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What exactly are dead spots

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by garmenteros, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I had a G&L Asat Fretless, great bass but D on the G string was not gonna happen.

    I seem to remember Marcus Miller saying you should stick with very few instruments so you can learn their quirks. (but he's got some basses?)
  2. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Checked out 2 of my basses... and i couldnt really hear deadspots on them. Checked the ibanez j lawsuit and custom 5 string graphite jazz and coudlnt tell either. its probably to subtle for me to notice.
  3. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    I didn't sleep at all, drunk some scotch, and I'm.........slee[ing.... dead spots are spots which are dead, in bass language: dead notes (no balls, no sustain, bad tone.....)
  4. JayfromDeeKay


    Jun 23, 2009
    I wouldn't worry too much about checking for deadspots and obsessing about it, because, in my experience, there isn't such a thing as the perfect instrument; every instrument has strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to obsess less and just focus on da music!
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yes, but that may not mean anything because a room will have resonances as well. Usually those are caused by standing waves between the wall and other surfaces.

    My G&L l-2500 or the tribute do not seem to have any dead spots or uneven tone that I noticed. My Fender MIM deluxe V on the other hand while not having any dead spots does have a VERY slight shift in the character of the tone in a couple of spots where dead spots often occur. I'm guessing it contributes to the B string not being the best I've ever played. But it's all so slight I just ignore it. I figure that because it's a 5 string the neck is less susceptible to dead spots. And my graphite Modulus is totally even everywhere on the neck.
  6. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    Dead spots are usually caused by the neck. Guitars arent prone to them as much as basses because of the shorter neck. Ibanez used to run a tuned rod in the neck to help with this. I have heard that it is caused by certain resonances in the neck being out of step with certain notes.
  7. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I stand corrected, but the whole idea behind better string tension lends itself to overcoming the possibility of getting a dead spot. I do know that my fanfret has the most consistent note-to-note sound of any bass I've had.
  8. garmen-
    I had three basses with Fender style necks that developed 'dead spots'....all in the same place. 5th fret G string. The note would not sustain or ring at that spot. One fret up or down was just fine, but not on the 5th fret. I ended up playing around this position on the neck. These dead spots 'developed' over time, they were not there when I bought the instrument.
    Tried a lot of things including new strings, a check up by a respected luthier, made sure there was no fret issues, hearing tests and even some correspondence with some of the BassPlayer columnists. But the answer was the same.... dead spots happen.
    I've got several other basses, some with fender style necks that don't have any dead spots or areas I have to avoid. Guess it's one of life's mysteries.
  9. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I've been struggling with a minor dead spot on a fender style bass of mine. Sounds ok amplified, but is dead enough that an octaver or pitch shifter will not effect that note on the neck well.

    Out of curiosity I tried a Groove Tube FatFinger on it and it absolutely cured the problem.
  10. JPrinos


    May 16, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm curious.

    Did the dead spot disappear or move to another part of the neck?

  11. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    My ATK has a few... most times it makes no matter since , playing horror/death/black metal you're bouncing around fast enough that you don't need to have the note ring out.

    However, on one doom-metalish song we do :/ I start doing a melody and let my notes ring in certain parts. There's a hideous dead spot on my A string on the 14th fret that just gets absorbed into nothingness. It's really annoying, I tend to play a different bass for that song because it drives me crazy.
  12. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Moving the position of the fat finger has an effect on the position of the dead spot.

    I probably won't keep it mounted all the time, but most likely keep it around in my dual gig bag in case that spot is a problem at some point when recording, etc. Nice to know I can squelch the problem though at will.
  13. Why can't you just play that same note on the D?
  14. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    I have one on my C# at the 6th fret G string. Fortunately, I don't play in any keys that require that particular C# very often, and if/when I choose to play it, I'm more likely to be further up the neck, and hit it on the 11th fret D String.
  15. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I got curious and I tried walking the frets on all strings on my bass. While I can tell there are areas where the tone doesn't ring out really loud (which seems to be more of an EQ issue than a bass issue), I can't find any "dead" spots. Perhaps I just don't know what I'm listening for.

    It's sort of like motorcycle riding. I once asked a friend how he liked his bike and he said he loved it. Then I asked him if the fuel injection glitch bothered him. He asked "what glitch". I explained it to him, and several months later he'd sold the bike because he couldn't stand that "glitch" I pointed out to him that he'd otherwise have never noticed.

    Human brain is funny that way. :)
  16. PrivateHigh


    Jul 19, 2009
    Long Island
    It may not be Too obvious, but listen for a quick decaying fizzled notes. Some basses are more subtle.

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