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String warbling

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 4bassjohn, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. I just changed the strings on my MIA p bass, downsized to Chromes super light gauge. I'm now getting this anoying warbling from the A string. It wasn't there before. Any thoughts?
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Without actually seeing the bass or hearing the problem, a couple of suggestions:

    1. Make sure you have enough "turns" of the A string on the tuner to keep it pressed down firmly in the nut. Does the warbling noise go away if you lightly press down on the string between the nut and the tuner? If so, you cut the string too short. (This is a design flaw of Fender-style basses, and some players install a wider string tree that extends to the A string.)

    2. Any time you change brand/gauge of strings, you should set up your bass (see the sticky at the top of the setup sub-forum): truss rod, saddle height, intonation, pickup height. In particular having the wrong pickup height can make a noise that some people describe as "warbling".

    3. Possible it's simply a defective string and you should ask for your money back.
  3. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    You may have accidentally twisted it while stringing it up
  4. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    It could be slightly twisted. Try re-stringing it and use the tuner only to remove the slack. It can be a tedious pain, but usually that will do the trick.
  5. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    You can get a twist out by loosening the string, freeing the ball end from the tailpiece, allowing it to untwist, then put the ball end back in the tailpiece and tune 'er up.
  6. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    Yep. Sounds like a twisted string. Do you hand wind the slack around the tuning peg before tightening? Don't do that.
  7. Thanks for the tips. I gave it a fresh setup when I changed the strings. A twisted string makes perfect sense. Wish me luck.
  8. Survey say's? Twisted string. Thanks everybody.
  9. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    You can hand wind as long as you do it before you seat the ball end and let the whole string go around the peg on each wind. Just don't rotate the string between your fingers.

    I like to:
    1. seat the ball end in the tailpiece.
    2. seat the other end in the peg slot and wind 2 times just to measure.
    3. cut where indicated to get 2 or 3 good winds on the peg
    4. take the whole string off, reseat the cut end in the tuning post including the coil that was made in step 2, and reseat the ball end in the tailpiece.
    5. bring it up to pitch with the tuning key.
  10. Ian_Flash


    Jan 17, 2013
    Twisted string gets my vote as well. Additional possibilities:

    1. Pickup height too close to string. Warble more pronounced with lighter gauge.
    2. Bridge saddle only has one height adjustment allen screw sitting on the bridge plate. Sometimes if the saddle is angled, it will rest against the adjoining saddle and render only one height screw on the plate. Check that both allen screws rest on the plate.

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