A problem with my bass, not sure if this belongs in setup or...?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Sheep Man, Aug 21, 2001.

  1. I noticed something just now on my Spector that I hadn't noticed before...well...I noticed a PART of it, but...well...lemme explain.

    When I play the open D string on the Spector, I also get a sort of...fuzzy sound, almost like static. When I play the D# or E on the D string (first & second frets for you other guys. :p) I also get that fuzzy type sound. Those 3 notes also sound kind of...dead. I can't even get a nice bright, snappy sound out of those 3 notes when I pop 'em, but everything from the 3rd fret onwards is perfectly fine.

    And...no, this doesn't happen on any of the other strings, just the D.
    This happens when it's not plugged in, too. So I'm wondering...what's up with it? Can anyone help me out?

    [EDIT] No, scrap that. It doesn't sound fuzzy...something's rattling on the bass. I can't place the source of the rattling though. It's not a loose tuning peg, it's not the bridge (or at least not that I've been able to tell...) so...uhm...anyone have any ideas what it might be?
  2. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Hi Sheepman - your ID makes you sound like you should be from New Zealand, land of the sheep ;) . Lei hou ma! Andy Lau was here recently in Melbourne actually...

    Didn't you just get your Spector serviced recently?

    Anyway, where is the sound coming from? If it's only the D string, the sound can only be coming from:
    1) fretbuzz
    2) bridge
    3) tuners
    4) nut

    And less likely as this is rattling -
    5) dead spots
    (as you mentioned earlier that the tone at certain frets sounded dead, but then you edited your post to say rattling).

    It sounds as though you have a problem with some dead spots PLUS rattling problems.

    Why not remove the D string and install it again? See if that helps. I'm in no way an expert, so maybe someone else has some ideas...
  3. Hmmm...
    About the rattling, allow me to clarify...they still sound dead when I play the open D string as well as the D# & E, but they still rattle.
    Then when I play anything from the 3rd fret up the rattling disappears, and the notes don't sound dead.
    Could it just be a 3 fret-span dead spot? Would that be one heckuva big dead spot?

    I'll try the re-restringing the D string thing...(all these 'ing' words are making my head hurt! :p)

    As for Andy Lau...I don't follow the Cantopop scene. :p And just as a little aside about cantopop...I was talking to a friend on the phone yesterday and had Toploader playing on the stereo. My friend said "What's that music playing?" And I said "Toploader, have you heard of 'em?" and she says "No, I listen to Cantopop, because I'm Cantonese. You know, like...listening to traditional music!" I just thought that was kinda funny. :p
  4. It might be a bad string. Although in that case it would probably sound rattly all over the fret board. I think it's either the string or the nut. Maybe the three frets too.
  5. Hey Sheep Man check to see if the truss rod cover is screwed down firmly. You also could have a high fret that might need to be redressed.
  6. Yep, the truss rod cover is screwed down nice & firm.

    But about the high fret thing...what exactly do you mean by "...a high fret that might need to be redressed"?:confused:
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    My guess is that there is a high fret. Possibly the third or fourth fret on the D string. A high fret would cause the buzzing and cause the notes to sound dull because when the string rattles against the fret a lot of the energy of the string is absorbed by the fret and makes the note sound dull. By "redressing" ZoomBoy means to have the fret filed down or re inserted into its fret slot so that it is even with the other frets.
  8. When frets are put on a neck they are glued into the fretboard and filed to specific tolerences so they are all at an even height all the way down the neck. If one fret has a high spot it can cause buzzes when certain notes are fretted in a particular spot on the neck. A fret dressing is having the frets reshaped and leveled so to speak.
  9. if you have had the spector serviced recently, is it possible that the rattle is coming from the truss rod? try plucking the open D and while its ringing move the bass around with 2 hands. see if it changes. ive had truss rod rattle before. maybe the guy was adjusting it and now its not right. (worse than having your car serviced)
  10. Argh!
    Well, the frets LOOK even to ME...but I'm no expert. :p

    And about the vibrating truss rod...do you mean...move it, or do you mean shake it, or...?
  11. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    I've had a very similair problem, it was the nut slot being to wide for the string. Try putting a small piece of paper between the nut and the string. Tune it back up, oh that reminds me tune it down first :D, if the problem is gone your either gonna have to get your nut repaired/replaced or deal with the paper fix.
  12. Hmmm...no, it's not the nut. I tried the piece of paper thing when I read it...

    Anyhoo, I just got back from Tom Lee's, I decided to let the guys there take a look at it.
    Well...the guy had a look at it, and had no idea what was wrong. He didn't even know what I meant by a "dead" sound...

    The guy said that "it's not that big of a problem", and "if you want you can try and change the strings." But I thought to myself...'if it was the string, wouldn't every note sound dead?' And to be honest...well...I dunno. The guy even asked me "What strings are these?" And when he heard I had a set of Rotosound roundwounds on there, he said "Maybe you'd like to try some D'Addario strings?" And now I think I can safely say that all the employees in Tom Lee's that play either bass or guitar are in love with D'Addario strings. They keep asking me if I want to get some D'Addario strings, and when I got my first bass there was a little price mix up so the guy said "Ok, well then for that little mishap I'll give you a free set of strings." And he pulled a set of D'Addarios off the wall.

    But anyway...I thought I'd come to you guys before I spent any money on anything that might not solve the problem...

    So is it possible that it's the string?
    Or is it really not that big of a deal, and I'm just making a big deal out of it? I mean...I owe my mom HK$2000 because of this bass, so it's understandable that I'd want it to sound nice...
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    sounds to me like the nut slot is cut too deep. You wouldn't be able to see it, per se, but what you're describing could definately happen. Did you change to the Rotos when you got the bass? or did they come with it?
  14. I changed to the Rotos, because that bass must've been on the wall for a while. The frets were all grimy & the strings were pretty nasty, too.

    [EDIT] In light of Paco's post, I threw on the original D string, and WHOOPEE! No problem!
    Although...it's a pretty darned fat D string, I have no idea what gauge the original set is, but this D is closer to the A on the Rotosound 45 - 105 set than it is to the D...
    And this thing's got a brass nut...
    Am I gonna have to go hunting for really heavy gauge strings now? :oops:
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    No, SheepDude, don't get used to really heavy strings. Take the bass to where you bought it, and either have them get you a new nut, shim the old one, or trade you basses.

    Spector is pretty good about standing behind thier basses.
  16. Hmm...
    looks like I'll have to wait til the next time I'm in the US, then.
    I guess I can keep using this old D string for now, then. :p
  17. You can always buy a new set of strings in a thicker gauge. At least a new D string, no one wants an old, grimy string (except me, I love old strings, especially when theyre dead, mmm, dead strings!)
  18. I think the gauge of the original set of strings on this thing was 50 - 105, whereas I prefer to use 40 - 95.
    So...if I were to get a bunch of fat D's, I might as well get multiple sets of 40 - 95 strings & just use 2 A strings instead. :p