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Strange buzzing problem with Victor Bailey Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JFN, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. I am having a problem with fret noise/buzzing with my Fender Victor Bailey Jazz Bass. I string it with DR Highbeams, which I have been using for a few months now. The last set I had on for maybe three weeks, when I started getting buzzing on the E and A all the way up the neck. Raising the action did not help.

    I bought a new set of Highbeams and took it to my tech (he is highly regarded and goes all the way back to the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, which is where I live). He changed the strings and made some adjustments (truss rod, action, etc).

    When I went to pick it up, the E string is still buzzing, even after he raised the action a bit more than normal. Other things of note include:

    - He checked for raised frets and there were none.
    - The buzzing seems to be all up and down the neck.
    - The buzz starts about a half second or second after plucking the string.
    - The buzz occurs even when plucking lightly.

    - *** When the bass is laid flat, it does not buzz. Only when held in playing position does it buzz (this one I totally don’t get). ***

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Rapscallion2112


    Apr 21, 2004
    hey, another guy from michigan. cool.

    but ya, thats a really weird thing. i am taking a really wild guess but maybe the bolts keeping the neck on are loose?? i dont even know if that makes any sence really, but maybe when its set on the ground it is in place and when it is in playing position it is saging a bit? you know what i mean? i dunno. try tightening up the bolts in the back? but ya, i still really dont know.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md

    Is the nut cut too low on the E and A?

    Is the neck back-bowed?

    As to it not happening when laid flat, is the headstock resting on the flat surface? That could push the headstock forward enough to raise the strings.
  4. You might also want to post this in the setup forum. :)
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    For What It's Worth:

    Does sound a bit bizarre, especially the not buzzing laying flat part. Although I've read that a lightly plucked string actually produces more movement in the string than a harder attack - there's a pluck lightly crank up the volume school of thought out there, and it is good for some applications.

    I'd grab any other E string I had laying about and slap it on that puppy and see what happens. The hibeams are one consistent factor you've got going there and the only way I know to trouble-shoot effectively is change one thing at a time and check, and keep doing that till you get the desired change.

    Another thought is pup height. If you set your pups as hi as you can like I do, if those pups have some serious pull on the strings, it may be just enough that when you pluck them the pups pull enough to create some contact with the frets. If that's a possible factor, I'd think if you push down on the string you should actually be able to feel the pups pull on them some. At least it has when it's been a problem for me - but it's been contact with the pup not the frets for me.

    The nut is a definite possibility as well. Everytime you string a set of rounds it's like dragging a rat-tail file through the nut slots so you could have worn them enough to create a recent problem - although I'd think you're tech would have picked up on that. But I wouldn't think he'd ship it out with the E buzzing either. If you haven't asked him, do. It may not have been buzzing in his shop when it left. Humidity changes whatever.