Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

String Buzz Behind Fretted Note?!?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Zooberwerx, May 5, 2005.


  1. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Here's a weird one: I recently put a fresh D'addarios on my 36" scale 5 banger. I'm getting a very loud buzz from the G string while fretting at the the 8th fret, however, the buzz appears to be coming from either the 6th or 7th fret. I'm able to significantly dampen the buzz by reaching back with my index finger to the 5th fret. Needless to say, I'm perplexed why the string would respond in such a way since it is essentially no longer a part of the vibrating structure. I'm suspicious that it is either a bad string or loose fret (but then again, I'm guessing). Any ideas?

    Riis
     
  2. Here's the worstcase scenario for a start. I had that problem with my Stingray5 when I first bought it, and no one seemed to be able to dial out the buzz no matter what adjustments were made, so Ernie Ball ended up replacing the bass.

    I don't think your problem is that serious. Maybe it's just a small adjustment of the trussrod. I believe the part of the string behind the fretted note vibrates a little simply due to the vibration of the whole bass, and if the string is lying close to the frets because the string is pressed down at the fretted note, this vibration will cause a buzz. Could also be that some of the frets are worn more that others. Also bear in mind different strings vibrate slightly different. All in all: try to experiment a little with your setup, or take it to a tech.

    Good luck :)
     
  3. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    I'm certain you'll find it's the string.

    I recently bought two sets of D'Addario Slowounds. One set went onto a J Bass and the other onto a Sting Ray 4 string.

    The SR4 had the same problem on the D string while fretting at the 10th. The buzz was coming from the 9th fret.

    I switched the D string on both Basses and all was ok.
     
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Thanks for the suggestions. Follow-up: I put an old worn G string on and got the same response (it was also a D'addario). I'll take it to a tech today. I'm hoping it is the string set; I'd rather spend $25 on another set of roundwounds instead of forking out major $$$ for a fret job.

    I did drop some extra relief in the neck and raised the string height as far as tolerable, but to no avail.

    Riis
     
  5. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    Interesting!!!

    Have you checked the tuners (loose fittings)?

    Maybe the truss rod rattling.

    Put a rag underneath the strings. Grab the top of the neck and hold the Bass up off the floor. Tap the back of the neck.

    Keep us updated.
     
  6. If possible try another brand of string. They all vibrate a little differently.
     
  7. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    My toss is still the string.

    One case I read about was where the "ghost" buzz was on the E string fretted at the G!!!!
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No dice.

    Tried a different string brand; made no difference. Buzz still shows up at the 8th fret. Well, at least its consistent.

    Bass is headless; no headstock or conventional tuning gears.

    I am hearing a slight, almost imperceptible rattle when I tap on the back of the neck. It's a David King D bass and the truss rod is removable I believe. I'm going to run this scenario by him before taking any drastic measures.

    I'll keep you posted. This has been a learning experience.

    Riis
     
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The final scoop, as promised

    David King sent me a lengthy e-mail outlining the probable causes including:

    *nut slots cut too deeply

    *truss rod too tight

    *frets need leveling

    I followed the simplest route first and shimmed the culprit G string with a thin piece of paper at the nut. Viola! Buzz is now gone...or at least until I remove the shim. David suggested I knock the nut loose and place a small strip of beer can aluminum underneath and reattach (perfect thickness). Instead of messing with it myself, I took it back to my tech who agreed to make the necessary modification at no charge.

    This may make the Australians cry: I poured a can of Genesee Cream Ale (crap beer) down the sink just for the can.

    Riis
     
    Ballin'bass likes this.
  10. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    Good to see you've solved the prob!

    >>>>I poured a can of Genesee Cream Ale (crap beer) down the sink just for the can :crying:
     
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    FWIW, I used to drink Emu Export (Swan Brewery) when I was in Perth. Now that's a beer I wouldn't dare waste!

    Riis
     
  12. nivagues

    nivagues

    Jan 18, 2002
    I've downed a few of those...and a lot of others too ;)
     
  13. timinator

    timinator

    May 8, 2005
    Had the same malady in one or two nuts myself-glad you found the simple fix! I'll celebrate your triumph over the gear gremlins by raising a bottle of Vermont's finest. Three of the tasty producers up north are Otter Creek, Long Trail, and Magic Hat. How's the balance, etc. on that headless rig anyhoo!

    Be Well
     
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The balance is perfect considering it's a 36" scale 5 banger; actually feels more like a 35".

    Riis