Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

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Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby dade8283 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:07 pm

Good evening!

I´ve been trying to get a good settup on my Tribute L2000 but the low E string buzzing is driving me insane...
I have my bass set up for drop D tuning (D-A-D-G) with around 0.012" (3mm) at 9th fret when depressing 1st and 21nd fret.
String height is 3/32" (for all strings) measured at 17th fret with a 3/32" allen key.
The bass plays nice on the 3 higher strings all over the neck with just a slight amount of buzz when I dig in a bit, which I like. The low E (or D in my case) is another story... It´s buzzing a LOT and allmost all over the neck. It´s ok from maybe the 1-5th frets but then it gets buzzier the further you move up the neck. Its worst around 8th-20th. It allmost chokes out above 12th when you do not play with the lightest touch. I´ve spent hours trying to get it right but no luck. It´s really wierd since the other strings sound just fine (allthough 5th fret on A string is buzzing).

Things i´ve tried:
- changing strings (now using EB slinkeys)
- Changing from a .105 E string to a .110 (no real difference. I think i might prefer .105)
- Setting correct angles at all witness points)
- raising low E string. it gets rid of some of the buzzing but not all and I have to have it a lot higher then the other strings.
- making sure string is not twisted when stringing

The Low E also sounds "dead" compared to the rest of the strings with less sustain...

Is it common to have the low E higher then the rest and not following the radius?
Might a fret level solve my problem?


Thanks!
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Re: Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:50 pm

dade8283 wrote:The Low E also sounds "dead" compared to the rest of the strings with less sustain...


To me, this sounds like a string that needs more tension. .105 or .110 are both light to medium gauge and may (depending on the strings) sound somewhat lifeless when de-tuned to D.

Is it common to have the low E higher then the rest and not following the radius?


Depends on the strings. With normal tuning, E & A follow radius fairly well and D & G get closer to the frets.

Might a fret level solve my problem?


Obviously, I don't have your bass in front of me. I doubt that leveling the frets will help here. I think it's going to be a matter of finding the right string and tension. Generally, heavier gauge and higher tension than you'd normally see on a regular E string. You might also end up filling the E nut slot a little so as to raise the string in the slot, which if it works might mean a new nut cut specifically for drop D.

Ken...
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Re: Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby dade8283 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:15 am

Ken Baker wrote:
dade8283 wrote:The Low E also sounds "dead" compared to the rest of the strings with less sustain...


To me, this sounds like a string that needs more tension. .105 or .110 are both light to medium gauge and may (depending on the strings) sound somewhat lifeless when de-tuned to D.

Is it common to have the low E higher then the rest and not following the radius?


Depends on the strings. With normal tuning, E & A follow radius fairly well and D & G get closer to the frets.

Might a fret level solve my problem?


Obviously, I don't have your bass in front of me. I doubt that leveling the frets will help here. I think it's going to be a matter of finding the right string and tension. Generally, heavier gauge and higher tension than you'd normally see on a regular E string. You might also end up filling the E nut slot a little so as to raise the string in the slot, which if it works might mean a new nut cut specifically for drop D.

Ken...


Thank you for answering. I get your point about string tension but find it wierd that a 0.105 or 0.110 gauge wouldnt work. I know about a lot of people using the same gauges with drop D and even playing the same type of music (rock/metal), without any aparent issues. Ive Done it myself before on different basses with better luck. I find the G&l l2000 harder to set up than other basses i had before so maybe Im doing something wrong here? But then again i know its a tribute model and the frets arnt perfect with some uneven/flat crowns etc. That’s why the frets where my first guess.
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Re: Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:33 am

dade8283 wrote:Thank you for answering. I get your point about string tension but find it wierd that a 0.105 or 0.110 gauge wouldnt work. I know about a lot of people using the same gauges with drop D and even playing the same type of music (rock/metal), without any aparent issues. Ive Done it myself before on different basses with better luck. I find the G&l l2000 harder to set up than other basses i had before so maybe Im doing something wrong here? But then again i know its a tribute model and the frets arnt perfect with some uneven/flat crowns etc. That’s why the frets where my first guess.


There are lots of things that could cause a bass to have a dead sounding string: Tension, gauge, frets, nut, even the wood itself. As I mentioned above, I don't have your bass in front of me. G&L basses, both USA and imports, are no more prone to drop D issues than any other bass. Your instrument might even be one of the rare basses for which drop D just isn't viable.

You're right though - a .105 or .110 E ought to be able to do drop D without too much in the way of problems. Just remember that a looser string will generally have larger excursions (vibration distance) than when at normal tension, and that this is especially true when doing drop D with what is usually an E string. This was driving my thinking above.

Perhaps having a good tech or luthier check it out would be a good thing.

Ken...
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Re: Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby daveplaysbass » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:02 pm

I had a bass that was giving me troubles I could not figure out. Turns out the pickup pole pieces / magnets were too close to the strings and causing some buzzing.

