Squier Affinity Issue - Anyone Else?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gravel Road Cop, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. So I purchased one of the Fender starter packs back in 2010, and have been teaching and practicing on my own since. Recently, after a three month hiatus, I came back to my bass, tuned it up, and I now find that when I dig in hard on the A string, there is a loud, atonal buzzing noise coming from the area of the pickup/bridge. It occurs mostly with an open string, but to a lesser extent when I fret on the lower half of the neck. Has anyone else had this issue with an Affinity series? I know they're budget, but mine has, to this point, been rock solid for learning on.
  2. 5StringThunder


    Dec 28, 2012
    Make sure all the screws on the bridge are firm. Not tight, don't crank them so that it messes with the intonation and action, just so that there is nothing rattling. Also check to make sure the string is sitting in the saddle and the nut properly. Next just make sure all screws/nuts holding hardware in place are tight, sometimes these come loose and rattle. If none of that does it then check the action, be sure the neck didn't shift and that's it's fret buzz. If it is fret buzz, just straighten the truss rod back out.
  3. Thanks, 5String. Unfortunately, I've already tried most of what you've suggested - checked all screws and attachment points, bridge adjustment, pickup screws, etc. I also completed a setup going by the guide on the Fender website and the neck is still in alignment. I'm completely at a loss as to what could possibly be causing this issue, especially considering it is most pronounced on an open A string - it doesn't occur at all when I dig in super deep on the E, D or G strings, only the A. The only thing I haven't done is swap out the strings for a new set.

    The only mechanical issue I have found so far is the pickguard screw in the center rear of the guard is broken, looks like it was overtightened from the factory, but it's not loose or wiggling.
  4. 5StringThunder


    Dec 28, 2012
    That one screw wouldn't do it anyways. Does it do it at any frets on the A? And if so which ones?
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. If I ascend the neck, the buzzing gradually gets less and less, even when I pluck the A string really hard - its worst when it's open A, and gradually gets less and less and I approach the middle of the neck, and disappears once I reach the higher frets.
  7. Sounds like the neck needs some readjusting. Its normal for the neck wood to shrink and expand with different weather and over time.
  8. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Could be a cheap string. Sometimes bad strings have kind of a weird ghost note in them. I don't know how to describe it.

    Here's a weird suggestion: shake the bass and listen for a rattling. Maybe there's a spring or a loose component somewhere inside it that's resonating when you pluck the string.
  9. dubhnight


    Jul 26, 2012
    I used to get this, now I don't. I'm not sure what happened to be honest. One difference is that I use flats now instead of rounds, but I don't think that's telling the whole story. Just something to do with the wood I'd imagine.
  10. tomsthumb


    Jan 11, 2013
    you probaly wore your fret down a few hundreths of an inch. one of my normal guitars did the same thing. there was just a high spot relative to everything else. not super duper common, but it's around.
  11. Stormer


    Jul 24, 2012
    make sure the saddles are putting tension on the springs and check all the nuts are tight on the pots and jack.
  12. themaestro78


    Sep 27, 2011
    silly question, but did you loosen the strings before you tightened the all the screws? whlile they're loose check the neck bolts as well. another thing prss on the a string behind the nut and play the open A you may not have enough windings on the tuner to bring the string low enough to set into the nut
  13. 5StringThunder


    Dec 28, 2012
    This happened on one of mine. Te 2nd fret on my A on a 5er. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.
  14. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Before you go to far down the path...

    Put pressure on the A string on the headstock side of the nut. The break angle for A strings isn't always steep enough. If the nut does turn out to be the problem, you will likely need to deepen the A slot slightly.

    Another very important point, be sure the string comes off the tuning gear at the bottom. Wind from the top down. This will help with the break angle.

  15. dagovna659


    Mar 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    Try re-stringing the A-string or check the tuning peg post to insure the string is not overlapping itself cause that can give you an annoying buzz making you think the truss-rod needs adjusting when its the sting not properly coiled around the tuning peg post.
  16. ^This.

    Although DEEPENING the slot for the A string will only make the buzzing worse - think about it!

    The best fix for this - and it's a well-known problem with Fender-style headstocks, is to leave a little extra length on the A string when fitting new strings, and wind it on the peg making sure it's going from the top down. The extra length will make sure the string winds well down the winder-shaft and ought to give you the break-angle that you need.

    Give the suggestion of pushing down on the A string behind the nut & see if it improves the situation.

  17. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Actually, if A string tension is the problem, angling the slot down toward the headstock will give the string a firmer seat.

    If he actually has fret buzz on an open string (instead of A string noise caused by the string's seat) then a lower nut slot would make a difference.

  18. If it buzzes on an open string after a proper setup it's usually either a high fret, which can pop up out of it's slot, though it's rare, or it's a nut slot that's already too deep.

    If the break angle is good and it buzzes open but not when holding it down at the first fret, it's the nut slot and it's too deep. If it buzzes open and up the first few frets, check the first fret that doesn't buzz. That's usually the high one. Make sure it's seated properly by just tapping a bit on it with a tack hammer - use a small piece of wood between the fret and the hammer so you won't damage the fret. Pros often use a small wooden mallet for this.

    A fret CAN pop up in the middle and affect one string more than all of the others. It's probably more likely on a budget instrument like an Affinity than on, say, a Warwick or an Alembic, but can happen to anything really. A professional setup should probably include checking for this kind of thing but the home player might not go there.

    It's just something I'd look for in addition to some of the above posts.
  19. Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys. I've tried everything here, and still nothing. Last resort, I'm going to pick up a pack of strings tomorrow when I'm in town and throw them on, see if it's a bum string. If not, I'm at a loss, I may have to take it in to get it professionally set up / repaired.
  20. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    I agree that it sounds like a nut slot issue. Did you try the suggestion to put pressuse on the string on the headstock and play an open note?
  21. +1
    I had the same thing happen on all 3 fenders I have dealt with. I put a single layer of electrical tape laying in string groove, reinstalled and tuned string, and no more noise. Very simple and easy way to solve problem. Put pressure on headstock side of nut or wedge a fingernail next to the string, between string and nut. If it goes away, you have found problem.