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Dead Spots Revisited - Hipshot Ultralites

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by groucho, Dec 1, 2005.


  1. groucho

    groucho

    Sep 28, 2005
    Ringwood NJ
    As I said in an earlier post, I ordered up a set of Ultralite
    heads for my USACustom jazz bass neck to see if it would
    do more than the Fatfinger.

    So here are the results:

    Inconclusive :eyebrow:

    With the original Schaller BML heads it had a wicked deadspot
    at C# on G string and the 12th fret harmonic (NOT the fretted note) of the D string. The Fatfinger reduced but not eliminated both.

    With the Hipshots the deadspot moved up to D#(Eb if you prefer) and reduced it by about 50%, the harmonic over the
    D string was also improved but not totally.

    Adding the Fatfinger to the Hipshots moved the deadspot
    back down to C# and left the harmonic over the D the same.

    They DO make the neck noticably lighter. :hyper:
    But leave all the holes from the bigger heads exposed :eek:

    All in all the results are not worth $100 in my book but
    I hadda try - So - lighter heads will definitely effect your
    deadspot issue - unpredictably :p

    Next I will swap necks betweek my PJ and the Jazz to see
    if the problems follow to the other body!
     
  2. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    FWIW ...

    I installed threaded steel inserts on a P-bass that exhibited the traditional deadspots on the G-string. After reassembly the deadspots are gone - and have been for a couple of months now.

    You can search the Luthiers section here at TB for a discussion thread and accompanying images.

    This worked wonders for me - but it's a one way process as you'll need to drill (enlarge) the mounting holes in your neck to accept the threaded insert. You will also need to have access to a drill press to properly install the inserts perpendicular to the neck heel. It's a simple task if you have the right skills, but you can also easily ruin your neck if you are unfamiliar with basic woodworking skills.

    All the best,

    R
     
  3. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    You mean threaded inserts for attaching the neck to the body? Interesting. I've got a moses neck like that, and it has always been a very responsive bass.
     
  4. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    yes, threaded inserts for attaching the neck to the body installed in the same location where the woodscrews used to screw into the neck wood.

    All the best,

    R
     
  5. how about installing a Badass II bridge?
     
  6. groucho

    groucho

    Sep 28, 2005
    Ringwood NJ
    Rodent, thanks for the idea - My Kubicki X Factor is
    built that way. I will consider it if the neck swap does
    not yield results.

    Actually -I just did a pretty cool thing with inserts -
    tiny 4-40 ones in brass - to replace all the pickguard
    screws on my Guild B-301 with 4-40 machine screws!
    I have modded the bass with a passive dummy coil
    under the guard and a two input FET preamp to
    setup the original pickup as a noise cancelling single
    coil :bassist:
    I wanted to keep the "look and sound" but HAD to get rid
    of the single coil hum. I looked for a humbucking pickup
    I could drop in without cutting up the guard but I found
    none (looks TOO dorky to stick in a Fender Jazz style
    sorry) The project was a smashing success but I found
    that due to the soft mahogany body, the pickguard screws
    were almost falling out from taking the guard on and off
    (took it on and off a LOT as I experimented with circuits for the preamp
    I built and I wanted to NOT cut a battery box
    into the back in case I ever sold it ).
    The 4-40 inserts worked like a dream for the guard and
    I found a place in NJ that you can get them CHEAP!

    :hyper:
     
  7. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    groucho - got a link or address for where you found the 4-40 brass inserts?

    All the best,

    R
     
  8. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Awesome story about hotrodding the B-301 ... I bet that sounds great.

    On the topic of chaning tuners to eliminate dead spots ... if a fat finger helps by adding mass ... wouldn't you want to go with a *heavier* tuning machine to help even more?
     
  9. groucho

    groucho

    Sep 28, 2005
    Ringwood NJ
    Rodent, I will find the packing slip and post the place - they
    sell online, super fast shipping and great prices. ;)

    As to the mass thing(Pickles) - Nooooo
    There is a "tuning" factor here - too much mass can create
    more trouble than too little :eek:

    I tried using small 1 OZ brass weights that were held on by
    the screws that hold the post into the Schaller BML heads.
    As I added weight (past a point)the dead spots became
    worse and moved down the neck to the A string!

    It also seems to matter where you add weight to the
    headstock as well as how much. Could be cause the
    headstock is vibrating/swinging forward and back so
    you get a leverage effect depending on the spot you
    add the mass.


    Yes - the B-301 sounds FAB :hyper:

    As to the dummycoil/preamp system
    I will gladly supply the info on request, it should work
    equally well with any single coil single pickup bass
    The raw materials will set you back not even $100
    (more like $50) Would be much more complicated
    BUT still do-able on a B-302
     
  10. groucho

    groucho

    Sep 28, 2005
    Ringwood NJ
  11. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    thanks Mon

    All the best,

    R