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Question: buzzing string.

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by Smiling Bob, Jan 19, 2002.

  1. Smiling Bob

    Smiling Bob

    Jan 19, 2002
    North Wales
    I have a question. I just put new strings on my Fender Squire (crap) P-bass. Only prob is, the A string buzzes. It only buzzes when played open and its not the bass cause the old strings were fine. Any ideas whst it is? Please help. Its so anoyin and teh strings were pretty expensive so i dont wanna have to buy new ones.
  2. watt

    watt the man in the van w/a bass in his hand Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2001
    san pedro, california

    new strings always have more highs then used ones but maybe what happened is the saddle adjustment (at the bridge) got accidentally lowered and the action of the string is too close to the neck. try raising the saddle of the offending string a bit. maybe the neck needs a little adjustment too (truss rod). have a pro repairman do that.

    on bass, watt

  3. Bob,
    That's one of the things I always used to hate about Fenders when I played them. It's just the A string, and only buzzes when you play the open note, right?
    As the E generally hits the post of the tuning peg at just about thie correct angle to avoid buzzing, and the D and G strings are held down by the "string tree," the A is the only string that's usually afflicted by this annoying buzz.
    What I would do is just not cut excess length off the A string when putting new strings on. When you've got the end of the string in the little hole in the tuning machine's post, start winding the excess string around the top of the peg and circle it downward, toward the face of the headstock.
    That way, the part of the string wound around the peg forces the part left hanging between the nut and the peg is forced into a downward angle strong enough to pull it hard across the nut and avoid that nasty boinging buzz.
    If that wasn't clear, ask me via email and I'll try to explain better.
    That's why some basses have headstocks that tilt backwards...the "break angle" of the strings over the nut alleviates the buzz but often makes the headstock more fragile and prone to breakage when dropped or otherwise banged around.
    Good luck...
  4. mecha hooch

    mecha hooch Guest

    Jan 15, 2002
    i have the same problem...i mean to a "T"...i will try the new string thing...i've already filed the nut...raised the action from the saddle on the bridge...and i was actually playing around last night and realized if i put the smallest amount of downward pressure on the "a" string near the tuning key the buzz went away...but at the sametime i didn't want a muffled sound on my "a" string...also didn't want to lose any sustain...but next time i wind my bass up i will try this trick...it's almost time for some new rotosounds anyways
  5. Flash


    Feb 3, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    This may or may not have anything to do with this problem...because I get the same buzzing on my Jay Turser...but only in the frets closer to the pickup, but when you change strings you should only change one at a time. In other words do not remove all of the strings at once and then put the new ones back on. This will help prevent the truss from relaxing too much or even warping.

    I'm no expert though
  6. Well, I tried this last trick (one string at a time) when restringing my 75 fender p, and guess what... same problem. The damn A string buzzes like a hornet. Even raising the saddle considerably doesn't totally alleviate the problem.

    I will have to try the other idea, though...

  7. mecha hooch

    mecha hooch Guest

    Jan 15, 2002
    hey kungfu your little trick w/ not clipping excess string off...and winding the string downward worked...buzz has fell into the realm of the non-existent...thanks for the tip ...whats up watt
  8. No prob Bob...and please don't torture your fingers by adjusting the bridge or saddles as it has Zero to do with the problem.
    Hasta lasagna,
  9. Bryhey


    Mar 23, 2002
    Ft. Myers, FL
    I took it to a shop, and they did it on the spot for free...it was the truss rod...but my E was buzzing....hope that helps
  10. slowburnaz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    The real problem has nothing to do with the bridge (in this case). The problem on Fenders (and any bass without an angled headstock) is that the angle of the string, usually the A-string on Fenders, from the nut to the tuning machine is too shallow. The effect is that the string isn't held against the nut with enough pressure to keep it from vibrating at the nut. To correct this, you either need an angled headstock, or one of those bar-type things you see on Wal basses that the string goes under between the nut and the tuning machine... it forces a greater angle, thus creating more downward pressure on the nut, and stops the vibration at the nut.
  11. ...or you could just leave an extra three inches on the damned A string and avoid all the trouble and expense of modifying the instrument or even getting a new one.
    Your remarks are dead-on, slowburnaz, but why get all Rube Goldberg about it?
  12. slowburnaz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    LOL... Rube Goldberg, eh? Nothing that elaborate and useless. It's just that there's a flaw in Fender's design, and to REALLY correct it, it needs a mod. I is jest beeeng teknicall... :p
  13. Point taken...they are primitive beasts, aren't they? My idea is meant to be the easiest possible fix...adding on a bar-type string tree could cause its own problems such as the string windings catching on the retainer and causing Tuning Hell. And with my fix you don't have to fork over the $2 for the part plus installation if desired. Yes, I am that cheap.
    On an almost completely unrelated front: Finally took the Badass II off my EB-3 and replaced it with a Badass 1 (yes, I am copying MW's Gibson a little).
    Holy good God, what a difference. The action is stiff enough to play, and saints be praised the E string sounds like the other ones!
    As it stands, the action is high which has made the tone "stiffer" than I would like, but with time and tweaking I expect that'll be overcome.
    I had been driven nearly crazy by the E's practically subaudible response...it was there, just really really low frequency-wise: more in the realm of "felt" than "heard" which isn't the most musicially useful effect.
    Gee, didn't mean to ramble on so...but wanted to post my first reaction for the good of my fellow short-scale fans.

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