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NBD: G&L, dead spot, what to do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GroovyBaby, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Call G&L and see if they will replace the neck under warranty

    70 vote(s)
  2. Live with it if you really like the bass, it’s normal

    31 vote(s)
  3. Other (including carrots)

    18 vote(s)
  1. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    I have a new G&L JB5. It plays great and with the alder body is only 8.2 lbs (I won’t buy a bass at 8.5 and above). The only thing is I’ve found a pretty solid dead spot on the fifth fret (note of C) of the G string. If I’m playing staccato it isn’t noticeable but if I’m letting the note ring for longer than a short second, it quickly dies and then I’m hearing the harmonic G. You can actually see the tuner change from “C” to “G” pretty quickly as the note fades. This bass is new from G&L so I’m planning on trying to have this addressed under warranty. Any thoughts on this? I’ll try and upload a recording and I’ve posted a poll. Thanks!

    wmmj, BrentSimons, RobertUI and 4 others like this.
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    De-tension the G string, and make sure it's not twisted up. Loosen it enough to pull the ball end back, and let it un-twist, if it can.
    Bring it back to tension and try it again.
    If it persists, change that string, or try a different brand.
    This is a common problem. Sometimes it can be resolved, sometimes it's always a bit of a thing.

    Very nice looking bass.
  3. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    G&Ls have a wonderful bridge. Make sure all of the bridge saddle height screws are snug and supporting the saddles properly. Then make sure the saddle lock screw on the side of the bridge is snug - it tightens the saddles into one vibrating mass.
    I've cured deadspots by doing this. Good luck!
  4. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    Thanks for both suggestions. I just adjusted the saddle, retightened the saddle lock screw, took the G string off, put the G string back on and tuned it up. No difference at all. Still a punk C on the G string immediately after the initial attack. I’ll try a new string...

    Edit: no difference with a new string.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  5. svtbass

    svtbass Supporting Member

    Try a small tension rod adjustment. Works sometimes. The G&L neck dead spots I've had were all on the G string in the C to D area.
    Spidey2112, petrus61 and Yahboy like this.
  6. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    Is it possible that note dies out on a high fret, like the 6th?.
    I read something here that they don’t Plek anymore...unless you request...
  7. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    I did the truss adjustment. No difference.

    The note isn’t hitting a high fret. I raised the saddle up to test this and it made no difference.
  8. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Sounds like a good old fashioned dead spot. I would reach out to them and let them know what you’ve tried to remedy the situation and go from there.
  9. Is the nut too deep?
  10. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby G&L Fanboy Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    Looks like that is what I’ll be doing. Is there any reason to think a quartersawn neck would be less prone to dead spots than flatsawn?
    Double E and Anhg77 like this.
  11. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Send it back to the retailer! If you try to deal with this with warranty at best it will take forever and and worst it will not get fixed. Send it back to the retailer and get another one.
  12. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    My Fender and Warwicks do the same thing pretty much.
  13. Rumbledore


    Jun 2, 2018
    can solve with avoiding those notes on that string
  14. Bitterdale

    Bitterdale Natural Born Lurker

    Dec 4, 2010
    Ocala, FL
    With the strings tuned to pitch, loosen the neck bolts slightly to allow the neck to seat in the pocket snugly, then tighten. This is an often overlooked fix.
    retslock, GroovyBaby and C_Becker like this.
  15. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    I call that ‘the traditional method’ if I had an important C to hit, i’d manage it on the d string, and play the phrase it was part of up in that region. But best choice is return the bass- your next one most likely won’t have as bad a dead spot in an important spot.
    packhowitzer likes this.
  16. Fender's "Fat Finger" can (maybe) help you resolve the problem.
    xrockstrongox likes this.
  17. Since it's new and you're probably sending it back, you won't want to try these invasive suggestions I'm about to make :) ... but if you love everything about the bass except the dead spot, and want to keep it - here is something you can try.

    I replaced my heavy tuning machines (Yamaha BB) with super light weight tuners - my intent was to cure neck dive and it cured the neck dive and I was completely surprised to find that it cured the dead spot on the G string. Many people add weight to the headstock but in my case removing weight fixed it.

    So here's a way you can test it out safely (as long as you are careful with the screwdriver). Remove your A string and remove that A string tuning machine (the amount of weight you can save with a set of light tuners is about the weight of one standard tuner - and I suggest the A string because it's about in the middle of the headstock mass so should approximate a full set swap to lighter machines).

    Now the dead spot may have simply shifted to a different fret - but hopefully it shifted right off the fingerboard completely.

    Or the G&L may already have super light tuners - I don't know what they come with these days. If so, then "nevermind"

    And last thought on the subject .... I have two identical basses one had the dead spot (fixed with lighter tuners) and the other never had a dead spot and still has original heavy tuners. So you really ought to replace your new bass for one without the deadspot :D
  18. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    When dead spot are notible, they are notible, no use how you twist, restring, bridge adjust, Pro setup.....
    If I am you, I go with option 1.
    GroovyBaby likes this.
  19. speyer

    speyer Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2006
    Bowen Island, CANADA
    I've had a minor dead spots here and there on past basses... even very expensive ones. Sadly in my case, the only real fix was getting a different bass that seemed to have none! Now, I didn't sell those basses because of apparent dead spots alone of course. In fact, I've always learned accept the odd dead spot as part of the individual bass and its character... being made of naturally varying woods, metals, heavy components etc... I find that dead spots can arise naturally in varying degrees in all sorts of basses for various reasons. It reminds me of chasing wolf notes on my old upright... very obscure, yet solely related to the resonance of the bass and the sum of its parts.

    If the decay of the note is absurdly short and crude (which I have heard shocking examples of here on TB!) and clearly a defect of sorts, I would definitely pursue a replacement instrument from the dealer as previously recommended. Nobody should be burdened with this type of disatisfaction this day in age when spending proper $ on a proper bass! However, If the dead spot on the subtle side of things... I would suggest hanging out with the bass for a while as you might find other great qualities in it despite the dead spot... which may also lessen over time given that this is a brand new instrument etc.

    All things to consider IMHO and I wish you luck!

    EDIT: Ive also experienced what I felt were "dead spots" on basses at different times in different playing environments on different places on the neck. I attribute this to the added feedback/resonance from being amplified etc. Therefore, I feel its critical to make all of your assessments while testing the bass acoustically!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  20. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I had a bad dead spot on my Elite jazz; same fret too. I changed the strings; the dead spot was pretty much gone.
    Those nickel lo-riders were the worst/expensive strings I’ve ever tried.

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