#1
Hey guys.

So for the holiday season, I decided to upgrade from a 4-string bass up to a 5-string (I considered a 6 string but ultimately decided against it).

I've played 5-Strings in the past, but I've never really owned my own, some some of the intricacies elude me (and maybe this is common knowledge in general and I'm just an idiot, because while I consider myself a decent bass player, I'm wholly self-taught, so I don't know much about why actually causes issues like this.

To my problem (sorry for the huge intro):

On my new 5-string (which I bought solely to play low tuning songs really), whenever I tune down my middle string starts acting as if it's in contact with a fret, buzzing and refusing to ring out any open or 1st fret notes, and notes close to the 1st fret sound off (frets 2-5) while notes get "better" as you move up the fretboard.

The odd part is that I know for a fact it didn't do this when I went and purchased it, and nothing at all has happened to it to cause any damage (it's been strung with little tension at all and laying flat when in my case, etc.) and I've tried raising my string height to no avail.

Is this fixable (like is it something I should know about like the bend of the neck, etc)? Or should I start looking for alternative options (like trying to exchange it if I still have the warranty)?

Any help at all would be appreciated guys.
Thanks!
#2
what tunings are you going between?
when you tune down, the tension on the neck is going to lessen. this means some of your strings may get close enough to the fretwires to make the buzzing noise or even no note at all. as string height isn't working, its time to check the truss rod. there should be a socket either just behind the nut or on the joint where the body meets the neck which will control the rod in the neck which gives it its strength. its been a while since i last touched any of mine so i couldn't tell you which way to turn it.
if you're at all unsure take it to a tech and have them sort it out as if you do it wrong it could seriously affect the basses playability.
DONT RISK IT, BUY A BASS AMP
#3
Guitar necks are made from wood, they bend and contort when there are changes in humidity and temperature. When it was new from the shop it'll have been fine for quite a while. Give the truss rod a quarter turn anticlockwise and leave it for 24 hours, see if that works.

It's often pretty safe to be far more aggressive with truss rod adjustments than most online guides would suggest but because its a case of buying a new bass if you break it or do it wrong, no one (myself included) will ever suggest anything besides the safe route.

If you want to sake the safest route possible, you can simply adjust the string action from the bridge or use a bit of card or paper in the nut slot to raise the string slightly.
#4
Truss rod adjustment is easy and nothing you should be afraid of. Some problems just don't go away without it.

Just remember to be careful with it - 1/8-1/4 of a turn at the time and you'll be fine.

http://www.wikihow.com/Adjust-Action-on-a-Bass
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
Quote by moody git
what tunings are you going between?

Well I can't go down from B at all without my middle string refusing to ring lol. I can tune up fine, and things will work themselves out.

But if you guys think it's my truss rod/neck bend I can try adjusting it (or at worst, going and having it adjusted) but since it's something I figured I should know how to do at this point anyhow I'd like to learn how to do it. I just hate that I have to learn how on my new bass lol.
Last edited by Rivinhal at Dec 29, 2014,
#6
Hi a newbe from Germany, i had the same trbl. and gave the trusrod a turn until the neck had a visible bend to it, the buzzing stoped but the tuning went off a note in the middle of the board, so i Turned the trus back a bit until i found a compromise. So it's realy try and try again until You find what You prefer.
#7
Quote by Tedd3000
Hi a newbe from Germany, i had the same trbl. and gave the trusrod a turn until the neck had a visible bend to it, the buzzing stoped but the tuning went off a note in the middle of the board, so i Turned the trus back a bit until i found a compromise. So it's realy try and try again until You find what You prefer.


I would stop using the trussrod until you know exactly what it's used for and how to set up your instrument properly. You will end up damaging your bass, possibly irreversibly.
#8
Agreed, overdoing it will kill the base, i wasn't using the trus to bend the neck, was letting the stringtension do that just turning the trus enough to let the strings do it, and as i now have the flageolett tone over the twelth fret and the tone on the twelth identical with on the dot overall tuning i must have done it right and Stil none of the strings buzzing on the fret wires.
Last edited by Tedd3000 at Jan 1, 2015,
#10
Maybe my english is not working (not my native langiage), i'l try this: the Frequency of the flageolett and pressed string are identical so there is no change in tension, the bridge changes the Position of the flageolett.
I hope this time i got my point understood ;-)
#11
You lucked out, simple as. The truss rod adjustment is for neck relief, simply to counteract the pull of the strings. It is NOT for adjusting action. Saddle height is for action adjustment. Saddle position is for intonation. Please don't offer advice involving the truss rod if you don't know what you're doing. I don't mean to sound like a dick, but poor advice about the truss rod is potentially dangerous.
#12
Quote by Tedd3000
Maybe my english is not working (not my native langiage), i'l try this: the Frequency of the flageolett and pressed string are identical so there is no change in tension, the bridge changes the Position of the flageolett.
I hope this time i got my point understood ;-)
I understood you the first time, and I'm happy for you.

In the meantime, try starting your own thread if want to voice your prowess of correcting the, "flageolett" tones of you own bass. Those of us who use English as a first language call that, "setting the intonation", and flageolett, "harmonics". And BTW, it isn't correctly done just with the truss rod alone. The intonation of your instrument was likely pretty close to correct before you started.

In summary, your OP "hijacked" this thread, and the TS' problem, has virtually nothing to do with setting the guitar's, "intonation".

