1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TalkBass iphone/android app is NOT WORKING currently. We're working on it. Tapatalk IS working, so if you need to use an app, use Tapatalk. Try using your browser though - TalkBass is now 100% responsive to your phone/tablet screen size ;)

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Mah bass is screwed up!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ThePoloHobo, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. ThePoloHobo

    ThePoloHobo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a gig saturday and my MiM Jazz is not acting right. I have considerable buzz at the nut, especially on the A string. When fretted, the E & A strings hit the 21st fret, making a lovely clacking sound. I've loosened the truss rod almost half a turn and raised my action to no avail. It seems like the neck bows up where it joins the body.. Am i just hitting the strings too hard? Its got a BA II bridge that i installed myself, and it hasnt had a pro setup since before that. But i dont have $60 for another setup.. please help! Ive watched setup videos but nothing is working to fix the buzz/clack
  2. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Buzzing at the nut could indicate that the nut slots are too wide or deep for the strings you are using. Does the buzz go away if you put pressure on the strings at the nut? That would confirm a problem with the nut slots. If the neck has too much bow, then tighten the truss rod to make it more level, while leaving some relief. Are you hearing the fret buzz through your amp? Sometimes fret buzz while playing acoustically disappears when amplified. Have you changed the type of strings you use lately? Any change to strings requires a new setup. Especially if you went to a lighter gauge. That would explain problems with the nut too.
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Something changed. I'm not sure where it changed, but you need a short-term fix. I'll bet the BA bridge is the source of some of the problems in terms of changing the setup.

    To get down and dirty, cut a small piece from a pop or beer can and slide it under the A string where it goes through the nut. That shim will raise the string enough that it shouldn't buzz. The action won't be great, but it should work.

    The 21st fret problem sounds like either low bridge saddles or too much bow in the neck. I wouldn't be loosening the truss rod, I'd tighten it to try and get the neck straighter. With the neck straighter, you may still have the A string buzz but you can deal with the 21st fret problem more easily.


    With the neck straighter, I'd try raising the saddles and see what happens. Again, the action may get higher, but you gotta be able to play it.
  4. ThePoloHobo

    ThePoloHobo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep goes away if i even touch the string on the other side of the nut. You know what, i think i changed from d'addario 160's to 165's. But it probably needs new ones its been 6 weeks or so. Im not sure what the difference is between these strings. I dont know if it has too much bow or not enough.. gonna start with going back to the xl 160's.
  5. ThePoloHobo

    ThePoloHobo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well straightening the neck/ raising the action a bit did help with the clacking! Thanks! Hopefully a new set 160 strings will resolve the other issues.
  6. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Likes Received:
    0
    You'll also want to make sure that you get enough windings on your tuning pegs so that the string breaks over the nut at an appropriate angle. Having too few windings (not enough angle at the break) can also cause this issue.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    VERY good note! Insert the string in the tuner hole, then lock in the string with the wrap, and wrap downwards on the tuning post to have the string come off the bottom of the tuning post. That gives you as much break angle as you can get.
  8. ThePoloHobo

    ThePoloHobo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is 3 winds enough?
  9. bass_case

    bass_case Used Register Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is pretty common with the A string on Fenders. Some people add another string tree to put downforce on the A, but 3 good downward winds should work.
  10. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yep. I always do 3 windings. More is too many and less isn't enough.
  11. elBandito

    elBandito

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Likes Received:
    2
    MIM tuners don't let you wind the strings down low, if you cut the E and A strings too short. You need more than 3 windings to wind over the hump on the tuning peg. The tapered peg does more harm than good. Poor design. Vintage style straight barrel tuners are much better.
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Almost every bass I own has more than three. The number of windings doesn't matter as much on a J or P as winding downwards to the BOTTOM of the tuner. There is no magic to any number of windings - it's their purpose which matters..and the windings have two purposes:

    1) To lock the string securely in place
    2) To wind to the bottom of the tuner

    I will share great wisdom (from my dad): "No matter how many times you cut it off, it's still too short."

    Cut long, my friends. Shorten as needed.
  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    OK, here's how you figure how much string to cut on an MIM J.

