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Can Deadspots be cured by a good setup?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ny_chan, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. Can it?
  2. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    my experience is: no.....though, you can make them more or less noticable with different strings, and probably a setup...there are also fatfingers, who can move the deadspots to other areas of the bass...
  3. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Depends, but I'd call it about 50/50. Sometimes dead spots are just caused by a certain string being too low and/or the neck needing some adjustment, but often times it's something a bit more serious, like a warped neck or something like that.
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Nope. But the Groove Tubes Fathead will get rid of them. It changes the sound and feel of the instrument quite a bit, but it does seem to cure the dead spot problems.

    Actually, it gives the bass a pretty cool sound, I can see a lot of people really liking it.
  5. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador

    They are the result of the wood absorbing the vibrations of the particular note.

    A Wolf tone on the other hand, is the amplification of those vibrations.

    they can only be cured by changing the materials that interact in the resonance of the instrument, its mass, etc etc.
  6. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
  7. A big 'no', unfortunately
  8. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
  9. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    The "Fathead" is basically a brass piece that fits on to the headstock; right? If so, does the additional weight cause significant neck dive and...well does the thing really work from yr experiences?

  10. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Its like a brass "clamp" that you attach to the headstock, with plastic and felt pads to keep from damaging the finish. Its pretty heavy and does increase neck dive. I've only tried it a few times, but it absolutely cures the dead spot my sadowsky has at C# on the G string (though admittedly, it was a very subtle dead spot to begin with), and also dramatically increaces sustain across the whole instrument.

    Its such a big change that the string action actually feels different ... it changes the whole resonance of the bass. They're not expensive, so if a dead spot is driving you nuts check one out before you sell your bass.
  11. hmm.. I responded on a similar thread that i had deadspots cured by a setup, but it seems I don't know the meaning of the word, I figured it was when one fret on a string, like say the 9th fret on the G string wont play right, be ringy hitting the frets, like the action is too low, but the rest of the frets were fine, a trust rod adjustment and bridgework fixed that for me.

    but it seems im not the only one who thought this
    So is this a deadspot? or is it the wood obsorbing the vibration making the note muted?
  12. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Deadspots are what I said.

    The other... is fretbuzz in a particular spot.


    Deadspot: A spot, where the note is DEAD. Or struggling with his life. :crying:

  13. You are correct... that technically is not a 'deadspot'. A deadspot on a bass (usually found between the the 5th and 8th fret on the G string of wooden neck basses) sounds like a rapid decrease in the sound of the fundamental note, with the overtone still ringing. In other words, the low part of the note seems to disappear into the bass.

    Most wooden neck basses have at least a very slight deadspot somewhere in that range (between around C and Eb on the G string). Usually, it's not big deal and very subtle. Sometimes, on some basses, the decay of the note is very extreme and it can drive you nuts!.

    Unfortunately, a set-up won't help this issue.

    When I consider buying a bass, one of the first things I do is hook it up to an amp and play long, slow ringing notes starting on the 2nd or 3rd fret of the G string and moving up the neck through the 10th fret or so. The notes should all relatively sustain the same amount of time. Of course, slight variations will happen... but if you hear notes in the area described above rapidly decay versus the notes above and below it on the G string... that could be a 'problem deadspot'.

    I'm sure other TBers can and will give you a more technical definition.
  14. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks for the info! This is great to know.

  15. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Isn't the dead spot issue a Fender-style heandstock thing, though? I own/owned three basses with relatively small, non-Fender style headstocks that had no noticeable dead spots. Or perhaps I simply didn't notice them, which is unlikely, as I love to play unplugged, though..

  16. From the Sadowsky Website FAQ section:
    Roger Sadowsky answers: Dead spots are a fact of life, especially on 34” scale bolt on instruments. In order to reduce dead spots as much as possible we have increased the thickness of our headstocks and increased the overall stiffness of our necks. An all graphite neck will move the dead spot to where you won’t look for it but a graphite neck really changes the tone of the bass. The best aftermarket device for dealing with dead spots is the Groove Tubes Fat Finger, which is a small metal clamp that attaches to the headstock and increases mass at that end of the neck. It really works
  17. Actually, I believe it's more like the neck wood begins resonating/vibrating at that same frequency, cancelling out the note.
    I'd never buy another bass without deadspot testing it thoroughly, as KJung suggested. But.. Make sure you have the bass tuned up to pitch. Once you know what a deadspot sounds like, they won't be hard to notice, even slight ones.

    I have a nasty one on my 2nd string, 9th fret (B note). It's also there on my 1st string, 4th fret (same note). I have noticed that I can get rid of some of the deadspot by keeping my neck and truss adjusted fairly straight. I don't know if this keeps more tension on the neck, and possibly changes the way the wood resonates.
    I am curious about the FatFinger. I've been checking it out for quite some time, however it's ridiculously priced considering what it is and how it's made. I'd like to experiment making my own, as that one-sized Fatfinger probably won't work on every bass's deadspot problems...