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"A" String with no punch :(

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dudeonthebass, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. dudeonthebass


    Jul 2, 2008
    I have a fender mexican p bass with a BadAss2 bridge and SD Quarter Pounders fitted in it. I have just put on some new strings (Fender 7250s), and all the strings sound good apart from the A, theres just no punch. Ive had this problem before with my older strings. It only sounds half decent when i cut alot of the top, which i dont really like, as i tend to like my eq flat-ish

    Any help ?

  2. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I would suspect either the pickup height needs to be adjusted or your nut slot is ill fitting.
    Gunga Din likes this.
  3. dudeonthebass


    Jul 2, 2008
    Well the pick up height is fine, i mean it as loud as the others, but maybe it could be the nut slot, i remember when i took my bass for a set up, over a year ago he said he did something to the nut slot, so maybe he ****ed something up :S Anyway, who should i take it to to have a look at, a music shop or a luthier?
  4. Brian D

    Brian D

    Dec 2, 2004
    Dublin, Ireland
    It could be that the string is twisted. Did you try removing the it and restringing it?
    If that doesn't solve the issue then get a new set of strings. Sometimes you get a dodgy one.
  5. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Another thought - when you put the strings on, are you sure to depress the string right in front of the saddle as to create a defined and constant node?
  6. Once you've tried everything else, remove the neck and check the neck pocket for sawdust, chips or any other debris that might have gotten stuck between the neck and body durring assembly. In production, they don't take the time to remove the neck after the initial assembly to deburr holes, remove dust and chips and reassemble. You might find the neck, is actually sitting on top of something other than the bottom of the pocket. This can cause dead strings and many other problems. When you have the neck off, lightly countersing the hols in the neck AND the holes in the pocket and reassemble.
  7. dudeonthebass


    Jul 2, 2008
    Would getting a new nut help, say perhaps a Graphtec TUSQ one, ive seen some great reviews about em ?
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Either you twisted the string or you didn't roll it down to the bottom of the tuner to get a good breaking angle, which typically makes A string sound like crap on Fender.
    These are the 2 most likely explanations.
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  9. I'd go with brass but any new nut that you KNOW is cut right might help.
  10. Bingo!!
  11. Bassflute


    Jun 24, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    good point. The A string, even pushed all the way down, has much less break angle that all the others.

  12. The big question is: Did the bass have this issue with the A string before the new strings? If no, then it is the string. Replace with a new one.

    If yes, then does the A string have the same dead sound both open and fretted?

    If yes, then it is not the nut since the nut only affects the open string. Once you fret the string, the nut is negated.

    If no, then it could be an issue with the nut cut too deep or the slot is too tight. I'd try putting some pencil lead in the A string nut slot and tune back up to see if this helps the string to "loosen up" a bit.

    Sometimes a bass needs to be adjusted due to changes in string gauge, tension, brand, etc. Is this new set of strings the same type you had on your bass before? If not, then you might need to make a few subtle changes to string height and/or truss rod to bring everything back to normal. Since it is just the A string, a simple adjustment to the string height might be all you need.

    Bottom line: there are a ton of possible reasons as to why your A string is sounding dead. Do some investigating and you'll most likely be able to sort it out.

    TrustRod and oZZma like this.
  13. dudeonthebass


    Jul 2, 2008
    Well it was the same with the old set of strings. The old strings we're ernie ball hybrid slinkies, and the new one are fender 7250s, they are the same gauge as the ernie balls.

    It sounds dead both fretted and open. And ive tried the penicl lead trick and it sounds no different.

    And my action is pretty high at the moment anyway, and its near the point to where i can no longer raise it
  14. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    What would the pencil lead do exactly? I have the E string sounding A LOT less punchy when open (a lot punchier when fretted!) so now I wonder if it could be a nut problem..
  15. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Historical note: Back in the old days Fender had similar issues with A strings which resulted in raised A string polepieces for a couple of years.
  16. Try pushing down hard on the A string above the nut while plucking/picking the string. Did the sound improve? May just need to add a low string tree.
    Could also be an issue with the A bridge saddle. Check if both set screws are contacting the bridge base plate, and that the string slot is clean and precise.
    Also, make sure the A's tuner is tight to the headstock--bushing nut and all screws. Under full tension you may not notice that it's loose.

    I'm voting on the nut being poorly slotted as the problem, though.

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