Buzzing Shen -- ideas?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by KUNGfuSHERIFF, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Good morning, all.

    The Shen Rogeri Willow I picked up over the summer has developed an annoying metallic buzz that sounds when I play the open A as well as the octave A on the G string and a few adjacent notes. I cannot for the life of me figure out what is causing it. The other basses are behaving.

    I heat my home with wood and keep a pot of water on the stove, so humidity is constantly above 50%, plus I use a wrung-out Dampit in each bass as backup. The Shen has been out of the house twice since the heating season began, so humidity has been pretty constant.

    There are no cracks or open seams that I can find, and the Realist, quiver and bridge adjusters do not seem to be the culprits. Bass bar and inside linings appear to be glued down tight. The shaft on the E machine is sloppy, but if I downtune and bring the string back up to pitch the machine is tight and quiet. Removing the endpin and thumbscrew does not cure the problem, and the brass collar on the endpin seems to be in place as it should be.

    Anything else I've forgotten?
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Anything fall into the bass?
  3. Nope. There are two small pieces of wood and some sawdust in the box but they're been there since get.
  4. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Did you change the type of strings you are using? There are also certain seasonal changes from summer to winter that might be causing problems. Have you done a complete set up recently?
  5. The bass was imported in 2010 but sat in CSC's warehouse until the middle of this year, when it was purchased and set up by the luthier I bought it from. It's worn the same set of old Spiro Reds since the day I bought it, and I recently had the fingerboard dressed to eliminate a string buzz in the second position.

    I had thought the 50-foot long endpin was the problem, but when I finally got around to hacking half of it off the other night, the buzz was still there, which forced me to consider other possibilities.
  6. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Check the soundpost fit. I get a tiny seasonal variation in one of my basses that sounds horrible, all from the tiny, tiny little gap that opens up right at the soundpost when the weather changes. Tighten it just a hair and it all goes away.

  7. I will, thanks.
  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Put your foot on the tailpiece wire when you play. If it stops the buzz, you may need to wrap the wire in shrink tubing or similar.
  9. If you have the standard Shen endpin the cork ring that stops the rod from buzzing might be worn down. A good reason to upgrade to a better endpin...
  10. Pressure on the tailpiece dampens the buzz. I wasn't sure if that cured it, or if I was just robbing enough energy from the bass so that whatever was excited by the vibration wasn't getting enough energy to make it move.

    Mark, it is the stock endpin, but I rarely bother to extend the peg because the bass is so tall. I'd be surprised if the cork is that worn already, but who knows.
  11. It's the afterlength of the endpin rod that rattles in the bass and the cork ring is supposed to stop it from buzzing. The tailpiece may need the toothpick trick....
  12. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Check the strings that are inside the tuning chamber.
  13. I know. I cut off close to a foot; now the rod barely peeks out of the collar when the pin is extended to playing position.

    The lengths of string in the pegbox are wound around themselves (the Gage trick) and don't appear to be the source of the problem.
  14. Do you have a wolf tone eliminator on the bass? Maybe it's worked itself into a position where it is vibrating on the after lengths.
  15. No sir. I've never used one.
  16. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    If there is a bit of extra tail-gut, it could be buzzing against the bottom of the bass.
  17. Well then I got nothin'
  18. Arnoldschnitzer for the win! Pressing the toe of my boot against the bottom of the tailpiece cures the buzz. The tailgut is very long, even for such a large bass. Maybe I'll redo it.

    Many thanks for all the suggestions!
  19. The tailgut is buzzing in the holes of the tailpiece. Toothpick trick....
  20. Good call! Whodathunk half a gram of elm could cure this problem?