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B string rattle??? Help!!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tbone0813, Apr 4, 2014.


  1. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I just bought a Gibson EB5 bass. For the life of me I can't get this rattle out of my B string. I have to raise it up more than 1/8" off the fretboard @ the 12th fret and it still has the rattle. The E-G strings are fine. Any suggestions before I send it back. I have never had this problem before.

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrocheesium

    macrocheesium

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Is it rattling everywhere or just on specific frets?
     
  3. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.

    All the frets.
     
  4. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Try a heavier gauge/ stiffer (hex-core) B string- it won't move around as much as a lighter gauge/ floppy-at-pitch string if you like the action sort-of lower.
    B strings (especially lighter ones) need more room to oscillate than the rest do.
     
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  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Well, a new string is one way to go but I would first re-check my existing set-up to eliminate the simple stuff:

    *Re-install string to remove twists.

    *Check nut slot for optimal clearance / break angle. Make sure strings are wound to bottom of post.

    *Set witness points at both nut and bridge!

    *Make sure individual saddles are parallel to bridge baseplate, not angled,

    *Of course, check relief and string height. Adjust as necessary in response to steps above.

    If ineffective, then I'd throw a new string on it.

    Riis
     
  7. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I replaced the Gibson set that came on the bass with a set of D'Addario Chromes. The B string on the Gibson set was a .125 I think and I put a .132 on it. No change.
     
  8. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    See above in red.
     
  9. Jackster007

    Jackster007

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    I am not sure if this will help, but I put a thin piece of thread under the string in the nut slot and the rattle I had was gone. My guess is the slot in the nut was just a touch too deep.
     
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No problem. The nut slot should be "U" not "V" in shape. The string should fit comfortably in the bottom of the slot and tune smoothly without binding or grabbing.

    Witness points: The string needs a clean break as it passes over the nut and bridge saddle. This is pretty much what sets / delineates the true speaking path of the vibrating string. Strings, especially the larger diameter E & B, are particularly resistant to this notion and, left to themselves, have the tendency to form a "lazy loop" as they pass over the nut and bridge saddle...not good. Here's what you do:

    *Once tuned to pitch, take your thumb and forcibly depress the string downward just on the fretboard side of the nut. This will create a clean bend or break as the string leaves the nut en route to the bridge.

    *Repeat the procedure with each string at the bridge, pushing down on the fretboard side of each saddle.

    If done properly, 3 things will occur: (1) tuning will probably be flat, (2) string height will be lower, (3) intonation will be off. Re-adjust as necessary to bring back into spec. Of course, we're also hoping the rattle is gone.

    Edit: just saw the nut slot / string reference. Once you've set your witness points as above, check the nut slot depth. Here's a quick "cheater" method:

    *Depress the string directly onto the 3rd fret with your left hand thumb.

    *Now, with your right hand index finger, tap the string quickly directly above the 1st fret.

    *You should hear a distinctive "ping" as the string hits the 1st fret and bounces back. If all you get is a "thud", you've got a problem.

    Riis
     
  11. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    Here is a pic of the B string nut slot. To me it looks really shallow but Gibson claims the nut has been PLEKed.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Lizarddan

    Lizarddan

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Have you checked that everything on the bass is tightened? Tuning peg heads, the tuning post, input jack bolt, etc? Sometimes strings with such a low frequency can really cause a rattle in loose parts.

    Just something to try.
     
  13. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Did I read that right, 1/8"? That's not very high for a B string action, IME that's very low for a B. Played open a B likely has at least a 3/8" elliptical footprint when you dig in a bit.
     
  14. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    On my cheapest basses I've never had my B string more than 3/32" off the 12th fret.
     
  15. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
  16. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    But back to subject-
    Is your trussrod loose in its slot, meaning is there tension on it countering the strings?
     
  17. bachlover

    bachlover Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    A tech showed me a tip for this. Put a dab of crazy glue in the slot of the nut. Sprinkle on some baking soda. After a short period of time the glue hardens and you can file it. Worked like a charm for a rattlin' E on mine.
     
  18. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    ^^
     
  19. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    Good call. The tuner screws were loose but it didn't solve the problem.
     
  20. tbone0813

    tbone0813 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    Truss rod is tight and secure. It adjusts as it should.
     
  21. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Crap...okay, time for a more sensitive diagnostic test:

    Depress the B string directly onto the 3rd fret. You should be able to slide a .003" feeler gauge between the string and first fret. Appears as if you've already done step #2: place a small aluminum foil nugget in the B string slot, replace string, tune to pitch. As you've already noted, if the rattle disappears, the nut slot is cut too deeply.

    But you knew that already.

    Riis
     

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