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Help! New Yamaha SLB-200LTD, buzzing, high action

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Scott McArron, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    Just received this today. Haven't had much time with it yet. It's been a number of years since playing upright and I'm looking forward to getting back into it.

    I'm having a little bit of a challenge with string buzz at the moment. The D buzzes like hell no matter how high I raise the string. It buzzes between open and 7th position. G string buzzes a bit too, but not nearly as much and only in the 4th-7th positions.

    I don't want to raise the height much further there if I don't need to. It has a fairly standard setup height from what I recall, from about 7.5mm on the G to 10mm on the E measured at the end of the fingerboard. With this setup, I'm worried about the bridge, because the bridge's low-string side adjuster is bottomed out at it's lowest while the high-string side has a 6-7mm gap. That's very uneven.

    So why the massive buzzing on D? Hmmm. Any ideas what I can do here?

    It's definitely quite a bit different than my NS Design CR4T, which has crazy low action with no buzz at all.

    Edit (1/27/2020): Took this into a bass luthier in Frankfurt and found there's a significant bump in the 6th position affecting all the strings, but the D string especially. It's quite visible with a straight edge. Getting that fixed. I'll also note that the neck is rather rough feeling. Almost unfinished. Getting that "fixed" as well. There were a couple other questionable things as well regarding fit and finish. Not super thrilled with the quality of this new 4k bass, but I'll withhold my full opinion until I get it back from the luthier.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020 at 12:20 PM
  2. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    The D string buzz is driving me nuts. I went ahead and re-leveled the bridge so the strings are straight and the action is playable. No diff in buzz though.

    I took the bass into the local string shop for a setup. They refused to work on it because they only do "traditional" instruments. Germans...

    Took it into the local electric guitar shop and they can't work on it because it's not a "traditional" electric bass. Damn. This is annoying...
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  3. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Well, I'm no bass setup expert but it sounds like your fingerboard has a bump under that D string. I think selectively planing the board will turn out to be the answer.

    Certainly the bridge ought to be pretty much even, then individual string heights are adjusted by the depth of the notches in the bridge.
  4. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    Maybe @robobass or @DoubleMIDI can help and know some adresses? They are situated in Nordrhein-Westfalen (the Bundesland next to Rheinland-Pfalz).
  5. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I wouldn't take this to either a general string shop or a guitar shop. Even though it's an EUB you still really want a proper double bass luthier to do any fingerboard work. Kaiserslautern? You would be in good hands with Jonas Lohse in Frankfurt, but there might be a be bass specialist even closer to you. Give Jonas a call.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  6. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Two things. 1. Where did you get it and have you contacted the seller? It looks new, and at that height it shouldn't buzz at all if it was set up with even minor effort and skill. 2. Having the strings so off center can contribute to buzzing since the string isn't following the line of the cone. Does it buzz when the adjusters are even and the bridge straight?
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    Scott McArron likes this.
  7. I‘m currently in Rheinland-Pfalz, but have no idea here.
    The closest I know are indeed Jonas Lohse in Frankfurt and Daniel Kress in Köln. For both you need to make an appointment because they are really busy. Both wouldn’t have a problem working on a EUB.

    General bowed string instrument shops don’t like to deal with double basses and even less with EUBs. (Daniel Kress is an exception because he is a DB player.)
    You better look for a bass luthier.
    There is a list of luthiers in the German GeBa-online.de forum which might help you.

    As long as the buzz is there purely acoustically (without amplification) it is either a defective string (try a different one) or a bump in the fingerboard.
    Both are jobs for a stringed instrument luthier.
    Maybe they don’t want to do an EUB because they are not familiar with stuff like an adjustable neck angle (probably not the case here) and other things which are not on traditionally built instruments.
    Scott McArron likes this.
  8. OK, according to the list on GeBa-online.de you have the following choices which are a bit closer the Jonas Lohse:

    Andreas Jacobi
    Bischof-Blum-Platz 9
    65366 Geisenheim
    Telefon: 06722 - 971 982
    Fax: 06722 - 971 984


    Wilfer, Andreas
    Kontrabass, Cello
    Nachbau Historischer Instrumente
    Meisterinstrumente 4- und 5-saitig
    Kinder- und Jugendinstrumente

    Mozartstraße 16
    D-64569 Nauheim

    Tel. 06152-637971
    Fax. 06152-637972

    E-Mail: jkwilfer@jkwilfer.de

    But not too close either. (Nauheim about 90 Km, Geisenheim about 85 Km.)
    Scott McArron likes this.
  9. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    1. Sweetwater. Haven't contacted them yet. 2. I've adjusted the bridge back straight. I had only raised the high side that far to see if it would help the buzzing. It didn't. I raised both sides to level. Still no better. It's back to level and straight again at near it's original height and the original buzzing issue is the same.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  10. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    Yeah, it's there acoustically, most certainly. It's so bad it's unplayable. I'll contact the guy in Frankfurt. It's only a bit over an hour drive and worth an expert to look at it.
  11. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    Nice! I'll look into them and see who is available. Thanks!
  12. Scott McArron

    Scott McArron Supporting Member

    Took it in to Jonas today. Appreciate the tip! Indeed, the fingerboard has a nasty bump. Quite visible with a straight edge.
    robobass likes this.

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