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Something deadening strings

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by socialleper, Aug 18, 2012.


  1. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I purchased a used German made Warwick $$ 5-string a few months a go and noticed that no matter what strings I put on it, the strings always sound a little dead.
    You know that shimmering metallic snap you get out of brand new set of steel round wounds when you dig in? It doesn't do that.
    I've tried tapered and non-tapered, a few different brands, had the set up done at a reputable luthier, but I just can't get the same ring out of it that may other basses get.
    Is there something in a setup or design of a bass that cause this, like bad saddles or nut? Is there something inherent in Warwick basses that just makes them "darker" sounding, even without being plugged in?
     
  2. TimboZ

    TimboZ

    Jan 4, 2009
    South of Buffalo
    Is it an active or passive bass?
    If active try fresh batteries.
    If passive someone could have changed value of the tone pot.
     
  3. Steveaux

    Steveaux Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Try adjusting the pickup height.
     
  4. lyes4string

    lyes4string

    Dec 13, 2010
    Endorsing Artist of Warwick Basses
    all my warwicks sounded dead quicker than any other bass, but never right away after changing strings. What king of nut do you have? I personally like the brass nuts even though they have some intonation problems. I have found the graphite nuts to fragile and have broken at least 3 of them. what controls do you have with actives it was easier to get good tone naturally, but with the passive corvette i owned it did take tweaking to get a higher tone. i used to love my warwicks now i only own 1 because of the problems i had with them, the basses themselves are though as nails but all the hardware and electrical in my opinion is a tad cheap.
     
  5. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    It is active, with a passive switch; but I have changed the battery.

    I notice the tonal difference when the instrument isn't plugged in. It almost sounds like the string doesn't have enough room to move or something has a slight damping effect.

    I've thought about replacing the pick ups with some SD humbuckers, but if that is just the natural tone of the instrument I won't bother.
     
  6. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    The bass has the standard adjust a nut that came with it. It has all of the original MEC electronics.

    The strings aren't dead in the sense of a string being completely flat, but it isn't as sharp across all strings as my other 4 basses.
     
  7. 4stringfiend

    4stringfiend

    Jan 15, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    Maybe it's the frets. Have you adjusted the neck at all?
     
  8. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    +1 to this.

    If your pickups are too high there may be to much pull from the magnets dampening the vibration of the strings.
     
  9. Lon86

    Lon86

    Jan 21, 2008
    Venice, CA
    Do you have brass frets...??? Very different sounding than steel.
     
  10. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    When i had the setup done they said they set this. What would be a good distance for a MM style humbucker from the strings?
     
  11. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I was wondering about this. In my head I imaged that the brass would be brighter than regular frets. Was I wrong?
     
  12. Steveaux

    Steveaux Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Get a screwdriver and move them. If you find a distance that sounds the way you want, that's the "happy spot".
     
  13. WarwickOfficial

    WarwickOfficial

    May 15, 2012
    Warwick & Framus Social Media
    I would definitely try adjusting the pickups, to be sure that there isn't too much pull from the large magnets of the $$ pickups. This should help. Please let me know if you've got any questions or if I can assist in any way. Thanks!
     
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I trust you've made all the necessary adjustments including the nut, relief, and string height....and witness points. Please don't assume your tech did these correctly.

    Riis
     
  15. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies!

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    I vote for neck relief
     
  16. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    This may sound a little silly, but I'm not sure I would know the "necessary adjustments" well enough to second guess the setup. I tinker with that stuff, but often think I do more damage than good. The plane of the strings is good, the tension and action feel good, and there isn't any buzzing. "Witness point" is a new term to me, which I just went and looked up (saw a post you made just a few days ago) but still don't have a clear idea of. I've never checked this on my 3 other basses for the 20 years I've been playing, so I don't know if that would be an issue over repeated string changes.
     
  17. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    Another possibility, not mentioned yet, are a slightly loose bridge or neck. Just check if they are firmly attached to the body.
     
  18. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Some instruments are just dead. I wouldn't suggest throwing money at this; move it out, and move on.
     
  19. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik

    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    If it's doing the same thing not plugged in I wouldn't mess with the pick ups. Get a light magnifying glass and look at the string ends where they contact. That's the most likely place.

    The adjust a nut is just something else to go wrong but if you have you have it.

     
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Warwicks are strange agents and almost over-engineered in some regards IMO. JLS may be right...you could have a "dead" bass but let's rule out the simple stuff first.

    Witness points: once strung and tuned to pitch (rough intonation helps, as well), press firmly downward on each string just ahead of the bridge saddle (neck side). Same holds true for the nut. This creates a clean "break" or delineation for the vibrating string path. If ignored, the strings, especially the thicker gauges, have a tendency to form a "lazy loop" as it passes over the contact surfaces. I even go as far as to forcibly bend the string as it winds around the string post during installation.

    Adjusting string height: I set the G string saddle insert at its lowest position with the brass bridge block at its lowest position. Once tuned to pitch, the G string will probably buzz like hell...that's to be expected. I then unlock the bridge block and raise it just above the G's buzz threshold. Re-lock the block and adjust the remaining saddle inserts to establish the necessary profile. You have some wiggle room on the procedure; you just don't want any single insert to look like it's standing on stilts!

    Riis
     

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