1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Rattle on G string frets 3-7 only

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Downsman, Mar 19, 2018.


  1. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    I've been setting up the 15 year old beat up Squier Affinity P-Bass I was given recently and all going really well except I have an annoying rattling when I fret the G string. It's only between frets 3 and 7. Sounds different to the kind of buzzing I'm used to when action is too low, but hitting a fret is the only thing I can think of that could be happening with just one string. I've added neck relief, raised the saddle, put some tape in the nut to raise that, tightened every screw I can find, and can't seem to get rid of it. Any thoughts on what else it could be? It was missing the G-string when I got it and don't know how long it was like that if that's a factor. Neck doesn't look twisted to me, though.
     
  2. hotbass57

    hotbass57

    Nov 27, 2011
    Fairfield,Ohio
    High frets?? Bad nut slot cut too low? That's a couple places to look.
     
  3. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    I thought the tape in the nut slot not making a difference would rule out the nut slot being cut too low. Just levelled the frets, which were pretty worn, polished them, tuned back up and... no difference. I'm completely stumped here.
     
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Since the problem is only between the 3rd and 7th frets, you can rule out the nut as a problem area. I would look for uneven frets, unseated frets or a bump in the neck. Check the relief on both sides of the neck by fretting at the first fret and where the neck meeds the body and check for relief at the 6th fret. If these all check out OK, try replacing the G string.
     
  5. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    The relief is the same on both sides of the neck at the 6th fret. Fret levelling didn't change anything and I can't see any obvious bumps and frets all seem to be seated.

    One possibly interesting thing. Using the same force, plucking down with my thumb causes the rattle, plucking up with my fingers doesn't. I tried slapping straight down on the string with my thumb and that didn't rattle either. Not sure what to make of that though. The strings are new, could there be a flaw with the strings that would cause a problem in that area only?
     
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Try fretting in the problem area (3 to 7) and pluck the string behind where you are fretting (between your fretting position and the nut). If you get the same rattle, it's back buzz. You may have a high first fret, a low nut, or uneveness in the fretboard in that area.
     
  7. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    Tried that and no rattling plucking behind the fretted string.

    I just put a capo on and tried pressing down everywhere I could think of that might rattle. Bizarrely it stopped when I touched the tuning keys for the E or A strings, but not when I held the D and G tuners. Took off the capo and same thing when I placed those keys against a cushion. That's slightly doing my head in. Does that make any sense? Why one or the other of just those tuners? Why just those notes on that string?
     
  8. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    Well, there we go. It was the tuners. I took them off, took them apart and there was a load of metal shavings in one of them, not sure where they came from as none of the parts looked worn. Anyway, cleaned them both, put them back on, restrung, and problem solved. Some scientist who understands resonant frequencies can probably explain it. I can't :)
     
    EpicSoundtracks and hotbass57 like this.
  9. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Sometimes those buzzes and rattles can drive you crazy. After you eliminate all the usual suspects, you have to look everywhere.
     
  10. Downsman

    Downsman

    Jan 30, 2016
    I was obsessed with figuring it out. Even when I found it I still couldn't believe it. Still makes no sense to me that the tuner on the A string would rattle when I play 4 specific frets on the G string, but not when I play any notes on the A string.

    Anyway, at least the frets are level now, and the action lower as a result, and I straightened the bent key on one of the tuners while it was apart which had been bugging me a bit. So something useful came out of it :)
     
    Slater likes this.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 24, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.