Dead Spots

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Dead Spots

Postby Cheap Bass Tard » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:38 am

Argghhh!!

The bane of my existence. I have a bass (soon to be sold) that is a minefield of dead spots to the point where an analog octaver won't even track.

I know dead spots are a way of life, but can anybody recommend design features for minimizing them e.g. graphite necks, graphite reinforced necks, scale length, choice of neck wood, etc...

Discuss..
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby ghiadub » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:47 pm

This seems to be worse on the fender basses I have owned. :hid:

I have never owned a bass with a graphite neck that had a dead spot that I could find. I have owned about 5 modulus and a few modulus mutts and a few Moses necked basses.

I think there used to be a company that made these little clamp on weights that went on the headstock that were supposed to help. I never tried them.
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby nolabass » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:14 pm

ghiadub wrote:I think there used to be a company that made these little clamp on weights that went on the headstock that were supposed to help. I never tried them.



That would be a Groove Tube FatFinger? They help in my limited experience. Seems like you can move it around to head stock to dial out problem spots but it shows up somewhere else. I like Laklands dual graphite rod idea. Seems to work for my BG and 55-94.
But all the above would help....wood, build quality, rods, material. I figure a graphite neck would be the best choice , seems to be the best dead spot solution to date.....
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby hmagman » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:18 pm

nolabass wrote:[ I figure a graphite neck would be the best choice , seems to be the best dead spot solution to date.....

You would be hard pressed to experience dead spots on Modulus or Zon bass...not the most affordable is the down side.
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby Cheap Bass Tard » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:03 pm

Figured as much on graphite necks.

Any other manufacturers out there have a good rep for no dead spots.

I'm thinking of upgrading the posse and I don't want to mess with anything that has a risk of dead spots.

So Lakies have a good rep and Fenders have a bad rep.

Any other wood necked units that are good? Roscoes? MTDs? Lulls? etc...
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby Freddels » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:36 pm

Roscoes have great necks. The Carvin SB4000 has a great neck. I also have a Fender that I put a Warmoth neck on and that thing is incredibly stable and no dead spots on it.
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby Gil Escalera » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:07 pm

Cheap Bass Tard wrote:Any other wood necked units that are good? Roscoes? MTDs? Lulls? etc...

My MTD 535 has a Wenge neck, which as you may know, is a very hard wood. No dead spots at all.

I can vouch for Lakland necks. I have a 55-94 Deluxe fretless, and have had a 55-94 Deluxe fretted as well as a 55-02 Deluxe fretted and have/had NO issues at all with them.

Another confirmation on graphite necks. I have a Steinberger L2 and a Modulus Quantum 5 and have also had a Moses jazz bass fretless neck on a Fender J body. No problems.

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Re: Dead Spots

Postby harleyyy » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:02 am

Imagine how many hits through history were recorded on basses with dead spots. Just sayin'.
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby steveonbass » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:28 am

Disclaimer: The following is based upon my personal experience (I should put this at the beginning of every post)

Every bass I've ever tried to find a dead spot on has one. On a fender - I begin by starting to find the lowest dead spot on the g string. If it's on a sharp note (c# d#) - that is most often ideal. Some are worse than others and some will be split between two notes. Anyone who claims to have a bass with no dead spot, I would be happy to help you find it. you can move it, you can avoid it but, i would bet, it's there and it has to do with the resonant frequency of the instrument itself. Wood yields the largest fluctuation in placement because it is made of organic materials. Again - This is not a flame fan post - I am no engineer - just my personal experience.
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby harleyyy » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:37 am

I'll add that 90% of the time I'm on the D string up the neck. In other words, I avoid dead spots on the G at will. It seems I make a subconscious decision, and it goes way back. If I use the G string, it's usually associated with the lower octave on the G. I can't tell you which of mine have defined dead spots because of this. Make sense? [smilie=coz.gif]
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby Cheap Bass Tard » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:18 am

Yeah, makes sense.

What started all this was I was playing with an MXR Bass Octave Deluxe on my Fender J24 and I've been using an octaver + a little chorus + a little phase to make sort of a Hammond-ey tone for the song Good Morning Little School Girl (the 10 years after version) and the octaver just wouldn't track on several spots on the G and D strings. Drove me nuts.

Thanks for the inputs guys.

So basically to summarize:

Roscoe, MTD, Lakland = good

Graphite (Modulus, Steinberger, Moses, Status, etc..) = good

Graphite reinforced = better to have it than not.

Wenge = good

Anything else I guess you takes your chances.

Any feedback on Fender booteek copies e.g Sadowsky (including Metro), Lull, etc..
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby nolabass » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:50 am

I bet Karls basses are pretty dang solid too.
My general assumption with a $2K+ bass......it shouldn't have dead spots that stand out. Afterall.....that's what your paying for right? Attention to wood quality and "hand build" make up for mass production and budget flaws.

The same could be said for those effect pedals. To expect really accurate tracking you most likely need a better tracking unit? Like a Lakland, Lull, Sadowsky level octave unit?

Are we talking about a bass flaw or a tracking flaw? [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

As a blues player, using a graphite bass and effects to achieve vintage tone seems unpalatable.....heh. [smilie=fun_84.gif]
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby Cheap Bass Tard » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:43 pm

LOL @ Pete - yeah I'm playing in a blues band now too.

The MXR gets good press for its tracking and is a decent unit. Turns out it's also an amazingly good dead spot finder. Works well on my 5er - but I don't need an octaver for that one, just the 4-banger.

Got a line on a really affordable Roscoe available locally on CL. May have to take the plunge on that one. Otherwise I could flip it for a few bucks.
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby GonzoBass » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:49 pm

The Moses solid Graphite neck on my Wilkat has a dead 12th fret G.
Dead spot?
Dunno.
Bad fret?
Maybe, but its seated fine
and it's only the G string at the 12th fret.
Sustain just dies there.
Rapidly.

..and for the record:
(Original) Steinbergers are composite plastic necks with a graphite fretboard.
Still = Good though.
[smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]
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Re: Dead Spots

Postby Gil Escalera » Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:17 pm

GonzoBass wrote:..and for the record:
(Original) Steinbergers are composite plastic necks with a graphite fretboard.
Still = Good though.
[smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]

For the record... ;)
Guitar Player Magazine interview with Ned Steinberger wrote:A series of experiments convinced Steinberger that, in order to improve the instrument’s sustain, he needed to increase its rigidity. A fortuitous meeting with boat designer Bob Young provided the solution. “Bob was an amazing guy and a brilliant engineer,” Ned recalls. “He knew all about composites. Remember this was 30 years ago and graphite was still considered a space-age thing that wasn’t used much in recreational stuff.”

CARBON DATING
The two men experimented with various compositions before settling on epoxy resin reinforced with carbon graphite and glass fibre. “The graphite instruments were all about providing a rigid structure that was still light enough to be comfortable,” Ned comments. The design of the production model of Steinberger’s L2 bass was elegantly simple. The body and neck were a one-piece moulding, with the EMG pickups mounted on a removable ‘lid’ constructed from the same material. A separate fingerboard of fibre-reinforced phenolic resin was fitted with conventional frets.

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