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Holy Bageezuz--What in the world is that rattle?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Bonafide, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    I can't find it period. It comes and goes at will and regardless of which string I pluck or how I hold the instrument it is present WHEN it want's to be.

    It sounds like a string rattling against SOMETHING, but I can't find it if it is. Sounds like a loose endpin screw but it isn't, at least not when I check the screw.

    I am a novice with the upright in the respect that I have only owned this bass for a month. I am very familiar and intimate with it though as I have spent hours and hours setting it up.

    Please anyones suggestion on where to check would be so, so ,so appreciative.
    This rattle only happens on occasion (Sometimes 3-4 times in an hour though) but when it does it drives me nuts.

    Thank you.

    P.S. The bass is an Engelhardt Swingmaster-It has TI Spirocores if that helps.
  2. 95% of the time, the rattle is caused by the endpin. Englehardts and old Kays with thier original endpins have the same problem. It's caused by the metal endpin rod vibrating against the metal endpin socket. The only sure cure is to have a luthier replace the endpin with one that has a wood socket.
  3. I am no luthier but I believe Bob is bang on the dot with this. My Swingmaster has the original pin and on occasion it rattles and/or buzzes. I check the screw and most of the time it is tight. Sometime I plan on having it replaced but I hate to have it away from me for a week or two while it is fixed.

  4. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Tighten the set screw with pliers, or remove the screw and sharpen the end a little for a tighter fit. I've also known of a guy who used his Dremel tool to grind a little of the inside portion of the shaft so the oscillating shaft had nothing to vibrate against.

    But I've always been able to just tighten the set screw = no noise.
  5. Hey Bob,

    I ABSOLUTELY love this bass you sold me. Thanks for starting me on the path to the Dark Side.

  6. If you are going to use pliers on the thumb screw, make sure you don't over do it. I see lots of Kays and Engelhardts with the thumb screw broken off flush with the socket by folks who used pliers to tighten it. Then you've got a problem.
  7. I suppose the rattling could be caused by a detaching bass bar, which would pretty much be a worse-case scenario.

    I had a buzz on my old Engelhardt that turned out to be coming from one of the tuners. The "cloverleaf" had become loose. Another time I discovered that the lead wire on my Underwood pickup was touching the strings below the bridge.

    I replaced the endpin on that Engelhardt, BTW, with an ebony one. The original one didn't rattle, but I thought it might improve the sound.

    It didn't.
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Hey Bob, how's it feel to be "BANG ON THE DOT"? Remember, this is a family site, so be careful how you word your reply.

  9. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC

    Fellow Engelhardt owner (EM-1), same problem. I'm also endorsing replacing the endpin. I bought one from Lemur for around $40, ebony plug and steel pin with a screw-on tip. I also replaced the tailpiece wire with stainless cable, also from Lemur. My luthier did the work for little $$$.
  10. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    Hey all, thank you for he replies and the tips! I had a feeling it would be the endpin and went looking for them last night online. I rattled it myself and sure enough it sound like that.

    $40 for an ebony plug and screw-on tip? I couldn't find them for less than $85 and that was at Upton bass. I will look again.
    Thanks again.
  11. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    OT i know - but could you tell me (us) which bass you bought and what it replaced (if applicable) and the improvements/characteristics, etc?

    thanks! have been wondering about these...

  12. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    Check out www.lemurmusic.com, item A1253. It has an ebony plug, 10mm grooved pin and threaded tip. $42 and change.
  13. I suggest that you contact your local luthier before you buy an endpin. You may find it cheaper to have the luthier install one of his than for you to pay him to install one that you bring in.
  14. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    Hey Bob, thanks again for the reply. I am luthier / repairman by trade as well as a professional bassist. My primary specialty is guitar wiring but I have my own shop and I am the house luthier for Santa Barbara Music. In all honesty I do more repairs than luthiery as I am not a builder nor have much interest in major acoustic repair.

    This was my first upright as bass player and my first 'real' upright setup as a luthier. I have confidence that I can install an new endpin without trouble.
    The bass is cheap enough but I have been able to get a very good acoustic sound out of it with my setup. I think I got lucky with the projection of this particular instrument.
    Thanks again.
  15. As long as you have a bass reamer, you won't have too much trouble. Without one of those, it's a real job.
  16. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Yesterday I was going crazy trying to find what was buzzing on my Gliga. Rmeoved the apron. Checked the endpin. Check the cable on the Fishman. Finally pried it off the bridge (I'd hot glued it on).

    It was one of those little tubular sleeves on the D string. It had slipped forward from the windings, where it was parked, onto the metallic part of the string where it rattled surprisingly loudly.
  17. I recently had a rattle fixed that was coming from one of the machines. Basically check any mocing parts on the bass.
  18. DURRL,

    No offense intended. I am also a trap shooter and in our terminology bang on the dot means very accurate. Honestly didn't realize there was a double meaning. Not the first time this has happened to me!! I well recall when I told Ray Parker that I wanted to add jazz to my "grass" meaning bluegrass. Obviously you can see where this led!

  19. ES-9 Swingmaster. It is my first upright but I have played several Kays and 3-4 Orientals. Mine sounds as good as any Kay and better than the others. It was decent and playable out of the crate but a professional setup and decent set of strings made a great difference.

    Talk to Bob (all hail) Gollihur about it. He is an excellent guy to deal with.

  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    None taken. And I don't know of any real double meaning for that phrase. I was probably just trying to fill my DOOFUS ALLOTMENT for the day. :)