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dead notes on my g string(C & C#)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rcdecosta, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. rcdecosta


    Nov 6, 2005
    hi could someone help if this can be rectified.....i have a stingray5 and got it since 97 and now ..playing in a club..in which the temp was always cold.realised it was dead on the c..now i get it on the c# too...help..what to do...??
  2. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Have you changed strings?
  3. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    i got same problem on my G string at the 7th fret D. I've asked everywhere about it and the general response is "learn to live with it or sell it".

    Dead spot's freaking suck... its usually the body (and necks) resonant frequency which makes the bass suck the life out of the note.. As each bit of wood is slightly different in its physical characteristice it's really luck of the draw with even high end basses.

    It's also usually on the G string between 3rd fret and 7th. i think this is the case as the G string is quite thin and doesn't have the "weight" in it as it vibrates to "overcome" the resonating of the body (and neck).
  4. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    yeah it took me about a year to realise that i had a dead spot on the 4th fret of my g string. Unless you get that fat finger thing, there's really nothing u can do about it. I'm pretty sure this conversation has been had, and even then the concensus was that even the fat finger doesn't completely get rid of it, it just (hopefully) moves the deadspot off the neck.
  5. groucho


    Sep 28, 2005
    Ringwood NJ
    I have seen this to some degree, on all the Fender - and
    Fenderish basses I have had or played! I spent a bunch
    on a USA Custom Guitars bass neck with quartersawn
    maple stainless frets and graphite reinforcing rods - and
    this neck has WORSE dead spot problems than my stock
    Fender necks! I do NOT think there is anything "wrong"
    with the neck - USA Custom makes beautiful stuff...
    I think this is part of a formula we guess at - Body/bridge
    /neck/heads - switching ANY of these changes the result.
    Had the "dead spot" bang on the "D" up the "G"string...
    changed to GHS Pressurewounds and "poof" gone...

    I had NO dead spot issue on this neck until I went back
    to (using)a set of GHS Boomers. Now here it is...Same
    type and gauge Boomers cause no problems on my other
    Fender type basses. Probably due to the tension difference
    between string brands/types :confused:
    I put the Fat Finger on it - and it drastically reduced
    the problem.

    I am thinking of trying Hipshot Ultra Lite heads to see
    if taking the mass of the headstock the OTHER way will
    help :meh:
  6. rcdecosta


    Nov 6, 2005
    well i guess someone told me about the resonant frequency thingy,,and i guess thats true..but is there a gadget to help with this,,i was told it clamps on to the head of the bass like the intel tuner does,,,,and "somehow" manages to keep the dead notes "alive"..:) oh my strings are changed every 2weeks as i play every night so that ones done.thks...well if i gotta live with that then might as well..:) hey man..anyone comming to Singapore let me know......thanks a bundle...

  7. oh yeah...string tension vs truss rod tension affect resonant frequencies as much as the mass of the body and neck does...

    generally speaking, small truss rod adjustments can "move" the resonant frequencies by changing the tension on the neck...the same thing can happen with changing strings...

  8. Very true.. I have a deadspot that I can lessen by keeping my truss tighter and neck straighter, but it doesn't completely eliminate the problem.

    I would recommend trying new strings and seeing if the problem is still there. I've seen strings do this same thing.

    There is a device that's sold called a Fatfinger. It clamps to the headstock, adds more mass there, and can change the way the neck resonates with certain note's frequencies. Sometimes it can move the spot where you won't notice it. Do a search. You'll find alot of threads on this.

    What really sucks is that when you have a bad deadspot, usually a couple of frets near it are affected too, even though they might not sound nearly as bad.

  9. groucho


    Sep 28, 2005
    Ringwood NJ
    Like I said in my post - I got a Fat Finger on it!
    Does help - not totally tho'
    It reduces the deadness of the "D" and adds a
    little deadness to the "C#"

    I tried adding small C clamps to see if MORE weight
    was the answer - it pushed the dead notes down
    to "C" and "B" on the "A" string :eyebrow:

    That is why I am looking at the Ultralite heads,
    they are about half the mass of the Schaller BML
    heads I have on there now.

