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String ringing heard even after muting??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kebbs, Sep 10, 2008.


  1. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hello everyone,

    I play a Douglas SB-35 that I bought off Rondomusic. This is an active 5-er and I've been playing it for over 2 years now. Everything is fine except one thing: when I slap, the sound tends to be messy. Let me elaborate.

    It's almost as if there is some fast-decaying "ghost string" that is audible even after I mute all strings simultaneously. I tested this by slapping each string and immediately muting all strings with my fretting hand (it is particularly audible with B and A strings). I even tried muting the strings past the nut, towards the tuners, but to no avail.

    It is very annoying and is sucking my confidence dry when it comes to slapping. I don't even bother slapping with this bass anymore. And, I just had this setup professionally...

    Everything else is fine with this bass however. What could be going on here? Is this because this bass is an inexpensive one and thus the craftsmanship is simply not there?

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    kebbs
     
  2. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Take it back and tell them it needs further adjustment. No reputable shop will charge for some additional tweaking if it's needed. Hope this helps.
     
  3. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks Dave, I will do that - there is indeed a 90 day setup warranty.

    But what worries me more is that this weird sound existed even before this setup. I am not sure whether the tech will be able to fix this at all... :(
     
  4. Could simply be harmonic resonance in the body or pickups.
     
  5. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    Microphonic pickups, perhaps?
     
  6. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    If this is it (which sounds like a plausible suggestion), is there a way to eliminate/minimize this?
     
  7. puff father

    puff father Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Endicott, NY
    That was my thought.
     
  8. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Ok, I tested this out unplugged, and glued my ear to the body. It can't be the pickups, as the unplugged bass still produces the same sound.

    It seems that this is body's harmonic resonance. Can this be fixed?
     
  9. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Is the ringing, perhaps, coming from the strings, between the nut and the tuning machines?

    You might try some Conair Ponytailers (available at Wal-Mart) to mute the strings beyond the nut, á la Victor Wooten, although that's not quite what he uses them for (he slides them past the nut onto the neck to mute while tapping):

    [​IMG]

    Also, try tightening all screws (not too much, though), if you think it might be a part rattling disguising itself as ringing.
     
  10. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    It sounds like you're muting the strings over harmonic spots. The main ones are obvious, but the spots you don't easily get harmonics can still "hum" when you do the slap/mute thing.
     
  11. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    If you only mute with one finger you're going to get harmonic ringing.
     
  12. ghiadub

    ghiadub Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    try muting with both hands
     
  13. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    That's right, but my muting involves all four fingers of the fretting hand, spread out over 5 frets. I doubt I am getting any harmonics that way.
     
  14. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    So here is what I think: I don't think it's my muting, pickups, or the strings past the nut. I think that this body, and the way it has been constructed, is solely responsible for this ringing. More updates coming soon, after I visit my local guitar shop.
     
  15. Scottgun

    Scottgun

    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    I assume you are not slapping on the fingerboard right? Not many people do this, but I have seen it.
     
  16. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Nope, slapping far away from the fingerboard.
     
  17. DZello

    DZello

    Sep 28, 2007
    Montréal, Québec
    I have a Douglas WEB825 and it makes this sound too...
     
  18. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Ok, I think this is either due to body resonance, which is either caused or worsened by the bridge.

    Am I wrong?
     
  19. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    have you tried a different set of strings?
     
  20. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes... still the same thing.
     

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