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Ugly Vibration on Same Note - All Strings

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by skullhead, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. skullhead


    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I hope this is simple question / answer, cuz its grinding at my nerves.

    My open G doesn’t vibrate “smooth”. Closer to G# on D string is even worse. Same note on A string gets same crazy vibe.

    My best description is that the bow loses grip and it sounds like what I expect if I were using a saw instead of a bow.

    I remembered that the whack note had changed when I tuned up for solo tuning. I got scientific tonight and slapped on my mute, (classic ebony-type).

    Darned straight – the whack note now occurs down near F. Again, whack F on all strings. (D and A., anyway)

    I’ve read so many definitions of wolftones, I don’t know what to believe. Soundpost was recently replaced, so that’s not likely. Asked the luthier about it. Let’s just say its still happening.

    What is it and how do I fix it? (Noname hybrid. Using Helicore Orch Medium.)

    Other than that, it sounds "great".


  2. what you need is to bring your bass to a good luthier, the problem is that your fingerboard is not perfecly flat. you have some bumps. it will probibly cost you about 200$ to get it fixed
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Have someone grab the 'after-string' while you play and see if you can reduce or eliminate the problem. Sometimes the after-string will fight the 'before' string at certain pitches. If no one is around, then try weaving a rag through the after-string.

    If so, then you've found a place to start.
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    What you have is a wolf tone. AAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  5. skullhead


    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA

    After-string, I assume means below-bridge. From what I've seen so far, I assume the wolf tone pitch will vary with the length of my tailwire. I’m leery that the fingerboard is causing it, just because it happens on open G @ 440 w/o mute.

    Do any of those “eliminator” gizmos really work? MMMblwaAAAMNaahhwa = %*@#!

    Where next? I’m embarrassed to say what my luthier suggested. But I will. Soon.

    Much obliged, All.
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001

    It was just some advice for which you asked. Take it or don't.
  7. G is close enough to A which is where most wolf notes reside. Plus you say G# is bad. What happens when you bow the G or G# on the A string? Try Rays idea then try an eliminator on the A string. If you can't get a wolf note eliminator fast, tape a piece of lead or brass on the A between the bridge and tail piece. You may have to move it around a bit.
  8. skullhead


    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Appreciate all the advice. Just wondered how the fingerboard could cause problem on open string. Am I missing something?

    I've learned that I, indeed, have a "wolf tone". I should try dampening the vibration on the after-string(s) to isolate vibration. Once identified, get an isolator.

    Are different isolators better than others?

    Oh yeah. My trusted luthier suggested simply beating on that pitch until the whacky vibration stopped. He's more like the guy you want building your house, but not the one for finishing the interior.
    (I decided not to take his advice, as I'd already beat it with no result except hating that sound even more.)

    Everyone, Thanks again.
  9. There have been several threads on wolf elimination. Here
    is one to get you started.