Quote by Spaz91
Guitar necks are made from wood, they bend and contort when there are changes in humidity and temperature. When it was new from the shop it'll have been fine for quite a while. Give the truss rod a quarter turn anticlockwise and leave it for 24 hours, see if that works.
The TS obviously knows nothing about setting up the instrument. So, is it really prudent to give him, "the solution", without explaining your take on the cause? In this case, you're insisting it's an issue of "neck relief", summarily, without explanation. Perhaps that is so, but TS randomly jerking off into the truss rod won't give him an understanding of the overall setup, procedure, which I believe necessary for all guitarists need to be completely familiar


Quote by Spaz91
If you want to sake the safest route possible, you can simply adjust the string action from the bridge or use a bit of card or paper in the nut slot to raise the string slightly.
Here again, no premise or explanation.

Setup operations need to be performed in a specific order. It's the relief 1st, (the truss rod), then the string height, then the nut slots as a last resort. A bit of cardboard under a string here or there, is what some would call "Mickey Mouse".

That notwithstanding most manufacturers leave excess nut height in their instruments to avoid buzzing at the 1st fret.

From a quick glance through the OP, it sounds like the bass needs just the one bridge saddle raised. Granted the issue could also be neck relief.

Doesn't any body in this forum have a link to throw up on the topic of correct bass setup, or a video tutorial, which, could save a lot of trial and error, plus give understanding and joy to a fellow member?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 1, 2015,
#15
OK well i only wanted to help by noting the trbl i had with a New base, as when i got it the initial setup had been forgotten, Pressing on fret 1 and 24 i had 0,00 mm gap on all frets and all strings along the board, soi had to go by the howto to get the setup correct.
But as i aparrently have no idea of what i'm doing i shall shut up and go play in my messed up 5 string.
Btw what are the black boxes in the middle for ;-)
#16
Quote by Tedd3000
...[ ]...Btw what are the black boxes in the middle for ;-)
Google them! "black boxes on body of base". (*) Besides, I normally troll the acoustic forum, and those guitars don't have black boxes on them, while most of the preamp controls are plainly marked.

The fact that you had trouble with a new bass is unfortunate, to be sure. And empathy is a positive quality in a person. But the fact remains, you don't cure string buzzing by setting the intonation.

(*) Be sure to spell "bass", "base", that way the search engine will for sure know what you're talking about.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 1, 2015,
#17
Lol. Oh god my sides. This thread went way off the rails after I left to go learn more about truss adjustments. And haha, I feel bad saying this, but for someone to not know what pickups are makes me feel like they're trolling or something. It's one thing to be new, but...

But yeah, if anyone is wondering, I got the adjustments done (and actually adjusted my 4-string while I was at it, because I was noticing that my string-to-fretboard gap was getting bigger and bigger it seemed, despite adjusting the action and lowering the strings over time) and everything is peachy now. It's damn PERFECT if I do say myself!

Before, my 5-string's neck was literally straight I guess (I'm assuming because it was new), with no curve whatsoever and the strings practically touching the fretboard regardless of where you fretted at lol. Now things are as they should be. And as an added bonus, my 4-string is straightened up and the string-to-fretboard gap is much smaller and more like it should be, so I kind of got a "two-fer" out of this thread.

I mean I'm sorry for asking such a dumb question in the first place guys, but in my defense, I just hated maintenance, and always just took my gear to shops or to friends who would fix stuff up for me, but as of late I've decided it'd be for the best that I start learning how to do this stuff personally just to better myself so that I can stop paying/bugging people to fix (more than likely) simple issues.

So thanks for helping an old clueless bassist out guys! I appreciate it!
#19
Quote by Rivinhal
...[ ]...Before, my 5-string's neck was literally straight I guess (I'm assuming because it was new), with no curve whatsoever and the strings practically touching the fretboard regardless of where you fretted at lol. Now things are as they should be. And as an added bonus, my 4-string is straightened up and the string-to-fretboard gap is much smaller and more like it should be, so I kind of got a "two-fer" out of this thread.
The dead straight neck thing happens from time to time on new guitars. What I believe causes it, are over enthusiastic set up techs at the factory, over tightening the truss rod. The neck appears to have relief in it when they've finished, but torques straight to even the point of a back bend over time. The guitar acclimating itself to your home environment is a likely a secondary cause.

This is why any responsible post, involves suggesting only moving the truss rod 1/8 to 1/4 turn at any one time. Once you know how to do the adjustment, you can afford to let the neck settle in over a period of days while you keep an eye on it. It's a luxury a shop, a tech, or the factory, cannot afford, and best tackled by the proud owner...,

Quote by Rivinhal
So thanks for helping an old clueless bassist out guys! I appreciate it!
You're quite welcome. As a side note, it would seem you're not too old of a dog, to learn new tricks....

And yeah, the "what are these black boxes", "I dunno google them", was troll and counter troll... Although, we're dealing with music, and musical terms are in Italian. So then, that would make it, "trollo y contra-trollo", or something along those lines...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 2, 2015,
#20
OK, i'd better, before You stamp me a full moron, mention yes i do know what the PU's do and in the FAQ's the description on setting up your bass is the best i have found so far, a good setup can take a week or more before it's perfect, time the manufakturers just don't have.
So sorry for the sarkasm about the "black boxes"