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Buzzing from new Fender Flatwounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by PotatoBass, Aug 5, 2007.


  1. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
    Hi Everyone,

    I am just learning to play and, after some research, decided to put some Flatwounds (Fender 9050m) on my cheap Squire. I get a nice clear tone from the new strings but I get a bad buzzing from the string as I release pressure. The string starts buzzing on the exact fret I am working with. If I release extremely rapidly this doesn't happen but... it just seems too sensitive. Am I doing something wrong? This wasn't happening with the roundwounds I replaced...
     
  2. Flatwound strings have a great deal more mass than equal guage roundwound strings. As a result switching to them may cause a slight bow in your neck which could be causing your buzz. A slight loosening of the trussrod often fixes this problem. You can take your bass to be set up , or do it yourself. If you do it yourself never make more than 1/4 turn at a time. If you try to make too much correction you risk stripping the truss nut or breaking the rod itself. Try a 1/4 turn, then retune. If it helps great, if it makes it worse then go the other direction 1/4 turn.

    Just had another thought, if you just recently bought the bass you might be able to take it back and have the store adjust the neck. Since you put on Fender strings they should fall within the guidelines of your warantee. Additionally, most stores are looking to make newplayers repeat customers, so they are likely to be willing to help.
     
  3. ducatiman

    ducatiman

    Oct 3, 2006
    new yawk
    potatobass-

    dunno if its your technique or your setup, but i *do* know the 9050m have some high tension and are sized at 055-.105. If your bass had rounds which had both a smaller diameter and less tension (both quite likely) , some setup work may in fact be needed. bring your bass in to the shop where you got it and get an opinion. you need a set of trained eyes on your bass to be sure. do you have any knowlegable friends who could take a look? :help:

    ps i put the same exact strings on my MIM jazz, and yes, i needed to tweak the trussrod and do some minor intonation adjustments but love, absolutely LOVE the deep thud/thump
    sound these strings produce. :bassist:

    -----------duc
     
  4. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
    Thanks! I bought it used on craigslist so I can't take it to the shop for free help...

    I tried turning the truss rod 2 x 1/4 turns. So far I still have lots of buzzing. I will try more later and I might take it to the shop tomorrow and pay for help.

    Hopefully this isn't just me. I get a quick buzz as I release the string from the fret and it seems like a setup problem but I always suspect user error first.

    culley
     
  5. ducatiman

    ducatiman

    Oct 3, 2006
    new yawk
    a quick buzz as you release the string from the fret may be technique related and not setup related.
    a partially/sloppily fretted string will sound like crap. i call that fret-rot. totally operator error.

    a few questions: (and PLEASE YOU MUST BE SPECIFIC IN YOUR ANSWERS!)


    does it buzz on a properly fretted note during sustain?

    are you picking aggresively? thumbing? slapping? please advise your style during the buzzing.

    how about open strings, do they buzz?

    ok, does the buzzing occur on every string and every fret?

    how did it play prior to your changing strings, when you got it?

    are you tightening or loosening the truss rod nut?
    BE CAREFUL WIT DAT! :ninja:

    matter of fact, i strongly advise you to leave that truss rod be for now.
    please answer, i'll try best as i can to help, understand i'm relying on info you provide.
    -----------duc
     
  6. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
    Ya, I would hate to go into the shop and have them say I am just doing it wrong. Maybe I can find my camera and post on youtube...
    No, not if the fretting finger is right above the fret. If I am 1/2 way between frets it will buzz in some places.
    Fingerstyle-- nothing fancy!
    nope
    Pretty much. The last few notes on the E string are less likely. The higher the note the worse the problem.
    It didn't do this... I would get more "finger noise" as I moved around the fretboard but not this buzzing on the fret I am hitting.
    Righty tighty, lefty loosy!
    I have played other fretted instruments-- I feel ok tinkering with the setup.

    culley
     
  7. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
  8. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    From the sound on the video My guess would that the string or strings are not being held down in the nut. How many wraps do you have around the tuning post? Did you install these yourself? If there are not enough wraps to push the string down in the nut it will make some nasty noise like yours does . But the sound will come from the headstock area instead of below where you are fretting.
     
  9. ducatiman

    ducatiman

    Oct 3, 2006
    new yawk
    potatobass-

    i'm here at work, can see video, no sound card.
    1st thing i see very obvious is you're fretting too close/on the fretbar. :scowl: the edge of your finger may very well be hampering an otherwise vibrating string. you need to *center* your finger (for example) OVER the dot marker on the 5th fret, centered BETWEEN the fretbars and NOT *on* them. that'll eliminate some buzz right there.

    anyone else care to chime in here?

    i'll give a listen tonite when home. ;)

    do you take lessons and have a teacher? how long you been playin?
    --------------duc
     
  10. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
    3 or 4? I put them on...

