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TI Flats buzzing...again

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Journey55, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. I know this topic is beat to death but I searched and have found no solution...I got some TI Flats about two weeks ago and since then the E D and G strings have been fine. The A string however, has been buzzing on all frets besides the last one and open, I tried putting my hand on the bridge to see if that was the problem and it didn't help, the lighter touch helps a bit but it still buzzes a bit on the lower frets and the higher frets (like 8 and up) still buzz either way, the buzzing seems to build up the last fret then it stops....any ideas on how to fix it? I didn't wanna mess with the truss rod cause the other strings are fine (they buzz when I play hard but that's to be expected).
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Have you tried raising the saddle on that particular string just a tad?
  3. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    If you press on the A string behind the nut, does it still buzz?
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    TI Flats are a low tension string. You need to adjust the truss rod when you switch from regular tension strings.
  5. Vintagefiend

    Vintagefiend I don't care for 410 cabinets at all.

    Aug 6, 2013
    Columbia, MO

    I took mine in and had a pro setup done when I switched from LaBellas to TIs. The difference is that extreme.
  6. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Wouldn't call it extreme but would agree I certainly had to make a few adjustments when changing from LaBella's to TI's.
  7. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    Me, too.

    But if it's a Fender style headstock and there are not enough wraps on the A string tuner, a truss rod and/or action adjustment won't help. Pressing on the string behind the nut is a good test. If that doesn't help, I'd look at the neck relief (truss rod adjustment). TI's do not like zero relief IME.
  8. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    They certainly don't, but I've learned to live with some minor buzzing. It's generally only noticeable unplugged. I set up low tension strings for extremely low action and almost always have unplugged minor buzzing, but nothing that's audible while amplified when I play with a light touch, which is necessary with low tension strings.
    These are light nickels with no amplified buzzing but I've managed to develop a left hand technique with very little fretting pressure. It all stemmed from laziness and desire for the easiest way to play.
  9. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    My MIJ defretted Mustang had LaBellas on it when I got it. It had over .020" relief at that point, so when I switched to TI's it came in at less than .010" (not a bad place to be for a 7 1/2" radius neck).

    I really like TI flats on fretless necks. I wish they would make up sets for the U-Bass and other short scales. I think nickel on rosewood is nice.
  10. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    If the string is buzzing on all frets, it's too low. Not buzzing on the last fret simple proves it is a fret issue, because there are no more frets against which the string can buzz.

    You have proven the string is not defective because it doesn't buzz when played open. ALSO, the "A" of the JF344 set is only .070" in diameter. The majority of "A" strings are in the .075 - .085" range, which is probably why it's the one causing you problems. Get your bass set up to accommodate the gauge and tension of the strings you have and you will likely be good to go.
  11. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    If it isn't the A string "nut buzz" problem, then loosening the truss rod 1/8 - 1/4 turn (after slackening the strings first) would probably take care of it. You need to see at least some space between the strings and the top of the center fret when fretting the string at the first and last frets (using a capo gives you a free hand to hold the neck up to the light to "eyeball" the relief). You can measure it with a feeler gauge, but if you see no space there at all you can be pretty sure that's why it buzzes.

    Fender's setup guide outlines the procedure pretty well:


    Even if you're uneasy about making the adjustments yourself, checking the measurements against the guide will give you an idea about what may need to be done before you take it to a technician.

    What kind of bass is it, and what kind of strings were on it before you switched to TI's?
  12. Damn, I dont think I could play that bass. Though Im used to pretty high action.
  13. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    How could it possibly be a nut buzz problem if the open "A" string doesn't buzz, but it does buzz on every fretted note except the last fret?

    Posted by the OP;
    I'm not sure in what scenario the nut could be more completely eliminated.

    I also don't advise adjusting the truss rod when three strings are not buzzing, but one string is buzzing. The relief might not be optimal on the bass, but attempting to solve this issue with a truss rod adjustment would most likely result in one string (the A) playing well and the other three strings playing poorly.

    I would raise the "A" string bridge saddle by turning each adjustment screw 1/2 turn each and retuning the string after each adjustment until the buzz is gone. If the bass plays poorly after that, it would be a good time for a full evaluation of the whole setup.
  14. If you change strings to a set made by a different manufacturer, you will have to re set the bass neck. You may even have to check the setup if replacing strings from the same manufacturer. If you have changed to TI's (Which I have on at least 2 basses and love) from nearly any other kind, you definitely have to do a set up.

