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Thread: bass rattle please help!

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    I am a guitar player just learning to play bass. I recently picked up an electromatic 30" scale 4-string. It plays well except that it rattles. I bought it new so i don't think that the neck is warped. How can I fix this problem??

    Also can I play my bass through my guitar amp ( a little marshall 15 watt ) or would i be in danger of blowing the little sucker out?

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    I've never heard of an Electromatic but I'd say it is rattling because:

    1. the strings are new
    2. maybe you are hitting the strings too hard - try plucking them with your finger
    3. Your intonation/string-height is not set up right.

    If you play very quiet you can use your Marshall. I wouldn't reccomend cranking it too high although I'm sure Marshalls can handle a little rough play.

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    Those are all possibilties if the rattle is coming from the strings or fretboard. Especially the string height and neck adjustment. Just because it's new, doesn't mean it's set up right. Most guitar shops give you one free set up with a new instrument, call and ask if they'll adjust it for you.
    If the rattle is coming from somewhere else, you'll have track it down by ear. I once had a rattle problem with a Fender bass that was caused by a poorly manufactured tuning key. The press fit on the head wasn't tight enough, so I ended up using a torch and silver solder to make the fit solid, no more rattle.

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    Sorry to butt in here...but my bass has a nasty rattle too. It's a cheapo Peavy and I'm primarily a guitar player...I'm pretty much in your situation, Druid.

    Mine isn't a rattle caused by the strings/fretboard...it's inside the sucker ...somewhere. Sometimes it sounds like it's coming from right under the 'pick guard' and sometimes it sounds like it's coming from the headstock...it's coming from everywhere. Can't hear it through the amp though.

    Druid, if your problem is fixed be sure to let us (me!) know what it was. And yes, you *can* play the bass through your guitar amp, but yes, you can blow your amp up...so to speak. It's not designed to handle a bass so go easy on it. I run my bass through a guitar amp but never turn it up past 2 or 3. And actually, I think that the amp is starting to lose some of its sparkle. You're taking your chances.

    Slackmaster 2000

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    Ah, finally something I know!

    Guys, I had a Fender P-bass that rattled like beat up Yugo. I too heard the rattle at the headstock and at the pickguard. One day I took off the pickguard and discovered two things - the volume pot was not tightened down, and was bouncing against the pickguard, and the leveling screw for the pickup was loose, and was banging off of the pickup. The vibration from the strings must have caused these little suckers to work their way loose - and thus drive me nuts.

    I'd suggest tightening up the pots and all the screws first. If that fails, Lorddiagram's suggestions should solve the problem.

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    My tuners are rattling on my new Fender Jazz
    when I hold them there isn't and rattle so that's how I know its them
    any ideas on how to fix them?

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    Is it a loose truss rod?

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    I had a rattling truss rod like that on my SG copy. For years I thought it was the tuners, and holding the tuners would make it stop, but only because it put a little extra tension on the neck, I guess. I put a little tension on the truss rod and it disappeared. It didn't take much, maybe 1/8 of a turn.

    If you're sure it's the tuners, what part of the tuners? There may be something you can tighten, depending on what kind you have. I wouldn't expect that on a new bass, though. If your tuners were loose enough on the headstock to be rattling, I'd expect you to have major problems staying in tune.

    Oh, and in the future you'll have better luck getting answers if you'll start a new thread instead of resurrecting one that's 9 years old. A lot of people will read that first message from 1999 and just bypass the whole thing. The "new thread" button is on the top left, just below that "user cp" link.

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    One source of rattle can be simply strap button screws or other stuff working loose. Since sound travels a lot more efficiently in solids than in air, the sound may appear to emanate from somewhere else on the instrument. I had a rattle in my Strat that mystified me for a while, and it turned out to be the knob on the end of my tremelo bar. It sounded like it was coming from under the pickguard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCH View Post
    Is it a loose truss rod?
    That's the first thing that I would check. It seems to be a common problem with cheap bass guitars.
    "Sorry buddy...The magic wands are still on backorder."

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