cutting to bring lows back?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Dredmahawkus, Aug 24, 2013.


  1. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
    Can someone/s please explain to me what is going on....and why this fixes it.
    ok I have 7 basses...I know I cant stop! 2011 american deluxe jazz. warmoth active john east preamp nordstrand PJ config. passive warmoth with fralin 10% overwound jazz. warwick thumb CS active. parts bass passive. MIA jazz passive....and a sterling classic.all 4 string. now they all sound fine except the sterling classic E string sounds weak....it doesnt boom like all the other basses....all the other strings on the bass sound totally fine and the E sounds like a dead string. I changed strings same thing. I got a 6 band EQ in a trade and when I use the first 2 dials and cut it down under the flat setting then the bass sounds totally normal again and the E isnt weak at all. now why would I need to cut my signal on that bass and not any others? the amp EQ doesnt seem to cut it just adding the pedal before the preamp.

    Its also the same on both my amps I have a mbfusion and mesa400. 1 cab plugged in or 2 cabs does not matter.

    I just traded that pedal and now my sterling is useless until I get another EQ of some kind to cut! why do I need one and what should I get?
     
  2. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    What you are describing is a problem with phase cancellation when you have to cut bass frequencies to get more bass tone.

    It is hard to tell you where these low frequencies are being cancelled. But you could try reversing the wiring from the pickup in the bass to see if that helps.

    -Frank
     
  3. Hmm. Weird. I might expect something like that from a ss amp with built in compressor/limiter but it is occurring with your mesa as well. My first thought is to ask 3 things. Does it happen at all dynamic ranges or only when you dig in? Does playing softly alleviate the issue? Secondly is your pickup height adjusted properly so that you have an even output across your strings? Third is this a new issue or have you always had this issue with this particular bass.
     
  4. Take the bass to a music store with you and try it out on a few different amps?
     
  5. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
    It has happened ever since I had it.....the only pedal I use is a mxr compressor and it seems to actually help it a little with the solid state mbfusion.....the tube amp it does it with it on or off.

    sometimes I can dial in the amp so its not as bad.....or I just get used to the sound....but anytime I use like my thumb then go back to that bass it drives me insane!

    and it happens at all ranges. any volume. I have adjusted the pickup as well before a couple times....does nothing. thats what I thought it was at first....untill I added that EQ and cut with it...on the tube amp and it sounded great just like all my other basses. I just used it now without the pedal and its back weak again.

    Thats my favorite feeling bass I love playing it! but my mexi parts bass sounds better! Its a $2000 bass! it shouldnt sound like that!
     
  6. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    If the pickup has 4 wires then just reverse the wiring for one coil. If the pickup has only two wires then the pickup may have been manufactured wrong with the two coils out of phase.

    -Frank
     
  7. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    It also could be that the magnet under one of the coils is upside down.

    -Frank
     
  8. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
    ok I am going to take it apart after I finish eating and check....not sure I have a saulder gun at home....might have to wait to do this.
     
  9. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    The humbucking pickup has its coils wired out of phase to kill hum, but they are in-phase for the strings because of the magnet N-S orientation under the coils.

    If the pickup is sensitive to hum then one of the coils is wired wrong. If the pickup is not sensitive to hum then one of the magnets is probably upside-down.

    -Frank
     
  10. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    This is probably a stupid question, but have you replaced the battery?

    -Frank
     
  11. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
    Yeah I think twice in the 6 months I have had it....and they say you only have to do it once a year....and its been like this since I had it. I dont think this bass has any hum at all what so ever....I have a giant pack of 9 volts I will throw one in just to see.

    wouldnt that be lack of power though? its almost like the signal is too hot. I really dont know much about electronics.
     
  12. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
  13. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    The first three rules in troubleshooting electronics are:

    Rule 1 - Check power
    Rule 2 - Re-check power
    Rule 3 - Never admit that you didn't check the battery

    I watched the video, but I can’t tell if the E string is weak or not. Can you bring that bass to a music store and compare it with the same model? Same knob settings etc.

