Can a bass be made with no dead spots?

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

  1. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Right; dead spot is the generic term that is used when defining the ResonanceEvent®, perhaps it was chosen poorly, but it has become as common a term as Kleenex is to, well, Kleenex. :D
  2. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    The meaning of fanned frets has nothing to do with a suppression of dead spots. It's like having a ported cab where a distinct cab tuning (just like fanned frets) has nothing to do with the drivers loaded into the cab.
    Fanned frets on it's own means nothing like a cab tuning on it's own means nothing.
    Fanned fret means nothing but same frequency at an extended scale length
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  3. Hence why I said "So even fanned frets do not eliminate the effects of resonance in the neck." But given the variable scale lengths of the strings, I am not sure that it doesn't alter the resonance of a neck that has been lengthened to accommodate those variable scale lengths and thus the location of where those spots may be manifested.
  4. VWbug


    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    For a 2 tiered effect. But no unplugging of noses in anyone's direction please.
  5. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    BTW resonance effects of the instrument itself at notes on the fretboard are just like a worst case scenario.
    May be some folks wish to have it, very likely they never experienced the emergence of resonance.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    How about plugging into a nose, then?

    Nose Outlet.jpg
    VWbug likes this.
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    And those reasons are...?
  8. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    But this is wonderful! Put it in the TB Rules section:

    A note that just goes "thud" or "thunk" is a dead spot.

    A note "slightly weaker in harmonic content and sustain" is just anemic.

    Let it be so in any and all future dead spot threads.
  9. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    Selection of distinct woods and construction (NT, bolt on, glued) to get a distinct resonance and damping.
    Selection of a distinct bridge and saddle, selection of a distinct angle (strings) at saddle and bridge to get a distinct contact pressure, which is mainly a distinct trade off of sustain versus "feel" at the attack.
    Harmonics/Overtones are damped differently than the Fundamental or 1st Overtone and give an instrument a distinct coloring. The Harmonic content at Attack is totally different to the sustained note.
    Long sustain tends to smooth attack accents while a shorter sustain tends to emphasize attack and dynamic feel.

    With NT instruments a dead spot (mostly) shows a somewhat reduced sustain while tone difference is very very small.
    But if there was no "dead spot" nothing at all than all instruments would sound just like the same with no coloring, these instruments were lifeless, without distinct voicing. Except different strings and different PU configuration was the only way to give an instrument a distinct voicing.
  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've found that shortscales are much better at controlling dead/hot spots than longscales. Many of my shortscales and sub shortscales are free of them including my DIYs.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  11. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    No, any note or group of notes that are in any way weaker that the surrounding notes is a dead spot. It's just a matter of degree. Attempting to abrogate it by definition doesn't work. An "anemic" note is still a dead spot.
    ThisBass likes this.
  12. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Perhaps I misunderstood your original assertion. When you wrote
    I thought you were asserting that there are a couple of actual physical/acoustic reasons why it's not desirable to have an instrument with exactly the same sustain on every note on the fretboard.
    Your follow-up appears to be a list of things that can affect the timbre, envelope, and/or sustain of an instrument...but no actual "reason" why one wouldn't desire uniform sustain (or timbre, or envelope) over the entire range of the instrument.

    Oh, I disagree completely. There are a lot of things one can do to provide tonal shadings over the range of the instrument, to breath musical life into passages as they pass from note to note and to make our phrases sound like organic evolving multi-hued progressions rather than a boring litany of lifeless indistinct voices. But that's our job as musicians! You don't want to rely on those qualities from your instrument builder, those qualities are the ones we should be striving to impart in the music we play...because, just for example, what if your instrument was built with an inherent "dead" spot right on the note where a particular piece of music called for an especially "live" note? You'd be screwed! But if our instruments have uniform timbre, envelope, and sustain on every note, then we as musicians get to take responsibility for imparting whatever shading the piece requires via our own practiced technique without being limited by the instrument.
  13. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    The 11 basses I have in hand now have no dead spots.
    Those that did have moved on.
  14. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    My two cents: I never owned a bass with a noticeable dead spot until I joined TalkBass.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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