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'hollow' sounding e string

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mw, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. mw


    Jul 24, 2000
    i have a MIM jazz bass the seems to have a 'hollow' (for lack of a better word) sounding e string. is this a setup problem? pickup problem? wood problem? is there anything to be done to alleviate this?

    it currently has a dimarzio model p in the neck position and a model j in the bridge, if that helps.

    its really too bad that this bass has this problem, because the other three strings sound better than a few MIA fenders i've tried. i had an old ripper that suffered from this as well. it was one of the reasons i got rid of it :(

    any help appreciated!

    ps- please correct me if this is in the wrong forum!
  2. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Is the e-string sitting in the nut properly? If it makes a vibrating sound when you play an open E, make sure the part of the string after the nut (closest to headstock) is going down towards the headstock at the sharpest angle possible.

    Other than that, i couldnt think of another explination.

    Good Luck!
  3. If this turns out that its not a setup thing.. i'll shift it over to Strings. They'll be pleased heehee


  4. Have you changed strings? If you have, and still have the problem, this is the right thread. It might be the pickup. But I doubt it would be both of them. My guess is if it is the pickup, its one or the other. Try solo-ing each pickup, and see if you can get the problem to go away. If it goes away with one, and comes back with the other, check your pickups.

    Is it every note on the e string, or is it just the open string? If it is only the open string, take it to a tech, and have them look at the nut. Before you do that, make sure you have enough of a break angle over the nut. It if one all or most of the string on the frets, you may need to have your frets dressed and / or leveled. You could have a slight twist in the neck, but I think it would effect more than just the e string if the neck were twisted.

    If you can supply us with some more info, we can help you better.
  5. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    i have the same thing on my aria pro bass, it has a kind of jazz bass pickup setting. The sounds goes away with each pickup soloed, but stays there together. I actually like the sound it has like that, so I keep it.
  6. That's a good point - that dual-wide-open-single-coil "hollow" type sound is just awesome! Usually it's on all four strings though...

  7. mw


    Jul 24, 2000
    thank you everyone for the replies!
    to clarify/reply:

    the problem is not likely to be the nut. the open e (or d...) sounds great, its when you get to the sixth and higher frets that the problem is really pronounced. this anomaly remains with one, the other, or both pickups on. i like the sound of a two j pickups as much as the next guy, but this seems different to me...

    i'll try new strings (at least on the e, as that is the problem). these haven't been changed in about two months. however, i tried that on the ripper when i had it, and it didn't alleviate the problem either. it also great open e string, its when you get past the sixth fret that it starts sounding bad. that and some moron routed out the bass for microphonic non-standard pickups. ick.

    i put this in setup, because i thought that action, intonation, pickup height or something in that realm might be the culprit. but if it turns out to be strings, i will have a good laugh at myself, and hope this gets moved to that thread (or misc?), in hopes that it will better mankind... and hopefully people won't mock my blindness to the obvious.

    thanks again for the replies.
  8. we'll mock you anyway... its our job :p


  9. mw, i have one other question.

    How close to the strings is the pickup height?

    If they are too low on the bass side, the magnetic wave that the pickups.... well, pick up :D, has already started its decay.

    Thibk of it as a riplle in the water, the further away from the center, the wider the ripple gets. Soundwaves are similar in that the pickups are catching a wider wave. Raise your pickups a little closer to the string, see if that helps tighten up your tone.

    And completely off topic, post # 2500!! Woo Hoo!!!!
  10. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC

    or could be the opposite... I had a similar problem with the G string on my Jazz... the sound was too muddy. then I realized that the bridge p/u was too close to the string, pulling it and avoiding the natural vibration. As soon as I lowered the p/u, the tone got more clarity...

    I'm not shure about p/u - string distance... do a search and give a try...

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