Deadspot Theory,2-Tek Bridges,GT Fathead etc.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by The Mock Turtle Regulator, Oct 22, 2000.

  1. has anyone either fitted a 2-TEK bridge to their bass or own one with it fitted already (eg. Hamer Cruise). does it really eliminate deadspots from the neck entirely?

    my understanding of deadspots is that greater rigidity means fewer and less severe deadspots, hence graphite composite necks are best for evenness of tone, as resonance of the neck is much less.
    the position of the deadspots on the neck depends on the resonant frequency of the neck which is affected by the mass of the tuning machines on the headstock- heavier hardware means deadspots lower on the neck (closer to the nut) and I believe worse- the new American Deluxe Fender basses feature lightweight Schaller tuners which allow an improvement over the previous deluxe Fenders which had heavy Schaller 3D tuners.
    therefore the GT Fathead/ Fatfinger moves deadspots much lower on the neck, but does it eliminate them as claimed? I would say that reducing the mass at the headstock would be better- you could stop the neck resonating by adding LOTS of mass, but the balance would be awful.

    I'm currently assembling a Precision Bass from Warmoth parts, with a baddass II bridge strung through the body and Hipshot Ultralite machineheads- despite Warmoth's claims of no deadspots on their necks due to steel reinforcement bars, there is a deadspot at C# on the G string (which I think is the traditional Fender P-Bass response)
    I think the mass of the steel rods bring the resonant frequency down, and the Ultralites compensate for it. The bass does balance well, though.

  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    This is the same question I have been asking for some time. I have yet to get a coherent answer. I haven't tried a Fathead, though I might. I tried a Fat Finger and it didn't work (on my bass, YMMV, etc.). A hardware store C clamp worked better than the Fat Finger, but it moved the dead spot around, rather than eliminating it. I e-mailed the 2-tek people and got no response, which is kind of a turn-off. I haven't tried a 2-tek equipped bass, so I can't comment on them. Joe Osborn says that his Lakland Signature Bass has no dead spots, unlike his famous Fender. I'd be interested to know why. My P-bass has the infamous C/C# dead spot, so I just hit that note harder. It still doesn't sustain well, but at least it's usable. I've noticed, though, when I change string guages and make the necessary truss rod adjustment, that the dead spot seems to go away for a few days and then come back as the neck settles in. I have no explanation for this. :confused:
  3. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Oh, I forgot to add that I tried a Bad@$$ II and it made the dead spot worse and made the string response really uneven. Again YMMV and the usual disclaimers apply.
  4. yeah, I tried putting a G-clamp on the headstock of my Fender Precision Plus bass, and this moved the dead spots towards the nut (and made the bass uncomfortably neck-heavy).
    That bass has Schaller 3D machineheads with thick cast buttons, and the dead areas are from A# to B on the G string AND A# on the D string, as these tuners are heavier than the usual pressed steel fender ones (I fitted a Schaller 3D bridge). I've tried removing the buttons, and this shifts the dead spot to the usual C#, and eliminates the one on the D string, which suggests that less mass at the headstock is better.
    the thickness of neck plays a part too (in terms of deadspot position as well as evenness), I think, as I've tried Ibanez and Aria basses with lightweight Gotoh tuners and thin necks which had deadspots at A# on the D string too.

    I found the baddass bridge to have little or no effect on the evenness of tone, however, but the saddle design seems a bit odd- too flat and wide at the contact point where a sharp edge would be better, and filing the saddle to provide a smaller contact point seems to improve the tone.
    the setup guy at The Bass Centre said that the baddass bridge produces a better tone than the 2-Tek, judging by their experiences with Warwick Fortress Flashback basses which had the 2-Tek fitted as standard. (????)

    to add another twist, my Hohner B2A cricket bat bass (headless, with all-maple thru-neck construction) has deadspots in very odd places on the neck- B and C on the A string, C to D on the E string, and the open D string.
  5. ps. the Lakland Joe Osborn bass has graphite reinforcement in the neck, which would increase the rigidity of the neck (however Roger Sadowsky's quoted as saying graphite reinforcement doesn't make much difference in this month's Bass Player)-
    and weren't there rumours that Sadowsky and Lakland use Warmoth parts?
  6. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I just got a Hamer Cruise with the 2Tek, and I can't say that I've heard any deadspots, but it's hard to tell if there weren't already some there to compare it to. I will say this. You can really tell that each string has independent resonance, and there is noticeable sustain compared to other basses I've got. I know someone here in Cincinnati that is authorized to install these, and he gave me a brief rundown on these a while back. They are very technical, and require precision routing to install them; only 3 people in the country are authorized installers. He didn't recommend that anyone try to install one on their own, unless they had a couple of spare bodies laying around. Finally, he did say that these bridges can bring a dead bass back to life.
  7. Iv'e been playing bass guitar since 1957 and I don't know what a dead spot is could some one explain in detail.
  8. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    A dead spot is a note that sounds like it's being muted or damped out,I.E. no sustain, or less sustain than other notes.

    You are very lucky that,with your experience, you've never been bothered with them.

    I thinned the neck down on my URB and installed a steel reinforcing bar under the fingerboard. A couple of dead spots that had aggravated me since I bought the bass new completely disappeared. This seems to suggest that neck ridgidity (or lack of) plays a part in the problem.

