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Dead "D"

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Picknbow, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Picknbow


    Dec 15, 2006
    I finally got around to completing a new bridge on a 1952 Kay C1. It had been sitting for some time with an old set of strings (gut) atop a bridge that had little more done to it than fitting the feet and the top profile.

    No radical thinning of the bridge was done, just average. New Helicores were installed, slots finally fit and the D string is as dead as I have ever heard.( open or capered ) The soundpost fits and is centered on bridge foot, half its thickness back. I will probably try another string on it just to eliminate it as a possibility.

    any suggestions?

  2. I was going to suggest sound post, but if the G, A and E sound tonically level it more than likely is a bad string. How are the nut grooves?
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Don't use D'Addario Helicores? :)
  4. Picknbow


    Dec 15, 2006
    The nut grooves could be better but the string is dead in all positions.
  5. The only other shot I can think of, and I can't imagine this working, is to try moving the post another 1/2 thickness down towards the tailpiece. Rule of thumb is a full post thickness down from the bridge foot.
    Don't you have an old D you can put on to check?
  6. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I agree with Paul. A full soundpost diameter back is kindof the starting point. Just to let you know I just had a bad experience with a bad new Obbligato D. Totally dead. Changed it and all was good. Make sure it's not pinched in the bridge slot.
  7. Thank you, Mike. It's nice to be agreed with. (for a change...jeesh.)

    Hey, Pick...if you cut your post to fit with the 1/2" concept in mind, you may have to cut a new one, depending on the arching of the top. I don't think that should be an issue on an older Kay, though. ( we hope.)
  8. kurt ratering

    kurt ratering

    Dec 2, 2008
    waltham, mass.
    bass luthier, johnson string inst.
    i have to agree with jake, im not a big fan of helicores
  9. Picknbow


    Dec 15, 2006
    I decided th take off the brand new D string and replace it. It sounded so much better it was a big relief. The string was so dead (tried it on another bass and it killed it too) it makes you wonder how good a string really is.

    I was ignorant not recognizing the dead string but the bass sounds so good now I am again pompously thinking I am a super bass mechanic.

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