SX volume/sustain issue... bridge?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Johnny Mack, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. hello peoples, the time has come again for help from TB.

    i have a new SX jazz that i like a lot, except one thing. i can not seem to get it to sound right.

    i am experiencing:
    good sustain and low end on the E string.
    terrible sustain and low end on the other strings.
    low volume, not cutting on G D A strings, especially around the 7th fret and higher.

    i play through a mid heavy cab with a flat amp EQ.

    what ive done:
    replaced strings multiple times.
    replaced neck pickup with old dimarzio model J.
    hard wired the model J with SX bridge single coil in series straight to the jack.

    i have noticed that on every other bass i own, i bottom out the bridge saddles just fine and set truss rod for good action. i have never had a problem doing this.

    this bass will not let me bottom out the saddles, not even close, otherwise the strings are pressed on the frets big time. i have a SX neck on an old p-bass and do not have this issue.

  2. any takers? should i go ahead and get a set of model J's like ive been thinking? switch necks/bridges?
  3. I'd go at this from 2 different directions.

    One is to assess the setup of the instrument stem to stern.

    Another is to play the bass unplugged in a quiet room & assess the sound. Do the above issues remain? Go away? Get better? Get worse?
  4. for anyone that may or may not care, it seems i overlooked a few things. after thinking, i grabbed my P bass to compare setups. my P plays exactly where i like it to be. action is probably high for most to help me get a meatier tone, but does have some fret buzz. no dampening notes or anything coming through an amp. it mainly happens from aggressiveness.

    note, i did not take any measurements for when it plays nice it plays nice. obviously had i taken measurements long ago, this would not be an issue. duh.

    anyway, i checked relief in both instruments.
    P: fretting 1st and 20th frets, the gap between the string and the 8th fret was about the same height as a fret itself.
    J: doing the same, the string was sitting on the frets. i immediately loosened the truss rod approx. 1/4 to 3/8 turn to achieve the same relief.

    i then noticed the action was still lower on the problematic J than the glorious P and had some undesirable buzz. i then raised the saddles a tiddly bit.

    the J now plays much more similar to the P. not identical, but a lot better. thicker resonance, longer sustain, not so dead sounding, more equal response throughout strings/frets. ive been setting up my basses for awhile now, especially after stumbling across talkbass, and youd think with a new bass id pay more attention to the set up. i guess i had the ol set it and forget it attitude when i first received the bass. good lesson to learn.

    the real test will come at next practice in a band setting.

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