Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

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Veldar
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Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by Veldar » 16 Nov 2017, 20:00

Hey everyone,

I just got a MTD fretless from the states and all the first fret markers are making dead notes. I was think about raising the action a bit or adjusting the truss rod, but I thought I would see the concensus before I do anything that will mess with the intonation.

Cheers, Sam.
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NotTheFish
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by NotTheFish » 16 Nov 2017, 20:18

So can you feel the fretlines when you rub your finger over them ? You may need the fingerboard levelled if that is the case.

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Veldar
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by Veldar » 16 Nov 2017, 21:14

Not really, the line feels different but I wouldn't say there is a hump, the second and third also have a similar thing going on but it lessens as I move up.
Originally this was where all the people I've sold/gotten gear from that went well, but I haven't met a bad person yet :D

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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by jamiesdad » 16 Nov 2017, 21:28

If you are in Sydney, try taking it to Matt Bullus (salt mine) in darlo.
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petersemple
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by petersemple » 16 Nov 2017, 21:57

Sounds like the nut could be a hair low
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by slowlearner » 17 Nov 2017, 06:25

Sorry, how old is the bass? Is the fretboard very worn? A pic would help too.
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Classic5
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by Classic5 » 17 Nov 2017, 07:21

Try a setup first.....adjusting the neck, maybe raising the strings. If that works then just set the intonantion and you're off.

If that doesn't work then the nut height may be too low or the board may need to be levelled.
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NotTheFish
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by NotTheFish » 17 Nov 2017, 07:48

If it is just the 1st few frets then it sounds like the neck needs a slight amount of relief. Back off the truss rod 1/4 turn and see if that fixes the problem. Remember - lefty loosey - righty tighty.

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noplanb
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by noplanb » 17 Nov 2017, 07:50

When I've set my JB4 relief too low (too straight) then I had a definite buzz like fret buzz around Low C (but of course no frets) - added touch more relief and it went.
Is the nut too high? Next to the nut will be hardest pressure to push down, so if it just exceeds one's give of your fingertip skin, then the skin could overflow around the string and either/or stop full pressure being applied, or allow excess finger skin to splay outward thus damping the string like felt.
Try pushing down with the corner edge of a piece of wood - notes should sound clear if this is case.
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by bassbass » 17 Nov 2017, 09:19

first fret markers are making dead notes
Do you mean they all buzz? Then yeah, as others have said, you may want to raise the nut slots and/or add some relief, but you need to measure things properly and use the right tools. Also, adding height to a nut slot is done by shimming the nut or filling and refiling the slot. Neither of these are OK for me, and in these situations I will almost always make a new nut.

If by "dead" you mean that the notes have no sustain and sound sort of dull and muted, then this is usually the opposite problem, (and very common for low and mid priced fretless basses) - the nut slots are too high. Again you need to refile the slots with the right profile nut files, and at the correct angle. If you aren't experienced, and this is your favourite bass, then go to a reputable tech. Skip to 5:30 in this vid to see me file the nut on a fretless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW56ltBKpsM

The other cause of dead notes is technique. I was a bass teacher for many years, and when someone is new to fretless, this is pretty common. Try rolling your first finger away towards the headstock slightly so you are playing on a firmer part of the finger. Or try curling the finger more so you are playing closer to the tip.
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rev matt
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by rev matt » 17 Nov 2017, 09:30

jamiesdad wrote:
16 Nov 2017, 21:28
If you are in Sydney, try taking it to Matt Bullus (salt mine) in darlo.
i was going to suggest the same.
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by BassLine » 17 Nov 2017, 09:33

Was it detuned during shipping? Might take 24hrs for the string tension to 'right the neck' against the truss rod tension. Wait & see.

You're in the Hunter Valley - jezza might be able to recommend someone to do a setup.
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Veldar
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by Veldar » 17 Nov 2017, 17:31

Image
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I've put a bit of lite card under the nut to heighten the strings, maybe it helped a little? I'm giving the neck a bit of relief and I'll see how that goes.

I don't have the spare cash to see Matt, I blew it all on getting it shipped form America, I won't be doing that again...
Originally this was where all the people I've sold/gotten gear from that went well, but I haven't met a bad person yet :D

Thanks to giggawazza for the Bongo.

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BOSS302BASS
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Re: Fretless has dead notes on all first 'frets'

Post by BOSS302BASS » 30 Nov 2017, 23:07

The pics are terrible, but the nut looks like the string slots are way too deep.

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