On a P bass I am trying to fixed a neglected neck on I am finding that 80 and 100 for A and E will buzz without high action, but going to 85 and 105 helps a lot with getting action down. And that was at standard tuning. Dropping a step may drive you to a larger string. Check out the D addario tension chart to see what makes sense for a D tune. From what I am seeing there I might be looking for a 120 to get a D to have the same tension as a 105 tuned to E (40.3 lbs. Nickel XLs Long Scale chart).

http://www.daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf

Image

You mention what other players get by with. Approaching things with a lighter touch can accommodate lower action setups. Or if you want to dig it hard, you need to raise the action or raise the string tension.

Also DR has a set of strings made for drop tuning that may be worth checking out.
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Re: Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby dade8283 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:01 am

Ken Baker wrote:
dade8283 wrote:Thank you for answering. I get your point about string tension but find it wierd that a 0.105 or 0.110 gauge wouldnt work. I know about a lot of people using the same gauges with drop D and even playing the same type of music (rock/metal), without any aparent issues. Ive Done it myself before on different basses with better luck. I find the G&l l2000 harder to set up than other basses i had before so maybe Im doing something wrong here? But then again i know its a tribute model and the frets arnt perfect with some uneven/flat crowns etc. That’s why the frets where my first guess.


There are lots of things that could cause a bass to have a dead sounding string: Tension, gauge, frets, nut, even the wood itself. As I mentioned above, I don't have your bass in front of me. G&L basses, both USA and imports, are no more prone to drop D issues than any other bass. Your instrument might even be one of the rare basses for which drop D just isn't viable.

You're right though - a .105 or .110 E ought to be able to do drop D without too much in the way of problems. Just remember that a looser string will generally have larger excursions (vibration distance) than when at normal tension, and that this is especially true when doing drop D with what is usually an E string. This was driving my thinking above.

Perhaps having a good tech or luthier check it out would be a good thing.

Ken...


Sorry for the late reply, I´ve unfortunately have been working way to much to have time to play bass.

I tried setting up my bass with some new strings and in an effort to increase the string tension a bit, I made sure to wind the strings as many turns as possible down the tuner posts (the tapered kind), and it actually made a difference! The low E string now doesn´t buzz as much on the higher frets. You were definetely right about the tension stuff! The action still isn´t perfect but a fret level might solve that in the future.

Despite the things above and the new strings, I´m still having problem with the low E string (D) sounding "dead" and having less sustain than the other strings. I´ve noticed a few things that might cause the problem but I´m not sure:

1). The Low E sounds better when fretted compared to open. Maybe in need of a new nut?

2.) The bridge saddles had "impressions"/marks of the string windings. I tried to "file" them down with an old string but maybe the Low E string still isn´t sitting prefect in its groove?

3.) When restringing, I noticed that the strings thicker winding at the ball ends tends to completely get "stuck" in the bridge holes where you string through, on the two lowest strings. I tried my best to make sure that the strings where not being twisted but the fact that the ball ends can not rotate freely at the bridge might make this impossible and still resulting in a twisted string. Any tips on how to enlarge these holes?

I have the bridge pickup set to 5/32 @ E and 1/8 @ G. The Neck pickup is set to 3/16 @ E and 1/8 @ G. From my reading this is factory spec and the magnets should not be pulling the strings down enough to cause this?

It´s really wierd because I have another older japanese made tribute (the one with the problem is from Indonesia) that is strung up with 0.130 - 0.55 strings tuned in drop B and it sounds MASSIVE with lots of sustain and has one of the clearest E strings I´ve ever heard (even though it´s tuned so low with a .130 guage) and both basses are settup allmost the same way....
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Re: Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby daveplaysbass » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:05 am

Have you attempted to make a solid witness point on the E string. For thick low strings getting a good defined bend as it goes over the bridge saddle can help. Also make sure the string is not being pulled in a rotational or torsional manner. As you discussed above, getting at least two wraps on the post and getting the post exit point as low as possible for increased downward pull coming across the nut is a good practice.

And I may sound repetitive but a 105 or 110 is going to be loose. You should be looking for a 120 single. Per the tension info above you should be seeking a thicker string for drop tuning if you are not satisfied with the results.

You are walking into the B string on a 5 string territory. B string feel and timber are a continual quest for 5 string players especially on a 34" scale instrument. I think one of the greatest contribution Leo Fender made to the electric bass (and there are several obviously) is the 34" scale length which is PERFECT for E thru G tuning. But going lower than E challenges the 34" scale physics for mass produced wood instruments. One of the reasons I am playing a 4 string L2000 these days is I get so tired of finding a bass I like except the B string which drives me to use a "special" set of strings that are more expensive and not optimized for the other 4 strings that I play 95% of the time. And even then the B String can sound like trash compared to the other 4 strings.
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Re: Problem with low E string buzz on Tribute L2000

Postby dade8283 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:21 am

Sorry for the very late reply guys! I´ve been way to busy with work and unfortunately havn´t had enough time to play bass...

I ended up handing the bass over to a local guy how did a complete fret job and a setup. He also made me a new bone nut out of Elk horn or bone (sometimes it´s nice to live in Sweden) and he did a wonderful job. Now it plays wonderful and sounds really good. He put on some daddario 45-105 nickel plated and even the low E string growls and rings out as much as the rest, despite of being tuned down to a low D and with a nice low action.

I don´t know if was in desperate need of a fret job or the Swedish elk bone nut has some magic to it (maybe both), but I´d say problem solved. I´m very pleased :D
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