Bass Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Johnny BoomBoom, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. I seem to be having this little issue with one of my basses just now!

    The bass is a Spector REX2000/5 with 18v upgrade.

    The issue is that the E and B strings are fine and boomy, but there is a significant drop in volume when I play the A,D or G strings.

    I changed the batteries in the bass, and this has helped a bit.

    I still have to:-

    - check my 18v mod and make sure that it is sound
    - check the distance between pickup and strings - although this has never been altered since the factory and has been fine up until now.

    I recently had the bass setup by a tech that has done this job on the same bass before. It has a new set of strings on it - could it be the strings?? I've never had issues with Rotosound before (swing 66s 45-130). Maybe now is my first time.

    Anything else that anyone can suggest other than check your soldering, and maybe change strings???

    By the way, it has EMG Hz pickups and an EMG BTS pre-amp. I was using it with a planet waves cable, and it's going into an Ashdown EB130 combo.

    ALso in the signal path were Boss TU-2 tuner, Boss BF-3 Flanger, Boss CEB-3 chorus and a Sansamp BDDI. OH, the output cable back into the amp was a Klotz cable and I do have a few patch cables.

    I took the Sansamp out of the loop - didn't affect anything.

    Any suggestions welcomed!
  2. Riase the pickups on the A D G side.

    This would be my suggestion, even though a tech set it up for you!

  3. Thanks Treena, I've tried this when I changed the batteries, but it hasn't made a whole lot of difference.

    My current thinking - and advice I've had elsewhere is - check 18v upgrade (did this myself, so thime to re-check my soldering...) then change strings, and see if it helps.

    A lot of people don't seem to like Rotosound strings, I do but have never had trouble with a set....maybe this is the first for me:eek:
  4. Do you have a voltage meter? You can test to see if signal is passing before you begin to desolder and resolder.

    I have purchased Rotosounds and had them dead straight from the package, it happens !

    I use Thomastik strings now and I have yet to have any problems!

  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You say the distance hasn't been altered - but setup can change due to temperature and climate. So - if it gets a lot colder the neck will change. It is even possible that the neck will twist as different parts alter at different rates - this is why you have dual truss rods on some basses.

    I have had problem with Rotosounds and don't use them now - they used to die very quickly when I used them in the 80s.

    I now use D'Addario Slowounds exclusively - but I have tried Thomastiks - good strings, but not as good as Slowounds!! ;)

  6. You're right, I should clarify that until now I hadn't used the adjustment screws to adjust the gap between strings and pickups! I use a fairly lowish action.

    Generally I'm quite careful about where my basses are in terms of temperature - they are generally where I am. However your have a point about the stresses even small changes could have..

    Are D'Addario Slowounds stainless steel - or do they do them in stainless??? I use their g**tar strings and find them real nice. Where have you found to be the best source of slowounds?

    Thanks for everyone's replies!
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    They're nickels. I buy mine from :

    Go to the musicians store and search for strings!
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I would be surprised if it were the strings. Do they sound quieter unplugged? If they've got the same mechanical energy then the difference in output is likely to come at some point in the conversion to electrical energy.

    Also have you checked another bass through the same set up? If both strings and the rest of the set up work fine, you narrowed it down to a fairly small range of possibilities between the pickups and the output jack...

  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL

  10. I haven't tried another bass through that set up yet - didn't have time last night.

    Will A/B with my two Spectord tonight - both have Rotos (in fact so do my P-bass and Guild). I'll try them straight in, and then add parts to the signal chain to match my setup last night (I had noticed this 2 weeks ago at first and put it down to the batteries needing changed, I did this but just tried it plugged in but quietly!).

    Hopefully I'll find the culprit tonight - I have a gig on Tuesday and want to use this bass!!!

  11. Thanks Bruce!

    Hmm, I see D'addario do steel strings - Prisms. Have you ever tried them - or do you prefer nickel?
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I haven't tried them and I do prefer nickel - John Patitucci uses (used?)Prisms and I have a few videos/CDs with him using them - they sound too bright for me and are not really the sound I have in my head!