    I may try swapping the neck onto my PJ to see
    if it mates better with that body.
  10. groucho


    Sep 28, 2005
    Ringwood NJ
    Just ordered a set of the Hipshot Ultralite heads for a little
    under $100 - hope it does something for the money or my
    wife will kill me :D

    I will post a report on the effect it has on the dead note
    situation :hyper:
  11. I'll be interested in hearing how your experiments go. I was doing some c-clamp experimenting with my bass a couple of weeks ago and noticed some interesting things:
    1. I used a small, 1" metal c-clamp, with foam on it to keep it from denting or scratching the headstock finish.
    2. It had immediate results. The deadspot on my D string, 9th fret-B note sounded really good. The spot had moved down closer to the 7th fret-A note. Not quite as bad.
    3. I began moving the clamp around, noticing the effect. What caught my attention was that varying the tightness/tension of the clamp had significant effect. Tightening the clamp MORE or LESS in the same place changed the sustain on various notes. I am thinking that not only does the WEIGHT of the clamp matter, but the size of the area that makes contact with the headstock. A c-clamp has a relatively small area of contact. The Fatfinger has a wider area of contact.
    4. Sonic coupling between neck and body has been discussed before. Some have pulled their Fender necks and found a paper sticker under it. Removing this helped the neck make a tighter contact. Some have installed threaded inserts into the neck and tightened the neck with much-stronger machine bolts. These keep things much more solid, and some have reported that deadspots were not noticeable afterwards.
    5. I'm thinking that it has alot to to do with the truss rod too. It is possible that it could be the truss (in its channel) resonating as well. Might be one reason that my deadspot problem isn't as noticeable with a tighter neck.
    6. What about tuning machines? Sure the weight could be a big factor, but what about how tight they are installed, or how tightly they fit into the bored headstock holes? After all, the tension on the strings terminate there even though the speaking length terminates at the nut.
    7. Strings can be a factor as mentioned. I haven't had the chance to try a huge variety of brands and sizes on this bass. I just know the problem is there with new and older strings. Different string brands and/or gauges might put a different amount of tension on the neck, or vibrate differently.

    Conclusion to this long post: I'm not playing a Fender bass, but rather an ESP-LTD F-204 bolt-on. It has the 5 piece maple/walnut/rosewood board neck. I really love this bass, but this deadspot SUCKS! I don't really want to buy the Fatfinger, unless I could be sure it would work. It wouldn't be hard to copy and make one of those, experimenting with various weights and positions. But what if the headstock really does need to be lightened for a cure? Now that's a dilemma...

  12. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Here comes a (hopefully) interesting, but ultimately useless observation. Do with it as you will. ;)
    If you listen to James Jamerson on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", each time he plays the C# on the G string, the note dies almost instantly. Yet, the short note makes musical sense every time. Yes, even the Master's bass had this problem. Yes, he made something beautiful out of it.
    I'll go away now...
  13. That is interesting, but are you sure it's a deadspot? I'm not saying it's not, but it could be that he cancels that note and doesn't let it sustain.

    The worst part for me with my deadspots is that when I pick or pluck that note, not only does it die out, but it also causes other strings and notes to vibrate. It's like the neck wood absorbs that note's energy and transmits it to other strings.I can be working a scale, and when I come across that note it's as if I just hit every open string on the bass, especially the A string. I get a vibrato type of effect that is extremely frustrating. This isn't a technique problem. It doesn't happen on any other note, and I've never encountered it with any other bass I've owned.

  14. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    True--> I have no proof that Jamerson wasn't doing it intentionally.
    As for your problem, couldn't you get around it by muting the other (open) strings when you pluck that note? (Assuming you want to keep that bass, etc.)