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Dead Spots

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Chris Taylor, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Help!

    I have two Jazz Basses (both Mexican, one fretted, one fretless, both with newly installed BadAss II bridges).

    BOTH have a dead spot at the 7th fret on the G string. It's not completely dead, but doesn't sing for half as long as any other note. Is there anything I can do?

    Otherwise the basses sound great and the BadAss makes such a difference to tone and resonance.
  2. you can experiment with altering the mass at the headstock- this will move the deadspot position up or down the neck.

    the Fathead brass plate or Fatfinger clamp add mass, moving the deadspot down the neck due to lowering the resonant frequency.
    you can experiment by putting a G-clamp on the headstock.

    swapping the machineheads for Hipshot ultralites lowers the mass, raising the resonant frequency and shifting the deadspot up the neck, which I think is better as the neck is stiffer further up towards the body of the bass (plus the balance on a strap is better).

    other than that you can swap the neck for a stiffer type- the only surefire way to eliminate deadspots IMO is to fit a Status replacement graphite neck. (a good £300 worth, though)
  3. Interestingly enough, I was going to ask the same question. I just strung my Rumblefish with a set of Brite Flats, and the G is just dead from the 4th to the 6th fret. Otherwise, the sound is exactly I was looking for. I realize that the bulk of my problem is the strings since I've never had a problem until now, but I was curious if anybody has actually used a Fathead and if it helped. It certainly seems like an ingenious idea and looks like it should work, but before I buy one I'd like to hear from people who've actually used one. Like I said, I like the tone everywhere else on the neck so much that I don't want to go back to roundwounds if I can avoid it.
  4. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I think most basses with wood necks will have "dull" spots. My bass has a dull spot at the 7th fret on the G string. It's not much of a problem. If you need sustain on that note, play it somewhere else on the fretboard (like 5th fret, A string).
  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    You might try a different string gauge. I recently went form a 45-105 set to a 50-110 set on my Jazz. I had no dead spots with the lighter set, with the heavier set I had a dead spot on the 4th fret of my G-string. Before last nights gig, I put on a 40-100 set; no dead spots.
  6. wow. this is strange. i also had a dead spot on my jazz at the same place: D on the G. it just appeared one day during a practise. even stranger, i tuned the string down and back up and it was gone......no idea.......blue steel 50-105.

    who makes a 50-110 set? i'd like to try those....
  7. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've noticed dead spots on basses as well. Usually on the G string 4-7 fret, or D string 7-10 fret, or A string 5 fret.

    You could try replacing the neck, but you risk getting another neck with a different dead note. Schwinn had a great suggestion... just play that note somewhere else on the bass.

    The brings to mind a funny true story. I was sitting in a club watching a well-respected bassman playing in a band. I sat there for two solid sets watching and listening to every bass line the bassplayer played. He sounded outstanding --- his playing was great and his bass tone was excellent. On the third set, one of the other guys in the band that knew me asked me to sit in. As I got up on stage and introduced myself to the bassplayer, he said "hey man, don't mind my bass, it's got a dead spot over here" and he pointed at the 7th fret on the D string. I tried playing the note and sure enough, it was deader than dead. Good thing the songs that I jammed didn't require that note. The amazing thing is that I had sat there listening to every note he played for two sets and I never heard that dead note. I guess this experienced cat was just doing what Schwinn suggested... playing the note somewhere else on the bass. I know this won't work for all bass lines, but at least it's a constructive suggestion.
  8. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    My MIM P-Bass has a dull spot at the 6th fret on the G string, but that only is a problem if I am playing whole notes. Normally it is not a problem at all. If I need to play a whole, I will just to it on the A string and there is no problem.
  9. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    have you had the bass professionally set up? i had a similar problem with a newly aquired j/bass and had to have a frett leveling and complete set-up and it now works great ,no dead spots! un-evenly worn fretts can reak havoc on a bass, hope this helps:bassist:
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Two words - laminate necks

    In other words, a neck where the most resonant frequency/frequencies of your single neck wood don't match one or two particular notes.

    The Fathead thing, the big chunk of brass that clamps onto a headstock, just allows you to move the resonating frequency to a note position you use less often, (typically, something above the 12th fret).

    Having owned pre-CBS Fenders, I can say the dead spot is actually considered a "plus", an endearing characteristic, among vintage collectors of old Fenders.....like a Labrador Retriever who won't stay out of your swimming pool and fetches everything for you.
  11. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    My Bb on the E string is dead, like some say "not completely dead but it doesn't ring as long as the others" I tried adjusting the neck but doesnt help much. I raised my action, it was very low to the point where it rattle but it felt great. Any one have any tips on fixing this problem. No need to rush but as fast as possible.