    I switched back to the rounds to see if it continued. It is still there but not as bad...
     
  11. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    Sounds like your bridge saddles might be too low or the nut isn't cut properly for the higher gauge strings. But to be sure, just have a tech set it up properly.
     
  12. mccartneyman

    mccartneyman

    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Not quite setup help, but if you can't get the fenders to work , you might want flats that are lighter gauge. Try Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats. The gauges are closer to round (or any standard medium gauge set) and the tension is a whole lot lower. They sound great, and you won't break a wrist trying to hold them down. They are roughly twice as expensive as Fender or most other strings, but it's worth the extra cash. I've had the same set on my Lakland for two years and they still sound like new.
     
  13. ducatiman

    ducatiman

    Oct 3, 2006
    new yawk
    potatobass-


    i viewed the youtube vid (with sound) .....and i'm gonna stand by my earlier post. i don't mean to be hyper-critical but you are placing your fretting finger way too close to the fretbar.... upon lifting yor finger to dampen (end a note) you are getting a fret-buzz. bad technique.
    move your fretting finger midway between the frets.

    IMHO that will eliminate the buzz.
    anyone else pick up on this?
    ---------------duc
     
  14. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
    The buzzing is much worse mid-way between the frets. I have moved closer to the fret trying to eliminate the buzz!
     
  15. Mrdak

    Mrdak uber bass geek baby!

    Feb 1, 2006
    Middle GA
    The way you're fretting the string is going to make that noise with any string. I can get my bass to make that exact sound, but I don't. After watching your video, I must say, you need to relax your grip, and practice playing closer to the center, just a touch above the center, between the frets. If you get that buzzy sound when you fret a note right where I'm telling you, you're pressing down too hard. practice playing a few notes at a time with a lighter touch. Flats take a bunch of practice to get used to playing without that aggravating noise. I mean if you're just starting out, get some nice Labella light gauge roundwounds till you get your accuracy going. practice playing each note where I told you. Just do this..... It will work. After a year or so, after you're used to playing, then snag some TI Jazz Flats. Then all should be well. You won't miss as many notes as you are more likely to do now. Ease up on that grip and relax your hand. You're hand ain't relaxed in the video. When you get that relaxed feeling going on all of the time, those kind of buzzes will not happen. good luck Brohiem!
     
  16. ducatiman

    ducatiman

    Oct 3, 2006
    new yawk
    well then, you've either got to raise the action or provide more relief to the neck, or maybe both.

    you never answered, when you adjusted trussrod, did you tighten or loosen?

    there is a setup sticky here on talkbass....you should really start at the beginning....relief, action, intonation adjustments.
    step back and start over again, something is maladjusted.
    and i don't think its simply the string choice. the bass needs to be set up *specifically for those strings*.

    my mim jazz has same strings, required loosening of trussrod (a bit more relief) some intonation adjustments and plays/sounds awesome. yours should too.


    -----------duc
     
  17. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
    Good advice, thank you! I took it into the local shop and the neck was extremely bowed. He tightened the truss rod by 3 full turns (12 x .25) and it cleared up.

    It now plays great. I was also definitely having some intonation problems with my technique. I am coming from teh banjo and am used to hitting just about anywhere between the frets for a decent sound. I need to be more careful with the bass.

    Thank you everyone!
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have to tell you that even though you've cleared up your problem, this is the first I've ever heard of fretting toward the center the frets instead of right up on them, and I've been playing pro for 30 years. You should get as close to the fret as possible. You have to exert too much pressure to get the string to stay on the fret and not lift off in the middle of the frets. Your fretting in the video is right where it's supposed to be. No offense intended to the guys who suggested going to the center.

    That sound is because the string is still ringing when you're lifting off the string with your fretting hand. The truss rod being bowed probably made it worse, but when you stop a note, you should use your right hand to mute instead of lifting off the string.
     
  19. PotatoBass

    PotatoBass

    Aug 5, 2007
    That's what I always thought too but I wasn't about to disagree-- trying to be nice here :)
     
  20. Mrdak

    Mrdak uber bass geek baby!

    Feb 1, 2006
    Middle GA
    To Jimmy,
    That's pretty much what I meant by fretting the note just above the center.

    And Potato, In the video, it's hard to see that the neck was bowed that much. The action looked like it was ok to me, but it's hard to tell really. And 3 full turns too lose? That's enough to cause all sorts of problems. Anyway, I'm glad you have it worked out. Good luck on the bass man.
     

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