What do you do about dead spots?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by darwin-bass, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. Ignore them

    127 vote(s)
  2. Replace strings

    5 vote(s)
  3. Replace tuners

    1 vote(s)
  4. Replace the bridge

    1 vote(s)
  5. Replace the neck

    3 vote(s)
  6. Move on to a different bass

    37 vote(s)
  7. Other (specify)

    34 vote(s)
  8. All, as needed.

    18 vote(s)
  1. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    there are myriad ways to avoid or solve a ds dilemma but if a neck is prone to it then a better bass is in order and $ isn't a factor, my top 2 are $230 combined, tone / playability monsters, and ds free.
  2. Paul New

    Paul New Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2004
    deepest alabama
    I bought my first bass in 1967, have played continuously since then, and have never had a bass that had more than a barely noticeable deadish spot.

    All acoustic instruments have some irregularities, they are not perfectly even, and an electric bass is subject to some of the same physics. If you need a perfectly even scale through the whole range, some kind of electronic keyboard or midi input might be what you need.
    CletusMarley and KaraQ like this.
  3. I keep seeing FSO thrown around in this conversation... what does it mean?
  4. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Fender Shaped Objects - IE basses that look like P basses.
  5. I just change the key of every song I play so I never have to use that note.

    Just kidding. In reality I haven't had to worry about it.
  6. What do you do about dead Spots?

  7. play other notes.
    If you must play dead spots, remember they won't sustain, but as passing notes they work fine still.

    enjoy not having them as a side effect of getting different basses in the future, although that was never the reason why I bought a new bass.

    Those are everything I've personally done about them.

    So I said other, because I didn't see a vote for treat the note differently. That's different from ignoring them... because they affect the sound, so you have to adjust to work with them.
    Mili and KaraQ like this.
  8. Alas, the trick in conditioning wood for increased resonance: to expose it to musical-frequency vibrations after it has ceased as part of a living, growing tree; after it has been cut and kiln-dried.

    Years ago, I was acquainted with a violin maker retired from a career as a Professor of Audiology (and later Dean of Science) at a major Canadian university. After he'd made a violin or viola, and before he considered it ready for sale, he would attach the ear-buds of a radio tuned to CBC Radio Two (the mostly-music; much-of-it-classical CBC station) to the bridge and play music into it all day every day.

    On his insistence, his customers would do A/B comparisons of a new instrument he'd made with any other(s) they'd bring along. I personally witnessed the look of surprise on buyers' faces when asked to pay attention to how sonorous/resonant his instruments were when played. He credited it to his imitation of Stradivarius and to his conditioning of the wood with continuous musical vibrations.
    MattZilla likes this.
  9. 1. If it is true that the materials from which solid-body basses are made does not really matter to their sound, then what causes dead spots?

    2. The tests you cite showing that the materials from which solid-body basses are made does not really matter to their sound: How scientific are they (e.g. sample size & associated margin of error, controls)? Please provide a hyperlink to their publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  10. 1. What about the testing referred to throughout the column (e.g. by Tobias and Rabe, cited in column 1 paragraph 1)?

    2. What about the support of the findings reported in column 3 paragraph 2?
  11. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Not look for them (the ignorance is bliss approach). ;)
  12. I figured it meant something like that from context, but didn't know the acronym... I like it, thank you!
    RichSnyder likes this.
  13. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Neck. Even for basses made from plexiglass, the neck tends to be standard construction. Non-standard construction for the neck seems to exhibit different properties, particularly when it is very stiff.

    There are some quite scientific ones too, but I haven't organised a set of links so I'd have to Google it all again, which I don't have time for. The stuff on YouTube is less scientific but a lot easier to find.
  14. Wow, I never thought to try this. This does actually work. My P has that spot really bad, but this trick fixes it well enough that my octaver tracks there again.
    I don't know when I would ever employ this trick, mind you, but it does work.
  15. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Increased resonance isn't generally what you want in a solid body instrument. It's resonance that leads to dead spots!

    And where is the scientific testing? Violinists have done A/B comparisons of Strads to modern violins and shown relatively little ability to distinguish them. That and other testing of audiophiles suggests that people aren't as good as they think they are, in general. And then there's wine...
  16. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    It's what I do. It's not a perfect remedy, but does a decent job when required. That was the great thing about my old Cowpoke with it's shrunken headstock (and thus slightly stiffer neck which tends to move dead spots up) - it was on the 7th fret of the G, or a D, so leaving the D open was all that was required.
  17. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Generally, they have shorter headstocks so stiffer necks. As noted, on my Cowpoke (small headstock) it was higher up than standard on a Fender.
  18. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    I tend to find that if the C on the G string is dead, the same value note played up on the D or A string will also be a little quieter, just not as bad. But that's nearer the anchor point (12th fret is half the scale, but only 1/3 along the neck) so that probably explains the difference. On acoustic guitars dead spots well up the neck are not uncommon, but there the body probably plays more of a role as it's a flat plate resonator. There vibration of that is more wanted as otherwise it would be a very quiet guitar!
  19. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    You mean like your anecdote in post 128?
    Sighted tests are worthless for a large number of reasons.
    -Asdfgh- likes this.
  20. Actually, among the various solid-body instruments I've played, the more resonant ones have typically sounded best plugged in to amplification, too.

    In no surprise to me, those least resonant without amplification also sounded less sonorous when amplified.

    That resonance is a factor in the phenomenon of dead spots does not mean that resonance itself is not desirable.
    Mili and ajkula66 like this.
  21. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 30, 2021

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