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Excessive vibration on my bass???

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jaymeister99, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    I recently got a bass and noticed that the when I play the G string or any of the higher notes on the other strings I get some crazy vibration that runs through the neck, it sounds like crap too, its so loud that I cant even hear the notes on the G string, just sounds like vibrating noise!

    Any help, answers or suggestions?
  2. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Mess with the truss rod a bit. Might fix that.
  3. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    I thought it might be it. I looked at the neck and it doesnt look bent or bowed at all. If I can find a hex wrench to fit it I'll try it, but I dont know.
  4. Is it fret buzz? Raise the G string. There shoud be a screw on both sides of the saddles to raise it.
  5. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    No, its not fret buzz, actually the saddles are sittin pretty high up.

    Can this be as simple as this being a crap neck?
  6. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Neck might be warped, I guess. But you really should try adjusting the truss rod.
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU

    Oh my. Don't you dare say things like that!
    Mess with the trussrod. Yes. Great way to ruin a bass is messin with the truss rod. :rolleyes:

    Could you tell us some more about this vibration?
    How exactly does it sound bad?
    Higher-pitched, metallic zing or lower-freq resonance?
    Is it coming from the neck, the strings, the neck joint, the frets?

    I get vibrations on my bass' neck, too, but it's resonance and I'd call that a good thing. Actually, the entire bass resonates quite well.
    I assume you're experiencing a different kind of phenomenon.
    However, don't mess with the trussrod yet.
  8. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    You make it sound like adjusting the truss rod is something beyond the comprehension of mortal men.
  9. could be the tuners!!! it took me awhile to locate a "tuner" buzz on my bass. seemed to only happen on open notes. try playing so your getting the buzz and try holding each tuner key seperatly while playing (open notes obviously, unless you have an extra arm). good luck
  10. Yeah, I had a rattly tuner peg once. Could be the culprit. Also, and this may sound stupid... for the longest time I couldn't figure out why my bass was giving off this terrible rattle when I sat down with it, but not when I stood up. Long story short, it was the Schaller straplocks rattling because the strap wasn't putting tension on them when I was sitting. Darn it if that didn't take me months to clue in on. /bonk self
  11. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    Well... perhaps he has a point. I mean, should he start out by identifying the problem before fixing it? messing with the truss rod could really f you over if you dont do it right (esp since this person might not be very experienced)
  12. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    I dont think it has anything do with the tuners, and I dont have any experience with adjusting the truss rod. The sound seems to be coming from the strings, but I could be wrong. The vibrations are felt on the neck, damm annoying.

    Its a metallic annoying higher pitch sound when I play the G string or some of the other higher notes on the other strings. The E string sounds and feels fine. But the annoying sound and strong vibrating is felt most when I play the G, even open.

    The sound doesnt come through on the amp, cant hear it when the amp is turned up, everything sounds fairly normal. But that vibrating is felt. I recently started playing again after a 15 year break, I do know how normal resonance vibrations should feel, and this isnt it.

    So far im thinking it needs truss rod adjustment. I cant see any bend in the neck by looking at it though.
  13. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I'm saying the guy is being overdramatic about the prospect of adjusting the truss rod. I'm not disputing his troubleshooting logic.

    Thousands of people buy new basses every year, they read the manual or use Google and adjust their truss rod. It's not the rocket science that some people work it up to be. Unless you can't turn a wrench and don't know which way a clock turns.
  14. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    Just wanted to say what bass this is, dont know if it has a bearing on anything. This is not a new bass, I got it used a couple of months ago. Its a Martin SBX Left hand made around 1987-1989. Martin didnt make many electrics (they make awesome acoustics), this model is basically a low end (retailed for $369 in 1987) copy of a P-Bass.
  15. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    mess with the truss rod ASAP. Now seriously, when the truss rod nut is lose, then the whole rod rattles when you play. Just tighten it up a little; breaking a truss rod is a lot harder than what everyone makes it sound. actually, you'll probably break the fretboard first...
  16. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    OK, Im going to mess with the truss rod! As soon as I can get to the hardware store and find a hex wrench that will fit it.
  17. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    syciprider: besides criticizing my warning, I don't see you've added anything to solving the problem. Way to go :rolleyes:
    If there's something wrong, people shouldn't be jumping at one of the most sensitive parts first, especially without full comprehension of the problem.

    elgranluis: might be that, too (Jay, don't fogret that it's just the nut part of it. If you can reach it and the nut is loose, then tighten the nut). However, when I've had something like that happen, it was rattling with all strings. Also, the trussrod is usually glued into the trussrod-channel, so it shouldn't be moving or rattling, only it's unglued end and the nut.
    You can break the trussrod without breaking the fb, expecially with cheaper ones. Also, truss rod's don't just break, but can also get jammed or stuck in, which is also bad.

    Might also be a loose neck-joint screw. I have a bass here with a partially stripped screw (just 1 of the 4 screws) and I can hear a metallic high-pitched zzzrzzr sound. It comes out on higher E notes; however, I haven't experienced strange vibrations in the neck. So check if the screws are tight enough (use the right size driver, but be careful not to overstrain them, that's how this one was stripped).
  18. jaymeister99


    Aug 2, 2005
    The truss rod nut is rock solid, not loose. The neck is on tight. Correction on my previous posts:

    The annoying vibrating sound and the vibration is the most pronounced on the G string when notes are played from the middle of the neck on up to the head. The same for the other strings, except less pronounced. Very little annoying vibration coming from the E string.

    Would a picture of the neck help here?
  19. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    Just a thought.....

    Make sure that the G is being forced into the nut by some downward pressure from the string winding. If the string is wound too highly on the tuner, it will lose contact with the nut on some basses and buzz on the nut slot.

    Just my .02
  20. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    If you play a fretted note on the g above the 5th does it vibrate above your finger? If it does you could have a bad nut. did you put on new strings? This sometimes happens if the string is too short or not under the string tree. Play the g open and put your other finger above the nut on the g see if the vibration goes away. :bassist: