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Chorus sound from my Jazz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ojo, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. ojo


    Jun 12, 2006
    Round Lake

    I'm hoping someone can help me out. I have one of the old Hwy 1 Jazz basses that I picked up used. I absolutely love everything about it . . . until I plug it in, then it makes me crazy.

    The sound is a bit thin and, eh, but the biggest issue I have with it is that some notes sound like they are running through a chorus effect. Most notable is the open A string, with other notes here and there also affected.

    I've noticed that if I push down on the string in the distance from the nut to tuner, it tames the chorus sound some, but not totally.

    I'd love to keep this bass, but I don't know if it's worth modding up.

    So, what's the culprit, and can it be fixed?

  2. It sounds like it may be how you are winding the strings. The strings should meet the tuner at the BOTTOM of the tuner, with the wraps above them. This puts enough downward pressure on the nut to provide good seating for the strings across the nut.

    A good setup sounds like it is in order, including pickup height adjustment.
  3. ojo


    Jun 12, 2006
    Round Lake
    I changed the pup height a bit, but didn't seem to help (set to Fender spec). I've been thinking of putting in new pups, how much might that help, after changing the winding wraps?
  4. Change the windings first. PUPs shouldn't do that unless they are defective. Could possibly be out of phase also, but that would affect all strings in all positions.
  5. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    every now and then i get this while stringing thru the body on my p-bass. the cure? simply press down slightly on the string right after the saddle(not the screw side, the other side) and that should take care of this problem.
  6. ojo


    Jun 12, 2006
    Round Lake
    OK, I changed the winding on the pegs (thanks for the suggestion), and it seems to be a little better but doesn't totally solve the problem. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of extra string to wind around the post. I've been wondering if it made sense to install another string tree for the E/A string.

    This bass isn't string through, so I'm limited on options.

    I have a feeling that I might have to restring the bass to see if that helps with this weirdo sound.


    Irritating for sure.

  7. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    are the pups stock?
  8. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    The only time I had something like this happen was when I strung a bass with some strings that I had taken off of another bass. They were still pretty new but something happened in the transition to give most of the notes especailly the open E and A strings a real chorusy SP? type sound. I changed the strings out for a new pair and the sound was gone and never came back.
  9. Sometimes the thicker strings will 'chorus' if somehow they have become twisted *before* being wound on the peg.

    Often, just taking them off & then putting them back on being careful to keep them stright will fix it.

    Sometimes the string just does it for no good reason - I had a Lakland 135 like that.
  10. ojo


    Jun 12, 2006
    Round Lake
    The bass was gigged/abused pretty hard, but I knew that going into it - part of the reason it was so cheap ;). I didn't know that two of the knobs had been superglued on . . . so, far as I know they are the stock pickups, but who knows.

    I've got a set of light Rotosounds on the bass (they were new when I installed them), and have been wondering if that was the problem.

    I have a heavier set of strings that I may put on just to see what happens.

    If nothing else it will help me narrow down the problem.

  11. Or the nut slot is too big for the light strings. Heavier guage may be better. Let us know. Or an easier trick may be to put a bent piece of business card stock in the slot that's giving you problems. Quick and dirty.
  12. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    how the strings are wound of the nut shape will only effect open notes - so the question is this: Are you hearing odd harmonics on closed notes? If not, I'd take a hard look at your bridge. I have a memory of having the same issue, years ago, and it was my old cheap fender bridge with the saddles rattling.
  13. I read somewhere (probably here)that if you wind the strings onto the tuning post by hand before tensioning,instead of using the tuner itself,then the string will take on an inherent twist,which can,and almost invariably does cause that 'chorusy' effect.It usually only affects the open string tho' but I suppose if it's a severe enough twist,it could affect fretted notes too.
  14. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Yep. Totally loosen string until there is no tension at the bridge and retighten using only the tuner, not wrapping string around post by hand. I've also heard that pups too close to strings can do this but have only experienced the wrapping problem myself.
  15. Lauvupaps


    Oct 8, 2008
    Probably problem is not string! Chorus effect can appear,when distance between
    string and pickup poles with strong magnets is to shoort!

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