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Sudden String Buzz / Action Change

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bigjames, May 28, 2019.

  1. bigjames

    bigjames Player of Smooth Lines

    Jan 25, 2005
    Burnaby, Canada
    Hey all,

    Hoping someone can offer some suggestions. I have owned an FBass AC6 fretless since about 2012. I play it regularly and it has been solid and dependable in every way. I LOVE this bass. It hangs on the wall in my living room and I practice with it almost daily. It stays in tune better and longer than any other bass I own and humidity / weather seems to have no noticeable impact on it.

    About 4 weeks ago I changed the strings (as I have done many times since 2012). I replaced the strings with the same make, type, and gauge as always - the same strings it ships with (I believe they are Fbass branded La Bella Super Steps). I picked it up daily as usual and I played a gig with it about a week after the string change. No issues.

    I went a week or so without touching it (using another bass). I picked it up last Friday as I wanted to play it in a gig on Sunday and I immediately noted that the action / string height was different: the D string had a noticeable buzz when played open and the C string was so low that it was almost unplayable due to buzz on the board. It was almost like it was flat and needed to be tightened up, if that makes sense, but it was in tune.

    The AC6 bridge is not easy to adjust - the bridge is wood and adjustment would require shimming, etc. Further, I have never had this happen before.

    Any thoughts?

    PS - My suspicion at the moment is bad strings. It is the only factor that has changed recently. I am not sure if I am imagining it, but the strings feel looser to me; almost like they do not have the same tension as the previous set. Is this reasonable? My first reaction might be to switch back to the old set and see what happens.

    Thanks all,
  2. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    You can’t just give the truss rod a quick tweak?
    bigjames likes this.
  3. bigjames

    bigjames Player of Smooth Lines

    Jan 25, 2005
    Burnaby, Canada
    Technically an option, but I don’t understand why this happened at all.
  4. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    That's easy enough to do. I'd try it to see what happens.
    bigjames likes this.
  5. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    In the past two weeks there have been a flood of instruments come into my shop with the same problem. And it's because the level of relative humidity has drammatically increased. That causes the wood in the neck to swell and introduces a bit of backbow in the neck. A truss rod adjustment is in order to put it right again. It sounds like that may be the case with your bass. Check the relief and adjust as necessary.
    RSBBass, Warpeg and bigjames like this.
  6. bigjames

    bigjames Player of Smooth Lines

    Jan 25, 2005
    Burnaby, Canada
    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the feedback. I received a response from Fbass as well and they suggested the same thing - I was troubled because this has never been an issue before, but this explanation makes sense. I am in Vancouver Canada and summer has come early, but it has also been unseasonably (and unusually) humid here. I will make the adjustment today and let you all know how it goes!

  7. bigjames

    bigjames Player of Smooth Lines

    Jan 25, 2005
    Burnaby, Canada
    Truss rod tweaked and problem solved! Thanks all!!
    RSBBass likes this.
  8. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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