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Acoustic Bass Problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by calebweyhrich, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. calebweyhrich


    Jan 21, 2009
    Hey, I just bought an acoustic bass from a guy who said the electronics only worked intermittently, it was a steal even if i had to buy all new electronics for it, so I went ahead and bought it.

    But the electronics work fine, except for the E string. My lowest string, no matter what tuning, or what type, or how new the strings are, will not pickup. The top three have great tone, resonance and volume, but the lowest one will not pickup. I didn't know if this was an electronics problem or what. So I looked up how acoustic/electric basses are wired, from my understanding it's basically a wire that connects to the bridge on the inside of the bass, then it takes the vibrations from the bridge and sends them to a setup with a battery on it, and that transfers the vibrations into sound through an amp.

    So why would the lowest string not pickup? Is it the bridge? is it the electronics? I don't want to take it to a shop until I know a little more about what is wrong so they don't try everything then charge me a lot for labor.

    If anything, is there a way I could use regular passive Bass pickups and rig them on the inside of the bass and still pickup the sound through the wood?
  2. Acoustic BRAND or Acoustic TYPE of bass? It might make a big difference.

    Most electrified basses use magnetic pups, not audio or piezzo-type pups. There are exceptions - to everything it seems.

  3. calebweyhrich


    Jan 21, 2009
    Jasmine Acoustic 4 string bass
    serial no 8300858 - if that helps

    not sure what model
  4. Is this it? [​IMG]

    If so, then it is an acoustic-type guitar. Then it prolly has some sort of piezo pickup.

    Disregard the idea of magnetic pups then. Since the last time I use that sort of pup, I had a Gibson with a Barcus-Berry in it and that was a long time ago.

  5. calebweyhrich


    Jan 21, 2009
    looks like the one, when I was looking on how it was amplified i saw the diagram you have, except, mine is on the inside of the bass. Any clue as to why the lowest string doesn't pick up?
  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Take it to a good guitar tech. Sounds like the piezo isn't making good enough contact with the saddle under the E string. Should be an easy fix.
  7. That seems kinda strange - noise (or sound) is vibration to a piezzo pup and I don't see how it can deny the existence of a particular frequency unless it doesn't have the capacity to "hear" that low.

    Can you fret higher on that E string and find a place where the pup starts to "hear" that Low E?

    I went to the Wiki and found something interesting though:

    ......so if you have individually-sensitive piezzo pups (ie: one for each frequency range or string) then you might have a problem there.
  8. slug


    Nov 27, 2002
    uneven pressure on the piezo ribbon/wire. take the bridge saddle off and carefully clean out the cavity. even a tiny bit of grit will result in uneven string response.
  9. blueyes


    Feb 22, 2010
    Columbia, Tn
    I lucked out... I have an Oscar Schmidt Washburn Acous/Elec. with a piezzo pup and a Jasmine/Tak that looks like it could be the same as that one... the E string on the Jasmine wasn't sounding off, neither was the G string on the Oscar.. I simply pulled the bridge off to check things out underneath.. Low and behold it was as simple as moving the piezzo on the jasmine up enough that it was back under the E string, as there was a gap where it had slipped downward and wasn't under the E string.. and for the Oscar, was the same problem, only opposite direction! I moved the pup downward till it had plenty of bite beneath the G string...

    I know, I lucked out myself.. gotta be the exception to the rule there, and not a chance this would cure anyone else's problems of silent string woes!!!

    hey, I was taught always check simplest possible fix first, then work your way through, saving worst and most expensive for last.. might not cost as much to fix in the long run!
  10. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I have one of these basses. Its one of the earliest ones and
    is amazingly well made. I had the same issue of having almost
    no volume from the E string. Took it to my magician. (tech)
    he made it work just fine. Not an expensive fix.
    The electronics aren't that good, so I run it almost flat and
    put it through a Sansamp Acoustic di. It kills! KILLS!!!
    Enjoy the bass.
  11. calebweyhrich


    Jan 21, 2009
    Alright thanks a lot guys, I'll take it to my bass tech. Hopefully he can fix it
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