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)


    Feb 8, 2017
    My old
    1961 J Bass had a dead spot on fret 4,5 & 6 on the G string, never could fix it with strings so I replaced it with a 1965 Gibson EB3, never had a dead spot since then
    KaraQ likes this.
  2. Add more distortion... works for everything ;)
    KaraQ likes this.
  3. Leave 'em...it adds character...
  4. bleedingfingers


    Mar 21, 2006
    I own and have owned many Fender and Fender styled basses all have the dead spot
    Ash body Graphite stiffeners doesn't matter you live with it it's no big deal .
    I have also had boutique basses that didn't .
    Every note on my Steinberger L-2 was great wish I still had it but moved on and back to Fender .
    Check out the neck when you are buying the bass if you want a bass without dead spots don't buy one that has them .
  5. Tiavarone


    Nov 18, 2015
    When I've encountered the issue it has usually been some hardware not making best contact or the setup is out of whack. Unfortunately you won't know the true problem until you try. I've encountered several bolt-on necks with crap neck shims including sandpaper and wood fragments, , , other residual materials, or just some high spots in the mating surfaces. Even loose screws.. After removing the shim and/or addressing other neck joint issues and redoing set up the resonance improved greatly. Loose bridge parts and tuning pegs can also contribute.
    CletusMarley likes this.
  6. Miles_ONeal

    Miles_ONeal Wrangler of Raucous Thunder Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    Round Rock, TX
    JIO likes this.
  7. ad9000

    ad9000 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Leucadia, CA
    With the couple of Fender basses I own that have significant dead spots (which are in the 4th to 6th fret region and mostly noticeable on the G string), I actually embrace that characteristic. If I don't want it I'll use other basses that don't have any.

    More problematic for me are hot spots, especially when recording. My '62 P-bass has a serious hot spot around the C on the E string which is very hard to tame.
  8. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Fortunately, I have no dead spots on my J or P bass. The P is a PB-63 Nash and the J is my Franken Jazz creation I put together with a Warmoth body and a Fender American Original '60s Jazz neck.
  9. I stick a 5 gram tire balancing weight right on the clover knob of the D string tuning machine. Worked well enough on my Stingray.
  10. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I do not consider "dead spots" a pressing issue I ever think about playing any of my basses. Anytime I see a thread related to this, whatever bass I am playing at that time I check to see if this is something I need to be concerned about.

    short answer - nope

    This one, (Coral Deluxe Bass - a Dano product) from 1968 has no truss-rod and two steel beams the length of the 34"scale neck. Absolutely no 'dead spots'.

    CletusMarley and JimmyM like this.
  11. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    None of my six string basses have any notes that die out quickly.
  12. Danny Shaheen

    Danny Shaheen

    Dec 27, 2019
    My Stingray had awful dead spots for thirty years. Then I switched from Roundwounds to flats and the dead spots disappeared.
  13. basmartin


    Aug 6, 2007
    I don´t care much these days. Only thing that would bother me is if the deadspot on the G-string is replicated on the same note on the D-string as well. That can happen on instruments with long necks, but on constructions similar to Fender, that usually doesn´t happen.
  14. MGCollis


    Mar 24, 2007
    I completely agree with you. I have a MiM Geddy Lee Jazz that had a dead spot on the third fret of the E string. Drove me crazy trying to figure out what was going on. I changed the strings, nothing. I removed the drop D tuner and put the old one back on, zippo. Adjusted the truss rod, tweaked the intonation, loosened and tightened the screws holding the neck to the body while under string tension (to pull the neck into the body), twiddled with the pickups... All with no change.

    And then I added a Snark tuner to the head stock and it went away. Removed the tuner and the dead spot was back. Put a spring loaded capo on the head stock, no dead spot. Removed it, the dead spot returned.

    At first I bought some small, round neodymium magnets and stuck them to the tuner plates on the back of the head stock. That worked until I got the tuners too close to a mike during a gig. >CLUNK!< as the magnets grabbed the mike and held tight. Not fun. I made sure that the end of the bass stayed away from the mikes the rest of the night.

    I ended up ordering some "tungsten cub car weights" from Amazon, drilling holes to fit them under the tuners on the back side of the head stock and glued them in place. FYI, tungsten is heavier by volume than lead, but it'll work in a pinch. It worked like a charm, no one can see it unless they remove the tuners and best off all, no magnetic head stock.

    The two pictures are 1) the first solution - neodymium magnets, 2) installed tungsten weights.

    JazzDeadSpotSolution.jpg JazzDeadSpotSolution02.jpg
    Bartrinsic likes this.
  15. Assen Mladenov

    Assen Mladenov

    Feb 9, 2020
    Well, I was reading about them and I was thinking it was a myth ;) Never really noticed anything while playing ... So when I saw this thread I finally decided to explore my Jazz and I noticed that C and especially C# decay faster on the G string. In a band situation/song context nothing really to worry about.

    Well, if it bugs you - here is my tip:

    Just fret at the same the lower octave C# (on the A string) and then pluck the high C# only. Then it rings way longer ...
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021 at 6:42 AM
    Bartrinsic likes this.
  16. crobasster


    Jun 16, 2009
    I play for nearly 30 years now, and I don't know what's dead spot . If it weren't for bass forums, I think would never even heard about it !
  17. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    I’ve been playing since 1982, and definitely know what a dead spot is. I’m surprised you don’t tbh. No, it’s not a high fret situation. There’s one fretted note, somewhere between the 6th-9th fret on the G string, and when you play that one note, the fundamental harmonic and several others lack sustain, they decay very quickly. It feels like it’s going “plunk” instead of singing like everywhere else.
  18. marchone

    marchone Since 1951 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    I have a noticeable dead spot at F on the G string of my Precision. It just doesn’t ring like it should. A C-clamp on the headstock opens the note up pretty well.
  19. fredzoTBP


    Nov 18, 2019
    With two Jazz basses, one had a little bit of deadspotitis, the other more pronounced. I replaced the necks with Warmoth roasted maple necks, graphite stiffeners along with Tusq nuts, stainless frets and square block inlays. I doubt very much if the inlays played a part in the dead spots, though. Results were and are stellar, these basses are a joy to play!
  20. adamrobertt

    adamrobertt Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Kingston, New York
    Never come across it. I think it's probably one of those things that old dudes on the internet spend too much time obsessing over instead of actually playing.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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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