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Strings quiet/muffled on two strings only

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by superaoe, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. superaoe


    Jul 14, 2006
    OK so I am having a technical issue with my bass. So far I've done all of the setup on my basses with no issue, but now I'm stumped. TL;DR My D and G strings are very very quiet on my bridge pickup and the rest are fine.

    My bass is a fretless 5-string MTD Kingston. Its been a great bass for the past year and a half but recently I've noticed (it could have existed before?) that my bridge pickup is... well, its messed up. I'm not sure how to describe it in concise terms so bear with me.

    When I turn my pickup selector to the bridge pickup (all the way "right"/CW) the first thing I hear is an electrical "hum" that isn't present on the neck pickup. When I play on the B, E, and A strings, thing sound normal. But when I play on the D and G strings, I get very little signal out of the amp at all. What I hear mostly is likely resonance from the lower strings but the notes I play are barely audible - I'd estimate it to be at around 1/8 the volume of the other strings. The sound itself sounds muffled (like a plucked doublebass with a mute on it). The G string is almost completely silent.

    Things I have tried in an attempt to fix the issue:

    Assessed the action - not really an issue because the neck pickup works fine
    Adjusted the height of the bridge pickup - with no noticeable difference. However, I only lowered it. I've read that when placed too close, the magnetic field of the PUP can interfere with string vibration.
    Replaced the pre-amp battery - no difference

    I'm pretty sure its an electrical issue but I know nothing about how things should be set up. I haven't done a lot of electrical work on guitars, however I have completed simple electrical stuff and have a soldering iron.

    Help me bass gurus. I only have one bass right now and I actively perform. Right now I have to use only the neck pickup because even at 90/10 split there is a noticeable volume disparity. Help me get my growl back :(
  2. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Get a screw drive and touch the poles on the bridge pickup. See if the screw drivers sticks to all of them.

    A pickup like that just has two coils, and each one covers all the strings. So the only way it wouldn't pick up on those two strings are that the magnets are not magnetic anymore.

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