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Bizarre problem with 2009 MIA Precision

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by REDLAWMAN, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. I'm a bit lost on this one and I could really use the benefit of more experienced players' knowledge, please.

    I've just re-strung my American Standard Precision with La Bella 760 FM flats. It had the FS ones on before.

    Really bizarre thing: all tuned and intonated, etc. but I have two notes on my 'G' string that sound very strange.

    The 'D' shows briefly as significantly sharp on my tuner , then decays almost immediately, with nothing by way of sustain.

    The 'C sharp' exhibits a similar pattern, although not as pronounced.

    'C' and 'D sharp' are perfect (as are all other notes on that string and on all other strings).

    I can't say for sure whether it was like this with the previous set of strings.

    Does anyone have any ideas, please?

    Is this a not too uncommon trait with basses like mine, or is it a string issue?

    Many thanks.
  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Sounds like a dead spot...that's the classic location.
  3. ajunea3


    Feb 14, 2008
    Baton Rouge

    Try playing your bass with the headstock touching a wall. If it still happens, it's a dead spot.
  4. Right.

    Playing it with the headstock touching the wall does two different things:-

    The D actually sustains longer, but the C sharp (and now the C as well) die away quicker.
  5. Thats indeed the classic "fender" dead spot zone!

    To some extent all bolt on basses suffer from it, it is part of the design of the instrument! (Roger Sadowsky said that! I think the guy knows what he's on about!)

    It happens because the instrument itself naturally resonates at a certain frequency and absorbs the vibration from the note that rings at that same frequency, killing it quicker!
    Its your bass resonating with itself basically!

    Some people say they have Fender style basses that dont suffer from it, IMO they just dont hear it and EVERY one of them i ever tried it had it to some extent!

    There isnt much you can do, some basses will show it more depending on strings or truss rod adjustment but its hard to make it go away... Adding some weight at the headstock can make it move or go away.
    A trick is also to hold the neck against a wall (if your in the studio and really need that D)

    I would just live with it, i have 6 fenders and they all have it, dont worry about it!

    The note being sharp is pretty normal to, no fretted instrument is actually 100% in tune by design! Unless you have those crazy zig zag frets (research true tempered bass, warwick did one i think!)

    This video shows the problem:

  6. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    It's kind of a fender thing. Never had a bolt on with any dead frets like that ( just checked my TUNE, Spector, and ibanez), but I know people who have, all fender style basses with one piece necks I believe.

    The usual fix is adding more mass to the headstock, heavier tuners, a "Fat head" clamp, and I know someone who had luck adding stick on tire weights with epoxy. Also make sure you have 3 or 4 windings on the g string tuner, too little pressure on the nut can do that also. Add a string tree maybe? I wonder about adding neck screw inserts , if the would help at all. Thought I read something about that. Cool mod too.
  7. Thanks very much indeed everyone for taking the time to reply.

    You've succeeded in putting my mind at rest!

    If I can only get an answer to the other post I posted on intonation, now, in the often overlooked 'Hardware Set-Up & Repair' Forum, I'll be laughing! :)

    (Even though the chrome has peeled-off the bridge on my 2010 American Standard Precision today, too.........).
  8. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Yeah, dead spot. One of my Jazz basses does that with a .50 gauge g-string. Smaller gauges, no problem. Go back to the gauge you had before. That's a simple fix.
  9. Thanks for the video link Carlos: I never knew that and it was really educational.
  10. No worries man!

    I think that video also applies to the Intonation issue you have in your other thread!
    You will NEVER manage to have your bass 100% in tune everywhere on the neck!

    Most people set the intonation at the 12th fret and are happy with that compromise in tuning!
    I had a bass teacher who would set his intonation with the 5th or 7th fret one way or another, that way his bass was more in tune in the higher register (he was a mad jazz soloist!).

    The standard way of setting the intonation is to tune your open string with your 12th harmonic and then play the same not fretted on the 12th fret.
    If the note is flat the string is to long and needs shortening, if the note is sharp the string is to short and needs lengthening!

    (in your case you should lengthen the string, so screw the saddles clockwise!)

    Keep in mind that you really need a good tuner to do that properly, IMO the boss isnt precise enough, i use sonic research ST200 (strobe tuner).

    Also adjusting the intonation will screw up your saddle height to some extent so check that things are still good after you do your adjustment!

    Lastly, the higher your action the more you will suffer from bad intonation as your string has to be moved more before it makes contact with the fret! IMO this is pretty negligible unless you play with a stupid high action!

    Hope this helps... Anything else feel free to ask.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Noticeable on my 2002 MIA Precision. Not so noticeable on my 2010 Precision V but, that C# on the G string is the 'fade' spot. Even when holding the lower octave on the A string, it dies a premature death.

    I gotta say, the DR Lowrider nickels have brought life to the G string on my P-basses. They're great on the rest of the bass too!
  12. Carlos,

    Would I not be better trying to ensure that my fretted notes I use most (eg. say, 1-8) are all at pitch?

    Would I be OK leaving it as-is for tonight and re-doing the intonation tomorrow, or does it need doing now while the strings are only just on?

    Thanks mate.
  13. I would personally use the standard 12 fret method of intonation tuning, it gives the best compromise in the lower register (1st to 12th fret)!
    Even doing so you wont have perfect pitch from 1st to 8th fret! It's not physically possible!

    The guy i know who did the 5 fret intonation thing is a guy who spends a lot of time in the high register and has an amazing ear so he could really here the tuning issues in the high register if he set intonation with the 12th fret!
    It worked for him

    Here is a video of him! I was lucky enough to be taught by him for a few years! He is an absolute beast!

    Cedric Waterschoot bass solo with Chroma - YouTube

    Regarding when to do it, it doesnt make much difference!
    Try to do it when the strings are fresh and check it once in a while but dont get to obsessive about it!
    It'll be fine if you do it tomorrow!
  14. You've been a huge help, Carlos- very much appreciated.

    Thanks everyone else, too, for your input on my original question.
  15. And yes, that Cedric is astonishing! :)
  16. You're welcome!

    He is IMO one of the best!
  17. bassdog


    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga
    "The standard way of setting the intonation is to tune your open string with your 12th harmonic and then play the same not fretted on the 12th fret."

    I thought it is open string then fretted note at the 12 fret.
  18. The result is more or less the same!
    Both the open strings and 12th fret harmonic give you the same note, it is just IMO a bit more precise using the 12th fret harmonic!
    Probably because you have less overtones in the note...

    Whichever way works for you!
  19. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
    Raising the action on the G string can move the dead spot, but won't eliminate it.

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