    My (personal) process for a set up, is to fret each string at the 9th fret and adjust the action so that the buzzing just stops. Bass necks "typically" are planed flat from the 9th fret to the bridge end of the neck i.e. it has no relief, so theoretically that's as low as the action can get with no buzz.

    Then fret each string at the first fret and check for buzz and adjust (loosen) the truss rod in very small increments and then retuning the string till the buzzing just stops. NEVER adjust a truss rod a 1/4 turn at a time unless you just want to break something. I usually adjust no more than 1/16 of a turn at a time.

    Of course if I think an action is too high, I do the opposite of the above. You will probably have to tweak the setup from time to time as the neck settles. You will also have to check the intonation because it's probably gonna be way off.

    This process should get you in the ballpark at least. Every bassist needs to know how to do his own setups. It's as personal as underwear...
  15. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    The A string nut buzz on Fender style necks is a common problem (especially after a string change) that takes a few seconds to rule out.

    - But if it isn't a Fender style neck, forget I mentioned it.

    With the help of a capo, it would take about a minute to check for the existence of neck relief. The OP recently changed strings to a low tension set. Chances are pretty good that neck relief was reduced, and that has been my experience with every bass I've installed TI flats on. And TI flats need at least a little relief or they will buzz.

    Since relief adjustment has a direct effect on string height, and string height has negligible effect on relief, I usually check relief before adjusting action at the bridge. It saves time in the long run.

    Hey, OP. What strings did you replace with the TI's?
  16. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    "A" string nut buzz is common on Fender style basses. It happens when playing the A string open / unfretted. The OP posts that one of the conditions when the string does NOT buzz is when it's played "open".

    OP also posted he has a buzz on every fretted note on the "A" string, but ...

    I do not think lack of neck relief is causing one string to buzz. The other three strings are vibrating against / over the very same neck without buzzing.

    The OP said
    . I'm trying to give the OP a viable solution to the problem within the criteria of his / her own wishes.

    I've had TI's on and off four different basses of my own. Yes, they are lower tension than a lot of strings, but the physical diameter of the "A" string being significantly smaller than a majority of A strings in common gauge sets has it at even lower tension (31.3 lbs vs. 42 lbs for D'Adderio XL lights). It's going to be more floppy. Adding neck relief is a solution, but it adds bow to the whole neck, not just the part under the "A" string. That means the other three non buzzing strings will all get additional relief too but they apparently have enough already.

    We all know what adding more neck relief does when there is already adequate neck relief. It's not an improvement
  17. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    I didn't suggest adding relief without checking it first. It's easy to check, and fairly easy to adjust on most basses. In fact, it's a good idea to check relief before and after changing to a different tension string set.

    I've only installed TI flats on about half a dozen basses, but the only one that didn't need at least a small truss rod adjustment was a bass that had too much relief to begin with.
  18. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Other than checking for "A" string nut buzz, which the OP effectively eliminated in the thread starter post, I didn't see that you offered the OP a solution other than neck relief, which the OP preferred not to do.

    After having replaced a few upright bass necks &/or fingerboards, and having had to plane relief into the fingerboard, I certainly agree with the critical importance of FB relief. I just thought the OP provided enough information to determine the relief on the bass was perhaps not optimum, but at least adequate, or at least it seems to be for 3/4 of the strings.
  19. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    The first responder, Slowgypsy, offered the string height adjustment solution. The second responder, Turnaround, was the first to mention that a truss rod adjustment was likely needed.

    The relief needs to be adequate for all 4 strings. Checking isn't adjusting, but the OP needs to be prepared to get someone to adjust the truss rod if he doesn't want to. I doubt that a small increase in string height will solve the buzzing issue _if_ relief is the underlying cause. That's why _checking_ the relief may save the OP time and frustration.
  20. First off I'd like to thank you all for your swift and knowledgable response! I adjusted the string height for the A string and I can't believe how little of a change made such a big difference cause the A string is fine now, so thanks!
    Also for those of you wanting to know the bass, it's a MIA Fender Precision, but I always wind the strings down on the tuning pegs so I don't get a bad break angle