That old dead spot story...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rafescow, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Rafescow


    Oct 21, 2009
    So, in march I got my Ibanez SR535. Lovely bass. Looks, feels (specially its thin neck) and plays great. However, I've been seriously disturbed by its six (WHAAT?!) dead spots at D string, 7th-9th frets and G string, 2nd-4th frets (which are exactly the same notes), being the 8th and 3rd ones the strongest, despite happening to have a strange and very uncommon string resonance. Like, seems the B string will easily vibrate if I play just about ANY note on G and D strings, forcing me to change my technique in order to keep it muted everytime (I really don't think that's a technique issue, since I've tried several Warwick's, EBMM's and many others basses and didn't notice such thing).
    Also, I've seen many players owning these ibanez SR series that didn't have this problem.
    I've sent my bass to the luthier the week after I got it to adjust intonation, as usual, but actually it seems that the dead spots got worse after that!

    Will it be due to the elixir's nanoweb coated strings that came with it, neck relief... or what?! I need help! :crying:
  2. Bass4LifeRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Not sure what to do on the dead spots, as Bb seems to be the resonance of your bass, and will cancel out those tones more or less. Your could try to move the dead spot by adding mass to the bass. I remember some had a clamp that stuck to the head.(ah yes, the Groove Tubes Fat Finger ->

    On the sympathetic B-string sound, I think you should learn to mute it. Always good to know how to mute whichever strings you dont play.
  3. Rafescow


    Oct 21, 2009
    well... actually I know about that Fat Finger option, though its not sold here in Brazil, so... problems still live :p
  4. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007

    I know how you feel.
    I'm a Jazz bass nut and for 40+ years I've searched for the jazz with NO dead spots.
    Finially found one recently, a Fender R.W. Jazz Bass.
    I'm almost afraid to adjust anything!!!

    Something you might try, different strings, especially flats will sometimes help to smooth out some spots.
  5. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    +1 to the strings!
    A new-to-me 4 stringer was fine with garbage Korean(?) strings it came with.
    When I put the Rotosounds I prefer, I picked up dead spots on the D & G strings big time.
  6. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Instead of the "Fat Finger" try using double stick tape and a lead wheel weight.
  7. kb9wyz


    Sep 8, 2008
    I have an SR500 and I have no noticeable dead spots. I know they're there, because all basses have them to an extent. They're just very loud ones. I've been trying to figure out why it doesn't really have the dead spots that basses in the price range usually have.

    Maybe you got MY dead spots...
  8. Neither my SR500 nor my Deluxe Jazz have the requisite dead spots.

    The common factor? They're both active.
  9. cassius987

    cassius987 Inactive

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Too bad active has nothing to do with it.

    @ OP, you say the dead spots happen "despite" the resonance that causes open strings to sound; however the two things are very much related. Both are a result of the body interacting with the strings by resonating.
  10. This is exactly why I don't play Ibanez basses. Every one I've had, and most of the ones I've played have had this dead spot area.
  11. Rafescow


    Oct 21, 2009
    thanks everyone for the great comments!

    as soon as I have some free time, I will take these Elixirs off (I really didnt enjoy them, and specially its coating's peeling off... drove me nuts) and put on new DR MM Fat Beams. I'm hoping I'll get good results.

    Probably, I'll also try some alternatives to the Fat Finger, as phmike stated

    I'm still welcoming replies! Please share your thoughts more :)
  12. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    You can try anything that adds or subtracts mass from the neck (including heavier or lighter tuners)- in theory this will change the resonant frequency of the neck, which can move the deadspots to a less noticeable place, though completely eliminating them is impossible (you can sometimes get lucky and move them away from a chromatic tone, though it will still affect the notes nearby to some degree).
  13. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    I thought only Fenders had dead spots.


  14. Rafescow


    Oct 21, 2009
    I've finally taken off the crappy Elixirs and put on Marcus Miller's DR Fat Beams, and the dead spots are barely listenable. Incredible string-to-string balance, awesome sustain and tone! I Dead spots aren't really loud now, still I know they remain there.

    Now looking for something that will add mass to the headstock... probably gonna do it with a tuner ;)
  15. rovito


    Jun 26, 2005
    I have heard that the "2Tek" bridge will help with dead spots.
  16. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Unfortunately you won't really know what effect new tuners will have until you actually try them- it might actually make them more noticeable or move them somewhere worse. That's one cool thing about the Fatfinger- it is cheaper than a new set of tuners and can be easily removed and switched between different basses (I have tried mine on several different basses, and sometimes they sound better without it). The first version of the Fatfinger idea was a brass plate that was shaped exactly like the headstock of a Fender bass/guitar (I saw one made for a G&L once as well)- I would kinda like to have one of those just for an interesting cosmetic change...

Share This Page