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The Dead C

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by byrdsfan, Jun 1, 2004.


  1. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan

    Feb 9, 2004
    L.I.
    I have a Precision 57 Reissue and of course really like it. THe tone is awesome. But, and i realize this is a common complaint, in a band situation, anything on the G string just seems to disappear. My teacher calls this the Dead C.
    He said this more commod to Fenders than other makes but couldnt say exactly why.
    I have an Ampeg Rocket 100. We are not a very loud band. Im using the stock roundwound strings. I must say the G does seem thin in comparison to others i've used. I love the ringing sound of the strings otherwise and unplugged, or not battling the drums, the G sounds great.
    Any thoughts on this? Bigger amp? Different strings? Anyway, i dont use the higher strings much. We're basically country rock/pop but do break out a mild hangbandger once in a while.
    THanks!
     
  2. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Try raising the pickup on the G string side.
     
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Try using flatwounds or half-rounds.

    Try boosting EQ around 150-200 Hz.

    Buy thicker strings but also tune it BEAD.
     
  4. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Dead notes around C on the G string are pretty common on Fender-style basses (bolt-on neck, similar body size). Not a whole lot you can do. As long as you're playing quarter notes (or shorter), it shouldn't be terribly noticeable.

    If you've got a song that requires longer notes in that range, move up the neck and play 'em on the D string.
     
  5. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    If it is the whole string then it probably isn't the same problem your teacher was talking about. The problem he is talking about is called dead spots, and on Fender basses it is usually on the G string around the 5 - 7th frets. If that is the case there is a device called a "Fat Finger" that attaches to your headstock and helps correct the problem.

    If it is the whole string it is probably either the pickup height or the brand of strings. I have a 6 string bass that came with GHS strings on it. The G and C strings could barely be heard compared to the other strings, even with the pickup raised. I put some TI flats on it and that cured the problems. Some brands are more even volume wise from string to string. IME TI (Thomastik-Enfeld) strings are very balanced from string to string. DR are also pretty good.

    Try adjusting the pickup, then if that doesn't work try changing strings. Both are cheap things to do, and are the most likely cause of your problem.
     
  6. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan

    Feb 9, 2004
    L.I.
    i just saw the teacher and he suggested Fat Finger. Come to think of it, i really only noticed at the C. Maybe it's the power of suggestion or it could be the fact that my limited approach doesn't call for further explorations.
    Any Fat Finger experiences out there?
     
  7. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have one. It works pretty well.
     
  8. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan

    Feb 9, 2004
    L.I.
    Glad to hear that since i just ordered one!
    That';s the problem with having an Musicians Friend account.
     
  9. Baofu

    Baofu

    Mar 8, 2003
    WA/CA
    It actually just moves the dead spot, doesn't get rid of it, but it very may move it to a place less troublesome for you.
     
  10. Could you elaborate a bit more on how you use it? Is there a set place on the headstock that this device is clamped to, or do you have to experiment around until you find the right spot?
    I ran across this several months ago, and was curious as to whether it makes a noticeable difference. Thanks for any more info you can share...

    Mag...
     
  11. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Just move it around till you find the best spot. It makes a very noticable difference.
     
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    In my case it moved it right off the fingerboard. What it actually does is change the frequency that is dead. Moves it higher I believe. On my MIM Jazz I can't find a dead spot with it on the bass. YMMV.
     
  13. Hey Showdown, thanks a bunch for replying. The fat finger sounds quite interesting.
    Judging from what I've read about how it works, it appears to be more of a "adding weight to the headstock" fix than anything else. I'm now wondering if I can't improvise and try to make something like that myself. Wouldn't be hard.. I'd like to experiment, but it's a bit pricey for a piece of brass with a screw on it.

    I wonder about how much that thing weighs?
    Thanks again..
    Mag...
     
  14. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I don't have a scale that will measures weight that small, but I would guess it weighs about 1/4 lb. or a little less. The idea, as I understand it, is that adding mass to the headstock changes the resonant frequency of the bass, moving the dead frequency higher to a frequency that isn't bothersome.

    There used to be another device that was a thin metal plate shaped like a Fender headstock that attached to the back of the headstock. It did the same thing, but only fit Fender basses so it wasn't as versatile.
     
  15. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Moved to Setup...
     
  16. Hey man, I AM HAVING THE SAME EXACT PROMBLEM AS YOU! I just got my '57 RI and when plugged in, the notes on the G and D strings are no where as loud as the notes played on the E and A strings. However, when its not plugged in it sounds fine. I would really like to solve this problem...Its starting to irritate me.
     
  17. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    If it only happens when plugged in it is probably the pickup height. Make sure the top of the pickup is about 5/32" from the bottom of the string for both outside strings. that should even up the sound a little.
     
  18. I agree.. Pickup heights need to be adjusted for individual playing styles, string gauge thickness, etc.. But also, your amp's EQ can affect the loudness of those thinner strings as well. If you play with alot of bass, but cut the mids, these strings won't sound nearly as loud as they will if you're carrying more mids in your sound. You might find as you adjust your EQ, you'll need to adjust the pickup heights, or perhaps use a compressor/limiter to even out the volume of sound coming from the different strings..

    Mag...