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Jazz Bass dead and muffled

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by soonershane, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. soonershane


    Jan 21, 2005
    Hey guys, as always I come to the ones in the know for the real answers!! I have a Fender American Jazz bass that I love (most of us do!) but I have been having problems with the sound. It is sounding dead and muffled. I need to have it set up and put a new set of strings on it, but will that really make that much difference? I just haven't been satisfied with the sound for awhile. Just not sounding very "jazzy" to me. Any thoughts ot suggestions?
  2. Just a thought...if your strings are really old, change them and see if that helps, sometimes new strings is all it takes to breathe new life into an old bass. If that doesn't work, then maybe take it to a reputable repair person and have them make some suggestions, they should be able to tell you what will help. Good Luck. I love JAZZ BASSES!!!!
  3. Hella_Groovy


    Aug 31, 2004
    Richmond Va
    Maybe theres a problem with your tone pot? I'd try a new set of strings before I dug into the electronics though.
  4. soonershane


    Jan 21, 2005
    My strings are only a couple of years old, but they have been played A LOT! How often do you guys change strings?
  5. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    ill second the dirty pots suggestion

    you can get contact cleaner at most electronic parts stores

    clean those pots ;)
  6. The flats on my P are maybe a year old and they sound great, my roundwounds are a couple to a few months old, on my other basses, they have alot of wear on them also.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    You're kidding, right? A couple of years old?? Dude, most cats change strings every 3 to 6 months and sometimes more than that! I would surely think 2 year old strings would sound dead and lifeless unless you like that sound!! Me personally, I usually go 8-9 months between changes but it depends on whether I can get that twang when I slap. If it ain't there, I change my strings. 2 years is really stretching it though!
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Some guys change them about once every 2 weeks to a month, especially if they're playing a lot. I change mine every four years, but that's ridiculous. I'd say six months max if you're playing a lot. Also, wash your hands every time before you pick up the bass.
  9. No offense, but are you kidding??

    On an upright bass, I can see going a couple years.. Even, MAYBE flatwounds.. But, I change strings about once a month!!

    Seeing that you havent changed your strings in 2 years, your bass is probably DESPERATE for a setup also.. Get some new strings and take it into your local shop and have them do a full setup.. You'll be suprised.. It'll be like a new instrument.
  10. New strings and a set up will have that bass as good as new. :bassist:
  11. apollo11


    Aug 19, 2004
    New York
    If you had flats on there, they would probably last the two years. If they are rounds, there is surely is a lot of grime built up in the windings, making for very dead sounding strings.

    I've picked up basses in stores that have been hanging and demoed for months, and often times the strings are dirty and dead sounding.

    New strings would bring it back to life, most likely.

  12. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    The cool thing about Fenders is that they are generally low maintenance ... but, they do need some maintenance :eek:

    Two years is really way too long for a bass that is heavily played, even with flats. Definitely get some new strings and do (or get) a set-up .... that baby will come right back to life :bassist:
  13. I change the strings every 5 to 6 months. I just need my jazz bass to sound as good as possible.
  14. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    what, a couple of years old? you are joking right?

    i change a full set once every month. sometimes i just change the e and a string if we play a lot of shows that month.

    so basically once every 3-4 weeks.

    but, i kill strings easily. friggen acid sweat

    hell, thats even with elixirs.
  15. jasonc


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    2 years!
    That made my ears almost bleed!
    Change your strings and you'll be amazed!
    I change mine usually every 3-5 weeks.

  16. As mentioned above, get those stinkin strings changed. If that doesn't help, you can do a few things...change the action, adjust the truss rod, and just do a general tune-up (no pun intended) to the thing. It also could be the pickups...in that case, you may want to get those checked out.
  17. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Just change your strings. Two years is way too long to keep a set of strings unless you like them dead, and judging by your post you don't like them dead.

    At the very very very minimum you should change your strings once a year. Twice is much better though. 2-3 times per year seems to be the average.
  18. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I just had to get my dig in....

    You're kidding, right? Two years? You're joking.....aren't you?
  19. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    Just kidding, but two years is stretching the string life juuuuuuuuuusssssstttttt a little bit. I don't play as often as I would like, so for me, six months is about right, then I check the intonation and make adjustments as necessary.
  20. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I myself like fresh strings on my basses. With alot of basses that can be costly so on my mostly played basses (7 or 8) I change strings every 4 to 6 weeks the most. I keep sets of new unopened string around (4 and 5 string sets in multiple gauges) so i will never be stranded without fresh sets for any bass that would need them.
    That keeps my jazz basses happy and sounding sweet!