Weird sound problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Flatwound, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I have a JP-90 that sounds great, unless you slap it. Then the E and G strings sound fine, and the A and D sound dull and lifeless. The A isn't too bad unless you slap it open, and then you get a dull "thwumm" sort of sound. I've tried two bridges, and I reglued the nut (it was loose) but it didn't help. The nut is fitted pretty well, the strings aren't slopping around in it, and I filed the top down to where it should be, because I really thought this was a nut problem. Now I really don't know what it could be. If you pop the G, it sounds bright and snappy, but the D sounds like a flatwound. It had Danelectro nickel roundwounds on it, and I thought they might be dying, so I put a new set of Picato nickels on it, and it sounds exactly the same.

    Tried a different pickup. No dice.

    This bass sounds good fingerstyle. All the strings sound bright and lively. It seems like it should slap OK, and I think it did when I first got it, but now I'm not sure.

    It seems like something must be loose, but what?

    I'm lost.
  2. I don't think this is related to the nut. Here's my reasoning:

    When you slap the string itself hits the frets ahead of the fretted note. Usually, if your neck is in good adjustment, the string will only hit the last 2 or 3 frets on the neck. The point where the strings meet the neck should be the focus. Are there any loose frets? What about poor neck to body fit? How about loose neck bolts? They don't have to be loose enough to wobble, just loose enough to account for a poor acoustic coupling between the parts. Could there be an unusually large void under the frets? Perhaps the fretboard is coming unglued from the neck. htag has it right - that it's a tough thing to diagnose long distance.
  3. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    I'm betting it's the strings.

    Try a new set. I've had bad strings out of the package.
  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Rumblin' Man you win the prize. I actually tried two sets of 'new' strings that turned out to be dead. Then I pulled a Dean Markley stainless string off another bass that sounded good, and Bingo! 'Course, this was after I spent a few hours cutting a new nut for it. At least this nut fits better than the old one.

    Thanks, everyone, for your help.