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Anyone have any dead spots on their MTD's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pd_5string, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    Hi folks,

    Just wondering if any of you MTD X35 owners have any deadspots? I have on on the C on the D string (10th fret, D string)...anyone else?

    Also, if you own a Zon and an MTD, let me know your impressions of both instruments...When do you use one over the other?...I am tending to use the Zon playing out live more b/c it has a more predicatable note response (more even up and down fretboard)...anyone else feel this? On the other hand, the MTD has a more versatile tone, and the B string really roars (the B on the Zon is more bloomy, but definitely not muddy or soft). I use taperwounds on the MTD535 on the E and B strings.

    Thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast both basses (I like them both, and some of my Zons have dead spots although not as pronounced as on the MTD 535).

  2. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    PD, I thought that graphite neck basses, such as Modulus and Zon, didn't have dead spots. Isn't that one of their key selling highlights? Could it be that the wood Zon uses for their fretboards is prone to dead spots? Whereas Modulus uses a composite material fretboard and therefore is not prone to deadspots? Or are both brands susceptible to dead spots? Your thoughts...
  3. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Surprising to hear on the zon. That's supposed to be one of the positives to graphite!

    As for the MTD, is it a slab maple neck or wenge? Depending on the rigidity of the wood could cause for the dead spots. I believe on a lot (I won‘t say most) of instruments with wood necks you will find dead spots. OLD fender Jazz & P necks you see this a bit. It’s partly the rigidity from a slab neck.

    If Mike multi laminated his necks to give them added strength (when using maple) you would see this decline. Wenge is much more rigid then maple, which was the initial reason Mike Tobias, began using the solid wenge verse laminated necks. Later the wenge become more expensive so people got maple............ cheaper to produce not as strong.

    JB Modulus also uses wood fretboards as well at times.
  4. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
  5. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Most basses have dead or hot spots to some degree. I have a pair of Modulus Q basses and both have very even response everywhere on the neck and no hot/dead spots that I can find. My Q5 has a phonolic fingerboard and my Q6 has a Grenadillo (SP?) fingerboard.

    I also own a Lakland 4-94 and a 55-94. These basses have very even response as well, however, I previously owned another 4-94 that had a dead spot in the same place on the neck as most early Fender basses.

    Must be some difference in the wood that causes one bass to have dead spots while another sample of the same model does not.

    I've also owned a pair of fretless 5 string Zon Sonus basses. One of those had a dead spot (very slight) and the other did not. The one that did not have the dead spot was a custom bass that had a 35" scale neck on it. I wonder if the longer scale helps?

    I've owned one all wood bass that had a 34" scale and the most even response of any basses except for the Modulus Q's that I own. It was an Alembic Europa 6 string with an 11 piece neck. I think Brian is correct in thinking that laminate necks are less likely to have dead spots.

  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Nearly all wood basses have dead spots. The same is true for my wenge-necked MTD 535. Interestingly, the dead spot isn't on the G string as it was on the other wood basses I've owned, it's on the D string, around the 10th fret.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Oh yeah: the Modulus Q5 is the only bass I've owned where I couldn't detect a dead spot.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've noticed no dead spots on either my MTD 635 or my Zon Legacy Standard (bolt-on) fretless 5. I use both for anything I do, without exception. My 635 has a Wenge neck and board, the Zon is composite with phenolic board.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    This is the first I've heard of this myself, after years of hearing about this being an absolute non-issue IIRC and key selling point.

  10. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    Even graphite necked basses have them :)

    On my Zons it is around the F on the G string (10th fret)

    Not all of them have it, but when they do, it is there, 10th fret, G string. Sort of like the harmonic doesn't take over the note. Joe could make the bass sans dead spots but there is a sacrifice between that and sterile sound (I have discussed this with him)

    Incidentally, the "dead spot" on the Zons is much less noticeable, but is there nonetheless.

    The idea that graphite necked basses don't have dead spots is false. It is just like wood necked basses...some have them, some don't. It is just a natural quality of the instrument.
  11. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    Mine too.
  12. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    Mine is a wenge/wenge neck/fingerboard.

  13. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I posted this link some weeks ago:

    birth of headless design

    I'm just sorry that headless basses are still unfashionable today because I would like to build more of them :(

  14. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Though very different instrument than your 535, my Kingston had a severe dead spot on A on the D-string. It was so bad that the fundamental tone didn't come out, only the harmonics. Octabass did not even react to that note. It affected also D on the G-string and a few frets up and down. The neck got warped as well, so I got a replacement neck (thank you Mike!). Now it is much better, but the A on D-string is still a bit dead. As you know, dead spot is a product of the bass neck and body vibrations acting against the string, so I think you can't fully avoid them without sacrificing the overall tone at least a bit.
  15. WinterBass


    May 19, 2002
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Endorsing Artist: MTD
    My 535 with a maple neck and maple fingerboard does not have any apparent or exagerated dead spots. The sound is consistent across the strings and up the neck. I chose maple for it's tonal qualities and have been very happy with the instrument so far. My Fenders had dead spots all over the place. I do not miss them.

    If anything, certain rooms bring out specific frequencies. Last weekend I played a room where a low Bb stood out like a soar thumb. I had to consciously play Bb softer all night. It was quite a challenge.
  16. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    TRU-Same story here as well. I had a Kingston 5 with a dead spot around the G or A on the D string. So bad that Mike sent me a new neck to replace it. The replacement neck still has a little of a dead spot around that same area but not as dead as it was.
  17. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Are the dead spot Kingstons ones with rosewood or maple fretboards? I've been thinking about getting one as a backup, but that could be a deal breaker.
  18. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Christopher-Rosewood for mine. But I would still recommend them over anything else under $500. A lot but not all basses have a dead spot or a boomy note at some place or another. Stingrays are also notorius for this.

    Get a MTD, you wont regret it.

    I would love to have someone explain the physics of how this happens in layman's terms!!
  19. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The purpose of a solid-body instrument is to return mechanical energy to the vibrating string. If the instrument has a resonant frequency inside the range of the instrument, it will absorb mechanical energy at this frequency rather than returning it to the string, resulting in a wimpy note.
  20. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    All right then!! ;)


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