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Strange fret "rattle" problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, May 12, 2005.

  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Hey guys,

    I just got a new Peavey Cirrus, and I'm experiencing a weird problem on some of the frets. When the bass is plucked normally, I get no fret buzz at all, however, if I press the string down on a few frets (off the top of my head, the 24th fret on all strings, and somewhere around the 17th fret or so on the A & D strings, and it was happening on the 12th of the D but it seems to come and go) either while tapping or sometimes just in fretting, I get a very strange clank/sustained rattle like a "mmmEOOOooorrrbbbzzt". In fact, I can't even tap on the 24th fret of any string because it's so bad that the tapped note doesn't sound clearly, even if I lightly press the string down.

    I normally would think that the neck needs to be straightened, but it's fine, and straightening it doesn't help the problem, so the only other thing might be the culprit is that I need to get the frets leveled (irritating for a new bass, one that is raved about its playability). But, because these frets don't buzz when I pluck, and only when I press down, I can't imagine that that is the problem.

    Any ideas?
  2. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hmmm sounds like you know how to play bass so it probably isnt the bridge huh??? And trust me because i worked in a store that sold peavey and it could be a matter of them not giving a good frett job.. I will put my thinking cap on for ya!! :eyebrow:
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Yea, they have a tech and I'm just going to have him level the frets, which I wish I didn't have to shell out $60 to do after just paying $1100, but oh well. My only concern is that if it's a problem that is inherant in the bass or is a flaw that can't be fixed. Then I suppose Peavey would cover it under warranty. It was a sale bass, so they said no returns, but I would think the store would take it back if it was messed up that badly.

    Eric, so I take it that you've seen alot of Peavey's with iffy fret jobs?

    I would definately get another if something was very wrong with this and couldn't be fixed. From what I've heard of Cirrus, they seem to be pretty consistant in the quality, and knowing my luck, I probably just got one that the egg beater missed (if so, I'm counting that this will be the 5th I've had) *lol*
  4. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    yeah when i worked at the music store i did see alot of peavy basses with bad frett jobs but they were all the lower end basses!
  5. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Yea I thought of that because I didn't want them to work on it and then have it void the warranty.

    The truss rod isn't loose and is functioning perfectly, the rattling is definately from the strings. It's also set up great other than these issues. Like I said, when I pluck the string, on all frets, I don't really get any buzz. It's only when I tap on the 12th fret on the D, around the 17th fret on the A & D strings, and at the 24th on all strings and sometimes when I press down while fretting normally that I get this strange rattle. You know how when you tap you get some string noise and a bit of buzz a bit anyway? Well, on all the frets I mentioned except the 24th the note sounds and then I get this clanky rattle after the note. On the 24th fret however, the note barely sounds and all I get is this choked rattle. It even happens if I lightly just press the string down.

    Also, and I forgot to mention, and I've had this problem on a few basses actually, if I fret the 12th fret of the D, and pluck the A string, the D string rattles and I get the same "byyrnnnzzt" noise. I found that if the neck has more relief it goes away, and it gets worse if the neck is straighter. Also, if the neck is straighter, the problem on the 24th fret worsens too.

    I've actually put on 2 new sets of strings of different gauges and the same problem still exists.

    The store is having a sale until saturday and the usual tech isn't doing repair until its over so he can be on the floor, so they have some guy from another store doing repair. I wasn't going to bring in the bass until tuesday when the regular guy is back doing work. I may call them today and talk to someone about it and just explain that I'd rather not have dave do a fret level and void the warranty, and see if I can possibly exchange the bass for another. There was a sign on the wall saying that during the sale the item can't be returned or exchanged, but the salesman told me that if I have any issues with it to give them a call. So I'm sure that seeing as this isn't a "I don't like the bass, I want to return it" issue, the'll be pretty flexible about it.

    I actually may try and see if I can record this fret noise so you guys can hear what I mean more.

    *edit* Thanks for checking out the website too, I appreciate it :)
  6. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Is it possible you're getting a sympathetic vibration on the length of string between the nut and where you're holding the string down - and that's the thing that's rattling against the frets?

    Also, since it's active electronics, and that buzz seems to happen 'after' the initial attack, I'm wondering if it's something to do with the control circuitry.

  7. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I'm pretty sure it's a fret level issue. It's not the electronics because it happens when the bass is unplugged.

    Here you go guys, I know this is hard to explain in words so I recorded a few examples of what I mean (turn up your volume a bit).

    (The note is being tapped and the rattle happens after the note intially sounds)

    (The note is being tapped and the rattle is immediate and the note is rather choked)

    (The notes are being tapped and the rattle is immedate and the notes are very choked)

    I noticed that a few other frets are doing this as well such as the 19th fret of the A & D and the 23rd and a bit of the 22nd fret on all strings, but not as bad as these examples.

    (I'm holding down the 12th fret of the D string and plucking the A and the D string is vibrating. It really only happens with this fret)

    Now I know it's not a neck adjustment issue because other frets around the offending ones sound clearly as they should, which is why I'm to believe that the frets are in need of a fret leveling.

    I hope this explains things alittle better :) I just hope I can get this fixed and not be out of the money I paid for the bass and stuck with a bass that doesn't play as well as it should, that's my main concern.
  8. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Have you changed your strings? It sounds like they are too short and are not seating in the nut properly. You can
    cure this with new strings or a string tree. I had that happen to me when I restrung my american Jazz bass. Cut the strings too short and after the 12th fret on some strings it made that same sound. Hope this helps.
  9. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I don't own this bass anymore. I returned it a few days after I made the thread. I changed the strings 3 times and I still had the same result.

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