Old bass and old ears

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Old bass and old ears

Postby FatherGino » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:18 pm

I've got an '81 (I think) fretless Sabre. I bought it quite some time ago. At first I hated it because it was way muddier than the fretless Sterling that I also owned. Then I came to really like it for its aggressive yet upright like sound. I bought a fretted bass for the first time maybe 3 years ago and haven't played the Sabre much since then. But lately I've come back to it and find it way too muddy again as well as a bit distorted sounding. I can't seem to get the nice, clean, thump that I came to love so much.

Is it me or is it possible something has worn out over the last 35 years. Is there an objective way to tell?

I know for sure that there's quite a few things that have worn out on me in the last 60 years and I have no way to measure that objectively either. [smilie=fun_84.gif]
There are two kinds of music, the good kind and the other kind. I like both.
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Re: Old bass and old ears

Postby Golem » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:43 pm

FatherGino wrote:I've got an '81 ... fretless Sabre. I bought it quite some time ago. At
first I hated it because it was way muddier than the fretless Sterling
that I also owned. Then I came to really like it for its aggressive yet
upright like sound. I bought a fretted bass for the first time maybe 3
years ago and haven't played the Sabre much since then. But lately
I've come back to it and find it way too muddy again as well as a bit
distorted sounding. I can't seem to get the nice, clean, thump that I
came to love so much.

Is it me or is it possible something has worn out over the last 35
years. Is there an objective way to tell?



I have a few ideas. Actually many ideas. It will take me a while to test
all of them. Actually quite a while. But I will return it to you when I've
finally, someday, got it all figgered out and doubled ... no, make that
TRIPLE checked ... my conclusions, plus THOROUGHLY road tested it :-)

===========================================================


I know for sure that there's quite a few things that have worn out on me
in the last 60 years and I have no way to measure that objectively either.


OTOH this part just above I will leave to your GP and your bartender. I'll
be too busy triple checking the hardware side of the equation. :-)

`

New basses are red. Used basses are black.
- - ---- -- - --- - - - --- - ---- -- - - --- - -- - -

In a perfect world
At the end of the day
Tomorrow never comes.
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Re: Old bass and old ears

Postby FatherGino » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:33 pm

I view your post as a positive response that my yield enlightenment about my situation. But as with many of your posts, I'm not sure exactly what you're saying. I'll let you road test this Sabre if you let me road test your Sterling HH which may be the easiest solution to my sonic dilemma.
There are two kinds of music, the good kind and the other kind. I like both.
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Re: Old bass and old ears

Postby Ken Baker » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:09 pm

My experience is with G&L, but still...

FatherGino wrote:I've got an '81 (I think) fretless Sabre. I bought it quite some time ago. At first I hated it because it was way muddier than the fretless Sterling that I also owned. Then I came to really like it for its aggressive yet upright like sound. I bought a fretted bass for the first time maybe 3 years ago and haven't played the Sabre much since then. But lately I've come back to it and find it way too muddy again as well as a bit distorted sounding. I can't seem to get the nice, clean, thump that I came to love so much.

Is it me or is it possible something has worn out over the last 35 years. Is there an objective way to tell?


If this were an older G&L of roughly similar vintage and it had been sitting unused for "maybe 3 years" and tossing these symptoms, there are a couple things that I'd be looking at.

    First, the obvious: does it have a fresh battery? It's amazingly easy to forget, so replace unless you know it's good.

    The contacts of the jack probably have a bunch of oxidized gunk on them. DeoxIT is the product to use. Saturate a Q-Tip and clean the jack's contacts, doing it a couple times with fresh Q-Tips. You can also spray some on a paper towel and clean your cable ends.

Those are the biggies. If taking care of them doesn't clear the issue, you'd probably need to look for a failing solder joint (probably at the jack) or replace the opamp chip on the preamp board. Both of these are easy & cheap to do.

I know for sure that there's quite a few things that have worn out on me in the last 60 years and I have no way to measure that objectively either. [smilie=fun_84.gif]


Oh, I can get objective as hell about all the stuff that's wearing out on me. I have the X-Rays and MRIs to prove it! [smilie=music-smiley-005.gif]

Ken...
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Ken Baker
"Turn the darned thing down!!"
 
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Old bass and old ears

Postby Golem » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:09 pm

FatherGino wrote:
I view your post as a positive response that m[a?]y yield enlightenment about my
situation. But as with many of your posts, I'm not sure exactly what you're saying.
I'll let you road test this Sabre if you let me road test your Sterling HH which may
be the easiest solution to my sonic dilemma.


I don't recall having a Sterling HH ... no joke. I have an SR 5HH and a Boingo 5HH,
both fretted. I once had a Sabre HH, fretted, weighed a ton, I believe it was built
of northern ash, same as a Louisville Slugger.

EDIT: Must be getting old ... just checked and my SR 5HH isn't an HH, it's an HS.
Just shows to go how seldom I even touch a fretted 5-string.

New basses are red. Used basses are black.
- - ---- -- - --- - - - --- - ---- -- - - --- - -- - -

In a perfect world
At the end of the day
Tomorrow never comes.
User avatar
Golem
 

Re: Old bass and old ears

Postby FatherGino » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:19 pm

My bad, I thought you had a twin PU Sterling. This Sabre is an oddball in that it weighs 9 lbs even.

I will certainly spray Deoxit on the jack though I doubt that's the culprit. The real culprit may be my changing tastes in basses. This wouldn't be the first bass that I thought was the shizznitz and then changed my mind years later.
There are two kinds of music, the good kind and the other kind. I like both.
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Links: www.drivetime.us

Re: Old bass and old ears

Postby Ken Baker » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:28 pm

FatherGino wrote:I will certainly spray Deoxit on the jack though I doubt that's the culprit. The real culprit may be my changing tastes in basses. This wouldn't be the first bass that I thought was the shizznitz and then changed my mind years later.


I was mainly aiming at the distortion. That other thing, well that's just your ears talking to you.

Ken...
...at least the doctors find me fascinating...
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Ken Baker
"Turn the darned thing down!!"
 
Location: Orange County, CA


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