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Overtone on Open D string

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ezmar, Oct 19, 2012.


  1. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Okay, I posted about this a while back, I got a new bass, there's a very prevalent overtone on the open d string. It was suggested that the nut grooves had been widened, and I checked, and lo and behold, the nut HAD been modified to fit B E A D tuning. So I got a new nut, and had it put in, bass set up, all that jazz. Just picked it up, and the overtone is STILL there. Just on the open D, no other strings. I don't think that my Tech is at fault here, because it's the same problem... Could there be something wrong with the bridge that would cause this? I'm really stumped. :(
     
  2. Stilettoprefer

    Stilettoprefer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Check the break angles? That overtone is probably the extra string after the nut.

    Try pushing on the string moderately hard right ahead of the nut (fret side) while it's tuned to pitch.
     
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Try at the bridge saddle too. Usually when I have a weird tone coming from a string the problem is usually at the bridge.
     
  4. thebandcircle

    thebandcircle

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    (Santa Cruz)
    Check your strap buttons for tightness. Maybe a tuner is buzzing at the headstock. Could even be another string droning. Do you have a zero-fret? Even springs under the pick-up can cause this...
     
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  6. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Don't think it's the break angle, and it's definitely not a sympathetic vibration, because it's only open D, not 5th fret A. It's also very distinctly a harmonic overtone. It might have something to do with the bridge, I should have top loaded the new set of strings rather than body-through to check if it changed anything.

    I'm completely baffled, and I know there's only so much you can do without taking a look at it personally. I'll probably bring it back in for my tech to take a look at it. I have a speaker that needs replacing as well. It's odd, though, since I pointed the overtone out when I gave it to him. I hope it's something that can be fixed, and that I don't need to shell out some more for a new bridge or anything. :/
     
  7. MarthaSamira

    MarthaSamira Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
  8. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Brand new.
     
  9. String Theory

    String Theory

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Southern California
    Can you take a picture of the headstock and bridge?
     
  10. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    I'll try to get some up tomorrow. I'd take them now, but it's night, and the lighting in my Room is atrocious. (You know, college lighting) Like I said, the Headstock should be fine, and unless there's something physically wrong with the bridge that should be fine too, but there's still a problem, so it has to be SOMEWHERE, right?

    Edit: Checked once again behind the nut and in the small space I have behind the bridge, no affect whatsoever on the overtone. I couldn't be certain, but it sounds like the actual overtone is coming from the body end, so it's strange that it's only present on the open string. or maybe it's most prevalent on the open string... It seems odd that the pickup would be causing it on only one string... but stranger has happened, I guess. I'd really like this solved, because I spent $1000 on this instrument, hoping that it will last me for a LOOOONG time.

    This is so frustrating.:scowl:
     
  11. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Here are the pictures. I'll add other angles if requested.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Bobster

    Bobster

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Since you are using stringthrough, ignore below....

    Is the D string touching the D string intonation screw spring?

    If so, slide the string over enough to let it miss the spring.

    Bob

    ***************************************

    Check the ball ends of the strings where they come through the bridge. Make sure the ball isn't touching the D string intonation screw.

    If those two touch, you will get a tone/buzz.

    If they are, you can twist the ball enough to break contact.

    Good luck,

    Bob
     
  13. DieterVDW

    DieterVDW

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    Gent, Belgium
    And maybe very stupid but you never know: sure it's not something in your room resonating or something?
     
  14. Stilettoprefer

    Stilettoprefer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    The A string angle at the headstock is concerning, but that shouldn't effect the D string. But it might be the cause of the over tone that you're getting. Pluck the D string while placing your hand on the A after the nut and see if it's still there.

    Make sure to do more wraps on the A string next time you change strings. You want a better break over the nut.
     
  15. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Have you tried other strings? It could just be that string.
     
  16. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Positive, first happened in a completely different location, and it happens everywhere.

    Did it with the strings that it came with, and with the newset I put on.

    Does nothing to change the sound.

    It's definitely coming from the D string, and it's definitely a harmonic overtone, sounds like 2 octaves and a major 7th above the fundamental. I guess I'll just have to take it in and have it looked at by my tech again. So very perplexing.
     
  17. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Sorry to bump this up, but are there any particular problems with the bridge or bridge saddle that could cause such an overtone? I think we can narrow it down to either the pickups or the bridge, since I had the nut replaced, the sound only occurs on that string, it's happened with two sets of strings, and the current strings have been loaded twice by different people. Also, I don't know if it's just paranoia/placebo effect, but popping on the d string sounds odd. I can't tell if this is actually occurring or if I'm just imagining it, it sounds a little sloppy? I don't know, it could be nothing. but if there's something wrong with the saddle that's affecting string vibration, that seems like a possible symptom.

    So let's reverse the question from "What could be causing my sound?" to "What could be wrong with the bridge that could affect the sound of a single string?".

    Any ideas? I'll probably also take it back in to my tech and have him take a look at it, but I have a show on Monday, and It's not so pervasive that I can't play with it. So I won't be able to get it in for at least a little while.
     
  18. giacomini

    giacomini Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Location:
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Does your bridge have an option to string at the plate instead of stringing thru body?

    If it's not the bridge, pickups, tuners, nut or the string tree I might think it is the wood that is resonating or some sort of thing like that...

    I had a Fender P Plus that did have an "extra ring" in the D string like yours, but my problem was actually in the A string that was vibrating too much after the nut. Used a Tesla Vibration Dampener to get it solved (and really worked, it kills overtones from the extra string lenght at the headstock).
     
  19. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    It doees, but I don't have any fresh strings, and I feel like the kink in the body-through loaded strings would cause their own problems.

    I damped everything behind the nut and every other string, and it's still there. There has to be something, I don't think it's the body, because it's very distinctly a "string" sort of sound. It's just like a normal string sound, but one of the overtones is unusually strong. It could be the pickup, somehow, since it's a fairly high harmonic, and it might be around where the Bridge pup is, but it seems odd that it would then only happen on the one string. I did get the stock pickups with the bass, it had Lindy Fralins put in, so if it comes to that, I can have them switched again to see if that solves anything, but I kind of like the other pickups, so I don't want to switch if I don't have to.

    This just seems really weird. Is it possible that I'm REALLY unlucky and two SEPARATE string sets, one nickel-plated and one Stainless steel from another manufacturer, BOTH had a D string with the SAME problem?
     
  20. DieterVDW

    DieterVDW

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    Gent, Belgium
    Loose pickup? Electronics resonating in the electronics cavity?

    If I have a problem like this, I play the guitar/bass unplugged and keep my ear really close to the guitar. Then I move my ear around to try to locate where the sound is the loudest. That should give you a pretty good indication of where the problem is?
    And then if the problem is the bridge for example, try touching all seperate parts of the bridge while playing to see if touching a certain one mutes the vibration...

    So a lot of listening and touching could get you far. Just like with a woman :D .
     
  21. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    It doesn't really sound like I'm going to get much of anywhere. I've already played it unplugged: in fact, that's where it's most noticeable. It's definitely not something rattling, I'm 100% positive it's a harmonic overtone on the string itself. I'll probably just have to take it in and see what my tech can find out by looking at it personally. :/
     

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