Bridge saddle springs vibrating!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mldavis, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    As the subject says, when I play the A strings on my Mexican Fender Jazz bass, the strings seems to vibrate the spring on the bridge saddle. I've tried moving the string slightly as it seems to be touching it slightly, but it still vibrates!

    When I touch it, it stops. Is there any way I can a top this without buying new bridge saddles?

  2. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses

    Remove the spring, stretch it out, replace.
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Or stick a sliver of foam rubber inside the spring next to the screw. That's how you dampen trigger return springs in some guns.
  4. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    I had a buzzing issue where I thought a spring was vibrating. Touched it, it stopped. Turned out it was actually a saddle screw that didn't have solid contact with the base of the bridge. Less than 1/4 turn clockwise took care of it.
  5. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    This is exactly what I was going to say. Just take the spring out and stretch it a bit until the saddle compresses it more when you put it back on. It won't be able to move or rattle anymore.
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Only problem is that stretching a spring can damage it. It may or may not make a difference, this isn't a nuclear reactor or anything.
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yup - stretching a spring will sometimes make it lose tension over time...

    In this situation, I've had luck with rotating the spring 'til it quit making noise, and making sure the saddle was pulling all the way from the baseplate...

    - georgestrings
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yes make sure the saddle screws are set tight to the bridge plate.
  9. +1 I have had this happen a lot. Definately tighten the screw. Just turn it by barely applying any pressure, and you should feel the very light resistance when it's fully seated.
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I also saw a neat trick a tech did was to give the Phillips screw driver a tap with the palm of you hand to seat the screw to the bridge.
    You will even hear it pop if its not seated. This keeps it all nice and tight back there.
  11. I do that all the time when I intonate if I have to slide the saddle towards the neck. I unscrew a little, give it a tap, and check it. Works like a charm. Although I find myself straightening the saddles afterward as they all get skewed.
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yup - you also don't change your intonation settings that way...

    - georgestrings
  13. I have to assume you're being sarcastic, assuming you've read my reply. Although I have been known to make too many assumptions...
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    No, I wasn't trying to be sarcastic - just agreeing that you can reseat the intonation screws without changing the intonation settings any... I didn't mean to stir anything up, to be honest...

    - georgestrings
  15. Sorry, didn't mean to come across as harsh. I just don't see how the method you quoted would keep the intonation. Turning the screw, yes; tapping the screw, I am open to reasoning. Again, I tend to assume a lot.
  16. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    If none of the above suggestions work remove the offending spring and see if that's really the problem. If the rattle goes away you could leave it off. If a spring is rattling it's not doing anything anyway. The only thing those springs really do is keep the saddle pushed forward when there's no string tension on it. It's not like those wimpy little springs have the force to move or hold the saddle in place against the tension of the string.

    If the spring is just too short and you don't want to remove it you could get another spring from a repair shop's junk drawer and cut a small piece out to add compression to the existing one.
  17. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    i have done this before. it works.
  18. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    No prob - if it was properly intonated to begin with, tapping the screw would just return it to that position, whereas turning it would change things...

    - georgestrings
  19. Ah, I see what you mean. Like if the screw didn't turn in the first place, the saddle just slides a little. Thank you for the new way of looking at this. Although how the saddle may shift, idk. Guess I'll run some mental simulations to figure out how it might happen. Actually, I need to get to the edge of space before I can think of other things. 500 trillion trillion lightyears out, and still going. Ya know, maybe I should just take a break from that and just work on the physics of bass saddles... I'm rambling, aren't I? Sorry...
  20. aprod

    aprod Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    I had this problem with my P-bass and ended up removing the spring. I was afraid the intonation screw would move but no problems.