  9. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Hey, Mock, that's interesting about those Aria's and Ibanez's. I have a Washburn with a pretty thin neck that has a dead spot at A on the D. I find that bothersome, as that's a note I use more often than the C on the G. However, nothing I've done, e.g. C-clamps, vise grips, string guages has made any difference on the Washburn.
  10. Yes thank you for the explaination. I have been very lucky while I have found a note here and there with shorter sustain all of my basses will sustain long as I will ever need. I have played every bass that I have bought except my Carvins a number of times. Oh my new half size urb I couldn't be played, it was totally destroyed when I paid 25 dollars for it. it will now be my amplified gigging bass. this time something came out better than I expected thank God.
  11. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    Oh my new half size urb I couldn't be played, it was totally destroyed when I paid 25 dollars for it. it will now be my amplified gigging bass.

    What kind of pups are you gonna use on the UR, Bassdude? After a LOT of experimenting I've finally found what works for me. My problem had always been feedback control.

  12. I use a radio shack buzzer ( the smallest passive one) it is burried in the foot of the bridge about 1/8 of an inch deep and covered with 1/8 " plywood. The ply is recontured to the bridge foot profile. I use a Barcus Berry direct box as a preamp (an old one). This gives me a volume control before my amp (if there are no monitors) and a ballanced out for a PA system.
  13. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    I've tried darn near everything to rid some instruments of deadspots but I've only had limited luck. I've used a C clamp and that helped some.

    IME, making the neck screws as tight as possible helps.

    I've had some success with swapping necks and bodies around to cure deadspots. For example, two basses of mine had terrible deadspots and I took take the neck from one and the body from another to yield a bass that had virtually no deadspots. Now I just have to remember to swap them back if I ever sell them.

    I had a 2-Tek installed on a base made with a Stew-Mac body, an ESP neck, and Hipshot Ultralights. The dead spot vanished completely. However the bass is now very heavy but it's body heavy so that's not too bad since it balances better.

    The only other thing I've tried that has worked in 100% of cases is leaning the peghead or bottom of the bass against a sheetrock wall in the house. This cures the deadspot on every single instrument I've tried it on. So if you ever see a bassist leaning the peghead agianst a wall in a club...that's me.
  14. Rumblin'Man is probably onto something with the observation about neck tightness. Since a deadspot, by my understanding, is an effect of harmonic resonances, it would seem that a better acoustic coupling of the neck and body makes sense. In a smaller, more local way, that is what the C-clamps are doing - changing a harmonic resonance. By using the largest component on the bass (the body) to help with this, IMO is the way to go. I've got 2 slim necked Jazzes that don't have any attributable dead spots but I've always been a stickler for tight, tight neck joints. The neck on the new CAD/CAM bass will use threaded steel inserts and machine screws for just this reason. I am NOT anticipating any deadspot problems.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Does that mean that dead spots are much less common on neck throughs?
  16. some techs think that deadspots are sometimes confused with loose fret problems, which could be causing the dead spot at A on Max Power's Washburn. (if there isn't a deadspot at A on the G-string too).

    I'm not sure about whether neckthrough construction reduces deadspots (my Hohner B2A is neck-thru, an Ibanez neck-thru had deadspots too and the Gibson T-Bird is another)- although Alembic would disagree, and Jaydee say that gluing the neck to the body reduces resonance (in particular conflicting resonances between neck and body) and reduces deadspots with it (but what about all the Gibson EB's?).

    The Warmoth P-Bass I'm putting together has probably the tightest neck joint I've ever seen on a P-Bass- and will need sanding once I lacquer it to get it to fit. but still the deadspot problem. It's the conventional 4-bolt + plate type, though.

    does anyone remember the Alvarez Scoop guitar, which took the neck joint idea completely the other way, by having a cutaway almost around the whole neck block, claiming greater sustain by isolating neck vibration?

    I've tried pressing the headstock to a wall/tabletop, and this does eliminate all the deadspots- I think this prevents the neck resonating at all- the same effect I suppose of using a very rigid bass neck.

    back to the 2-Tek bridge, what seems most interesting is the way in which each "tonal finger" is tuned for each string- there seems to be a different sized hole drilled in the side of each one- which suggests that they are designed to resonate at a specific frequency that complements each string- if anyone knows more about this please post a better explanation. it would be great if the 2-Tek idea could be available in a bridge design that was easier to fit.
  17. Wild Rice Chris

    Wild Rice Chris

    May 7, 2005
    Palatine, IL
    Rice Custom Guitars, Inc
    This is Rich, Chris' dad. I spotted this thread, and wish to state that my favorite bass is my Hamer fretless Cruise bass, factory equipped with th 2-Tek bridge. It is the smoothest feeling/sounding bass I have ever played. I haven't noticed any dead spots, and it sustains very well. My only complaint with it is the (typical) noise from the J style pickups. I'm contemplating replacements, and I love the Bartolini pickups I have used in other basses. (Their J-5 guitar pickup is awesome, as well). The bridge has not needed any adjustment in the 7 or 8 years that I've owned the bass, and I don't need to look for another bass, as I really love the balance, feel, and sustain of this particular instrument. I think it's my "lifetime" bass.
  18. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    I've had a few Hamer Cruise Basses with the 2-Tek bridge in both 4 and 5 string fretted and fretless. Loved them. Sold each one of them and still wish I'd kept the 4-fretted. I don't believe they make the bridge anymore. Can't remember why they quit. Anyone else know?
  19. Wild Rice Chris

    Wild Rice Chris

    May 7, 2005
    Palatine, IL
    Rice Custom Guitars, Inc
    I'm Chris. I guess I left myself signed in on my dad's computer, so he found talkbass and posted under my name. Leave it to him to drag up a seven year old thread.