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Yamaha BBG5S - E string problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Groovin' Base, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Groovin' Base

    Groovin' Base

    Apr 19, 2006
    Hello all! I'm new to this forum, as I am to the bass guitar. My first post is a problem/question right away, so here goes:

    I recently bought a Yamaha BBG5S 5-string. I think it was a good deal and I like it very much. There's only one thing: the E string seems to have a 'double' tone. I'm not sure how to explain it, but it sounds off key while it isn't. It's tuned correctly, but it seems to have a second underlying tone slightly off key. When the string is played open it's not that obvious, but when I push in at a position on the fretboard, it is audible. When I play unplugged, it's not that obvious either, although it seems like something in the bass is buzzing along.

    It's only with the E string, the rest is just fine. I tried fine tuning the saddle, but it doesn't make any difference. Different tunings don't matter either.

    Is this a common problem? Could it be the string itself that needs to be replaced or is something else going on? It's a used bass, so I hope I didn't buy a defect one.

    I hope anyone can help me out with this one. Any help is appreciated.
  2. Groovin -

    Welcome to Talkbass!

    Regarding your bass problem, I THINK it has something to do with the proximity of your pickup to the string, i.e. the pup is too high.

    Don't quote me on that because I don't know for sure but there are some talkbass experts who will probably chime in before long who can give you a better answer.

    Check out this thread for more details
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Preliminary diagnosis:

    (1) Defective string.

    (2) Neck pickup too close to string, as Iotanet surmises. The proximity of pickup magnets to the string causes the string to move in funny ways and can thereby produce pitch instability.

    (3) Sympathetic ringing from other strings, or a loose trussrod.
  4. Groovin' Base

    Groovin' Base

    Apr 19, 2006
    Ok, thanks for the help.

    I tried lowering the pickups, but it didn't seem to help much. According to the guy who sold it to me, the thrussrod is almost as tight as can be. (I hope it's not broken.)

    That leaves the string option. I hope that's the problem, as it'd be easy to solve.

    A thing about the strings (bear in mind I'm a newbie in bass guitars ;) ): The 'roots' of the strings, the part that runs over the saddles, are very thin. The actual winding starts at about half an inch PAST the saddles (towards the pickups). I don't know if this is usual, but could this be a cause? I thought the winding should start at the saddles or before already.

    Lots of questions, lol. :)
  5. Groovin Bass -

    Your strings are not unusual. Check none of the saddle screws are loose. If they are, you could use some loctite (carefully) to make them more secure - I've had that issue before.

  6. Groovin' Base

    Groovin' Base

    Apr 19, 2006
    As far as I can tell, saddle screws aren't loose. But I'm not sure, well, how to be sure.

    I discovered that the low B string has similar problems in the high positions. The rest of the strings seem ok.

    I think replacing the strings would be the final option. But: if the strings aren't the problem and these are perfectly good, it's a waste of valuable cash. And I can't just replace the two, as I'd want regular strings in stead of what I described earlier, to be sure it's not this type that doesn't work with the bass.

    The bass didn't cost me too much, so I'm willing to live with it. It's my first bass and you have to start somewhere. But it still is a lot of money, and I just don't see why this couldn't be solved.

    In the mean time, any additional advice is highly appreciated.

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