Frustrating issue

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Disappear, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Disappear


    May 9, 2008
    Here's my story so far...
    About a month ago, my strings were buzzing on my bongo 5 bass right in/at the nut. I tried to lower where the strings were on my tuners but that didn't end up working. I decided to take them into the shop where I got them and get the bass professionally set up. I take it in (40 min drive to and from my place) and explained my issue. They say they could fix it and to come back. Less than a week later they call and say it's fixed. Okay, 40 min drive to and from again. They put new strings on (Ernie Ball Slinky) and I play it out and it seems fine. Now about a week ago, I noticed it was doing the exact same thing. I cursed and I had time to travel up there today. I told them what was going on and they said "It seems like the core of your string is broken." They replaced the one string with one lying around. It seemed to have worked so I just ended up buying new strings (DRs). I came back home re-strung it and while I was tightening and tuning the strings up... BZZZZ

    $40 strings shouldn't break in the core, especially new ones and I highly doubt that's the culprit. Does musicman replace nuts? Should I really be having this problem with this bass?

    What a nightmare today -_-
  2. black lake

    black lake Guest

    Apr 3, 2006
    Ontario, Canada
    It could be any number of things, so your best bet is Ernie Ball Music Man Customer Service (see below). A quick call or an email, and they will take excellent care of you.

    [email protected]
  3. Bad strings are bad strings, even if you did pay $40.00 for them . the first clue is when you said "they" replaced 1 bad string with one they had laying around, and it solved the problem, then "you", put your $ 40.00 strings on and what, the problem magically re- appeared . MMMMMMMMMMM old used mismatch did NOT buzz, new string did ???
  4. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Sounds like the nut slots are just the right amount too wide for the string guage you're using. I ran into this syndrome when I was setting up my G&L a while back. I was using too thick of a file on that slot and it buzzed bad when playing the D open.
    Fortunately, I still had a fair bit of height left and continued filing with the next smaller size file I had. Cured it.

    If you haven't cut the nut yet or if it's still got enough height to be filed down, you could try cutting the slot with a smaller nut file (a couple thousandths smaller size than the guage of the strings). That allows the string to pinch firmly in the slot getting rid of the buzz.

    You could also go up in gauge on the strings...

  5. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    These people are full of S**t.

    You need to find someone who knows what they're doing; they don't.
  6. OUCH!!My,my,someones cornflakes were pissed in today.Shove your bed against a wall so you wont wake up on the wrong side.
  7. Disappear


    May 9, 2008
    That sucks. Pissed cornflakes?

    Easy tiger. I don't know what to believe now. I just want the damn thing fixed. I fired off an e~mail to MM today, it can't be the strings. I don't get it and that makes me a sad panda.
  8. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    you need a better guitar tech
  9. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Does it buzz when it is fretted?
    Does it buzz when it is amplified? (If it doesn't buzz through the amp, it doesn't buzz.)

    There could be several different reasons that strings buzz at the nut. Check clearance before going any further. Fret the string(s) at the third fret. Check the gap at the first fret. It should be ~.003". That is roughly the thickness of a piece of notebook paper. If the clearance is there, the problem is not the nut. If it isn't, the problem is either the nut or one of the first three frets.

    The strings should never be pinched in the nut slot. The string should be able to move freely. When the nut slot is tight it is difficult to tune the guitar because slack is easily stored at the tuning machines. Eventually, through plucking (picking, slapping, whatever) the stored slack is released. When this happens, the string seems to retune itself flat, sometimes in the middle of a performance. This is one of the most misdiagnosed tuning problems. People tend to blame the tuners when it is really a tight slot. It's probably responsible for more replacement tuner business than anything else. It is better to have an extra .001-.003" clearance width to allow for easy, accurate tuning.
  10. Well, from how I read it you have 2 choices:
    1/ your original string had a bad core, the new EBs had a bad core, & the DRs had a bad core
    2/ the store is full of s**t.
  11. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Let's all take a deep breath, and then read the above.^^^
  12. Disappear


    May 9, 2008
    Makes sense. I found a new tech and he said that he could fix it by bringing down the strings from the neck to the tuner.

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