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What might be causing this, and how can I fix it?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I have a 3 pickup Huntngton, and the output on the E string has lower output than the other 3 strings.

    ---I've changed the strings. Still the same.

    ---I changed the pots (because of the taper), so I know it wasn't anything electronic.

    ---I raised the pickups on the low end, THAT raised the volume on the A string proportionally to the E string, so it didn't help.

    ---I singled out each pickup, and the E string is lower in volume on all 3.

    I'm baffled.

    I've owned lots of basses. Never experienced this before.

    Any thoughts?
  2. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Kinda reaching here, but is there anything off about the alignment of the bridge and pickups or perhaps the E string saddle in particular such that the E string is laterally farther off from the pickups than the other three?

    ELynx, shodan and jamro217 like this.
  3. I got nothing.....

    Fire the drummer?
    BassBuzzRS, groooooove, rtav and 8 others like this.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    How does it sound unamplified? Might you be experiencing low-end rolloff in your amplification chain?
    ELynx likes this.
  5. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Bad E string?
    Haroldo likes this.
  6. Did you replace the strings with the same kind? It may be a good idea to try a completely different brand and/or style string. Could it be weak pickups? Are the poles visible under the covers? Maybe the whole unit is mounted too far towards the control end of the cavity and it's not getting the full signal. Other than that no help to offer. I'm not familiar with this model.
  7. rohi

    rohi Lead Lined Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    I know you've already changed strings, but mayhaps you got X amount of dead E strings in a row.
  8. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Excellent question. The answer should definitely help narrow things down.
  9. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    The entire e string or just the open e note?

    Could be a dead spot/resonance issue.
    xnewyorka likes this.
  10. tubedude

    tubedude Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    If they have exposed polepieces you could try setting the A strings pole deeper.
    packrat likes this.
  11. After the remedies you tried, it seems the problem is 'global' to the pickups/electronics (I'd wonder about your wiring correctness, but things are the same after the switch, so no . . . . . ), but the problem persists on the E-string only. So my next inspection would be the E bridge saddle and slot for the E on the nut. Cracked nut, incorrect width/depth of the slot, only one height screw touching the bridge plate on the E saddle, some foreign object in the bridge saddle, etc. New strings (unless the planets are truly aligned and TWO E-strings are bad), correct electronics, but that E-string . . . . . maybe even a loose or bogus tuning key.

    And BTW, the ad copy says 'short scale bass', so I'm supposing a 30" scale: You ARE using 30" scale strings? If not, a too-long E with the 'speaking length' cut into to make the post . . . . . . would be problematic.

    Or, the pickups (or one pickup pulling the other two down) are not right. Looking at the pics of this bass, I see one centered pickup screw on either side . . . . . . so, I'd reverse each one in that pickup ring and see . . . . . if now all of a sudden the G is bad. . . . . .

    Past that, I don't know.
    ELynx and Bass Man Dan like this.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    They’re poleless single coils.

    @Joe Nerve - Did you try contacting Supro and asking. They’re good at answering questions. I had what I thought was an issue with my Huntington I (turned out I just misunderstood how the controls on it operated) and they got me straightened out. I think TBer @Peter Murray has a tie-in with Supro. If he’s reading maybe he can chime in?
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  13. Sometimes it’s just the baked in character of an instrument :bawl:.
    groooooove likes this.
  14. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I have sold basses that I loved for precisely this reason. It is frustrating.

    Make certain that the bridge is adjusted properly and that both height adjustments screws are evenly tensioned and in contact with the bridge plate. Check the string height again... Make certain the E is low enough. That is all I can offer. Good Luck!
    groooooove likes this.
  15. CBRXJ


    Jul 31, 2010
    Apple Valley Ca.
    maybe try the old A string in place of the E and see if it still has the volume drop . Might be a electrical voodoo type limitation rather than a string location thing.
    nice_hat and ICM like this.
  16. I’ve noticed on shortscales, the low E tends to have a generally lower output and ends up being quieter for whatever reason.

    As you go up the frets on the E string does it get louder?
    That happens with mine. It could be a frequency vs. tension thing.

    Just a guess, but maybe this specific bass had it’s bridge installed a little to then left and it’s bit allowing the E string to fully be picked up. It could also be a mix of all these issues suggested and be just a perfect storm of annoyance.

    The last option would be to try different pickups...maybe the gold foils just don’t jive with that low E.

    My honest opinion on what the problem is IMO is the fact that it’s short scale. The low E’s tend to be a little iffy and rubber-bandy compared to a full scale bass. Fortunately, I love that characteristic but I know it’s not for everyone.
  17. Great troubleshooting idea, also try the E in place of the A just to see if it’s the low string causing it.

    Also great idea; could be the saddle.
    mikewalker likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    How does the nut and the bridge saddle look like? Anything looking different comparing to the others? Can it be your pickup? How about trying putting on two A strings for both the A and the E string? if you get the same problem on where the E should be, I guess your pickup is faulty.. IDK what else could be causing the problem.

    Edit CBRJX beat me to it!
    shodan likes this.
  19. Oberst


    Oct 1, 2018
    I wonder if spraying some electronics cleaner on the pickup might help?
  20. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    Joe, you really should get hold of @Peter Murray. He's the Supro guy on Talkbass.
    Spidey2112 likes this.

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