    Before you get started, turn the machine head until the string post slot is parallel to the long axis of the neck. Since I usually have all the old strings off when I'm putting on a new set, I do all of my string posts at once.

    Put your string through the bridge and pull it up so the ball is tight against the bridge.

    Lay the string over the top of your machine head posts roughly in line with it's nut slot. Keep the ball tight against the bridge.

    Hold the string on top of the post it's going to wind around and let it extend across the other winding posts.

    Take your cutters and cut somewhere between the second and third post ahead of the post the string will wind around.

    I cut (for example) my E just ahead of the D post. This gives me about 2 and a half full winds of the E around it's post. If you want more winds, add more length by cutting closer to the G post.

    For the D and G strings, pull the string tight as before, lay it on top of the post it will wind around and grab it right behind that post, then move that point back to the E post for the D and the A post for the G.

    Once you get the string cut, stick it straight down into the machine head post as far as it will go, then bend it back toward the body. Take the string out of the post and bend the string on over until you get an over break (more than 90 degrees). Put the sting back down in the post and start to wind it on. Keep it tight to the post so it will be where it is when it's tensioned, and keep it in the nut slot and pushed down so it's winding on to the bottom of the post. Once you bring the slot perpendicular to the long axis of the neck, bend the string again so it makes a sharp break out of the post slot. Keep an eye on it and don't let the slack get hung on a pup, edge of the neck, etc., If you need to get it back on track that's fine, but never let it go where you've got it feeding on to the post. Keep it tensioned there with your fingers until it gets tight enough to hold it's on position there. If you wind sloppy there you can have buzz, clank, all the other problems so many folks ask about here. Wind until the string will hold it's own position before you let it go up top. Once you get it there, bring it up close to pitch. it's not important that it be exact, you just want to insure it won't be able to move on the string post, nut, or bridge saddle.

    Last trick for stringing. When you wind on the D and G strings, put them under the string tree and wind the string up it's string post. It's a small thing but it puts a wee bit more pressure on the string where it breaks over the nut.

    Once you get all your strings on and holding under their own tension, bring all the strings to pitch. Depending on how well you held them to the string post on the initial winding, this may take several passes through to get them all to pitch and holding. Once you get it to that point, I will grab the sting right between the pups and pull up on it a bit, then recheck the tuning, then do each string in turn until I've pulled out as much initial slack as I can and my bass will hold tune long enough to play for a while. I'll repet the pulling process a few more times over the next few days as I tune. It usually takes me a few hours of playing and tuning to get the strings settled down where they will hold without needing to retune more than 1 or 2 times over a night of 4 or 5 45 minute sets.

    here's a couple pics. First one shows the tight winds and breaks in the strings where they exit the string post. Second pic shows the wind up of the D and G strings.

    Attached Files:

  14. elBandito

    elBandito

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Likes Received:
    2
    Those pics show exactly how the MIM tuners don't allow the strings to be wound low close to the bushings. With straight barrel tuners, A-string can be wound with same break angle as D and G-string, insuring less to no buzzing.

    Leave the A-string long and let the windings force the string all the way down over the tapered part of the tuning peg. You will see how the string wants to slide up to the tapered part of the post.
  15. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2
    That's why I always have replaced the MIM tuners. I highly dislike them due to the tapered post.
  16. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    1

    Agreed wholeheartedly. The 'development' of the scalloped barrel was a step in the wrong direction, at least as far as Straight headstocks are concerned. I can't guess what they were thinking. I don't usually cut my A at all and Just a coupe inches off the E.
  17. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Likes Received:
    0
    +3 on that sentiment. Eff those things. Just another reason I prefer vintage style tuners.
  18. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    I've had a bunch of MIM j basses and have strung them all just like I described and have never had a problem of any kind.
  19. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    And you will wind up with a loose wind around the post and then you have problems with buzz and all manner of unwanted noise.
  20. ThePoloHobo

    ThePoloHobo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for the very helpful information. Im sure lack of winds on the A string, crap tuners and different gauge strings probably contributed to the problem. However, I discovered the real problem when I took my strings off.. the nut came off with them!

Share This Page