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Strang harmonic while setting up a bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bmc, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I'm setting up a bass for a friend. I have set straightened the bow in the neck, set the action and set the intonation. I now have a weird harmonic problem on the G string at the twelfth fret. When I hold the note down and plauck the string, I get this vibrating harmonic playing on top of the note. It is not unlike the vibrating harmonic one gets when you are using harmonics to tune strings.

    The rest of the bass sounds and plays great. Can anybody help me here?

  2. Rene


    Mar 8, 2004
    Check how tight the string is in the saddle of the bridge.
    Sometime strings vibrate sideways or are too tight in the saddle and create that sound. or you have a light buzz past the 12th fret.
    If so you will have to level frets(all the same height) past the 12th fret, recrown them, buff them and you're all set.
    20 years experience in making and repairs as a luthier
  3. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Thanks Rene. I checked the seating of the string in the saddle. How would I determine if it is too tight? It looks like all other strings. Also, I made sure that the saddled are all in line. Still can't eliminate it. The string doesn't buzz from the twelfth fret on up.

  4. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003

    Yeah...that's what I was thinking.
  5. You mentioned that you "straightened the bow in the neck"..
    Did you use any special technique to measure the amount of relief (forward bow) that the neck has now?

    The reason I'm asking is that recently I've discovered alot of weird sounding problems that I was having simply because I did not have ENOUGH relief in the neck. I didn't have backbow, no fretting or buzzing, and everything looked fine, but it wasn't.
    The reverse holds true also. The bass just won't feel or sound right until that relief is dialed in right.
    Try the Gary Willis technique. Fret the first fret, hold that and press the string down past the neck near the pickup. You should have about a credit card's gap at about the 8th or 9th fret. If it's more, you need to tighten. If less or none, you need to loosen up a bit.