Can a bass be made with no dead spots?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stuntbass77, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    If only it were that simple. By no means do Fender basses have a monopoly on dead spots.
  2. itsalljustaride


    Sep 23, 2009
    But headless basses also have uneven string tension. Just because the strings are the same length does not mean the tension will be equal at standard tuning. You would have to have precisely dialed string gauges to have equal string tension across the width of the nut/neck. Also, basses with symmetrical headstocks of any kind really would fit the bill here the same way a headless bass does.
  3. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    That's interesting. I am far from a DB "expert." I am merely going on what my first teacher (40 years ago), Bob Gladstone who was principle for the DSO, pronounced about my octave A string note, which tended to be degraded. OTOH, I have also seen comments like your own. So, there may be some nomenclature inconsistencies out there.
  4. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    I do not recall anyone on this thread saying the strings do, or should, have equal tension across the neck. I do know, and have experienced, that a dead note on the G-string will sound just fine on the D-string. As to the symmetrical headstocks, I cannot follow the point you are making. I'm just drawing blank there.
  5. itsalljustaride


    Sep 23, 2009
    There is a confusing cross-posting of replies going on here that is kind of saying contradictory things it seems.
  6. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    +1,000 on the "confusing cross-posting." An occupational hazard on many TB threads, unfortunately.
    itsalljustaride likes this.
  7. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    This made me smile for at least 5 minutes.

    I play a lot of Fender, MM and G&L basses, so I'm very familiar with the difference in resonance those basses display around frets 5-7 on the G string. I consider them "dead spots" regardless of what others may or may not choose to call them.

    I can't say that I've ever found it to be a huge problem. I'm used to them, I know where they are and I adjust my playing accordingly.

    I don't know if they can be completely eliminated, but I do know that I've never noticed them on my Modulus BassStar and that I notice them less on basses with carbon graphite reinforcing rods in the neck. I have my suspicions that a 35" scale, a glued-on fingerboard and quarter-sawn neck woods also help to reduce the phenomenon, but those are hypothesies based entirely on empirical evidence and I have absolutely NO science with which to back them up.

    What I do know for sure, though, is that dead spots are not made up. They exist and I notice them every time I play a Fender-style (bolt-on, flat-sawn neck) bass, especially those with maple boards. They just don't bother me very much so I'm hesitant to call them a "problem".
  8. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Unless buying a copy of a Fender- the issue will be copied.
  9. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Previously, I was referring to asymmetric pull angles from the nut to the tuners, not uneven tension between strings all pulling at the same angle.

    This is compounded by the flat headstock design compared to an angled headstock. An angled headstock has the strings running parallel to the headstock (when installed correctly) from the nut to the tuner posts .

    Compare them by looking from a straight side angle.
  10. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I wonder if the fanned fret concept of Sheldon Dingwall would elimnate them?

    My current bass, a heavily reworked Carvin, has a couple of dozies. The Sadowsky's I've owned have been far more consistant note to note than ANY Fender I've played. One of the things I've noticed with both Jimmy Coppolas and Roger Sadowskys basses is the G strings seem much hotter and fuller and are far less likely to be lost in the mix. I do think a quality set-up, and a quality neck to body joint does a lot to reduce or eliminate them. I do wonder if the NYC's are better than the Metro's due to there Carbon rods in the neck.
  11. Canadian APII

    Canadian APII Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ottawa Ontario
    I have sixteen basses. Most of them are Aria Pro II's. None of my basses have a dead spot. I have a maybe Fender bodied parts bass an Indian built bass even my first bass built in 1986.
  12. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Maybe everyone already knows this, but I just realized it this past year after playing for a long time... Hold your bass unplugged, neck up and tap on the neck. The tap tone of the neck will generally be C, C# or D on a 4 string Fender bass. Hum the note that is tapped and then play it on the G string. That note will likely be a dead spot on the neck around frets 5-7. But if you play the same note at the 10th/11th fret on the D string, it won't be dead. So, it's more than just the note, I think you get more neck/string interaction when you play closer to the nut. On my basses that don't have dead spots, I can't really tell what the "pitch" of the neck is. My PRS Grainger 5 string bass has a tap tone that's much higher in pitch than a Fender neck and doesn't seem to have any dead spots. So is it the tap tone of the neck combined with the location? If you have a bass with no dead spots, see if you can tell what the "tap tone" of the neck is. I'm curious.
    Scatabrain likes this.
  13. 2 fenders, 1 mm, 1squier, 1 dean, no deadspots.
  14. itsalljustaride


    Sep 23, 2009
    I'm sorry, but you're still not really explaining how any of this matters from the standpoint of dead spots, and it's getting really confusing trying to figure out what you're saying.
  15. I've two Fender P basses. One is the MIM Classic 50's. The other, an American Special.

    The 50's P had 105-50 Chromes and it exhibited a dreadful dead spot on the G string. Fifth to seventh fret.
    I changed to Labella DTB flats (760FS), 105-45. Those dead spots disappeared, but I now had a dead spot on the E string at the fourth fret.
    Subsequently changed to Labella LTF.
    All dead spots are now non evident.

    The American Standard had the Chromes, but is now sporting the Labella DTB 760FS removed from the Mexican. It exhibited no dead spots with either set of strings.

    Both sets of strings should last me until EOL.

    I do know that my American has a thicker headstock than my Mexican. It's measurable, and very noticeable visually.

    My studies have revealed that there were two reasons for Fender making the headstock thicker sometime during the late 60's/early 70's. One was to cure what was known as the banana head (headstock slowly bending forward under years of string tension). The other was to cure the ubiquitous P and J dead spots. I'm not sure about all this as it's just what I've read on the subject, and may be full of errors.
  16. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    When a spot is dead, it's too late to return it.
  17. nostatic


    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    *cough* extended warranty *cough*

    Your dog may vary.
  18. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    My Modulus was nearly perfect, but the B on the 7th fret of the E-string wasn't quite the same. My F-Bass didn't have that typical Fender 7th fret D on the G-string dead spot but it was just moved to another spot.

    However, my favorite sounding basses in general had dead spots in the typical places. And I stopped worrying about it after owning scores of instruments because I never really played anything perfect, though very close!

    Ironically, the basses with the least amount of dead spots kind of overall sounded the deadest overall. Not bad, but just different.

    I was surprised that Michael Manring's Zon had a slightly dead spot and I was like "WHOA?! How do you tolerate that?!"

    And he just "instruments do that, even graphite ones. Just the nature of things and you just live with it. No big deal."
    JLY and itsalljustaride like this.
  19. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    My dog's name is not spot and he's not dead, he's a cat...
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    Primary TB Assistant

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