String buzz at the bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by k_hardy, Mar 8, 2021.


  1. k_hardy

    k_hardy

    Apr 16, 2020
    Northern England
    Hi all.

    Having problems with string buzz at the minute and can't seem to troubleshoot whatever's going on. I changed the strings on my Ibanez SR500 and performed a full setup - everything works really well except the A string. It's a little quieter than the others (can't be fixed by EQing), and there is loud buzz coming from the bridge. It's not fret buzz, I've altered the action to see if that makes any difference, but no. I don't think it's the nut or anything at the headstock end - it's predominantly louder at the bridge. There's nothing I can see that's loose that could be making the noise, and all the control knobs and switches are secure.

    I genuinely don't know what it could be, and it's a real pain. If anyone has any ideas that'd be great.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Oooh ooh oooh! Another game of "catch a buzz"! I've got no clue, but subbed to find out. Someone here can surely figure it out...
     
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  3. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    I’ve had weird rattles at the bridge before too. It’s always ended up being the intonation saddle springs. Your experience may vary though. Also, play an open A and press the string down with a bit of pressure in between the nut and tuner just to make sure there’s enough break angle and that’s not causing the issue.
     
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  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, that's my guess too, a spring or maybe a saddle height screw loose. Something is vibrating and sapping energy from the string...
     
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  5. k_hardy

    k_hardy

    Apr 16, 2020
    Northern England
    Thanks, I'll have a look this afternoon. Hopefully that'll get it sorted.
     
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm thinking maybe a saddle height screw that's backed out to far, so that that side of the saddle rides right on the bridge plate, leaving the set screw without any pressure to hold it tight? Or a spring has become too compressed and needs to be stretched and reinstalled. My best guesses anyways. Good luck buzz hunting!
     
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  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    33123028.jpg

    he he hehe
     
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  8. k_hardy

    k_hardy

    Apr 16, 2020
    Northern England
    I've checked the break angle, and that's not the problem, and have adjusted the saddles in every way and still no results...I think strings off to have a proper look is the next step!
     
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I suppose it could be a bad string somehow but that must be pretty rare.
     
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  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    What you're hearing at the bridge could be originating somewhere else along the string path, including the afterlengths. Rule out the simple stuff:

    *Make sure each bridge saddle is parallel with the base plate. Do not tilt in an attempt to match the fingerboard radius.

    *Check your break angle at the nut...A strings are particularly bothersome on Fender-esque basses, maybe this applies in your case. 3+ wraps on the machine head post, the string should be "hitting the deck". Re-set your witness points. Should look something like this:

    BlueSilks.jpg
     
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  11. k_hardy

    k_hardy

    Apr 16, 2020
    Northern England
    Not sure if anyone is still floating about in this thread, but a new string solved the problem today. That suggests it was something with the string, which I am surprised by and still am not 100% sure what the exact problem was, but glad to have it fixed either way. Thanks for all your advice :)
     
  12. bassdeal

    bassdeal

    Jan 6, 2018
    I am listening, had the same kind of problem (string buzz at the bridge), and after a significant amount of time working on it with more time thinking about it, came to the same solution.

    1993 MIM Fender P totally stock using DR Legend flats (45-105) exclusively for 3 years. Put on its 3rd set and the buzz started. I checked the setup and no changes needed (not surprising since it replaced the same brand-model-size strings). Worked on the bridge (this is the D string) saddle, pressed the string on both the bridge and head-stock to suppress any possible vibration, tuned it up and down, no change. Checked to make sure the cloth wrapping is not anywhere near the break in the saddle. Checked the ring at the bridge-end is not contacting the intonation adjustment screw. Then decided to dig my old strings out of the trash (humm, maybe should put them in metal recycling), and put the old D string on. No problems. Could not recreate the problem.

    I have been using DR strings exclusively on my basses since ~1995 and never had any problems. It is really difficult to believe I have a bad string and how could it be bad and cause this problem?

    One thing I did think of is to put the string on a different bass and see if the problem shows up again.
     
  13. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Bad strings are more common than people are willing to acknowledge.
     
  14. bassdeal

    bassdeal

    Jan 6, 2018
    Took the DR flats off and replaced with DR High Beamers of the same gauge. No problems on any of the strings yet.
     

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