Nocaster Dead Spot

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Eddie B., Aug 6, 2006.

  1. Eddie B.

    Eddie B. Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    I have tried out three new '51 Nocasters - one relic, and 2 NOS. On all three, when fretting the 2nd string (B) at the twelfth fret, the note just dies. The same thing happens when bending up to B from A on the same string. I love the feel, and sound of the Nocaster, but I'm really getting hung up on this. It is not an action thing but seems more of a resonance deal. Any other owners notice this? Maybe it's just the current run as all of these were brand new. How about the older Cunetto's?
     
  2. Karmateria

    Karmateria Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    Midwest
    My 52 RI does that, but at the "D" on the 12th fret.
    Many instruments have "dead spots" and seem to vary as to where they are. I think this is just normal and also vary in amount from guitar to guitar. My instruments also seem to have "hot" spots, that is certain notes that really resonate. I'm not complaining, I just learn to work with each one.

    PS I'm not naming names, but some of these guitars are handmade jobs, not budget axes.

    Karma
     
  3. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    36,536
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Northern VA
    On my PRS Custom ('86), the dead spot is the 12th fret G. I agree with Karmateria, while some axes are worse than others, wood is a natural, somewhat heterogeneous substance and so some of this is par for the course. You can use a device like a Fatfinger to move the resonant peaks and valleys though you won't totally eliminate them. I, too, just learn to work with each one (just I learn to work around different speakers' peaks, valleys, and cone cry frequencies).
     
  4. Shnook

    Shnook Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,392
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    I think it comes with the territory with vintage frets.
     
  5. Tuberattler

    Tuberattler Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern Washington in the Desert
    I disagree on the vintage fret thing as I have both big & small frets on my guitars and have weak and strong spots on most all in someway or another.

    Just like playing with staggered pups..it goes along with the territory. Also a compressor will even things out if it's super important to you.
     
  6. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,785
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    My Nocaster has a dead spot at the B, as well. It doesn't seem to matter if it is on the E, B, or G, string. That is also the note that will make the pots/knobs vibrate if I play it hard enough.

    My Heritage 535 has a dead spot at the 12th fret on the G string, though it isn't as pronounced as the Nocaster.

    Bryan
     
  7. LaXu

    LaXu Member

    Messages:
    2,644
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Seems to be more of a problem on bolt-ons (especially basses) than set necks and neckthrus. My strat copy has a slight dead spot on the 12th fret but interestingly it has gotten less bad over the years. I bought the guitar new in 2002 or 2003 so maybe with age it will go away totally?

    I spotted an interesting suggestion for a remedy to this problem on the Talkbass forums. Some had installed threaded inserts (like what Vintique does for guitar necks) in their bolt-on basses and said that it took care of dead spots. Has anyone tried that on guitar?
     
  8. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    24,992
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    I have a neck-thru Ibanez Musician that dead-spots around the octave B, too. My bolt-ons seem better, generally, for even sustain.
    I am thinking that, just maybe, maple/rosewood with an alder body is the most even responding combination outside of something custom tuned.
     
  9. mockoman

    mockoman Member

    Messages:
    1,991
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    Beneath the Blue Suburban Skies
    The only guitar I had with a dead spot was a Gibson LP Special Faded.
    G string,12th fret. I tried installing Tone Pros locking bridge & tailpiece,but that didn't help at all.
    I bought a Fatfinger (after I found ,by accident,that storing a capo on the headstock fixed the problem),and that worked very well.
    It still bugged me,tho,and I sold the guitar.
     
  10. LaXu

    LaXu Member

    Messages:
    2,644
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Yeah the Fatfinger works but it's a) ugly, b) expensive for what it is, c) can make a guitar neck heavy and d) could move the dead spot to another (lower) fret.
     
  11. divakaz

    divakaz Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    It seems to be a fairly normal thing. I have all 3 types of neck joins - and must say from what I have experienced, that set-necks seem to be the worst offender. Don't know why. Bolt-on's seem to be more hit and miss, and I have never come across a dead spot on a neck-thru guitar.
    These experiences aren't just from my guitars, but any guitars I have played.

    Cheers.
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

    Messages:
    11,900
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    As guitars age, the internal moisture of the wood evaporates. It is often argued that it is the lack of internal moisture that makes vintage guitars sound different than their new counterparts. It has been scientifically proven that it is not the loss of magnetic pull of the pickups, as it seems to take a lot longer than a human lifetime for such weaknesses to develop. I believe that as any of the three Nocasters mentioned age, the 'dead spot' will migrate or disappear as nature has its opportunity to impose its domination. Of course living in Vegas versus New Orleans will have a dramatic affect of the time table for the drying out process.
     
  13. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,375
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Location:
    On The Bus
    Sometimes it's just the wood or even the finish, but sometimes it's the transfer mechanics. Check the tightness of the neck, bridge and tuner screws first. If it's a 3-saddle bridge, make sure the Allens are making even contact with the plate. Then check the relief- you might be surprised what loosening the rod a quarter-turn does to the resonance of a Fender neck which hasn't been tweaked since factory installation.

    My guess, given the wood stocks they reportedly use for the Nocasters and the consistency of your findings, is that there's a setup issue. (Tighten screws into a pre-aged finish and you might produce more checking- I've seen that happen on a couple of relics, actually.)
     

Share This Page