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New bass buzz

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Thieske91, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Thieske91


    Feb 20, 2012
    Hey guys,

    A couple of months ago I bought a "new" bass, it's a czech made fully carved bass and about 80 - 100 year old, but recently it started buzzing near the bridge and whenever I put even the slightest bit of pressure on the top about 1 - 2 cm above the bridge(towards the scroll) it stops buzzing.
    Do any of you have any idea what might cause this buzzing? My luthier is on vacation and won't be back for two more weeks so I can't bring it to him. :crying:
    I removed my pickup and bow quiver from the bass but it still buzzes.


    edit: I put the pressure on the E side of the bridge.
    edit 2: The buzz only happens when I play a Bb on my g string.
  2. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    my First thinking will be has any of the Earthing come off,
    Ive been working with a strat that has a earthing problem and i get a Hum more tho, and as soon as i touch any thing metal its gone, a sweet tone i added took out some of it too.. but as its just a working demo i wanted to show off switching ..it will show some humm i guess with all the wiring in it.

    Make sure its a good Connection to the Bridge (guessing its metal) and the Jack Socket also any thing else that is Metal, Scratch.

    But thats just me thinking out aloud for now
  3. He said that it buzzes WITHOUT the pickup too. So it cannot be a pickup problem.

    My first guess is some kind of loose thing, either part of the top seam or some piece of wood inside (lining?).

    I would definately take it to a luthier. I don't think you can do anything yourself to avoid it until your luthier returns. But this is only the guessing/opinion of an amateur.

    I hope you get better hints from some luthiers over here.
  4. I think Angel may have wandered in here thinking it was the BG forum.

    The buzz stops when you apply pressure to the top because your touch is robbing energy from the soundboard.

    It's probably just a popped seam. Put Christmas lights or another source of illumination into the box through the ff-holes, darken the room and check the seams. That's easy to fix; I just repaired two popped seams in 20 minutes or so, including time spent heating the glue.
  5. Thieske91


    Feb 20, 2012
    Thanks for the suggestion Sheriff, I tried the christmas lights but I couldn't find any popped seams. What I did find, however, was a light spot of wood near and under my sound post(The sound post covering half the spot) as if my sound post has moved. Could this be the cause of all my troubles?

  6. I don't know. That spot may be a lighter color because that's where the post sat for years, not giving it the chance to oxidize as the rest of the top/back did, but I have no idea if that is the cause of your buzz. Does the end of the post look like it's sitting flat and flush on the back?
  7. mirwa


    Aug 4, 2012
    Australia - Perth
    Many things can cause buzz, the fact that you have found it goes away when you apply pressure forward of the bridge is a good starting point.

    My process of elimination would be

    Check top for cracks,

    Check sound post is in place

    Check bridge feet are making good contact with the body

    That being said the above is for general buzzing happening.

    You mention buzzing only on the G string when fingering Bb, I would normally suspect it has a fingerboard issue.
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    You can also tap around the edges of the top and back over the rib join. If a seam is open you'll hear a clack rather than a knock. ;)
  9. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    It could also be the bass bar...
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Yes, but I hope not for the OP's sake. I've seen that diagnosed by pounding over the bass bar with a fist.
  11. If the bass bar was loose, the OP would DEFINITELY notice. One little buzz on one note doesn't sound like a detatched bass bar.
  12. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    It depends how loose it is. Strange things can happen as the glue begins to give way. Still, I agree that it's not a high probability.
  13. all of the above and check the the wings of the F's for gunk or old finish bridging the gap.
  14. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    Think your right, miss read it.. find it hard to follow forums and the way the text is laid out Soz
  15. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    I was going on the statement of the OP and where he was applying pressure to make the buzz stop. I hope for his sake that it is not the bass bar.

  16. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    The bar is usually jarred loose at the ends; the bass is hit on the bridge and the pressure wave carries the bar too far towards the back of the bass.

    I've seen several very loose bass bars that didn't buzz at all.
  17. Thieske91


    Feb 20, 2012
    Thanks for all the tips guys. You scared me a bit, so I took the bass to a different luthier. He found an old repair, 30 year old, and is looking at it now. He didn't really know what caused the buzz so he's checking everything now. Worst case scenario: Top has to come off.
    He's got the bass for over a week now, so I'm fearing the worst.

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