Weird Harmonic/Vibrato on a Sadowsky Flat

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Grateful, Jun 29, 2013.


  1. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    So I got a new-to-me brand of flats and out them on my 5 string, replacing a different set of flats. On the new ones, the G string had a weird harmonic sound almost like a vibrato, pretty much everywhere I played except the open string and the 7th fret. Plus, I had to move the bridge saddle to the farthest most forward extent of the screw, to where the saddle was almost off the front of the bridge. When I did a 12th fret harmonic, it would ring out, then get quiet, then come back, like some kind of wave. This did not happen with the Chromes that were on it.

    I thought it might be a bad string, so I got a replacement string of the same brand and gauge. This string intonated with the saddle farther back, but the vibrato thing remained.

    I took that string off and put on 2 different strings (a Carvin flat and a Circle K Nickel), and there was no vibrato. I put the original string on a totally different bass and, sure enough, the harmonic/vibrato thing returned. It seems particular to that G string

    I absolutely adore the feel and tone of the other 4 Sadowsky strings, but can't seem to get a G that works. Any ideas before I have to eat the $48 and buy a different set? Unfortunately it's unplayable as is, as it makes everything sound out of tune....
  2. Grissle

    Grissle

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Sometimes when tightening up a new string it will twist a bit. Try loosening it a little and turning it a the bridge to unbind it.
  3. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've gotten in the habit of doing that whenever I put on new strings, and unfortunately it's not a twist. Just weird. Thanks, though!
  4. mrb327

    mrb327 Just say No to Tort Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    Had a similar issue with an E Chrome, chasing the intonation and everything. What made it better was slightly raising the saddle. I know this changes the action, but there was just enough to stabilize the string without making it too noticable when playing
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  6. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Durham NC
    Sometimes, ime, the G string can vibrate against the bridge differently from the others.

    Tear a tiny square of notebook paper and put it between the G string and the contact point of the bridge and tune it up. See if that noise is there.

    To be honest, I have had odd harmonic-y, warbly, etc. noises more with La Bellas and Sadowsky (La Bella makes the Sadowsky flats) flats than other strings. It's the price to pay for awesome sound when it's right.

    If that's not it, email Sadowsky and tell them you got a funky G string. Great customer service.
  7. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the tip! I gave it a shot w/the paper, but the issued persists...I'm just kinda spooked because it has happened on the original string and the replacement string. I have LaBellas on another bass and they are fine (no harmonics). Thanks anyway!
  8. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    The pickup may be too close to the string. Try adjusting the pickup away from the string and see of it continues.
  9. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tried that. On 2 different basses....:(

    Thanks anyhoo!
  10. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I sent an e-mail to Sadowsky support. I'll see what they have to say/suggest. Thanks for all the help, folks!
  11. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Update on this:

    Like Jason at Bassstringsonline (the only place to buy strings :bassist:), the folks at Sadowsky were super responsive to the issue. The sent me replacement strings, I put 'em on, and the issue was gone.

    These are my new fave flats. They seem the best of all worlds: Thumpy like LaBellas, but with some top end, and the tension is neither a power line or piece of cooked spaghetti. Perfect for all my P-based basses.
  12. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Location:
    US
    I love these strings. They're definitely in my top 3 favorite flats! And all string manufacturers make duds every now and then. I'm glad they were so responsive!

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