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Dialing in the upper register

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Funkateer, May 21, 2003.

  1. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Saw one of my favorite bassists play this past weekend and noticed that he frequently would play in the 12th position instead of in the first position. He got a great thick sound that I have been unable to approximate at home. I know I've got some minor intonation issues, but especially on the E string, some of the notes (especially the F on the 13 fret) have a really unpleasant honky tone. I also get a lot of fret noise (clank) on the E string. How much of this can I address via setup? Tips? Thanks in advance.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Probably all of it. If the frets are clacking, it is action issue, meaning simply raise the saddles or you may require a change in neck relief.

    Setting the intonation is fairly easy as well provided you have a reliable digital tuner and is discussed on several of the threads here in set up.

    The "honk" may go away after the setup is made right as it could be a result of odd harmonics/overtones created by setup issues or it may be character of the bass. You'll just have to wait and see.

  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - setup can make it easier to play in the higher register, but as you also mention, I have played basses that just couldn't be set up to allow this. I have tended to find that neck-through basses are easier to play higher up, than bolt-ons - but not always.

    Generally though , the better the overall construction quality, the easier it is to play higher up - this is the reason to 'justify' buying that high-end bass!! ;)
  4. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    This is with a Lull Modern 4 recently acquired from bass-only, so I have reason to hope that with some effort, I can get it dialed in. Intuitively, to address the honkiness issue, it seems that I should play with pickup height, as higher position playing puts the strings closer to the PUs.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - I think if the strings are too close to the powerful magnets in some pickups, it can affect intonation and cause "warble" !
  6. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Odd honking tones and intonation problems can also result from the string having been twisted as it was installed; and IIRC this seems to be worse the higher up the neck you go.