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Extremely annoying A string noise

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by oli2001, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. oli2001


    Jan 16, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    A few months ago I began playing bass, and bought a second hand left handed Stagg bass. However, my A string has a very weird and very annoying noise, mainly when it's played open. It sounds chorusy and much higher than it should do normally, even if it's detuned.

    The sound only goes away if I play the string very softly and carefully, which obviously isn't very practical especially for metal.

    So my question, what the heck is it, is it my technique and why and if not what solutions should I look into.

    Much appreciated
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Do you have a split coil neck pickup? if so, lower the A string side of the split coil. That's all I have.
  3. Could be that, or perhaps nut 'zing. Try pressing down lightly on the A string between the nut and the gear head tuning post while playing the open string. See if the sound disappears.
    sissy kathy and 5thsand4ths like this.
  4. oli2001


    Jan 16, 2018
    Hi guys, I've tried both the suggestions, but unfortunately I've gotten nowhere. Do you think a simple change of the strings will solve the problem? I would have done this earlier, but I'm not sure whether there's a different technical problem with my bass. They are quite old and worn, but will this alone solve it?
  5. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    A few things to check: You may have a high fret at a higher fret that is causing a harmonic to come through. Site down the neck for the famous ski slope. If it is mostly on the open A, look at the 12th, 17th, and 19th frets as the most likely culprits. If this happens unplugged it is unlikely to be the pickup. If only plugged in than I would look again at the pickup. Check that you have set a witness point at the bridge. Does it happen when you play an A on the E string. If so it is a sympathetic vibration somewhere, a real pain to track down. Last yes change strings, you may have a broken winding or otherwise bad string.
  6. oli2001


    Jan 16, 2018
    Hi again all,

    After trying all of your suggestions, unfortunately I still got nowhere. However, I took it down my local music shop, the guy looked at at it, tried similar stuff to what you suggested to no avail, so I simply changed the strings and hey presto it worked - annoying sound vanished!

    So anyway, thanks for all the help guys :)
    stigbeve likes this.
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