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Dead spot on fingerboard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fourteenstrings, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. I've got a Fender Custom Shop four string bass that plays like a dream, except for one thing. The 4th, 5th, and 6th frets on the G string are just dead, volume-wise and sustain-wise. The rest of the neck is pretty well balanced, even the rest of the G string above and below these frets.

    I've played bass for almost 30 years and had a lot of basses, and this is the first time I've encountered anything this noticeable. I'm not a luthier or anything, but I know how to set up a bass, and this one is set up well. I've tried different string gauges. The frets are in good shape and seated well.

    Anybody ever experience this before? Did you find a way to cure or at least improve it?
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I know that if you didn't hear this from me, you'd hear it from somebody else: This topic comes up every so often. There's quite a bit of info already available on previous threads, if you'll just do a search...

    Me? It's been an issue on a couple of new Carvin four-strings I own. I am loathe to get rid of them - for one thing because they've been customized, and I'll never get out of them what I've invested in them. The Groove Tubes FatFinger has worked relatively well for me. Hasn't entirely cured the dead spot zone - particularly on the fretless. But the FatFinger has improved it to the point where it's no longer a problem...

  3. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    From what I understand,that's a common thing with some 34" scale basses.I have a 73 jazz that has that same problem. I put a set of flats on it,and don't worry about it anymore.But,maybe someone with a little more knowledge about it will chime in.I'm curious about it myself.
  4. Not much you can do. This comes from construction/stiffness of neck, mass of headstock etc. U can put weights on the top of the headstock to help. See fatfinger sugguestion above from tom.
  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 If you search, lot's of discussion. The bad news is, dead spots in that area are common, and there's really nothing that can be done.
  6. jz0h4d


    Apr 26, 2005
    Fat fingers do work. No set up will change it.
  7. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    +1 on the Fatfinger. It offers a big improvement for a nominal fee (around $30) and no catastrophic changes are required to the bass. Putting it on will move the spot towards the nut, which is better than where it is. Some basses have dead spots, some don't - sometimes they're in different locations, particularly on multi-piece necks. I had a Kubicki with one, and my graphite neck Status has one on the 13th fret of the G string.
    Here's what Roger Sadowsky has to say about dead spots:
    Roger Sadowsky answers: Dead spots are a fact of life, especially on 34” scale bolt on instruments........... 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!
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 on the Fatfinger, although from previous threads, the success rate seems to be about 50%... which I guess has to do with the exact resonance of the neck and how the weight specifically impacts the specific neck.

    Worth a try, if you don't mind a big chunk of metal clamped to your headstock:eek:
  9. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    Maybe try to replace the neck screws with bolts and threaded inserts? Supposedly that can help too by tightening the neck-to-body joint.

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