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Bass has low output on A string with both pickups...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jordanl92, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. jordanl92


    Jan 1, 2014
    I have a cheap bass from a friend that I'm using till I can get my good one after a move, and it has a problem with the output on the A string. He says years ago it was fine but got this way over the years. The strings sound fine when played acoustically, just occurs when it's plugged in. It's a jazz bass style and this occurs on both pickups, when either one is solo'd or they are both on. the tone/volume pots don't sound scratchy when turned either. The action and pickup high it set up to Fender specs so nothing there is out of wack. Just seems odd that it's on one string and includes both pickups. Wondering, is this a set up/pick up/pot/string problem? Thanks in advance!
  2. pictures would be helpful here

    could be a lot of different things, even neck relief can be a factor here. wouldn't hurt to try a fresh set of strings, though that may not be the answer.
    Rattman likes this.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    It's a very normal situation to have when all the poles are level with the top of the pickup. The A string is often furthest away from the poles and smaller than the E so it doesn't generate as much signal when plucked. Solution is to raise the pickup on the bass side or lower the treble side to even the output. Then you usually have to raise the E string higher to balance it. It's not ideal but works well when you can't adjust poles. A Higher E string action is easy to live with because it's a flexible string that resists finger touch less than thinner strings so higher action isn't that noticible.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Manufacturers' specs are BS.
    Set it up so it sounds right.
    JLS likes this.
  5. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    May be the pick ups are just shot. if your friend says they have been slowly getting weaker sounds like the pick ups need replaced.
  6. Right out of the gate you stated "cheap bass". That would assume then cheap electronics and by default, less-than-stellar pickups. If he is willing, swap out both pickups with an upgraded set, or just a loaner set that can be removed again post-experiment.
    . .
  7. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    When I always setup a Fender, I usually start near their specs. Then start changing it for my preference while incrementally checking the tone. I think Fender's neck relief is .012, and I usually end up at .008. I'm also under their recommended string height for both sides as well.

    Fender must give out the upper range of the specs so that no matter what, there's no string buzzing. A good setup will have no buzzing with smaller relief, and shallower string height.

    Neck relief on my EBMM Sterling is at .006. I've not checked their listed specs, but I suspect it's much of the same.

    My advice is to go by what feels best for you.

    Finally, did you put a full set of strings on it? If not, make sure it has the same strings on each. Don't try to adjust with different brands or type of strings. If you are unsure, replace all of the strings.
  8. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    IMG_20160315_014157.jpg IMG_20160315_014224.jpg

    How about try some Neo magnet piece first ?
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