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What's A Soft Spot?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stefeb, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. stefeb


    Jun 9, 2002
    Bethlehem, PA
    I was browsing through eBay (Soft Spot ), and noticed this statement in the description section:

    "The bass has a slight 'soft spot' on the neck at the C on the G string (5th 'fret'), it's not really a dead spot, just a slightly dull spot."

    What does this mean? Is it something to stay away from?
    How does this affect play/sound, etc.?

  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The term soft spot is normally not used in this context.
    A deadspot is a note on the fretboard that is duller and/or quieter than the others. The reason for this is the resonance frequency of the neck lies in the range of a note of the fretboard, usually around the C on the G string (on Fender basses). The neck reacts very strongly to vibrations of this frequency and absorbs the energy of the string more than with other notes.

    This can occur on all basses, regardless of price. You can find highend basses with deadspots, and starter basses without one.
    Smaller headstocks (or headless designs) can reduce the risk of deadspots, composite graphite necks usually don't have deadspots at all, since their resonance frequency is much higher than that of wood necks.

    [EDIT] If it's really only a small deadspot you can compensate it with your playing technique, especially on a fretless (finger vibrato).

    You have no other choice than to test it yourself, if you can cope with it, ok.

    [EDIT2] I'm wondering who made that graphite neck on that bass, deadspots on composite necks are really rare on quality necks.
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Dang, I thought this thread was going to be about babies.
  4. I've found a deadspot on an SKC Bogart 5string (graphite neck, rosewood or pao ferro fingerboard) and also on a GMT graphite neck Jazz bass.

    the Status and Modulus (on a Stingray Cutlass) necks I've tried were deadspot free.
  5. stefeb


    Jun 9, 2002
    Bethlehem, PA
    Thanks for the thoughtful response. It is much appreciated.
  6. the dead spot is a feature. it's not a real bass without one!

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