Fixing a dead spot :(

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by wshines1892, Nov 9, 2010.


  1. wshines1892

    wshines1892

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I have an OLP Stingray copy and I love it, but there's this darn dead spot right around the 7th fret. Is there any way to remedy this?
  2. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Dead spots on the G string around the 7th fret are very common. There's not much you can do about it other than trying out something like the Fat Finger (which adds mass to the headstock). Most people just learn to live with their dead spots (pretty much every bass has one or two - though the severity of the actual dead spot can vary widely). Do a search here for "dead spot" and you'll probably come up with a lot.
  3. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Location:
    Canada eh
    G string, frets 5-7 dead spots are pretty common. Adding mass to the headstock can work but can also ruin looks and balance.

    Sometimes changing your neck relief will get rid of it but it might also just move it to a different fret and ruin your setup.....

    Best bet is to get used to it. Sorry.
  4. maturanesa

    maturanesa

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    neck relief and fret work, and new strings
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  6. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Location:
    Canada eh
    Good point about the strings. Changing brand and especially gauge can make it less noticeable.
  7. wshines1892

    wshines1892

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Would heavier or lighter strings be in order? I'm using super slinkys at the moment, but would like to go heavier if possible.
  8. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Gold Supporting Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Disclosures:
    Born Again Tubey
    raise the action a little....
  9. Chrisk-K

    Chrisk-K

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    The only way to eliminate or move a dead spot is to add more mass to the neck. Attach some weights to the back of the headstock. The idea is to move the dead spot between, say, the 7th and 8th frets so that you cannot play the frequency.
  10. drewfx

    drewfx

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    +1 for the Groove Tube Fatfinger. It's not a perfect solution and doesn't cure it, but it can definitely help.
  11. rmars

    rmars Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    Bettendorf, Ia
    I once installed a Hipshot D-Tuner on a bass with a bad dead spot on the 5th fret on the G string. Although installed the D-Tuner for it's intended purpose I believe the added mass made a drastic improvement with the dead spot.

    And while I agree that sometimes raising the action helps I had one bass had a dead spot and high action. After doing a set up and lowing the action it improved that dead spot considerably.

    A good set of strings might help some too.
  12. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    This is correct. A dead spot is the result of a resonant frequency in the wood cancelling out part/most of the fundamental in the note eliminating sustain. I'm another advocate of the Fat Finger. Attaching it to the headstock moves the spot closer to the nut. For Fenders I've found the best attachment point to be just where the flare begins in front of the decal - move it around slightly to find the optimal location. I've found this spot is pretty typical for any bass with that style headstock. On my 2+2 Spector I've found the best location to be at the top of the headstock.

    These work best with standard all wood and wood/fingerboard necks with Fender style headstocks. Multi-piece necks react strangely to it because there are multiple resonances working - the spot can move into the middle of the neck on the A string for example, into an even less desirable location. Same for graphite reinforced necks. You can only experiment to get the best compromise and see what works for you.

    I have several of these things and for the most part they can make an annoying issue on an otherwise good instrument very tolerable. Recommended.

    Though adjusting the action and new strings can improve the response, it's a fuction of the wood in the bass itself. That's why some basses don't have any at all while an identical one has a thump. And you can't tell until it's all put together.
    Sadowsky's can have 'em, Alembics can have 'em. I even had a headless graphite neck Status that had one on the 14th fret of the G string. You won't know until you play it.
  13. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    Spring Hills
    ^This, or I would try a 1/4 turn of the truss, leave it for a few days, then move it back to the same spot. Of course, you would mark the nut with a spot of paint, or white-out before turning it the first time as a reference toward moving back to the same position. :eek:
  14. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    Really no fix. Most basses have a deadspot in this area. If it is minor (i.e., if you get a good initial note attack and just a bit quicker reduction in the fundamental), just learn to work around it. If it is a particularly bad one that even impacts the initial attack, POSSIBLY increasing headstock mass using a product like a FatFinger can reduce that.

    Truss rod adjustments, set-ups, etc. will have no impact on a dead spot.
  15. groooooove

    groooooove

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    yup.

    most basses like fenders and stuff like that, on the G string will have dead spots between C and E, just because of that area of the neck, construction, ext ext.

    there's very little you can do to really fix a dead spot.
  16. Batmensch

    Batmensch Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chester, Pa.,USA
    I wish I had a Fat Finger for the EB-3L I had years ago. It had that exact same dead spot. Why do you suppose it's almost always that same area on the G string?
  17. FUCHSAUDIO

    FUCHSAUDIO

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Disclosures:
    Co-owner: Fuchs Audio Technology LLC
    I had a Gibson (Ripper, Grabber, Sucker whatever...) that had one string that was dead. Period. New strings, machines, pickups, fathead, brass plates under a Badass bridge, it simply sucked the note right out of the one string (I'm thinking it was the E), and no amount of tweaking, modding, etc, would fix it.... I don't miss the bass all that much, but the E string was useless top to bottom...weirdest thing... :spit:
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    to test out the fatfinger theory before spending money, get a little c-clamp and put it on the headstock to see what difference it makes (padding it to prevent marring the bass, of course).
  19. Gort

    Gort Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Location:
    Area 51
    After I owned a few shortscales, I found they have very few issues, if any, with dead spots.
  20. wshines1892

    wshines1892

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    This is just new to me, I've made it through about 4 basses before this one without encountering a single dead spot, beginner's luck I suppose? I may give the fat finger a shot, it is more the attack than anything.
  21. Indigo_blues

    Indigo_blues

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Singapore
    my Sadowsky has a dead spot on the E string 5th fret with 45 gauge string.

    Thank God it went away after i changed to a lighter 40 gauge string.

    Anyone heard of this before? Roger says he never came across a dead spot on the E string before.

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