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RESOLVED New Bass Build has no Lows

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass'd on a true story, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015

    The issue is resolved.

    I don't know exactly what the problem was.

    I looked in the control cavity and a few of the pieces of the copper shielding tape I put in were coming up and could possibly have been contacting other components. I don't know if that matters, but I didn't do the best shielding job and I think I might go back in with some glue a little later.

    Once I reassembled it (I had taken off the neck and bridge also) completely, it sounded great! I will possibly never know what really was wrong.

    Thanks TB.

    Feel free to close this thread now... I will be posting a NBD replete with pictures, sound clips, and maybe even a bit of video!

    Original post-

    Hey guys!

    So I just finished this build I've been doing for months and month and everything turned out spectacularly, except for one really weird problem. The bass doesn't really seem to have any lows and it's the brightest bass I've ever played.

    At first I blamed the strings, I had put brand new D'Addario NYXLs on it. But I swapped them out for 1+ year-old TI flats and it still sounds super aggressive and angry. The pickups are really high-quality vintage sounding pups that people usually use to get more classic tones.

    Every other aspect of the bass is amazing and it feels/plays like heaven. I just can't seem to figure out where my thump is! I've played hundreds of basses over the years and this one has got to be the most aggressive, least bassy bass that I've played yet.

    I'm open to the idea that I did something wrong. Let me know what you think.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    Mark_70, dbsfgyd1 and ThinCrappyTone like this.
  2. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    Is this a multi-pickup bass? If so, the pickups might be wired out of phase (opposite polarity). This would create a big low frequency drop when both pickups are used together. One way to tell this is that if you solo each pickup, the bass response should get better.
    mcnach, HEADbass, Korladis and 16 others like this.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Knowing what you built and how would really help...
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    gebass6 likes this.
  5. Someone could probably help figure it out for you, but without info the odds are kinda slim.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    we want pics....we want pics....we want pics....we want pics....

    pics please! thanks.
  7. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    Hey, no camera available at the moment (I'm one of those weird-os that doesn't own a smartphone).

    It's a passive, P/J bass. There is SOME bass response, but it just sounds terribly thin to me. I can post a sound clip in a little bit. The pickups sound really crisp, clean, and wonderful aside from not having bass. There doesn't seem to be any difference in bass response between soloing and using them together, it's thin no matter how you slice it.

    I can fatten up with EQ, but run flat, it sounds anemic as all get out. All the parts are high-quality and I had a really reputable local guy do the wiring.
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  8. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    What pickups did you use?
  9. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    An Aguilar 4p 60s P pickup and an Andreas Kloppmann 60s J bridge pickup.
  10. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    It could be a phase issue, especially if you've created your own PJ pickup pairing from random pickups. If you solo either the P or J pickup, does the low end return?

    Daft question, but could it be your rig? Are you using a small amp, have you swapped out cables etc?

    My first suggestion would be 'strings, lol', but you've already covered that base (and aged TI flats would do the job!).
    alesreaper9 likes this.
  11. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    I have tried it on every type of amp setup and with multiple different cables. I've played it on a DI through my laptop into nice headphones, 3 different solid-state amps, and my half-stack tube amp. All of them sound good, just very little low end. Also the high-end is sizzlingly bright (almost abrasively so) and very clear. I can play full bar chords on this bass and it loses no definition and there's no mud.
  12. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    What pickups did you spring for?

    Also, does the tone control work as you would expect? When you turn it down, what do you hear?
  13. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    I wrote the pickups a few posts up. The tone control operates in the way you would expect a tone control to, with the exception that ALL the way open it's more bright than most basses, and all the way closed it sounds more like 50% closed.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Does it sound thin unplugged?
  15. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    I've been wondering this myself. I almost never play unplugged, so it's a little hard for me to decide if it does or not. I A/B'd it last night with my fattest sounding bass unplugged. It definitely sounded thinner? But I don't THINK it sounded like it should have as little low end as it does.

    Would a 500k volume pot make a bass sound thin? In some of my reading I turned this up as a possibility for what I did wrong. I'm not sure whether I put a 250k or a 500k volume pot in the bass or not.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  16. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    You did! Sorry for missing that before. You've mixed pickups from different manufacturers, so there might be a phase issue. If you solo each pickup is the tone fuller?
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  17. mdogs

    mdogs Suspended Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    2 things, one I would not want to mix pickup brands in one bass. Two, I am at a complete loss as to how a bass could sound anything but horrible without a low end component. Having said that, I would bet you have something wired incorrectly.
  18. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    I had a bum ground once that basically killed lows and output. Once that was fixed, the bass brought the thunder
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  19. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    Even with each pickup individually solo'd the tone is thin.

    I think I may have figured something out......

    This is more or less what my bass sounds like. To ME that sounds like a very uneven treble-heavy tone. Maybe others will disagree. I am using the same bridge as the one being demo'd in this video.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    GIGO. A bass that works well acoustically is typically much easier to get a good sound with via amplification. What are the structural components?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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