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Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Bill Lockie, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. I have an 80 year old German bass (in good shape) which has seasonal buzzes on the open D string, the Eb on the D string, and the D and Eb on the A string. It occurs mainly in the summer and disappears in the fall. It's quite annoying when I'm playing acoustically but seems to disappear when I'm amplified. Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be.
  2. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010
    Old basses are like old houses; they have their own particular sqeaks, buzzes, groans and things that go bump. They are annoying, but I usually try to ignore them. They usually go away by themselves. It is all part of their unique sound and charm. It is definitely the humidity. I know that my bass begins to protest if I fail to moisten its damping tube for a few days. Nevertheless, despite all of the problems entailed, I would never own a brand new bass!
  3. I looked up damping tube on the internet and I hate to admit that I'm not sure what it is. Can you enlighten me?

    Thank you very much. I appreciate your advice.
  4. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA

    If you have a laminated bass you don't really need a humidifier for it.
    I would think your seasonal buzz is likely caused by changes in the wood. Do you have bridge adjusters? Is your bass carved, laminated, or hybrid? Is the buzzing coming from the string/fingerboard or is it emanating from somewhere else on the instrument when you hit those notes?
  5. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010
    Sorry for confusing you. I think it is called a Dampit. It had another name when I bought mine. It is a rubber-like tube that is perforated with holes in order to allow water to moisten the sponge-like core. You wet it and hang it inside the bass at the round part of either f-hole. As it evaporates it keeps the bass humidified. The key to its use in my opinion is to be consistent, in my case wet it every three days.
    I must warn you that while I like them--many other pros on this site hate them. I'm sure there is a thread lurking around here somewhere :meh:

    I assumed that it was an old wood bass, and most of "the changes in the wood" are caused by humidity fluctuations.
  6. I think the problem is high humidity in the room that I practice in. I purchased a hygrometer which is presently registering 60 % humidity. I'm going to buy a dehumidifier and see if that helps.

    Thanks for the excellent advice

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