Boomy notes?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Danny Adair, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. Hello all,

    It seems as though notes in the range of Bb through through Db on the G and D strings have a boomier, fatter, messier sound than all other notes on my bass. For reference these notes and positions relate to the 3-6th frets on the G string and 8-11th frets on the D string on BG; please pardon the slab reference...

    This could almost be mistaken with mild feedback, even though this phenomenon occurs without amplification. I tend to notice this phenomenon more with pizzicato, although I do notice it to a lesser degree while playing arco. These notes sound normal in other octaves.

    I am inclined to think of this as a wolf tone, but without having heard one pointed out before I cannot be sure. Does this sound like a dreaded wolf tone or a soundpost adjustment issue?

    Please let me know if my description is unclear or if you need further information.

    As always, thanks for the help!
  2. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    Yeah, I have a similar problem on one of my basses, goes from F to Ab, it is due to a bad wolf tone, problem is that is all that the realist amplifies, a soundpost adujustment, change of strings to heavier or lighter gage, placement of tailpiece, hight of tailpiece, thickness of bridge and wolf tone eliminator are some of the choices that can help, it may take a while for you to figure out what works for your bass and what works for you, and there is usually a grey area where there is a little bit of compromise between you and your bass. Good luck.
  3. Thanks, Bijoux -

    I had considered some of those options, but others were quite new ideas for me. So which options did you pusue, and how effective were they?
  4. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    I had Tomastiks on my bass, now I have Helicores Hybrids medium gage, they seem a little ligher than Tomastiks, I have a GT mic and the jack clips to the A and D string moving that around a little bit helps too kind of substitute for the wolf tone eliminator, I also brought my tailpiece way back far from the bridge as much as I could, so the string space between the bridge and and tailpiece is longer, which makes me think that an adjustable tailpiece must really work, the bass has a lot less problems with boominess an uneveness of sound. good luck.
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    It sounds like you have a wolf area, and not just a wolf note. I'd like to see your soundpost fit, and placement. But I don't think yer drivin' to Cincy anytime soon...
    What kind of strings are using and how old are they?
  6. I hear Cincy is lovely, but I doubt that an Ohio road trip is in the offing anytime soon...

    I'm currently using about 3-year-old Spirocore Orchestrals.

    I've been toying with a string change for a while and I think I'm pretty well set on getting some Spiro Weichs - I get the impression that they've got a similar amount of Orch. Spiro pizz robustness while being substantially easier to get a tolerable arco tone. It's time for a seasonal check-up, so I'll see if that plus a string change affects this issue...