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Neck resonance/rattle

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AlexFinger919, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. Hey,
    some weeks ago I bought a Fender MIM Precision Standard. I noticed that there's a slight rattling noise on certain notes on the neck (for example on the A string 2nd, 3rd and 13th fret, D string 5th fret and so on...), which is most audible when playing the open A string.

    It became more noticeable when I switched to flatwounds, maybe because of the higher mass of the strings at the same gauge (???).

    I took the bass to my luthier where we checked every possible problem (tuners rattling, strap button, ...), and the only explanation seems to be the truss-rod. The sound seems to be definitely coming from the neck. It's not the biggest problem as it doens't seem to be audible when playing through an amp, only when going direct.

    I then went to my local music store and tried out some basses (Squier Classic P and J, Fender 50's Classic P, Fender American Std.), which all had this kind of "behaviour", so my question is:

    Can some of you confirm that this is a normal thing with (Fender) basses? I talked to a more experienced bassist and he said, that he wouldn't have noticed this as a problem, as it is normal behaviour for him.

    Sorry for my long rant, but I need some opinions for my peace of mind ;)

    Best regards,
    Alex
     
  2. Somebody? :)
     
  3. Could very well be the truss rod. My MIA Fender P has a little vibration on the open G (and ONLY on the open G, oddly enough - won't do it on a fretted note). Swapping strings didn't help (sometimes a bad string can do this), checked for loose hardware, tuners, holding strings down above the nut. Nothing gets rid of it. However, it doesn't come through the pickups at all, and I have to pick pretty hard on an open G to get it to do it, so I've decided it's not worth worrying about.

    I have a Martin D16 guitar that does the same thing sometimes (also on an open G). It's been gone over by luthiers trying to find the source with no luck.

    Neither of them is enough of a problem to worry about, and I don't even notice it anymore.

    Sorry I don't have any helpful information (sounds like you've covered all the likely causes), but it may well be a very common thing.

    If it really REALLY bothers you, a luthier might be able to put some filler or glue or something inside the neck around the truss rod to reduce sympathetic vibration, but no guarantee that'll fix it. This might involve having to drill a small hole into the fretboard to allow the filler to be injected, after which, they should fill the hole with a matching piece of dowel. IANAL (I Am Not A Luthier), but I've seen this trick done in the past and it worked.
     
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Have a friend, talkbass member who doesn't post much, who had the same problem. Took it to reputable guitar tech who told him it was a truss rod problem and outlined a couple of fixes, none of which my friend wanted to do. His was a 70s Jazz bass. Lo and behold, a few months down the line, he found it actually was one of the tuners.

    I'd have someone hold each tuner tightly as you play, and go through them all. May not be the deal with your bass, but 2 techs (he got a 2nd opinion) and my friend all were convinced it was his trussrod, and they were wrong. He replaced the tuner and he's now a very happy camper.
     
  5. Thanks for your input guys! :)

    On sunday I have the oportunity to thoroughly test the bass throug an amp, and then I'll see...

    I'm pretty sure it can't be the tuners, as I already tried touching every part of them while playing, and also tightening the screws.

    If it really keeps bothering me I always can get a new neck and turn the bass into a project :cool:

    Best regards,
    Alex
     

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