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Jazzy Vee (jazzyvee)
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 26
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, March 28, 2003 - 5:24 am:   Edit Post

I have recently noticed an annoying click on my SC Signature deluxe bass. I first noticed it last week at rehearsal when we were playing the Grover Washington jr track called Winelight.

I've played all over the bass and the problem seems to be on the D and G strings at the 5th fret only.

Anyone else found this problem. My gut feeling is that it maybe something to do with fret height or maybe the neck needs adjusting... Any suggestions.
I've ruled out electronics problems since the same notes played elsewhere are fine.

Daniel Tracey (dannobasso)
Username: dannobasso

Post Number: 40
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2003 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post

Possible that the string is hitting the pickup when you strike the note? One of the things that I love about Alembics is the variety of adjustments you can make. I do all my own adjustments and i usually check the neck first. If I can't get it just right, then the bridge, then the nut. I was told that the nut is usually a last resort. But it is a great quick fix on a gig. Clever folk them Wickershams!
Joey Wilson (bigredbass)
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 73
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 7:43 am:   Edit Post


Since it's only occurring on the D and G strings, and since ALEMBICs have a split adjustable nut, I would check the D/G half of the nut.

A very basic test is to fret each note at the third fret (G on your E-string, etc.) and hold it.. Now press the string down on the top of the first fret with your other hand. There should be just enough movement (clearance) to where the string should tap the fret as you do this. Do this across all four strings. If the G and D are already touching as you press at the third fret, then loosen those strings, loosen the center cinch screw in the nut, and screw the G/D side screw to raise it a little until it feels the same as the E/A side. Then tighten the center nut screw, and re-tune.

As always, SMALL adjustments can make a BIG difference, so raise it in baby steps. One-half of a turn is a BIG jump, so go smaller than that.

A G/D side problem could also be the truss rod on that side. If the above did not apply and you didn't need to do that, then it is down to the bridge height / neck relief / nut height combination; that is, your action needs to be tweaked on the G/D side. This is possible as ALEMBICs have dual truss rods. If you are comfortable doing it, then you can go from here. If not, do you have any access to a PROFESSIONAL technician? This could possibly be the fret rising out of its slot, but I doubt that. A thorough check of your set-up would reveal this, but I doubt that's the problem.

There is also an excellent primer on set-up in the ALEMBIC website.

Best of Luck,

Joey Wilson
Mica Wickersham (mica)
Username: mica

Post Number: 803
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 5:34 pm:   Edit Post

I'm with Joey and Dan here - check the neck relief first. If you've got a single fret causing a problem, it may be that it needs to be crowned (it's higher than the other frets), and while that's not typical, it's certainly possible. it also depends on how old the bass is, how much it's been played, etc.

The nut will only help with open notes, since once you've fretted a note, the nut is pretty much out of the picture.

Also consider that if you have the action extremely low, you may have to lighten your touch to make sure you aren't asking the string to move in more space than is available.
Jazzy Vee (jazzyvee)
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 27
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 2:13 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the advice... I've checked the pickup height and neck pick up is pretty far away so thats out of the scene as far as the clicking.

I haven't adjusted the bass at all since I got it....

It should still be under warranty from the shop I Purchased it from, but the problem is that they would have to send the bass to London which means it would be away for around a week or so ... :-(

I'll check out the primer on setup and see if I can tackle it by myself first...then if all fails then I'll have to take it to the shop technician or consult you guys for further advice.

Paul Lindemans (palembic)
Advanced Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 363
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 4:17 am:   Edit Post

Hi Joey, Hi Mica, Hi Jazzy,

Joey, I'm still working on my 'click'!
My click occurs for the entire A string on Bonnie.
The other strings don't have that 'click'.
The real fine-tuning of my bass doesn't seem to work very well I have to admit.
Joey I'll try it again and "with small steps". I think I'm to "rough" for her.
Another thing:
- the "click" on the A strings seems also to be "tone" sensitive. When I put my SWR-SM400 in different sound-shape it's a whole less but (sigh) than I got a -for my feeling- wrong sound out of my bass.
- the nut seems to be involved too: if I put the nut higher and don't touch the curve of the neck ... the click is disappearing too.
I'm still puzzled and fighting the (minor) problem.
I'll keep you posted.
BTW: one of these months I'm going to visit Edwin (EVH) I'll bring my bass along so we con study it together.

Paul - the bad & worried one.

Adriaan Simons (adriaan)
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 5:26 am:   Edit Post

Perhaps a silly suggestion, but if you look at the strings from the side, does the string lie in a straight line over the nut or does it go down towards the tuning posts? If there isn't much of an angle, the string may be clicking against the nut because it isn't pressed firmly against it.
Mica Wickersham (mica)
Username: mica

Post Number: 804
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 8:47 am:   Edit Post

I strongly recommend you get the bass adjusted locally. If you'd had the bass a while and made no adjustments, it's probably time.

If you aren't comfortable doing the adjustment yourself, take it to a qualified local repairperson or luthier. The problem with shipping it off to get adjusted is that it may work wonderfully where it's adjusted, but then during transport the chaging conditions may require another adustment.

You two should also look into Adriaan's theory.
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 37
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 3:49 am:   Edit Post

Hey guys' I recently changed my strings and things strangely seem to have diminished greatly with the clicking sound. I've been working on playing with a lighter touch as well which seems to help.

However I like the added dynamics i get from digging in to the strings like Clarkee :-) so just to be certain, I'll take it down to a bass technician to get it looked at when my workload gets to quieter season. I'll print off this page so at least he can consider the advice you have mentioned.

Thanks for the advice.
I'll post a pic of my beauty in one of the other pages.
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 17
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 8:10 am:   Edit Post

One other thing to check when you're changing strings is the tightness of the lock nuts on the intonation and bridge height screws--IMO, they should be just beyond finger tight. In other words, if you can turn your intonation screws without an Allen wrench or the bridge can be rocked significantly front to back when the strings are off, you should tighten the appropriate nut just enough to correct the problem. Overtightening the nuts on the intonation screws could warp your bridge rails, so be gentle!

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