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Problem with the low end

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by cvplummer, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. Hey there!

    Anyone (including Mr. Watt) that can help me with this will be appreciated..

    I have a Gibson SG-L II bass (circa early 70') It has a right on tone.. but, when I play on the E-string it loses it (especially when the band is raging..) So.. all my cool suspended notes get lost.. My low octaves aren't as present.. you get the picture..!

    Is this a pick-up problem? A issue with the wood?? (it is super light.. if I let go of the bass, the neck falls to the ground..) Should I use a compressor (my amps have compressor that kick on when it needs to..)

    Thanks.. Chris.
  2. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    might be a lot of those things or a combination thereof. have you tried boosting the lower eq of your amp? are you using new strings? what kind of speakers are you using? the compressor will squish things and give you more sustain but hurt the "blooming" effect of the low end - better on the highs. is the 'e' string correctly over the pole piece of the pickup? is there a pole piece adjustment or are they fixed? it's hard for me to analyze things - I'm not very familiar w/that type of bass either. how's the bridge? does the amp have enough power? low end takes much more power than the higher frequencies. sorry I can't help more.

    on bass, watt

  3. No matter what amp I use (even this huge towering SWR with Hartke cab and a bass bin).. I dial in the sound that works.. can't hear the low E string.. I boost the low end and it just gets muddy.. The pickups are humbuckers.. The strings are going on 5-6 years (I thought the older the strings the better..) The bridge is a gold plated Schaller bridge.. I have tried to adjust the pickup height so that it is low over the high strings. It works a little better.. Maybe it is just the curse of the low-end, 70's era Gibson (it is a "Deluxe".. unlike the Custom or Standard..) I was playing my friends P-Bass, and the sound was right there.. oh well.!


    PS- Watt- ever get down with a fretless??
  4. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    strings do go "dead" - there might be kinks or breaks in the windings and that would kill sustain for sure. it's hard for me to know w/out having the bass in my hands. if the p-bass sounds good then it is definitely the bass and not the amp. maybe there is a pickup problem but you might try a new set of strings first. I don't know if it would be worth it to fit a new pickup. maybe try out some new basses. sorry I can't help more.

    oh, the only fretless basses I've used are an upright and an guild ashbory. you can see them on my hoot page (thud staffs).

    on bass, watt