Clicking sound on A string (not coming through pickup)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AngelCrusher, Apr 24, 2017.


  1. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    This is somewhat annoying. I took my Pbass apart to put in a new pickup and since the pick guard was off, I figured I'd tighten the truss rod a 1/4 turn. The bass played fine after.

    I put the pickup in and made a recording. Didn't notice any issues, but then I noticed on the A string only, there was an acoustic clicking sound that I heard from the bass. The pickups do not pick it up, but it is loud enough to bother me when I play. Only on the A string. So I did a 1/4 turn back on the truss rod and it's gone by a little, but still there. I never had this issue in the past.

    Checked the pickup height and it is fine. The string is not hitting it. Only thing I can figure it maybe it is just touching the frets enough to click but not buzz? It's odd. I have the truss rod turned back to before when I had no issues. Any ideas on what to try next? I may just give it a day to settle in, but thought I'd post and see if anyone knows what I am talking about and has an idea. I guess I could always rewind the string if needed.
     
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    The height of the pickups should be checked with the string(s) depressed at the last fret.
    It could be they're close enough for the string to hit when it's oscillating.

    I start mine at 3/32" from the E string to the top of the pole piece, but if they are hitting the pole pieces during play I move them down a little.

    Learn to measure the neck relief to determine if you need a truss rod adjustment.
     
    bassdude51 likes this.
  3. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Like I said, it's not the pickup height. I know how to measure my neck relief. If that is too tight there is buzzing at the first 5 frets or so. Not the issue.

    This is a clicking sound on the A string only. Nothing to do with the pickups. I think it may be something to do with the nut.
     
  4. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    If it doesn't come through the pickups or impact how the bass feels it doesn't exist. Ignore it.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  5. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I usually would..like if it was light buzz. But this is a little too loud to ignore. It's very annoying and just popped up out of nowhere, so I'd like to figure out the issue and fix it.

    I loosened the truss more to the point if much more relief than I like and it's still there. Damn - annoying. All I have done is take off the strings and put them back on. Wonder if this is some sot of issue with the string (flatwound chromes)
     
  6. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Yeah, something like this happened to me too. When I started playing the A string at high register to check my action, like at #17, #18, #19 and #20........the A string was fretting out on me like the frets below the note were higher or something.

    I took a good hard look and don't you know that the A string was hitting the edge of the D-G coil on my P Bass. In particular, at the high edge of the D side. I had to drop the D-G coil down and adjust the E-A coil to correspond.

    At first, it seemed that I had my pickups adjusted correctly, as high as possible without the strings hitting the pickup covers but I never thought of the A string hitting the other coil when depressing around the last frets.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  7. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Checked this again and it's not hitting the pickup (I lowered it a little to be safe). Almost seems like it is rattling against something. Maybe a wind issue. Rewinding the string next.
     
  8. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    The only other thing that I can think of is try plucking the A string open and depress behind the nut and see if it clears up.................and try doing the same thing behind the A saddle. Also, check that the damn springs behind each saddle are not rattling or making noise. I've experienced this problem in the past on certain basses.
     
  9. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Sometimes the wiring can vibrate inside the control cavity and that includes the capacitor too
     
  10. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Can you hear it clearly enough to hear where the sound is coming from?
     
  11. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    It's fairly loud and I think it's coming from the nut area. It almost feels like it's clicking inside the neck, but that's probably just in my head. It does not always happen when I hit the string. Since tightening the truss a little it's a little less annoying but it's still happening most on an open A or fretting the 1st fret, 20th and intermittently in between.
     
  12. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Thanks, just tried all that. Thought depressing the nut may do it, but it did not.

    It almost sounds like a muted rattle. Like it wants to rattle but just cuts off at the very beginning and sounds like a click instead.
     
  13. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Had to bump this. I went and played on the bass and was playing a tune in F. The F on my low E was sounding off. I checked my tuners (tried 2), both said the open E was in tune. But they both put every sequential note a half step higher, just like I was hearing.

    Essentially when I play the first fret, it is an F# even though the open E is an E. Have to say this is a first, but I feel like it must be related to the click in the A string. Maybe the neck is twisted or the strings are hosed? I have never seen this issue before. The rest of my strings, even the clicking A are in perfect tune.

    Madness - any ideas?
     
  14. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    If that instrument is tuned to standard pitch and it's off a half step one fret away..that's huge, something structural that you should spot. There's no subtle tweak I know of that is going to swing a bass a half step like that. That thing is missing a bridge saddle and that string all of a sudden is 2 inches longer than it's supposed to be...something. I don't think you could get it that far out of intonation if you deliberately tried. Either that or it's just a bad string.
     
  15. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I think it's the latter. I rewound it and got it back to pitch. Starting to think/hope that my issue is all in the strings. They probably are worn out from being removed and put back on a few too many times. That's all I can figure. I have some rounds coming hopefully in a few days and I will put those on. Hopefully that will take care of all of this.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    yeah..unless something really bizarre happened to the scale length of that string, the pitch is the fret and the fret is the pitch. The length is changed, the fret has moved, the string is pooched. You can see two out of three easy

    Sometimes, if I'm playing really low action I can pick up a click not from the string I pluck but from the one below it that my finger lands on and stops which in your case would be the E string
     
  17. mngnt

    mngnt

    Aug 9, 2015
    Alberta, Canada
    Maybe try lubing your nut slot.
     
  18. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Interesting. Never thought of that. What do you use? God that sounds dirty..haha.

    I think my strings are too blame for all of this. But when I put on new ones I guess I will find out.
     
  19. tlc1976

    tlc1976

    Aug 2, 2016
    Michigan
    Any chance your fingerboard is starting to separate from the neck? After 14 years the fingerboard on my 6 started to lift, and it started at the nut. At first I noticed some clicking when playing at the nut area. Didn't see it at first visually because it was just a hairline crack at the epoxy.
     
  20. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I will look, but my bass was bought new and is a 2015, so that would be a pretty shocking situation.

    I ordered new strings from BSO, but I probably won't get them until Friday or Sat, so Im dealing with the click for now. I am almost 100% positive all this stuff is related to the Chromes being older and simply crapping out from being taken off and put back on too many times. Once the E to F# thing happened, that kind of cemented it for me, but I won't know for sure until I put on some new ones. Fingers crossed for now.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Sep 24, 2021

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