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Jazz bass "A" string lacking tonally.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BenWhoPlaysBass, Dec 14, 2013.


  1. BenWhoPlaysBass

    BenWhoPlaysBass

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Location:
    VA
    I've got an MIM Fender Standard Jazz strung with DR nickel Lo-Riders. When I pluck or slap the low E string, it's got lots of "thump" and bottom end, it sounds awesome. But when I do the same to the A string, the sound just isn't there. I slap the A string and it sounds weak. Also seems like there's lower output for that string. The strings are standard gauge, 45-105. I did a search for this problem and didn't find any threads pertaining to it. Anyone know how to fix this? I don't think it's the strings, as I had some Rotosounds on it previously and it did the same thing.
     
  2. s4001

    s4001

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    It's very possible to get dead string straight out of the box. You may have just gotten a dead string. I've gotten a distressing amount of new dead strings the past couple years.
     
  3. wmheilma

    wmheilma

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Since you had the same problem with two different sets maybe it is the way you put the string on the bass or your EQ setting. First see if you can tell if the A still seems dead worth the bass unplugged. Check how you wound it on the tuner. Got enough break angle over the nut? If all that seems good then start messing with the EQ.
     
  4. BenWhoPlaysBass

    BenWhoPlaysBass

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Location:
    VA
    It's wound fairly far down on the tuner... It's not that the string sounds "dead" it just sounds like it's not as loud as the others. Could it not be fitting into the nut slot?
     
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  6. Bass Fund

    Bass Fund Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    I've always noticed the same A string effect with most bolt-on 4 string basses.

    Did you cut the ends of the strings? Cutting them too far will do the same thing pretty much to that A. If not, take the neck off the bass and try resetting just a bit. This might stop your problem.
     
  7. wmheilma

    wmheilma

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Did you check the bridge to make sure the saddle is making good contact with the body of the bridge. if you play hard near the bridge, things can get out of whack. I changed bridges to stop that problem. Use kahlers now.
     
  8. emart

    emart Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Had a similar problem once and it turned out to be the bridge saddle wasn't making proper contact. I'd check the nut and saddle before thinking about removing the neck.
     
  9. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    play the bass unplugged, and see if you notice the same thing, or if you can find any other peculiarities between strings ... if you run the string by hand thru the nut a couple times you will quickly tell if it is seating well .. how does the A string intonate?
     
  10. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: y'know, rhythm AND blues! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California, SoCal
    +1 on checking the bridge carefully for contact and verifying the seating of the A string in the nut with proper break angle. It's not unreasonable to try a third set of strings. GHS Pressurewounds perhaps. Rotos are notorious for dead strings, don't know about DRs.

    Action height? Measure at the 1st and 17th fret on each string and compare with specs (0.022" and 7/64" bass side to 5/64" treble side is typical IIRC).

    You could try slightly adjusting pickup height too. Certain Fender Jazz pickups have raised A poles to get the magnets closer to the string, as on my FSR. DiMarzios have individually adjustable pole pieces.

    This kind of thing seems to require some voodoo to get it sorted. :ninja:
     
  11. RaginRog

    RaginRog Last guy you want to see is Employee Relations guy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Formerly Staten Island
    Unless you have raised pole pieces for the A and D this is a somewhat issue. I still love both of my Jazz basses.
     
  12. wmheilma

    wmheilma

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Show low makes a good point. I have used a lot of DR strings and have had some single strings that did not sound right. Even had loose windings on some of them. They are still my favorite brand overall, but once in a while I've had a bad string.
     

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