ID decals in neck pocket - resonance

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sands, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    Picked up a honeybursted G&L MJ-4. Very nice bass. Good tone but seemed kind of subdued.

    I've owned the following Jazz basses: a 2013 Fender Select, 2013 USA Deluxe, and a 2014 66 CS as well as a nice USA std with a warmoth neck. Was down to a P bass and missed the Jazz fun. Was hoping the MJ-4 leaped ahead of all of those I'd experienced before. Felt that there was good reason to think it might. Simple controls with high mid low (boost and cut) and volume and pan controls. G&L advancements.

    Tried Chromes. Ok. Tried TI flats. Better. Found a dead note on G string (C). Never noticed one before. Pulled bass apart, noticed that there were two decals on the neck in the pocket.

    So between a 1/4 sawn Maple neck and a fine Ash body, probably over tight from factory, I've got two paper stickers (gaskets) sitting there. There was good info on them. So I left them there and tightened the neck and bridge screws back to just snug after placing a bit of wax on them. The dead spot seemed to have improved significantly, but the bass still seemed a bit restrained.

    Someone said that the decals don't do anything. I thought it over For a few days, concluding that stickers do not belong between the neck and body joint on a musical instrument.

    So, today, a few weeks later, pulled the neck off and carefully photographed the decals / grain for future historical reference and pulled those decals off. Reassembled.

    Well, maybe it's just my imagination, but it really has come alive. The notes resonate more. Playing through a GK 700rb and GK neo 115. Even while tuning it up on the bench before plugging in, it seemed to resonate more.

  2. My thoughts are it's mostly in your imagination.

    But then again I can hear a definite midrange bump when I added a BadassII bridge on a certain bass when others swear there is no difference in sound using those bridges so the end result, you are the one listening
    FingerDub and Sands like this.
  3. If you feel it made a difference that you like, then it made a difference you like. Sounds like a good deal for a minimal amount of work.
    Sands likes this.
  4. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    Strumming the bass hanging on the wall vs a similarly equipped L-2000 (1/4 sawn w RW) but w Chromes that still has the decals - a remarkable difference. Muted vs fills quiet room. The strings make a difference but not that much, from my experience.

    Considered the following before removing: thoughts of fine acoustic instrument building. Imagined joints with paper between them not filling the entire space; gaps (i.e., the decals do not cover the entire pocket area). Imagined placing paper between two pieces of wood and striking it lightly vs no paper. At wide open throttle volumes, it wouldn't matter, clearly. But the lighter approaches I felt it could. I appreciate a nice sounding instrument with subtle nuance. I think the decals mute it a bit. That's all. Let me put it this way. Before today, the instrument struggled to keep up with my recollection of any of the Fenders. Now, it's right there in the mix, still undecided but right there. No dead notes. The voicing resonates. Subtle pleasant nuances leap out. It's a freaking nice Jazz bass now. Before, it was struggling but for the exceptional cut/boost circuit.
  5. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    Confirmation bias.
    Picton and ddnidd1 like this.
  6. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    That's a powerful two word statement sir. I appreciate that. On the other hand, I am reaching out with purpose. If I am right, the stickers should be eliminated, and basses and bassists will rejoice. If I am wrong, I am wrong.
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    It all depends on the kind of ink used in printing the decals - dye-type or pigment-type. The pigmented inks absorb more vibration because of the additional surface area of all the tiny grains of pigment.

  8. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    96tbird likes this.
  10. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    They are also thicker. The instrument requires a more exacting set up because of the change in geometry.
  11. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    The vertical approach of the optical illusion provides you with the innermost conception in the utmost vitality.
  12. Could it be, aside from removing the decals, that you got the neck back on to the bass with a bit more tighter lockdown in a way that originally it wasn't quite that hence a bit more resonance?
    songwriter21 and Oddly like this.
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    Interesting though that it's mostly the intonation that requires the additional attention. Maybe the difference in density in the decal inks affects the overall mass of the instrument, and thus the mode of string vibration. I have often wondered if darker inks would have a different effect than lighter-colorer ones ("often" as in once... in a dream.... after a few beers... and whiff....while I was on the floor.....and the party was still raging).
  14. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Yeah... geez, I thought every body knew this. And don't even get me started on the damage you can do by using a colored Sharpie in the neck pocket..BAD :whistle:
  15. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    Put some paper between the string and fret. Niiice.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    if there's any difference at all, it may just be that the neck is now seated a little better into the body, especially if you do the trick where you tune it up while the screws aren't all the way tight, say while centering the neck edges up with the strings.

    this allows string tension to pull the neck down harder into the pocket; once you finish tightening the screws you sometimes will get a slightly more "solid" sound.
    Sands likes this.
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    What's the best ink for metal?
  18. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
  19. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    one way to get more resonance is to use true bolts and threaded inserts.
  20. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    I've got an old P Bass neck with threaded inserts mated to an older P bass body that someone routed for a battery/ EMGs. Those active pickups are gone and a correct pickup is installed. It resonates well. I couldn't say whether it's better with the threaded inserts, since I didn't have the neck before the inserts were installed, but it sounds great. Maybe put a misfit, thick label in that neck pocket, with some history noted, sprayed with poly... No.

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