string buzzing, NOT fretbuzz, but MISTERYbuzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by heavyfunkmachin, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    this is the deal: my strings buzz now and then. it sounds like a fret buzz, but it is not, because when they do it they do it all neck long, even in the higher fret, where there´s nothing to buzz against.
    the strings havent "gone bad" because the dont buzz 24/7, just eventually.
    they didnt ratlle against the pick ups because theres a safety distance bettwen pickups and strings, and it isnt that something is loose and it vivrates to a certain frequency because when they ratle/buzz they do it with every single note.

    everything seems ok, but then, eventually they ratle, at first it was jsut the A string, but now the E and the D strigns also go buzzing. i just cant see wheres the problem. i cant locate the buzz, i cant see where it is produced... ¿bridge noises? how?? the schecler bridge seems ok...

    i know it is hard to fix a problem like that on the web. but if anyone had the SLIGHTEST idea of what could be happening, i would really apreciate it. thats it. thanks.
  2. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Maybe it's a big back bow from an over tightened truss rod? Could that make all of the frets buzz?
  3. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    it is NOT fret buzz.

    and it happens also when unplug, so it is neither a electronic problem or a cabinet problem... its purely mechanical. I JUST CANT FIND WHERE THE SOUND COMES FROM!!!

    i´m going nuts.... :rollno:
  4. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    1) What kind of bass?
    2) Have you modded any of it?
    3) Did it ever play well (ie is the current buzzing a new occurrence or has it always happened)?
    4) Do you know how to measure relief? I'd check that for sure...
    5) Where does the buzz come from (ie headstock, bridge, neck)?

    the bass its a MIM jazz bass with fender 60´s custom pickups and a schecler bridge. both instaled by myself, and properly done (as far as i cant tell, obiusly). And yes, there was a time when it played like a dream, low actionn, full tone, : :bawl:

    relief its not an issue, i happens with low and with high action, and its not a neck bow thing either, i can tell....

    "Where does the buzz come from (ie headstock, bridge, neck)?"
    hum, it comes form the pluged string, :smug: , but if i had to locate it i could be mistaken, but as far as logic tells me it could only happen in the bridge, since its the only element that could be doing it, but then, i cant really tell, because i cant see where its the noise done, sometimes if i pull the noisy string and try to "relocate" it somehow where it touches the bridge, the noise goes away, but then sometimes it doesnt, and sometimes goes away on its own, and sometimes comes back just because.... :eyebrow: they put a spell on me?

    thanks so far for trying to help me out.
  5. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I have a similar problem with my MIM jazz on the A string, I got it when I changed strings to lo-riders. I can't locate the buzz. It only buzzes when I pluck really hard (dig into the string), and it has to be an open string. The buzz doesn't go through the electronics. I can only hear it when my amp is off and theres no background noise.
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I think "string buzz" may be a misnomer.

    It sounds to me like it's just a resonance causing a noise somewhere where there's something not down tight. I've chased these things down ever since I've had basses (35+ years). A lot of the time it was in the bridge springs, but they've turned up everywhere. Old loose CTS pots will do it sometimes.

    I have one in my Sting that I can't find for the life of me. I suspect that it may be in the wiring or in that screwball jack mounting system. It sounds like it might be in the trussrod, but that's unlikely, considering the tensions involved. It doesn't get picked up in the signal, so there's no point going too crazy, but it's a mystery.

    A stethoscope really helps with finding these, but I don't have one, nor a third hand to use it.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Do you get the buzz with open strings, fretted notes, or both?
  8. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i was reading over and i found this:

    "Rotosound Quality Control?



    I just had my bass setup a few days ago by my local tecky.

    now, when I picked up the bass at his store, it was fine and played well... when I got home, started playing and found something I'd never heard before...

    Vibration buzz on the A string... not fretbuzz, vibration... i looked everywhere to see if anything had come loose on the saddle or something, nope. it was fine... couldnt figure it out so took it back to the store, and he couldnt figure it out either, so, we substituted the A string, and all of a sudden, it was fine again. Seems I got a bum string... it looked perfect, my guess is something inside the spires was broken, making that extremely anoying vibration sound... oh well... never had that happen, and as I've seen comments on rotosound's quality control, thought I'd ask you guys if this had ever happened to you...

    could this be happening to me? how could i tell?

    vibration buzz?

