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Harmonic Ring on A String

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bp7260, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. bp7260


    Aug 1, 2012

    I need help. I've tried everything I can think of. I have a Fender PJ Bass. I get a buzz, ring, overtone, harmonic tone type of sound when I play an open A string and also on the 12th fret of the A string. The overtone/ring sustains for several seconds until it decays. Problem is loud on the P pickup, a lot less with the J pickup. There is no problem with any other string. Here's what I've tried to resolve the problem with no luck.

    1. Change strings.
    2. Check neck relief
    3. Check nut height & clearance
    4. Check bridge height and radius
    5. Check pickup height
    6. Verify intonation
    7. Check nut and saddle grove to see if it's too tight or loose.

    Then I started trying out of left field stuff:

    8. Change cord
    9. Try a different amp
    10. Changed out both pickups
    11. Tried a larger gauge A string

    I am flat out of ideas. The bass is about 8 months old and this wasn't a problem until recently. I'm in Southern California so I don't think there's a humidity or extreme temperatute environmnet. I'd appreciate any thought and suggestions.
  2. bp7260


    Aug 1, 2012
    Harmonic Ring on A String - Part 2

    I forgot to mention. I also checked to make sure fret height had no high or low spots. Also lightly dressed the frets just to make sure.
  3. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Do you have enough break angle behind the nut?

    The G&D strings have a retainer to pull them down, But the A requires a lot of windings on the post to compensate.
  4. bp7260


    Aug 1, 2012
    Great idea! No I didn't check that. How much break angle should I have. I hope this works, but if it does I'm going to feel pretty dumb after all the hours I spent chasing a solution. Thanks so much.
  5. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I'm not sure about an actual numerical angle. Ideally, it should look about the same as the G&D strings, but that's not always possible without special hardware. If you push down on it behind the nut with your finger and it quits buzzing, there's your clue.
  6. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    How are you stringing your bass? I found out by trial and error that the chorus effect can be caused by the string being under twisted tension. loosen the string enough to be able to hold the ball end and rotate feeling for tension in either direction. I ask how you string your bass because if the ball end of the string was anchored when you wound up it naturally twists.
  7. bp7260


    Aug 1, 2012
    Another great idea. I'll give it a try. Thanks so much.

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