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I have a MIM Fender Jazz bass from the early 2000s that has sounded ridiculously good... until just last night. I noticed that now when I play the A string open there is a very strange acoustic noise coming from seemingly the whole guitar (though it’s louder at the body). It is best described as a metallic, high-pitched ringing noise. Seems to be the only string / note with this problem. The guitar itself is very resonant, if I tap a screwdriver to any of the screws on it I can hear the whole guitar make a gentle metallic ringing sound...

I have attempted to “dampen” various points where the string is transferring energy to the bass (IE tuners, but, bridge) but nothing seems to completely eliminate the problem. The bass has been well kept, apart from the few typical “dings” to a headstock that’s too far away for its own good...

Anybody have any experience with this problem? Or maybe some tips on how to further troubleshoot it?

  • Have a quick line at our posts here on "wolf tone damping." That's most likely your problem. – Doktor Mayhem Jul 7 '18 at 18:53
  • Plugged and/or unplugged? All screws tight? – Tim Jul 8 '18 at 6:43
  • Very apparent unplugged, couldn’t tell when plugged in. All screws nice and tight. Wolf tones sounds like it might be a plausible cause, but my situation still seems different than what others have described. – Maxwell Whitney Jul 9 '18 at 1:41
  • My main fretted bass (cheap china-built Warwick) has been doing this for ages. Sounds great in the mix... – leftaroundabout Jul 12 '18 at 12:45
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It could be the truss rod that makes the noise. You could try tightening the nut a bit (you'll most likely have to take off the neck). Or loosening it, depending on what relief it has now.

Another possibility is that the nut slot for the A string is not good, or that the angle of the string leading to the tuning post isn't steep enough.

  • Already tightened up the truss rod a little bit, setting the amount of relief I usually keep it at. Also have tried applying downward pressure behind the nut already, to no avail :( – Maxwell Whitney Jul 13 '18 at 13:36
  • I'm sorry to hear that, Maxwell. Hmm . . . what can it be? – matsb Jul 22 '18 at 19:20

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