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Last post on 2017... Need help - A string in my bass has lower output/punch than the others!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by glennzki16, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. glennzki16


    Jun 12, 2013
    Hello Tbers!

    First of All, Happy New Year to Everyone!

    I don't understand why my A string is weaker than the other.
    The previous owner told me it was made by a warwick employee years ago, that's all I know.
    Also, it has 2 band preamp and adjustable saddle. (not sure but i guess barts 2 band).

    Initially there was a preamp problem, (not working) so I went to shop and they fixed it. When I tried the bass, I noticed that A string is weaker compared to other. Sad :(
    What I did next....

    1. Changed to new sets of string - Still same :(
    2. Lower the height of string ------- it helps a bit but compromise the setup which makes it hard to play :(
    3. Moved the saddle closer to E or D string ------ helps a bit but still lower than the other and missing the punch as compared to the rest of strings.
    4. Adjust the pickups height --------- The other strings also adjusted in sound , so i am having same issue with that A string being the weakest.

    I am thinking to replace the Preamp ....
    Or please let me know of any other better suggestions that can solve this..

    Appreciate your help:) Happy New GEAR!!!!!!

    Cheers! 26063431_1781967678494649_7384176898092787617_o. 26194297_1787474951277255_612692680_o. 26237125_1787474954610588_906397826_o.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Could be the pickups. If they are a split coil design, they might not be designed for 5 string and the split could be right under the A string. I'd try new pickups just to see.
    basspro, lz4005, TonyP- and 2 others like this.
  3. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Incorrect pickup design was my 1st thought as well. Those might be intended for a 4 stringer.
    lz4005 and TonyP- like this.
  4. glennzki16


    Jun 12, 2013

    Thanks for this. My pickups are both like for jazz pickups.
    I brought it to a tech to check the pickups and he said all is working fine.. Still puzzled. :)
  5. To start with, I wouldn't do ANYTHING until I tried new strings first, followed by a proper setup INCLUDING correct pickup heights, plus a brand new battery. Rule these things out first before you spend a lot of money on the other possibilities. All of this could be a bogus string . . . . . and clean and lubricate the bridge !
  6. glennzki16


    Jun 12, 2013
    Hey there :) Thanks for all the tips. It's my bad that i forget to indicate in my thread. I changed the strings with brand new and set it up ( not sure if the pickup height is in the " standard " ) however the bass was setup in radius (higher A string) I lowered it and gain a bit..
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    You don't know what's inside them though. Like I said, they could be a split coil design with the split under the A string. There would be nothing wrong with them, just not meant to be used with a 5 string. I've seen it numerous times.

    It cannot be the preamp. A preamp pretty much works or it doesn't.

    Try different pickups.
    Alik, Reedt2000 and MDBass like this.
  8. glennzki16


    Jun 12, 2013

    I see. nice, I think have to check some pickups now.
  9. Not the preamp. Preamps don't pick strings. That's simply not how they work.

    I would put money on the pickups being the problem here.
  10. glennzki16


    Jun 12, 2013
    Nice, thanks so i dont need to buy new preamp. Can the pickups be repaired? or just buy and throw this old pickups.
  11. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    There is likely nothing wrong or broken with the pickups that are in the bass, so there would be no need for repair. However they may not be designed for a 5 String Bass. I would try pickups that are made for a 5 String. You could keep the old ones or sell them, I wouldn’t just throw them away.
    smogg likes this.
  12. I concur - pull the pickups and inspect them. See where the pole pieces are lining up. Its possible these are pickups designed for a 4 string. (Bart makes a split coil Jazz for 4 string - if that’s what you have, they will never work in a 5 string.)

    Start with the above - that’s most likely your issue. The following are less likely:
    [Also note that due to the bass design, the fretboard is radiused, but the pickups are not. As you have a 5 string, this puts the middle string (A) furthest from the pickup. No way around that really. If these pickups were designed for a bass with a flatter fretboard, that might also explain the weaker signal on the A string.

    You can pull the pickups without needing to rewire the bass - just remove the strings and unscrew the pickup mounting screws. If you can remove the covers, that will tell you even more.

    A new set of staggered pole 5 string pickups should likely fix your issue.]
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  13. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Aren't barts encased in epoxy?

    But don't they also have bar magnets to?
    mcnach and kodiakblair like this.
  14. Ps - beautiful bass!
  15. Possibly - never took one “apart”. But pulling the pickup out, he should at least hopefully get the model number off the bottom, if not be able to see the pole pieces, etc.
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    They are and they do. But if they are split coil, there is a 'dead zone' where the coils are split. On 4 string pickups it's right in the middle where there is no string activity. But if you put those pickups in a 5 string, it places the dead zone right under...anyone....anyone....the A string, causing the A string to have little to no output.

    This could be crudely checked with a screwdriver. See how much magnetic pull the pickups have under the other strings by touching the pickups with a screwdriver, then see if there is less pull under the A string.
  17. I agree it could be a split.
    I think it is more likely just a case
    of the A string being farther from the pickups,
    due to following the FB radius.
    Most likely, the only thing to do is play with string heigth.
    You may end up with the A on the edge of fret buzz and
    the others higher than you want.
    I expect you will end up with a compromise.
    CarpeBasso and Lvjoebass like this.
  18. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Do notes on the A string sound as loud/resonating when unplugged or is it sorta' dead spotty? If they sound OK it's definitely the pickup. I've always thought 5 string split coils were organized for 3+2/2+3 strings. Somebody already mentioned you could have a 4 string split coil in there. A part# and some inspection/measurements could help clear this out.
  19. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Do both pickups do this when soloed?
    DavC likes this.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    My guess is the pickups ... They might have used 4 string pickups on a 5 string bass. This will usually work but some 4 string pickups have a gap in the middle. Some EMG pickups have the gap.

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