5th and 6th fret fretting out on one string

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piercelmnopiercelmno Frets: 100
edited September 30 in Bass
My housemate has bought a fender bass just a few months ago and it has been all good out the box. All of a sudden it's started to be unplayable on the e string at around the 5th to 7th fret. Other string seem fine.

Is it likely to be a saddle problem as it's only one string? Could it be a neck bow or even worse a twist? Would either of those actually likely to happen quite literally overnight?

I'm going to have a better look at it tomorrow so just any ideas of what to look out for/check /try to fix would be greatly appreciated. My actual skillset at this whole thing is quite low. But would be good to have an idea what he would need fixing. With it being less than 12 months old I'd guess he could easily take it back to the shop? 

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Okay a quick update and a new question to go with...

A combination of quarter turn of the truss road and height adjustment of the e string saddles as made the bass sound relatively rattle free (acoustically) and so assuming all will sound good through an amp which I'll check tomorrow.

I noticed as putting the bass away, he's using a stagg hardcase which the bass fits in fine but the pocket mid neck was rather full and the lid may have added a bit of pressure there mid neck - is this likely a cause of the problem and if so, should the truss rod adjustment be enough to have fixed that? 

I know these adjustments will have messed up the intonation and so I'll reccomend it getting set up at some point. But hoping he hasn't fudged it with his case!
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 1893
    Winter is here so the truss rod may need a seasonal tweak
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 1463
    edited September 30
    How old are the strings?

    Eventually, on a fretted bass guitar, it is possible to wear flat spots into the windings of the strings where they come into contact with the frets. This brings the unworn portions of the string windings into closer proximity to the frets, increasing the possibility of fret rattle.

    On some versions of vintage style Fender bridge, the height adjustment grub screws in the saddles can shift. Usually, this shift allows the saddle to work itself lower than originally set. 

    It would help to know which exact model of Fender bass guitar is under investigation. Knowing this would make it easier to provide a precise answer.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • piercelmnopiercelmno Frets: 100
    edited September 30
    It's a mexican fender jazz standard and strings would be the ones that came with the bass.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26187
    Try changing the string first. It's possible that it's either got kinked or the winding has started to unravel there.

    If you don't have any spare strings to hand, temporarily move the A string to the E position and see if it still does it.

    If it does, it's more likely to be a lifting fret than a bow in the neck since that would normally affect the other strings as well, but it isn't impossible it's a combination of the neck and that particular string/saddle height.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • It's a mexican fender jazz standard and strings would be the ones that came with the bass.
    Thank you.

    Has the owner of the bass guitar recently changed from standard EADG tuning to something lower such as DGCF or CF#BE?
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • No just standard tuning for pretty much everything. dropping the e string to d at the most. I just had my first look at it properly and the sadlle on the e string had literally no height to it. the g string has a small amount. I've had to raise the saddle to a lot higher to get it to stop.

    I'm hearing a little rattle on the a string too but the saddle on that is already at full height.

    No rattle on the g, and that's quite low. 
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  • Okay a quick update and a new question to go with...

    A combination of quarter turn of the truss road and height adjustment of the e string saddles as made the bass sound relatively rattle free (acoustically) and so assuming all will sound good through an amp which I'll check tomorrow.

    I noticed as putting the bass away, he's using a stagg hardcase which the bass fits in fine but the pocket mid neck was rather full and the lid may have added a bit of pressure there mid neck - is this likely a cause of the problem and if so, should the truss rod adjustment be enough to have fixed that? 

    I know these adjustments will have messed up the intonation and so I'll reccomend it getting set up at some point. But hoping he hasn't fudged it with his case!
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  • A combination of quarter turn of the truss road and height adjustment of the e string saddles has made the bass sound relatively rattle free (acoustically) and so assuming all will sound good through an amp which I'll check tomorrow.
    When testing electric bass guitars acoustically, there is always a temptation to play the strings harder than normal in order to make the notes sufficiently audible. This invites fret buzz.

    I noticed as putting the bass away, he's using a stagg hardcase which the bass fits in fine but the pocket mid neck was rather full and the lid may have added a bit of pressure there mid neck - is this likely a cause of the problem and if so, should the truss rod adjustment be enough to have fixed that? 
    In-case neck support should be sufficient to prevent an instrument from knocking about inside the case during transport. The first indicator of excessive pressure would be dented or kinked strings.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8607
    I always find there's a bit more rattle on low bass strings acoustically compared to a guitar.

    In nearly every case it doesn't come through when amplified. I guess it depends on how serious the rattle is....
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  • piercelmnopiercelmno Frets: 100
    Finally got it in an amp and sounding fine. Cheers for the help guys. 
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