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Sadowsky Metro - rattle in neck / headstock

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    OK so I haz Sadowsky Metro UV5. One day I noticed a kind of clicking sound, probably when putting the bass on a stand, such that I was shifting its position and had my ear close to the neck and headstock. It sounds like a small part that's loose… and when I say rattle, it's fortunately not the sort that presents any noticeable noise or vibration when playing, but it's audible (not through the amp) any time you gently shake the bass. I can't find anything loose externally on the headstock, and I've tried applying gentle pressure on machine heads, string tree bar, etc., but the sound remains. I'm wondering if it could be coming from the truss rod or related parts.

    As I said I can't hear any noise while playing but I haven't done any serious studio work with the bass yet, and I'd hate to write this off as me being overly anal and OCD, only to have it crop up as a real problem when I least expect it. Any ideas, suggestions, etc?
  2. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I had a similar problem with my Fender Telecaster last month. After a few days looking for the problem, I figured out it was a loose tuning peg for the E string by playing and holding/pinching each tuning peg in turn. That may or may not be your problem. Good luck.
  3. JRB

    JRB Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    Check the springs on the string tree. I had the same issue on my Sadowsky. Just went away one day before I put in any effort at solving it.
  4. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Aaron: Yes, I tried that - holding and pinching tuning keys and other parts of each machine head but no dice.

    JRB: Yeah, I had not isolated those since I can't really get a finger in to hold them still, and the sound is more substantial than what I'd expect from such a small part, but I used a rubber band just now to hold them still and that's not it.

    I haven't been very active on TB for years now, but I bet I can probably find a way to link to a short phone video demonstrating the issue. I'll post it up assuming I figure that out. Thanks for the input, guys!
  5. Give the truss rod a tweak. See if that gets rid of it.
  6. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Possibly there's no tension on the rod.
  7. I think that is it.. you need a bit of tension on it just for that reason. Just a titch. Likely won't change your relief at all.
  8. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I had high hopes for the truss rod adjustment - tightened it enough to remove a bit of relief (felt like it already had tension, it offered an expected amount of resistance right away) but no dice. I still think it may be related to the truss rod, as it seems the sound is present in the neck, just loudest at the headstock end. Hmm… thanks for the suggestion, regardless.


    Dec 13, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I am completely anal and OCD about all my basses. At this point where you don't know what it is.... I'd do 1, 2, or both things.

    1) Dismantle it. It's scary taking apart a boutique bass like a Sadowsky, but you might find the issue. Take off the strings, tuners, neck until you can at least isolate the area where you hear this peculiar sound.

    2) Take it to a pro and have them figure it out.

    Hope it helps!
  10. Yeah I would remove all the hardware from the headstock to try to isolate what it is. Take it off one tuner at a time, checking to see if the rattle goes away after each piece comes off. then shake it after to see of the TR is rattling.
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I would call Roger Sadowsky & co. They must have seen this before, and are always eager to help.
  12. superblues

    superblues Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Took the words right out of my mouth.
    Winston Wolf likes this.
  13. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Fully agree. They'll be more than happy to help you.

    Welcome to the family.
  14. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Thanks guys. There are some great luthiers and techs in this town so I'd take it to a pro before disassembling myself. And I will contact Sadowsky - I wanted to do a little due diligence first, and you guys have helped me with that! :)
  15. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    I've had similar issues with various culprits from the pegs to the springs on the bridge.

    Put your ear to the back of the neck and knock on it. If you hear rattling, the truss is probably loose.
  16. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Tighten the rod a little, it takes 10 secs man! :)