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L2000 pickup sound issue

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by hubietone, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. hubietone


    Mar 30, 2009
    Heres the deal. When I play certain notes like D through F (5th to 8th fret) on the A string, the note will continue to ring(continue to sound, ghost note) even after releasing the string. I can mute the string with my finger, start at the first fret, and as I go up the neck sounding the notes, some will thud, like they should, but others will continue to ring. Does this in active and passive, and any combination of pickups, and settings. Swapped strings, no change. Any help will be appreciated.

    Thank You
  2. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
  3. hubietone


    Mar 30, 2009
    I saw the post about the springs. My pickups are all the way down and tight. I backed them off all the way trying to solve my problem. The volume I play the bass at does not seem to have an effect, it will still display the same problem at low volume. Its like the pickup is just super sensitive to those specific frequencies and just has sustain and an overtone.

    thanks for your input
  4. I'm thinking room acoustics and resonant frequencies.

    If it's possible, you might test by playing in a different room or through a headphone amp. If the problem persists, especially through a headphone amp, then there is possibly a problem with the bass.

  5. hubietone


    Mar 30, 2009
    Tried a different amp. Tried a different room, even had the speaker in one room while I was in another. Does it at any volume. As I stated it does it at certain notes especially on the A string, so it makes you think it is frequency related. How about the pickups being microphonic? Only thing is it does it in any one of the three pickup combinatiions. I can fret the D note(5th fret) on the A string, release/remove my finger and you get that sound. Its sounds like the note just hums. Other notes do not do it.

    Thank You
  6. All basses have overtones, some more than others.

    Hand muting is the answer.
  7. hubietone


    Mar 30, 2009
    This is not your basic harmonic tone. It is obvious that there is something wrong. You can play a progression on the bass and when you hit the problematic notes, they do not sound right. Its like the note just takes off and runs on. Keep thinking and I will keep replying. Waiting to try a call to G&L when they open today.

    Thank You
  8. Just had a lightbulb moment. Or was that a headache with pictures? Brainfart?

    Ran into a similar issue several years ago where the bass in question, my now-gone L-2000, had these odd sounds at various frequencies. Seeing as how I'd just put new strings on and done a thorough setup, I looked everywhere BUT the adjustments I'd made. Turns out I wasn't quite as thorough as I thought. I had forgotten to tighten the Saddle Lock setscrew which allowed the saddles to resonate against each other. So....

    Check that Saddle Lock setscrew. While you're there, make sure that the saddle height adjusters are all in contact with the bridge plate and that the individual saddles are level relative to the bridge plate.

    More things to look at, seeing as how we're chasing a resonating bass:

    Make sure the bridge is attached securely to the body.

    Make sure that the nut isn't loose in its slot.

    Make sure that the strings are seated properly in the nut slots. Test by pressing gently on the string between the nut and tuner while plucking the string.

    Make sure that all headstock hardware is well secured to the headstock.

    Make sure that the neck screws are evenly tightened.

    This is a reach, but make sure that the trussrod nut isn't loose on the rod. Yeah - it's a BIG reach, but worth checking.

    Check for loose change in the control cavity. :D

  9. Okay, so the pickups are lowered. The pole pieces are also lowered. Good, then you can rule out a proximity issue.

    I have a question....when you say it does this at all volumes, are you controlling the volume at the amp or on the bass?

    Anyway as a long shot, check the break angle from nut to post. The 3rd string is always suspect and those stoopid tapered posts don't help matters. I doubt it could cause that many wolf notes tho, but at least you can rule it out.
  10. hubietone


    Mar 30, 2009
    Performed the following:
    Neck screws evenly tightened (tight to start with)
    Tuning keys all tight and solid
    Nut is attached, strings seated in their slot
    All bridge mounting screws were tight
    All saddle height adjustment screws in contact with bridge
    Saddles are all level and saddle lock set screw is tight
    Checked electronics for broken leads, bad/cold solder joints.
    Inspected the pickup underside for bad connections and loose construction.
    Checked the pickup springs. The springs had the little rubber dampers in the springs. I added a piece of foam under the pickup, and between the springs, making contact with all three.
    When trying the bass I tried every combination of guitar volume, amplifier gain, and amplifier volume, it did not matter.
    I tried two different amps, a different guitar cord, with a new battery, without a battery in the bass.
    I have had the amp in one room while I was in another.
    It does this in active or passive mode.
    When I play the C(3rd fret) note on the A string the note sounds and when I lift my finger off of the neck (maintaining contact with the string/muting) the note stops.
    When I do the same thing on the D(5th fret) on the A string
    the note sounds and when I lift my finger off of the neck (maintaining contact with the string/muting) I get this microphonic sound.
    Not much left other than a pickup issue or possibly the string construction or material is causing me problems. I did replace the A string with one I had but it did not make a difference. Both strings were the same manufacturer, GHS Boomers. Any string recommendations? I play in a blues band, don't slap or pop, my tone is important.The bass has always sounded good and has not been abused or modified.

    Thanks to everyone who have tried to solve this problem
  11. Well, I'm out of ideas.

    I assume that you know there is a natural harmonic at the 5th and 7th frets of each string. Many players use them as tuning tools.

    A microphonic pickup will tend to feedback easier than a healthy counterpart. If you think this might be the case, you could have BOTH pickups re-potted.

  12. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would try different strings- there is no magic in the G&L bass nor preamp that will essentially "synthesize" or sustain notes, but the way the string is wound can affect things to a large degree (if the windings are loose, the string can resonate weirdly or sound multiple notes simultaneously). I would second mentioning the obvious- the natural harmonics at the 5th and 7th frets. Also (in case you weren't aware), there exist numerous other harmonics that can be played by plucking the note then quickly "muting" the string with the plucking hand in the right postion on the string (or plucking and muting simultaneously, like a "pinch harmonic"- depending on your technique and playing position, you might be inadvertantly hitting these harmonics for certain notes with your right hand. Kinda unlikely, but its about the only idea I have!

    Actually, I have never heard another experience of this, but- have you tried the bass through multiple speaker cabinets? I have a speaker cabinet that resonates weirdly on certain notes, but it is much more apparent with certain basses and barely apparent at all on a couple. The sound is very similar to a "dead note" as found on most bolt-on basses (the original attack lacks the punch of the other notes), except that it adds a weird slightly warbled trail onto the end of the note (and it happens at a different position than the dead notes that I'm aware of on all my basses- but the same notes on all the basses). I don't know much about the physics of speaker construction, but it is my wild guess that I am hitting the resonant frequency of the cabinet, and that the lost energy from the resonance is causing the speakers excursion to change in an "off" way. I guess the frequency response of certain basses probably accentuates these harmonics more or less- so it is a big issue on some basses, and not much of an issue on others. I will reitterate that I have no clue if this is really what is happening!(just an uneducated guess) ... I have never experienced this particular problem with any other cabinet, so the first time I noticed it I figured it was either the amp or bass- further experimentation proved it to be the cabinet though. Try your L2000 through a different cabinet and see if it still has the same issue (Hell- different amps too couldn't hurt!).


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