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string height - buzz

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by nathanmcnathan, Mar 17, 2008.


  1. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    Hey everybody! I just got a new bass a while ago, and the shop I got it from lowered the action for me. It's a LOT easier to play now, only problem is that they lowered the height on the G string WAY more than the other strings. (I'll upload a photo later) There isn't any problem when I'm playing soft, but when I play even a little harder with my right hand(I prefer the tone and feel) I get this horrible buzz on the area between C and C# on the G. I don't really want to spend money for a new bridge, I'm just a student and don't have any disposable income:( - any suggestions?:confused:

    THANKS!!!
     
  2. Sounds like you may have a high spot on the fingerboard. I would suggest you take it to a good bass luthier and have them check it out. If it is minor, it may not cost much to fix. If it is a bigger problem and the entire board needs to be planed, it could be a more sizable expense.
     
  3. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    I've already checked - the fingerboard looks really good, near perfect. I think the problem might just be the lower action on the G compared to the other strings. Know of any ways to fix without spending a lot?
     
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Take it back to the shop and show them the problem. Let them take care of it.

    And fill out your profile when you have a minute. :)
     
  5. When you say perfect, do you mean perfectly flat? The fingerboard is supposed to be cambered (scooped).
     
  6. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    I know, I mean it's got the right shape, bit of a scoop in it. I've called the shop, they said that I can have as many adjustments as I want on it.:D
     
  7. jonas

    jonas

    Dec 9, 2003
    Frankfurt am Main/Germany
    Kontrabass-Atelier, Lando Music (Germany)
    What tools have you used for checking? Just by looking at the fingerboard, I can't tell if it the setup is good or if it needs some dressing work.
     
  8. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Sight down the FB from the scroll end. You should see some dip, but no high or low spots. It should be a very gentle curve from the nut to the other end. If you see ANY bumps take it back.
     
  9. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    I've already had a luthier from another store check it out - it's good neck-wise. String height just too low. So, what can I do about that? They carved the bridge too low, and I don't know if they can fix it.
     
  10. dchan

    dchan

    Nov 19, 2005
    Bethlehem, PA
    Doesn't your bridge have adjusters on it?
     
  11. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    And if it doesn't, installing them would fix your problem.

    Again, take it back to the original repairman.

    If they feel some responsibility, they'll give you a deal on the adjusters and installation. If they don't, you've learned something about them. :)
     
  12. Darren Molnar

    Darren Molnar

    Nov 6, 2007
    saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada
    humble instrument maker
    How low is too low? If you are looking for the cheap fix, and it's not a whole lot difference between too low and just right, you could shim under the string at the bridge with parchment. (banjo skin) Cut some small circles, fold over bridge under the string, drop of glue. you're set. lube with graphite where string contacts.
     
  13. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    I think I'm going to see about adjusters - if the price is really good, I'll give it a try - if not and I have to save up, I'm gonna try the shims. Thanks!

    Almost forgot:
    Any other suggestions? I've been playing DB for almost a year now, mostly jazz, and although I've got a lot of experience playing a bass, I'm still pretty new to owning one. Until now, it's just been the school's horrible old bass, which requires almost no care, since I could probably drop it off a roof and it'd be fine.:)
     
  14. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    I think I should mention that my strings are really low-tension, really loose. Would putting some higher-tension strings on help with the buzzing? I'm used to high string tension from my school's bass, so that's not a problem for me.
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    In my experience, the answer is "yes". It's not that higher tension strings can't buzz, but they do tend to do it less than floppy ones. YMMV, YMVCB, etc.
     
  16. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Your Mother's Mother Can Bark?

    You Must Meditate on Charles Barkley?

    You Might Miss Contra Bass?

    Your Mustache Mimics Chinese Barbells?
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I like the last one. :D Actually, though, I meant to write, "YMWCB". Sorry!
     
  18. Darren Molnar

    Darren Molnar

    Nov 6, 2007
    saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada
    humble instrument maker
    Yaks may mount cute buses?
     
  19. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Your Mother Wears Clodhopper Boots? Easy Chris, this is a family show! :)
     
  20. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Banned

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    I have absolutely no idea what that means:)
     

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