Fret-buzz? Something else?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PhilMan99, May 25, 2005.

  1. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I've got an Ibanez SR496 6-string. Fairly low/good action.

    I don't have what I know as fret-buzz, since I don't hear any frets buzzing on the fretboard (knock on wood...). On the other hand, when I put my ear to the "horn" of my bass and play it un-amplified, I hear a distinct buzzing (physical/mechanical, since the bass isn't plugged-in) on some notes. 3rd-fret A-string is especially bad.

    The buzzing, when I listen closely in a quiet room seems to be coming from the body of the bass, in the area of the pickups. I loosened the pickups, and jiggled them around, but it didn't make any difference (didn't remove them, since strings were still on). I also opened-up the electronics/battery cavity, but didn't see/hear anything there.

    I'm kind-of suspecting the bridge, since the sound does not SEEM to be coming from the neck (truss-rod or frets).

    Question: Before I buy a new Hipshot "style A" bridge, can the apparent source of vibration on a bass "fool you"? Might I be hearing what is really neck problems (truss or fret), even though it sounds like the vibration comes from the center of the body?

    I don't really want to spend money for a luthier to work on the bass - it is only a $600 bass. On the other hand, I don't want to invest over $100, and risk messing-up the bass if the chance of this being the problem is in question.
  2. Vibration is a funny thing, and it can appear in places that you never expected, miles away from its source. My old Ibanez Roadster suddenly started buzzing at the body when I was practicing without plugging in (which is always good for paranoid worries about such things). I took the strings off and tapped and poked at all the hardware without discovering anything. It wasn't until I restrung it that I noticed that the D string machine head bolt had come a little loose. A quick application of the Swiss Army Knife, and no more buzzing. If you can only hear this noise in a quiet room with your ear pressed to the wood, I really wouldn't worry too much about it.
  3. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    True, but...
    ...the bass has a generally "weak" structural feel to it when I pluck the string, although the neck and body seem to be pretty good. I really wonder about the cheap (plastic alloy?) stock Ibanez bridge.

    I don't think I'll do anything until I can afford another bass, so I'll always have one working. I'm in the early "exploring" phase.