    If you have only had the bass for six months can you get it repaired under warranty?

    -Frank
     
  14. Remus_Redbone

    Remus_Redbone

    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Phase cancellation. 1st try raising or lowering the pup. If it's phase cancellation due to the location of the "E" in the magnetic field of the pup, it will probably get better in either direction. If that doesn't improve the problem, you may have to try reversing polarity of 1/2 of the pup. If it's a level saturation issue (signal too hot), you should be able to duplicate the low cut cure by just turning down the volume on the bass. You do have a unique problem.....
     
  15. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    The symptoms that you are describing are signs of phase cancellation. So, since your pickup is not sensitive to hum then let’s assume that the magnet is flipped under one of the coils.

    Test N-S magnet orientation with a paper clip across the two rows of pole slugs. If the paper clip aggressively sticks to the pole slugs then the magnets are probably OK. If the clip wants to repel from one of the pole pieces then a magnet is most likely installed upside down.

    But the best way to see if the pickup is faulty is to compare it to the same bass at a music store.

    -Frank
     
  16. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
    I dont know how to check the power....the power of the bass or the power going into the wall? I changed the battery again last night and it did nothing and raised the pup...then fell asleep.

    the couple times I have been in GC ( I hate going there!) the sterling classic they had was like way up on top of the wall and I didnt want to say to the dude hey can you climb up there so I can try the $1900 bass I am not going to buy! lol but maybe I will do that today....I have to go near there today anyway. they are the only place I know that sells them.

    now when I was adjusting the pup the screwdriver has a magnet in it could I have screwed up the pup magnets with that?

    I think turning the volume down on the bass did help with the SS amp if I remember I havent used it in a while....I have been using the tube amp with the EQ for a little while now....so when I sold the EQ pedal and plugged this in I almost forgot about this issue! and without the cutting its back! Thats teh first thing I tried last night was turning down the bass and it didnt help on the tube amp like the ss.
     
  17. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus

    Nov 4, 2012
    Boston
    The magnets are pretty strong no matter where I put the metal.....it sticks right to whatever spot I put it on the pickup. I wish I didnt sell that EQ so I could test this some more. I dont really feel like dishing out $100 for one if I dont need it.
     
  18. PDGood

    PDGood

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    When you go to the music store, explain the problem and why you're asking to see the other bass - don't pretend you're going to buy it. Stores are there to service customers and win friends so that you'll come back and hopefully make a purchase at another time.
    Most people will be surprisingly helpful if you're just straight forward with them. It's in their best interest to help you - you might wind up not hating going into that store.
     
  19. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Have you contacted EB and explained your issue to them? I would think that they would be very helpful because this problem should have been caught in final set-up and testing because it is affecting all of the strings… not just the E string.

    That pickup should sound huge with loads of lows. I have a 4-wire clone of that pickup in one of my custom basses and it sounds fantastic. If the paper clip is across the two rows of pole pieces and doesn’t repel from one side then maybe one of the coils is wired backwards. If I were you I would just stop trying to fix this myself and contact EB… you paid almost $2K for a bass that is built wrong. When you get the phase issues fixed you will see that even with the EQ pedal that you were missing a lot of lows.

    -Frank
     
  20. Remus_Redbone

    Remus_Redbone

    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Not likely the screwdriver mag would have affected the pup, and didn't you have the problem before the pup adjustment?

    I carefully re-read your post. First I see this;

    Are the "first 2 dials" the "lowest frequency" and "next to the lowest frequency" bands on the EQ? What happens when you boost these two above the flat setting?

    I also see this;
    Does this mean that when you cut the lows on the amp EQ, nothing improves? What happens when you boost the lows on the amp EQ? Any improvement? Any worsening?

    So, with the EQ out of the signal chain, what happens when you cut or boost the lows on the amp EQ? Any improvement?

    I'm trying to figure out what is going on here with the outboard EQ. Sounds like it has rotary controls (you say "dials") rather than sliders. What is this EQ? Are the "first 2 dials" a parametric EQ? We may be trouble shooting the wrong piece of gear....
     
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