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Is there a way to get rid of a deadspot?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by StrudelBass, Nov 16, 2003.


  1. StrudelBass

    StrudelBass

    Jul 6, 2002
    California
    I found one on my 8th fret on my G string and it's kind of annoying.
     
  2. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    IIRC there's a small headstock clamp called the Fat Finger that will reduce a deadspot.
     
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hi StrudelBass, I recently had this same problem. Mine was at the fifth fret on the G string. Apparently some very credible luthiers claim that this problem exists on "all" basses, it's inherent to the design and how much you hear it is only a question of degree.

    The accepted solution seems to be to add some weight on or around the headstock. Groove Tubes makes a device called a "Fat Finger" that weighs approximately 4 ounces, you clip it on to the top of the headstock. It won't "remove" the dead spot, but it will "move" it to a different position along the neck. In theory, if you move it "far enough", you can move it all the way out of your playing range. In that case, hopefully it would end up in a place where you'll never have to hit a note.

    My experience was, that this principle and method works. However, 4 ounces was not quite enough weight to move the dead spot far enough. I ended up using 12.2 ounces, which is a considerable additional weight, it makes the bass a little heavier. However it did remove the dead spot (for all practical purposes). I ended up having a buddy of mine machine me a nice piece of brass that fits perfectly into the groove in my headstock. I attached it with a piece of velcro so I didn't have to drill any holes in the guitar (or suffer any unnecessary marks from clamping and etc). So far it works fine, I've only had this in place for about two weeks and have yet to do any recording with the bass, but shortly I will and I'll keep you posted as to the results.

    If you want to try this to see if it works, what I did is to take a 4-pack of Duracell AA batteries, it's just about the right weight (or was for my bass). Just put it on top of the headstock above the tuners, and see if this changes the behavior. It should, at least it did on mine.
     
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    There was a topic on this not too long ago, and a small treatment is a clamp thinger that you put on the headstock. I'm not much help, but if you search for dead spots you should be able to find it.
     
  5. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Sounds cool. Have any pix? The old Fat Finger works for me.
     
  6. This WILL NOT get rid of dead spots it merely moves them.

    [​IMG]

    The Fatfinger adds tone, sustain, and overall tone balance to electric and acoustic instruments. It increases your guitar's sustain by adding physical mass to the headstock of the instrument, and helps tune out dead spots.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  7. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas

    The reason I bought it was for sustain. I've never noticed a deadspot on my bass. And it fun to answer all the "what's that" questions :)
     
  8. I do not use the Fat Finger and I personally think it's just a gimick, but hey, if you like a novelty piece to talk about, who am I to stop you!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  9. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas

    Another reason to search Ebay for good deals. It's a cool looking (IMO) $10 gimmick. :)
     
  10. Dig a deep hole, place spot in hole, and cover with dirt.
    Thats how I got rid of mine.
     
  11. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Here are a couple of pics of my homebrew kloodge. It's three pieces of brass glued together. The bottom one is bent into a "U" and fits on the headstock.
     
  12. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Here's a view from the top of the headstock. You can clearly see the three pieces of brass. The whole thing is held on by a piece of velcro. It's removable and won't disfigure the bass. Works like a charm!
     
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    The only proven way I found to get rid of a dead spot was to buy a Modulus.
     
  14. jani_bjorklund

    jani_bjorklund

    May 22, 2002
    Finland
    Well a good neck is a good neck and a bad neck is a bad neck and no piece of metal put anywhere on the guitar can compensate for a bad neck. That's the way it is folks and we just have to live with it.
     
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Necks with smaller or no headstock are less likely to have deadspots IME.
     
  16. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    "Every" bass has a dead spot. It's just an inherent property of the design, it's a resonance that happens for that shape and with those woods. Sometimes that resonance can be a good thing, like maybe if it's on the hairy edge of actually being a dead spot. But really it's just a question of degree. Synthetic necks don't necessarily cure dead spots, although they help in many cases. But adding or subtracting weight can "move" the dead spot to a better location along the neck. I don't know, that would be a tough call. What would you do if you had the world's best sounding bass but it had a dead spot? If the chances of getting another one just like it were slim, you might think about kloodges like this just to make it playable. Dead spots are funny, sometimes they can emerge over time as the bass gets broken in, and sometimes they can be very responsive to a truss rod adjustment. There's probably more than one mechanism at work.
     
  17. If you can't cure it (which you really can't) then you could just use a compressor when you play and record to get an even sound. Just a though.