1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Losing the "grind" - can changing strings clean up my tone?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Sparkdog, Oct 2, 2013.


  1. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    So here's my problem...

    I have a Fender Jazz with Dimarzio Model J pickups, 500K pots. It's strung with D'Addario 45-100 Chromes.

    What I'm hearing is a gritty slightly distorted edge to the notes, and it's most apparent on low F on the E string and C on the A string. I had my tech go through the wiring on the bass and he says it's textbook perfect...no bad solder joints, no scratchy pots, etc. He did say the Model J's are quite hot and he lowered them down as far as they would go. That reduced the "grind" I'm hearing, but didn't eliminate it.

    I love the tone of the bass and when the music is loud I can't hear this problem, but when it's quiet I can and it drives me nuts.

    I can give amp info, but I've now tried this bass with 4 or 5 different rigs and the sound is essentially the same so I don't think it's an amp thing.

    Could different strings solve this?
     
  2. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I'd try 250k pots. It's cheap enough to do. Especially, if you know how to solder. My guess is the 500k pots are letting more high end through than you care to hear.
     
  3. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    But wouldn't rolling back the tone knob accomplish the same thing?

    I always like having more highs on tap if I need them.
     
  4. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Are the pups wired in series or parallel? If they're in series than that could be your issue as that makes them a LOT stronger. I have the model J's and in series and find that a a lot of amps can struggle with the signal strength in terms of keeping a clean signal.
     
  5. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    They're wired in series. Output is definitely on the hot side. I've tried rolling back both the volume and tone knobs on the bass, no real change.

    Same with engaging the active pad on the amp...makes it quieter of course, but the tone is the same.

    I have a set of La Bellas laying around, I think I will try changing out just the A string and see if there's a difference. I'm thinking maybe the hot Model J's and the aggressive midrange of the Chromes is a bit too much and is causing the grind I'm hearing.
     
  6. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    Pots don't do a thing to sound.
     
  7. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Stings may do the trick here. I'd also recommend giving a parallel wiring setup a try but I'm not to hopeful it will work if cutting the volume and padding the input had no effect. It may be that you need a different set of pickups. You could try emailing DiMarzio and asking them for a recommendation for a Model J replacement with a hare less grind and intensity. They've always been pretty responsive to my inquiries.
     
  8. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    Different values allow more or less high end through.

    It would have a similar effect.

    By changing the load with a different value pot, you change the resonant peak--according to what I've read. I'm not an electrical engineer.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Model J's are hot and gritty IMHO. That's why I love them.
     
  10. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    They are, and I do too.

    I am really baffled by this sound I am hearing though. Last night I set up 3 different amps and 5 different basses and tried all the combinations. I hear this noise, to greater and lesser degrees depending on the rig, with EVERY one of them. Obviously all the basses and amps cannot have the same problem so I have to conclude it's either in the way I hit the strings, or it's something in my hearing. Maybe I've just been pounding my eardrums with low frequencies for so long they can no longer reproduce certain frequencies with clarity.

    It's freaking me out a little bit. Time to get my hearing checked I guess.

    Anybody else ever experience something like this? I know it's common to lose some of your high frequencies over time, but I can't recall reading about a similar effect on the low end.
     
  11. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Do you wear earplugs? You could have an over accumulation of wax in the canal. Do you have sinus issues? The sinuses are connected to the ear canals... Certain meds affect hearing in odd ways. Oxycondone comes to mind.
    You could have hair in the ear canal also....
     
  12. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    I have sinus issues alright, and wax buildup is something I've dealt with too...never really thought about it having an impact on TONE but I guess it certainly could.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.