  9. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Check on your bass the top nut, and hardware like tuning post. I had this problem once with an old key that was loose inside.
  10. KPJ

    KPJ Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    There is a "Fender A string buzz" phenomenom. Due to the lack of a break angle for the A-string on basses with a Fender-style headstock, if you do not have enough wrappings around the string post on the A-string, it will not sit in the nut properly and will buzz when played open. You said that you noticed this "buzz" first on the A-string, then the others. When you get the buzz on the other strings, is the A-string muted? The A-string may be vibrating sympathetically with the other strings. Check how your A-string goes over the nut. I have seen Fender-style basses where the A-string was straight from the nut to the string post (one was mine, the first time I ever strung my Fender!). Always leave a little extra on your A-string when restringing a Fender-style.

    Good luck!
  11. are your strings dead? (OLD) sometimes when they get that bad they'll be more prone to buzzing due to less resistance... that happened to me recently, I'd had Fender strings on there, and we know they dont last long... so it was just the bass telling me to restring him.
  12. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i am aware of th so called "Fender A string buzz phenomenom", and its ok, the buzz comes either form the vibrating string, witch i believe should be ok, good brand and "moderately fresh", or the bridge, but i cant find the place where the string buzzes against it, the saddles are not loose and everything should be fine...

    i might be seen as a cheap dude, but i dont wanna get a new string set if thats not the deal... i would rather FIND OUT whats going on...

    oh, and no, its not relief, i sometimes mix it with action, english is not my first lenguage, but relief its ok.
  13. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I'm having a similar problem in my new Bongo. When I play the open E string with my thumb (old school thumb plucking), it produces an annoying buzz which seems to come from the bridge (not fret buzzing). The weird thing is, if I play that string with my regular fingerstyle (index - middle), it sounds normal. This just happen when playing with my thumb. For instance, when playing the final chord of "Portrait Of tracy" with the open E. I tried giving the neck a little more relief, but didn't work.
  14. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Last time (and only time) something like this happened to me, it was a broken truss rod rattling all the way down the neck.

    Tap on the back of the neck, if something's vibrating in there, someone will need to take the fretboard off and do some serious work.
  15. Are you sure it's not like a loose tuner screw or something?
  16. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    100% sure. today i dismateled the bass searching for ANYTHING loose in the headstock, bridge or pot control. nothing. and no, it is not the thurst rod.... i guess i will have to admit it as an "INNER" sound of the bass... :meh:
  17. With me it was actually the pack of strings that my friend(store owner) put on there that were no good. by the way, when confronted with his complaint, Rotosound told him these things happen, sorry, nothing we can or will do for you.
    cheap bastards!

    so, either way, took those off, and substituted them with some new strings, and there you go. buzz free.
    I guess something inside the string was broken off or something... causing it to vibrate.
  18. How did you eliminate the truss rod as the source of the sound?

    I don't believe you have tuners that have absolutely NO backlash in them whatsoever. Fender has never made a set like this and the MIM's were never close to having that close a tolerance. Believe it or not, the screw that holds the spur gear on the tuner chassis might be too tight and this could cause that problem.

    Break angle over the nut is definitely a place to look. If you didn't play the bass WITHOUT the A string installed and determined that the bass did or didn't buzz in that state, then you can't, with 100% certainty, say it's the A string that is causing it.
  19. *Munkeh*


    Apr 16, 2005
    London, UK
    I have the same problem, not fret buzz or hitting against the pickups, and it ONLY buzzes when NOT plugged into the amp and it doesn't happen everytime, only buzzes occasionally, my solutions are:

    1) Keep playing until it disappears, it doesnt drive me around the bend enough to look into this problem more detailed

    2) Un-string the strings, re-string them and tune them.

    Both these solutions work for me, i listen to the buzz and it seems to come from the bridge... but that's on my bass.
  20. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I got it comin from my bass's bridge too...probably need to tighten one of the screws that holds the saddle down (gotoh 206)