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weird slap effect on J bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by shatner, Oct 14, 2004.


  1. shatner

    shatner

    Sep 22, 2004
    Isle Of Wight, UK
    I get a strange banging kind of sound from my Marcus J bass when slapping the E string. A, D and G strings all sound fine but it's almost like I'm overloading the preamp with the E. It goes when I turn off the neck pickup but then I lose the sound I actually want. When I mute the strings I can hear the bang coming through on its own. Very annoying.
    A local luthier says that all J bass single coils tend to do that. If so, I was thinking of buying some Dimarzio hum cancelling J pickups. Do you think this would solve the prob? Does anybody else get this problem?
    Mark
     
  2. ApeIsHigh81

    ApeIsHigh81

    Aug 24, 2004
    CA
    That's weird I have no idea what you're talkin' bout. All I'm picturing is you slapping closer to the pup than directly on top of the frets, and your string hitting the pup itself. Care to elaborate on the sound?
     
  3. Aaron J

    Aaron J

    Jul 16, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    If it stops when you turn the neck pup off, I would say that the string is hitting the exposed magnets on the neck pup.
     
  4. I would try raising the e string saddlle or lowering the pick-ups, wath your describing is most likely the string hitting the polepieces of the pick-up
     
  5. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Exactly, try lowering the pup until it stops. Also are you slapping the string directly over the pup? If you are try slapping at the very bottom of the neck, that should also stop that from happening.

    And by the way, your guy is wrong. I have 8 jazzes and none do that!
     
  6. shatner

    shatner

    Sep 22, 2004
    Isle Of Wight, UK
    I'm slapping like I always do at the bottom of the neck. If I slap over the neck the bang goes away and the bang increases as I get closer to the pickup. My ibanez and every other bass I've used haven't done it although I normally use basses with P pickups.
    I had a look to see whether the string was close to the pickup and it is a fair distance and I can't see the vibration getting close although I will lower it more. I've already lowered it quite a bit and it is becoming odd to play and the balance across the neck is getting slightly screwed.
    The action is not particularly low and MUCH higher than my ibanez. It just seems strange that all the other strings are fine.
    The lighter I slap the less it bangs.

    Mark
     
  7. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I have a Marcus jazz With ultra low action and I don't have that problem. try putting a piece of Electrical tape on the pup and see if it goes away. What guage strings are you using? I try not to use no more than a 100-105 E. You should also experement with different kinds of strings, I myself use nickel on my MM bass. You can also try being less agressive in your playing. If you look at some one who does it well they are not banging on the bass.
    Like anything else there will alway's be a few exceptions.
     
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Put some clear epoxy or several coats of clear nail polish over the polepieces under the E string on the neck pickup. Problem solved.
     
  9. shatner

    shatner

    Sep 22, 2004
    Isle Of Wight, UK
    Just lowered the pickups to around the level of the scratchplate and the bang is less apparent (although still there in the background). However, I've just realised something and it might all be related. I've posted elsewhere about a rattle on the E string, not a straightforward buzz but more a fret 'rattle'. It is most prominent around the lower frets and only occurs when I play harder. The other strings don't have this problem and the action is already higher than I would like. Tried altering the relief and that does nothing. The rattle doesn't come through the amp but I'm sure it will be slightly choking the sound. I originally blamed it on my new hipshot detuner but everyone on here told me that was impossible. I kind of settled into thinking it was incurable when I noticed the pickup bang and the fact that when I play the bass unamplified, the slap sound is not very good on the E string - very 'bangy' rather than 'bonky'. All the other strings are fine.
    The problems are all to do with the E string. Could it be a nut problem? The groove does look pretty low and much lower than the other strings.
     
  10. Aaron J

    Aaron J

    Jul 16, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    Have you changed the e string in awhile? You could have a bad string if it does not sound consistent with the rest of the strings. It happened to me with a new bass and I freaked out. I went and changed the string, and bingo, problem solved. Also, if the nut is cut too low, you would only notice buzzing on an open string. You might notice if the nut was too high, just because the string would not be as comfortable to press down and your notes in first position may be a little sharp.
     
  11. shatner

    shatner

    Sep 22, 2004
    Isle Of Wight, UK
    Changed the strings today which is why I'm annoyed. DR lo riders. I change my strings regularly because I work on a cruise ship and the sea air wrecks them pretty quick. Before you say it, yes I know that lo riders don't have the same zing as hi beams and could be causing it to not sound as good for slapping but I have tried loads of different strings and the problem has been consistent since I put the hipshot on.
    The exact same buzz problem is occuring on my Ibanez which has a different model hipshot and is an altogether different bass.
    I have tried changes of relief, action and even tried beefing up the nut with pieces of plastic in order to higher the string at the source. It still rattled and still banged down the pickup.
    I'm now worried the tone and output is going to be seriously affected by placing the neck pickup so low.
    What a pain! My old westone thunder jet never had these problems.
    However, the banging is not as obvious now I have lowered the pickup and covered the pole piece with nail polish.
     
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    if the rattle is only when you play the open E, it could be a low nut slot. but if it is on 'the lower frets', then the nut is not to blame. once you fret a note, the nut is out of the equation. you may have a high fret, somewhere under the E string, in the first few frets.
     
  13. White_Knuckles

    White_Knuckles

    Oct 6, 2004
    What about a mechanical noise generated from the low E vibration? When playing un-amplified you hear the strange spring noises from the bridge and often pickup area buzzes. Pops are the strange thing in this case. Next string change maybe pull the pickup and inspect it. The other owners claim not to duplicate the problem so a manufacturing defect in the pickup might be the only thing left. The pole piece may have play or the coil winding is loose, a replacement after market pickup could be tried for testing you can always recover near cost on a quick web auction sale.

    Anything Made can be Made Better :D