Dead A string...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheOnlyJuan, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. I need help. I just bought a used Squier jazz bass and when I receive it, the E string intonation is out of whack which is really not the issue but I just had to throw that in there.

    The real problem is the dead A string. I have tried getting a clear sound but it comes out muted or dull. I have tried adjustments on every level and it is still the same.. It is important to understand that not every fret on the A string behaves this way but enought to make you want to smash it.

    Any help you guys can give me will be appreciated.
  2. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Guest

    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    To be honest I would spluge on a new set of strings. Or boil the ones you have.

    Get a copy of 101 Bass Tips: Stuff All the Pros Know. It will help with the intonation and saving strings.

    But a set of Rotosounds for 20 bucks and see if the helps.
  3. FrednBass

    FrednBass Guest

    Feb 24, 2012
    Dead spots is the problem the i most hate... but i don't know how to fix it. Hope someone comes with a solution, i'd love to know.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    What kind of new strings did you put on it. You DID put new strings on, right?
  5. I just got it today. I do not know what kind of strings are on there. I have some Dean Markeley Blue Steel strings that are new.
  6. The Dean Markeleys didn't work (I had them cut for a different bass and the J bass is set up differently. I have order a set of GHS Flatwounds.
  7. BTW - I also bought a set of rotosounds so I should be covered. Thanks
  8. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Bum strings can sound pretty bizzare. When I received my used CV 50's precision, the E string sounded like it was going through a phaser and I don't use effects. Problem solved with a new set...
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    When you get a new bass put on a new set of strings, unless the installed ones are all fresh and new.
  10. This is really my first used bass and it did not occur to me to have new strings to change out. I have ordered a set of standard rotosound 66 and GHS Brites Bright Flatwounds. Until then, I am just going to have to get along with my Epi T-Bird. Lesson learned that's for sure.

    Thanks guys,
  11. +1

    Yes; always change the strings on a used bass unless you know for a fact new ones were just installed.
  12. f64


    Oct 31, 2009
    Naples, FL

    Every time I get a used bass the first thing I do is strip off the old strings - even if they were just installed. Use that time to clean it well, polish out any scratches and put a good coat of wax on it. If it's a stained unsealed body I'll clean it and then apply "Howard's Feed & Wax" to rehydrate it. If it has a rosewood or ebony fret board use that time to apply virgin lemon oil to condition the board and take a good look at the frets and check each one. Use a straight edge to check height and note any problem areas. If the bridge is at the top of it's height adjustment and it's a bolt-on neck it would be wise to shim the neck right now. All this work takes some time and the neck may try to take a reverse bow which another thing you're looking for. This is good as you'll be seeing the truss in action. Restring the bass and slowly bring it back in tune. You want to move the neck slowly from the back bow position. Take your time and let the neck settle in. If you've shimmed the neck lower the bridge and set the string height to your liking. You'll have to retune it several times over the next hour as things may still be moving.
  13. Randy S

    Randy S

    Jul 7, 2008
    Western WA
    To add to the good advice above:

    Check to see that the bridge piece sits squarely on both adjustment screws, and isn't bound or touching the one on either side. Check the tuning machine and string tree for any kind of looseness. I always set that kind of bridge with the string height following the neck radius, and the individual bridge pieces parallel to the body surface, even with the expected differences in height from string to string. I use an L shaped allen wrench as a measuring tool going from flat to flat under the string near the body end of the neck. Yours probably is metric so pony up the $15 or so for the Craftsman set in the plastic fold up holder. Then you've got the right size for the bridge and truss rod and a nifty set of measuring tools. You use the short end like a feeler gauge under the string at a fret. Works for me, anyhow. I've also seen dead strings in a brand new name brand set before. I've seen dead sots that were due to a loose or poorly fitted pick guard resonating at certain notes. It's probably something you can fix, unless the truss rod is broken.
  14. MrSaturdayNight

    MrSaturdayNight Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Check your amp, try boosting the mids just a bit and see if that helps.