G’day fellow Bassbuzzers.
Rather a long story, but here goes -
Around 4 months ago I bought a brand new Hofner Ignition Violin Bass (yes the Beatle bass made in China) which by the way looks faultlessly built & sounded great straight out of the case. I run it through a brand new Fender Rumble 100 that has plenty of rumble for a learner like me.
Anyway, the bass came with round-wound strings of unknown brand to me. After reading about flat-wound strings being better suited to the Hofner, about a month ago I bought a set of LaBella Flat-wound Beatle Bass strings & fitted them myself, retuned the bass & checked the intonation which luckily was near enough to spot-on so no need to adjust the floating bridge.
For the first couple of weeks I didn’t notice any problems, but around 2 weeks ago I noticed that I was getting increasing fret buzzing on the frets closer to the nut, not when playing the note, but when lifting my finger after playing that note. I then realised that each time I had checked the tuning before playing I was having to loosen the strings slightly.
Well, at the moment, my thoughts are that because the LaBella strings are of a lower tension than most, the truss rod tension could be pulling the neck slowly backwards & causing the strings to become closer to the frets & hence causing the buzzing. So, I’m thinking that the truss rod may need slackening by say a quarter turn at a time, & retuning until the buzz has gone.
Now, as I live out in the sticks (so to speak) & over an hours drive to the nearest music shop, & being a retired electrician, I’m thinking of having a go at this myself, but before I do that, I just wanted to get you bloke’s opinions as to whether you think I’m on the right track rather than me go ahead & possibly bugger the whole thing up.
Anyway, I’d appreciate your opinions & I thank yers in advance,
Chriso the patriotic Aussie battler.
G’day fellow Bassbuzzers.
Yup, sounds like you’re on the right track alright.
It might be due to the different tension strings or it might just be due to the the changing of the seasons.
These might help…
BassBuzz Setup Video, Focus Group Please! - Bass - BassBuzz Forum
Learn how to adjust your truss rod, you will need to year round as seasons change, esp on a Hofner. They are very lightweight and prone to environmental changes. This is normal.
Good advice already but you may wish to double check the nut end frets are not lifting and the nut isn’t too deep (since you changed the strings).
If a fret is loose just knock it back in, but don’t use a steel headed hammer directly onto the fret.
If the nut slot’s too deep, put one thickness of paper in the slot and put the string back.
Take a look at this video. It shows you exactly how to set up a truss rod using feeler gauges instead of eyeballing it. Best demonstration I have seen yet on how to do this.
G’day again cobbers. Here’s an update.
After checking for any other possible causes (of which there were none that I could find) & after reading the replies/advice from you blokes, I went ahead & loosened the truss rod. Upon retuning I was expecting to have to tighten the strings, but strangely they were all showing that they were about a full note too sharp, so I actually had to loosen them. Even more strange is that over the next couple of days they held their tune. On checking yesterday though, they were slightly flat & I noticed a slight forward bow in the neck. Obviously I’ll have to keep checking daily until I get it just right.
However, the result is that the annoying fret buzzing is about 98% gone, so that makes me a happy chappy. Yay!
So once again fellas, thanks for your replies & advice.
Cheers, beers & bourbons too from Chriso the patriotic Aussie battler.
Hey mate, my Hofner is one of the ones from Axiom (Australian internet music shop) and is a full hollow body.
What I have found is that they seem to be prone to rattles and such, usually a bit of dicking around can sort it out.
Don’t know where you are but I am in Brisbane, this time of year it feels a bit like Melbourne with the weather changing from baking to pouring just about daily. I found a case that fits mine so it lives in that next to my banjo.
G’day ol’ Brissy mate, I’m in the Hunter Valley, NSW, at Paxton near Cessnock.
Yeah, mine is the full hollow body one made in China, called the Violin Ignition Bass. I bought it online with free delivery from Manny’s Music in Sydney. It came in the proper hard case designed for it & when I got it out, man was I impressed with the quality of workmanship for something made in China. A thing of beauty that you could just hang on the wall as a work of art.
After a slight tuning adjustment, it sounded great straight up. The tone is so much deeper & louder than the SX Fender clone that I had bought a couple of months earlier, not to mention it’s less than half the weight, so no more annoying neck & backache.
With it’s light weight, small body & short neck of 30.5 inches, it is truly a delight to play & the sound & tone that it punches out for such a small instrument is truly amazing & leaves my SX bass for dead.
Well, what did I find when I fitted the LaBella flat wound strings? Ha ha, even more surprises. Firstly, an even deeper & more woody tone much like an upright bass, but also it’s now even easier to play because of the lower string tension & less resistance on the fingers.
Anyway, regarding my original post about fret buzzing, over the last week after loosening the truss rod, it now seems to have settled down & needs very little tuning adjustments daily, so happy days are here again as they say.
Anyway, here’s a coupla pics of the Beatle bass in situ. -
You have the same Fender amp as me too.
Yeah the LaBella flats do the trick.
I just posted in show your bass thread with mine.
I am guessing you are a Beatles fan.
Some of the stuff from China is actually pretty good and there are some good Aussie store fronts
I have a simmering GAS for a Chickenbacker which I will custom to Awesomeness