Let's talk about dead spots

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Nachorc90, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Nachorc90

    Nachorc90 Member

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    Yep, those nasty notes that don't sustain as good as the others. I've been offered a Fender Telecaster AVRI 52, a really beautiful guitar, plays and sounds great, but... it has a dead spot on the 13 fret of the G string. Would it be a real deal breaker for you? what's your experience with the so called dead spots?

    I read that the only guitars without noticeably dead spots are those with carbon fiber fretboard, but searching online i found owners of Parker's Fly model claiming that those guitar DO get dead spots too.

    What's your input guys?

    Cheers and best regards!
     
  2. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    in my experience, dead spots have bee fret issues and could be cleared up with a quick trip to a good luthier. might be worth having someone look at it.
     
  3. Nachorc90

    Nachorc90 Member

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    Mm i don't think it's a fret issue, i tried tunning the guitar a half step and a whole step and the dead spot moved on to another fret
     
  4. Jammer2393

    Jammer2393 Member

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    mine goes dead when I bend it on the 15th of the B :(. I dont know what it would be cause its a bend...
     
  5. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    My Andersons, my former PRS, my Heritage, and my Variax all have zero dead spots. That's been the case for me for a while.

    It would be a complete deal-breaker for me.
     
  6. bluemood

    bluemood Member

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    I have a dead spot on my Tele D sting Bb note 8 fret.
    I notice that when I add weight to headstock dead spot goes away.
    I have been looking for a fat finger but not able to find any yet.
    my other Guitars Parker ,Strat are void of dead spots.
     
  7. theaxedoctor

    theaxedoctor Member

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    I've never had a "dead spot" that couldn't be corrected with a fret level and dress. What is your definition of a "dead spot". Is there no sound at a particular fret?
     
  8. chequepoint

    chequepoint Member

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    It is a resonance point with near perfect phase cancellation. Some guitars just have them, nothing to do with the frets.
     
  9. partsocaster

    partsocaster Member

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    If it's a resonance thing as chequepoint points out, it cannot be removed, your re-tuning the guitar shows that is the most like issue because the dead spot follows the pitch, not the location. My bass player has a cab that if it he hits a certain tone, his cabinet is USELESS because of resonance.

    Now, that being said, what about the other frets the pitch can be reached at? Does the note go dead in those locations as well? If not, I would check the saddle, nut slot and the tuning machine on the offending string, the pitch may be causing resonance that is impacting those parts and it's not related to the frets or board at all.

    Jammer2393 > Your note is "fretting out" because of fingerboard radius, your bend is bringing the string to a point where the curve of your board is killing the note, I would raise the action just a touch on that string (if individual saddle height is possible) or if TOM bridge, just a touch on the treble side.
     
  10. BlueHeaven

    BlueHeaven Member

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    I had 3 Hamers w/dead spots that were otherwise great guitars but I couldn't "get past it". I recently bought a PRS Mira that has one...the 3rd string G at the 12th fret. It's not nearly as bad as the ones the Hamers had and I love the guitar so much that the ONLY time it bugs me is if I think about it. When I'm focused on playing I don't even notice. It actually seems way worse unamplified than plugged in so it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me...on THIS guitar. BTW, Hamer called them "sympathetic resonance" so I'm assuming it had to do with woods, construction type, and vibrations.
     
  11. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I had one guitar with a dead spot. I oiled the fretboard with raw linseed oil and it seemed to help. Sometimes dead spots can go away by themselves. It has something to with resonant frequencies and out of phase something or another. High or low humidity may have an effect on them. I read somewhere where Andrés Segovia had a Hauser classical that developed a dead spot and so he took it to Hauser's son and he couldn't fix so he stopped playing it.
     
  12. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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    I had a late '80s PRS with dead spots and it drove me nuts. I sold the guitar at a handsome profit many years later and swore them off. Then, I unexpectedly tried a newer designed PRS with an "extended" heal and it made a world of difference. As I understand it, the extended heal was designed, in part, to address dead spots...if so, mission accomplished.
     
  13. Intelligentpony

    Intelligentpony Member

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    Dumb question but did you check the string for a bend in that spot?
     
  14. Nachorc90

    Nachorc90 Member

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    No problem with the bend. I checked ALL the G# on the entire neck, and the only with the dead spot is that one on the 14 fret - G string.
     
  15. BlueHeaven

    BlueHeaven Member

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    Psst...check all the A notes :D
     
  16. BlueHeaven

    BlueHeaven Member

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    Re read your original post...never mind :D
     
  17. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    It happens. Lots of weak or dead-ish spots around the octave range, and above, on the upper strings. Check it out.
    Uneven resonance lends 'character'...it's not a bug it's a feature!

    Acceptance depends on how you play, music and expectations, so ymmv on annoyance or even if it's noticed.
     
  18. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    I've experienced this many times with Fender guitars, usually involving the B string.

    The more common cause, in my own experience, has been either a low fret, or a fret that needs crowning.
     
  19. MGBlues

    MGBlues Member

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    Correct.

    I bought a Schecter C-1 Custom back in October that had a dead spot at the 17th on the b string and 21st g string. Tune those strings up or down and the dead spot moved.

    freats where all perfectly level and after raising the action to a silly level I could clearly see the string wasn't making any contact with the frets except the one I was playing obviously.

    Had a real hard time explaining it to the sales assistant when I took it back. He thought it was fixable with a setup but I knew that wasn't the case. Manged to come away with a different guitar though.

    Sorry if this seems a bit like spam but I made a 2 part vid on the subject with that very guitar. You can view the vids here if you wish...

    http://www.vanderbilly.com/Guitar-Lesson-mike-garvey-dead-spot-explanation-pt-1,15079,1.html

    http://www.vanderbilly.com/Guitar-Lesson-mike-garvey-dead-spot-explanation-pt-2,15080,1.html

    Not an indepth scientific explanation by any means but it gives you the idea and compares dead spots to other fret / note issues and their causes.
     
  20. MGBlues

    MGBlues Member

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    Absolutely... Not every note on the fretboard has that sweet singing sustain, but to me a true dead spot is something that couldn't be ignored. It's not just the fact that it doesn't sustain quite as long as other notes but the way the note dies... Almost like it dropped off the edge of a cliff so to speak.
     

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