sitar sound on the D string around the 9th fret area. I checked clearance by pressing frets and checking the clearance to the next higher and all seemed fine. I changed the D and the problem went away, so I installed a complete new set. Sometimes, I guess, you can have a problem with the winding machine that gets through QC.

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