Any advice to remove dead spots?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nexany, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Nexany


    Dec 1, 2012
    Hi guys!

    I have a Vintage V4 P bass style bass guitar. It has ghs boomers 45-105 and the bass has about 4-5 dead spots. Mostly from fret 1-6. Unfortunatnely on the places which i usually play.
    I tried compressor,sustainer, capo on the head. But nothing changed. I still clearly hear the dead spots on the guitar played plugged or acousticly. Is there any advice how to remove them?

    Would changing to Flats help?

    Another question.

    Do you guys also hear open strings sound bad and sound much low volume than fretted notes or is it just for me? And if if i play with pick it is worse. Sometimes it is unavoidable to play open notes. For example the E and G string. And what can i do with it?

  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Sounds like it's time for a new bass.
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    The open notes probably sound horrible because either you dont have enough string break angle over the nut. Or more likely it has a cheapo plastic nut that is to soft.
  4. Nexany


    Dec 1, 2012
    Its my new bass. I bought about 2 months ago.
  5. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Switching to flats is not likely to help (it would probably make the matter worse). Did you buy the bass new? And, just to make sure, what do you mean by "dead spot"? Do you mean a note whose fundamental fades significantly faster than those of surrounding notes, leaving the harmonic (typically the fifth) ringing? If so then I don't think there's much you can do about it.
  6. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    You intentionally bought a bass with 5 prominent dead spots? You need to change the mass of the headstock either by swapping ultra lite tuners for heavy or vice versa. After that it may be a neck swap in order to fix it.
  7. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Almost certainly not.

    Flats tend to make dead spots worse.

    Swapping strings out may improve things somewhat, as may changing right-hand positioning.

    Some basses are just nothing but a collection of dead spots. :(

    Depends on the bass, the nut work and other variables. Open D is often a plain dead spot, just like the D is on the G string.

    Open E strings sometimes just crap out starting at fretted F# and working down to open E just being mush.
  8. seph77


    Jun 11, 2013
    truss rod adjustments maybe? :bag:
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

  10. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Have you had a pro setup done ?
  11. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    ANYthing can help/hurt.

    One thing to check on a bolt-on design is the fit at the face of the pocket (right there at the pickguard). If it isn't tight, there are a whole bag of faults that can show up. This is a very overlooked point on TB because it isn't sexy and you can't buy something for it, but every old-timer tech master knows about it.

    Dead spots are a mystery. I have basses that had no perceptible dead spots out of the box develop them just sitting there untouched, apparently due to climatic change. I've had them come and go and come and go, for no apparent reason at all.

    It also has nothing to do with price or market value.
  12. SidMau


    Sep 3, 2012
    carbon/graphite neck?
  13. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Graphite necks are not immune to dead spots.
  14. Nexany


    Dec 1, 2012
    It didn't get pro set up. And im not sure it would make any difference. And pro set up is very expensive(If it include fret grinding) and im not sure it would worth it.

    I have two, much cheaper guitars(Not bass) with no problems. And these never get any pro set up. I made it.
    But i always have similar problems with basses i have or had before.

    On dead spot i mean, the note doesn't have as much sustain or ring and as others and also sounds quieter in mix.

    I'm not a "guitar technican" but i set up the bass, the neck is good, i tried to lower or higher the action, nothing really happened.

    When i bought the bass at the store i did not noticed dead spots.. Just after a longer time home use..

    Is there any bass type, for example short scale or not fender type, or hollow body or acoustic or 5 string that will never have dead spots? Or it depends on luck?

  15. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Any bass can have dead spots - from the cheapest to the most expensive, from wood to graphite, hollow body to solid.
  16. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Even Fodera and Alembic can have dead spots.
    You can't really remove them but you can move them along the neck by altering resonance.
  17. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    I don't mean to sound rude, but this is why you play every note on the neck before you buy an instrument. No bass made from wood is immune from the possibility of dead spots, there are things that can be done to mitigate the problem.

    You need to change the way the bass resonates, by either adding or subtracting weight from the body or headstock. How you accomplish this is up to you. You could try a heavier bridge or chamber in the body.

    The truth is that anything you do could fix the problem or not. A new neck is about the best way, and even a replacement neck may have dead spots so be sure to try it before you call it done.
  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    It won't.

    Electric guitars usually don't have much of a problem.

    So-called "classical" nylon-stringed guitars have ASTOUNDING dead spots, though.

    That's a dead spot.

    Probably not. In forty-plus years of working on basses, I don't think I've ever heard one that didn't have a dead spot or two. Whether they were normally perceptible is another story, but they were there waiting to jump out when the conditions were right.

    Pretty much. It's certainly not a matter of price. And measures such as changing head mass and so forth are only temporary measures that will usually undo themselves when you make some routine change in the bass, like different strings, and usually they just move the dead spot somewhere else if it's substantial to begin with. I've seen basses with a dead spot going from the fourth to the ninth fret on the G. Nothing will fix that. :(

    Fender designs tend to be the worst, but this was not an issue when they were designed, as they came stock with foam mutes under the bridge covers anyway [thud, thud]. It became one later when people removed the mutes and started using rounds, high-mass bridges, etc., etc. and being obsessed with "cutting through" and sustain, generally trying to be guitarists or something.

    When Leo wound up at MM, minimizing dead spots became more of a priority, and I think MMs have less prominent dead spots.

    Since wrecking my fretting hand, I can only do recording -- and DI recording will really bring out the inherent tonal inconsistency problems of an instrument you'd never notice gigging.
  19. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    they're permanent. sorry.
  20. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've found that shortscales are more even sounding and less prone to dead and hotspots.