I have no harmonics

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Thurisarz, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    On my Warmoth '51 tele i can get very powerful and strong harmonics on the 4th and 9th fret when playing the bass acoustic. But when i'm playing it pluged in i don't here a noise. Is it because of the scpb pickup or what can be the problem?
  2. pickup sounds like the problem, bit odd still tho

    is the pickup fairly low output ?
  3. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    I have the other harmonics on the 5th, 7th and 12th etc but not on the 4th and 9th, should i let my friends at the local music store have a check on the pickup?
  4. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    sometimes certain pickups or combinations don't pick up harmonics well, i play a g&l l-2000, i get sharp clear harmonics on each pickup alone, but if i use both, they become very quiet, just wirings or frequencies i guess
  5. It must be due to the hum cancelling effect i think then
  6. BassikLee

    BassikLee Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that the pickup is located right where the 28th fret would be. If so, when playing the 4th/9th/16th fret harmonic, the string isn't vibrating where the 28th would be, as that is another location where THAT harmonic is located. I used to play all kinds of natural (open) harmonics up high on the body, as part of my "stupid bass tricks" solo thing. Once you figure out where they all are, they can be had easily, and it seems to REALLY wow folks who watch......

    I had written a much longer post, but when I tried to actually post it, I lost the connection. Oh well.....


  7. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    This is very likely correct. On Rickenbacker 4003 basses, the neck pickup is located right under where the hypothetical 24th fret would be, and thus, 5th fret harmonics are practically inaudible when the neck pickup is soloed.
  8. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    So it is something i can do to make this go away because i need my harmonics? Change the position of the pickup? Add another pickup?
  9. BassikLee

    BassikLee Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    I'd say changing the location, or adding a pickup are about your only choices. That said, A) I never thought of a '51P as the type of bass one would use a lot of harmonics with B) do you need that little one note (per string) enough to warrant cutting up a perfectly good bass?? Buy a Jazz bass, no mods needed. Even the ubercheap SX J basses are full of harmonics.

  10. With all that is being said, if your pickup is a little too close, it will choke that natural harmonic and alter the string tone a little. Perhaps moving the pickup away from the string a little will help the harmonics AND improve the tone.

    Try it, anyway.
  11. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I had that same problem with mine.
  12. I believe that on Tele basses as well as the old slab early 50's P's with the straight single coil, that the pup is located precisely halfway between the 12th fret and the bridge. I just ran the numbers of a 28th fret on a 34" scale on my fret calculator and it comes up to 27.254" from the nut to the center of the poles. That should be pretty easy to measure. See if it's in that range and you've found your problem.
  13. while we're on the subject of harmonics vs. pickup placement...I was thinking (a dangerous thing, I know...but anyway)...those problematic "dead spots" on Fenders...can any of these be attributed to pickup location?...or is it mainly an issue around the resonation of the neck.
  14. I don't think the pup location hurts Fenders - except maybe the case above with the Tele/old P styles. Yes, it's the design and the resonance thing coming into play. That's why you won't find Warmoths having dead spots. They use such a different configuration of reinforcement that it's totally different from the stock F's. Why one F does it and one doesn't is up to the scientists among us to figger out :)
  15. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Have you considered learning false harmonics to achieve that one particular one your having trouble with? Fretting the fifth fret and hitting the false harmonic should ring fine, even if the natural harmonic wont. Might be a pain in the butt for certain songs to have to do that, but it could be a possibility?
  16. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Just out of curiosity, what in the heck kind of band are you in that you can hear your harmonics? Sure, I can hear them when I'm tuning up backstage. But once the Triple Rectifier and the Fender Twin fire up I'm real thankful if I can tell what note I'm playing. :meh:
  17. Alot of jazz uses harminics doesnt it? and Maybe its for little solo bits?