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Username: matthew90046

Post Number: 5
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 1:07 am:   Edit Post

I have an Alembic Distillate. Every note up and down the board rings like a bell, but one. The fretted D on my G string. I was wondering if this is a fret issue, the resonance of the wood or something else. The note is clean with absolutely no fret buzz, but it only gives me about 70% of the sustain as the rest. It also does this with all amps so I know that it is not an amp thing.

Any insight would be much appreciated.
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 526
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 1:32 am:   Edit Post

Couple of things ...

Is this a recent thing, or has it been like this for as long as you have the bass?

If it is a recent thing then did it start when someone changed the set-up? String action, neck relief, bridge height, pickup height ... Could also be a change in the string gauges you're using.

Are the strings in good condition? Are they of a reputable brand?

Did you already try a different set of strings?
Username: matthew90046

Post Number: 6
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 2:04 am:   Edit Post

Itís been like this ever since I can remember. The new project Iím working with requires simple bass lines with long sustained notes, so it becomes more noticeable now.

I change the strings regularly using Díaddario XL. (I like them)

As far as the setup goes... I have been very disappointed with most luthiers except for one, but he is out of state now. Because I own a few basses I taught myself how to do an excellent setup and get a much better result.

So to sum it up... I donít believe that it has to do with the setup or the strings
Username: jorge_s

Post Number: 45
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 6:50 am:   Edit Post

Matthew, the same exact thing happened to my Sadowsky. There was a dead spot on the G-string's 7th fret. I asked Roger Sadowsky about this. He said this is a common problem on Fender style basses. He suggested I try the Groove Tubes Fat Finger. It was amazing that it did indeed help a lot. The note rings out a lot more. It is not perfect but definitely better. I think it would be worth a try. It is not expensive and it won't damage your bass. Even though Alembic is not Fender-style it could be an inexpensive solution.
Username: jetbass79

Post Number: 10
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 11:12 am:   Edit Post

Dead spots have been around since the electric bass has been around. The reason Fender modified the headstock on the Precision in 1957 was for this very reason and it helped but wasn't a cure-all. Dead spots and hot spots are reality with wooden necks, though one would think these kinds of things would lessen as the amount of laminations is increased. I have been told turning up the mids can alleviate some of the effects of dead spots. Not good news for slappers in the world but -- most slappers aren't going for a long sustained sound.
Advanced Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 377
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 1:04 pm:   Edit Post

If you're recording or doing some other critical work, try *gently* clamping a C-clamp to the headstock (over cardboard or something to protect the finish). That usually either makes the dead spot go away or at least move to another note (maybe one not in whatever key you're playing). My Series I Long Scale has a barely slightly negligible wee bit of a dead spot at the 6th fret, and I've done this in the past to minimize it. The stiffer and/or heavier the neck of the instrument, the less this will be effective. If your Distillate has the 5-piece neck and medium scale, it might not help at all. I also seem to recall many years ago a company marketed a brass plate which installed under the tuner keys on the backside of the headstock to address this issue on Fender-type basses...

Username: matthew90046

Post Number: 7
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 1:42 pm:   Edit Post

I talked to my favorite luthier in Washington state. He also said that most dead spots have to do with the resonance of the wood. He said that he could probably fix the problem with some fret adjustment when replacement is necessary.

If anyone needs a great luthier in the northwest I highly recommend him
Hands On Guitars

To quick fix the problem I bought the Fat Finger that Jorge S recommended.
Thanks to all for the advise. I'll let you know if this works.

(Message edited by matthew90046 on March 24, 2005)
Advanced Member
Username: kungfusheriff

Post Number: 291
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2005 - 5:53 pm:   Edit Post

I've never tried major surgery, and from what I've been told the Fat Finger just moves the dead spot elsewhere on the neck.
My Small Standard has a dead spot at the Eb on the E string. I just play that note elsewhere.
Username: matthew90046

Post Number: 8
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 4:00 pm:   Edit Post

I just got my Fat Finger via UPS. I slapped it on my Alembic and nothing. No change whatsoever. I tried it on my Warwick. Same deal. I put it on my custom made fretless. Hey it works, but not on the bass I wanted it for. It greatly improved the sustain up and down the finger board.

Iím happy that it wasnít a total bust.
Username: hankster

Post Number: 17
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 5:28 pm:   Edit Post

I agree with 811952 - the c-clamp treatment works. This problem is endemic to Fenders, Fender copies, MM's, etc. (and is one of the reasons I bought my Alembic SJ). The physics behind the clamp idea is simple - it just prevents the axe, by inertia, from resonating, as it would otherwise tend to do, at a frequency close to but not exactly at the frequency of the note in question (note - note a problem if you fret the same note at the 12th fret of the D string) and thereby muting the note. More mass. If the clamp alone doesn't work, then weights clamped to the headstock will.

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