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Dead Spots?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by iplaybass, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    What are dead spots? I hear about them all the time, but all I understand is that they are spots where the wood absorbs a great deal of the frequency of the note being played. Can anybody explain what causes them, what they sound like, etc...? Thanks guys!

    PS: I did a search.:D
  2. "Dead Spots" is a Fender Copy Right.

    Each Fender Bass includes Dead Spots free of Charge. :D
  3. Go into any music store and pick up any Fender Jazz or Precision Bass. Play a C (5th fret) on the G string. That is what a dead spot sounds like. I dearly love Fenders, but I think any Fender ever made has that characteristic dead spot. The note will not ring and sustain like the other notes.
  4. I thought the dead spot usually occurred at C#?
  5. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Oh goodness. IT'S SO TRUE.
  6. I have seen the dead spots start as low as B flat and go as high as D (on the G-string). I use a lot of "thump" and not much sustain, so it doesn't matter much to me.
  7. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    It would be the E, 9th fret on the G, for me. But that's a Yamaha P-clone, so I guess Fender's copy right meant Yamaha couldn't kill the C. Oh well, I dont' go that high on the PBass. My Fender Jazz is free of dead spots, though. :D
  8. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    The neck system/backbone has a certain resonance frequency, or rather set of resonance frequencies.
    (Backbone=the material that connects the upper string fastener with the lower)

    This set of frequences are determined by the stiffnes/density(weight) ratio.

    When you fret on certain spots on the board and pluck, you will find less full tone with less sustain, due to tha closeness between the frequency of the tone and the resonance of the backbone. The tone you wanted is being cancelled by the backbone.

    This is indeed a Fender free feature, and it is very hard to get rid of. You will actually need major surgery to the neck, a more appropriate neck joint, stiffer bridge, etc. Pick a few...
    The best way to get rid of a dead spot is to sell the bass!
  9. My Samick five string also has a dead spot on the fifth fret of the G string.
    I didn't really notice it much until I shimmed the neck, then it became a lot more audible.
    The neck is maple and so are the necks of most Fenders. (I think)
    Do other woods or materials have less chance of dead spots, or do they just have them in other places ? What about graphite necks ?
    Does anyone have any idea's or comments about this ?
  10. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    the stiffer the material, the higher (?) the resonant frequency. so you'll be less likely to have a deadspot on a graphite or wenge neck. (i haven't ever come across one on a warwick.)
  11. Thanks Jason ... addicted to wenge huh ? How does that work ?
    Do you snort the sawdust or something ?:D
  12. jmacke


    Oct 7, 2002
    A couple of strange observations about dead spots:
    My old Fender f/less P bass seemed to suffer the opposite, with one or two notes greatly enhanced in volume and depth. When recording with it, I usually did not have any problem, and in my room at home it sounds really good , all the time, whichever way the amp is EQ'd. LIVE ----is another matter, in one of my regular venues, a fairly small bar, the A note, on my E string, almost fanishes, and severe Graphic EQ is required to get it back. I believe this to be a combination of the speaker size, resonant Frequency , interacting with the room volume/shape .
    My P bass is a VERY heavy item, about 1.5 times the weight of my five string. I think that the extra weight of the guitar gets rid of the Fender famous flat spot problem.

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