MTD CRB4 "Clack!"

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by St. Louis Scot, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. St. Louis Scot

    St. Louis Scot

    Sep 16, 2013
    Austin, Tx
    In the video below he plays an MTD CRB5 with maple fretboard. I have the CRB4 with rosewood fretboard. But they both share a common problem. Watch the video and listen for the "clack" everytime he changes frets with his left hand.

    Not only does mine do the same, but it makes it through the amplifier and FOH, and some sound crews have mentioned it. I have one gig where they either worked it out or deal with it because the sound team has never said a word, and I've never heard it on any of their recordings.

    I've determined it's definitely from the string coming down on the fret, not from plucking. Any ideas on how to overcome this? Anyone else experience the same thing? I do my own setups, but would a pro setup make the difference? Maybe compression? Idk.

  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    This is not a hardware problem. This is a technique problem.

    Sometimes it sounds like he is slapping the strings with his fingers as he plucks, ala Tony Levin without the sticks.
    Sometimes it sounds like he simply slaps the strings for percussive effect.
    Sometimes it is obvious that he is using too much pressure too rapidly with his fretting hand.

    None of it is due to the instrument or the set up.

    That said, if the set up is such that it is harder for the player to press the strings to the fingerboard the chances of producing a noise with the fretting hand is greatly reduced. At least until strength is built up in the hand.
    ebozzz, 96tbird and St. Louis Scot like this.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yep, it's fingers slapping the string down onto the fret. Something to work on.
  4. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    Yup, technique.
    Something I had to relearn when I started playing bass again.
    Good stuff here:
  5. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Also, action height can have an affect.
    But, I've had 'clacky' string sets a couple times on certain basses, and changing to a different type string set eliminated it. Those same (don't remember which they were, now) string sets didn't 'clack' on a different bass.
  6. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006

    The strings that were a problem most likely were either more compliant or lower tension and therefore easier to push to the fret. So it can be perceived as a hardware problem, but the solution is still in the hands.
  7. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    I tried muting then slowly/lightly fretting, but couldn't eliminate the clack completely w/ o eq-ing it out.
    Changing string type fixed it. Same technique and low action. I tried higher action to give more time to slowly fret and it only helped a little.
    Those same strings were not clacky on another bass.
  8. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    If it were a string problem it would make sense that string manufacturer's would make "Anti-clack" strings.

    You can see the ads in your head. "Now with less clack!"

    Heck, the string guy with the quietest strings would make a mint.

    Except from the metal guys. They would need to make really noisy strings for them. "Now with more grind!"?

    Personally, when I've had this experience the problem was always me.

    Good anecdotal evidence, though.

    Submitted with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
    96tbird and JustForSport like this.
  9. Andrez Cabara

    Andrez Cabara

    Mar 4, 2016
    For those people that solved this by moving to other strings: What strings did you use that had the problem and what strings did you move to that resolved the issue? And why would one
    string reduce the "clack" noise? (it obviously does, I just don't understand why)

    Obviously, lots of unwanted noise comes from poor technique. But I'm not so fast to blame all noise to just poor technique.

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