• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Deadspots

jubelo

New member
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
92
Just what is a deadspot on the neck of a guitar? Is it one note that sounds out of tune, when it sounds in tune at any other fret (same string, tuned to proper pitch etc.) If this is what a deadspot is, what is the cause of this phenomenea ? Any remedies other than selling the insturment, or avoiding that fretted note?( frets not worn out,intonation OK, Fingerboard not pitted, strings new, tuners not slipping, bridge is solid & no string bending is done, neck is not warped and adjusted by a good guitar tech recently.)
 

DRAGON523

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
29
A deadspot is where you strike a note, and it dies out noticably sooner than other places on the neck. I've got one on my Jackson. Its on the 13th fret on the B string. I don't know what causes it.
 

rays44

Active member
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
2,906
If you can safely rule out strings, bridge, frets etc., the culprit is a cancellation of a specific frequency. An anamaly in the resonance of the wood reacts with a specific note or notes and causes a loss of sustain. You'll have to experiment with changing the resonant character of the guitar; different bridge/tailpiece metal, different tuners, etc. Groove tubes sells something called a fat finger which defenitely changes things. Log onto their site for more info. Your only other options are live with it or sell it.
 

AttleseyC

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
44
I don't think its has to do with the resonance of the wood

I have a Deadspot on my Les Paul and it took a couple of trips to different guitar shops to identify what was wrong. What causes it was that the bottom of the neck has a slight dip in it around the 14-15th fret and because of this the strings are hitting the frets further down the neck and its kills the notes.

If it was the resonance of the wood no matter where on the guitar you played the specific note it would die out but on my guitar its only isolated to notes at the area.
 

Chad

New member
Joined
Sep 26, 2001
Messages
168
I'm no expert about this, but I've read enough to know that what rays44 said is on the money. It IS a cancellation of a specific frequency. And a change in the mass (I think that is the correct physical term) of the neck or headstock will remove(or sometimes relocate) the deadspot. As rays44 said, Fat Fingers will do the trick. Or a $0 experiment you can can do is to carefully rest your guitar's headstock on a door, door frame, or some other wooden object while you are playing. If it is a true dead spot, the dead spot will no longer be there because the wood of the door (or whatever you are up against) is changing the mass and resonance of the guitar....and the frequency no longer cancels out.
 

Des Howl

Les Paul Forum Member, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
800
I believe the arch top of the Les Paul is designed, like the violin, to avoid specific standing wave resonances in the instrument's body - such as would emphasize or attenuate certain frequencies as they happened to coincide with or counteract the body's own natural resonances.

I notice no problem on my Gibson, unlike my slab-body instruments; some of my Strats definitely have "strong" notes that stand out accoustically louder than others. However I think pickups and amplification compensate for these differences in most cases, which is why slab bodied guitars still rock.:dude
 

Mike Shaw

Active member
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
2,883
I believe the arch top of the Les Paul is designed, like the violin, to avoid specific standing wave resonances in the instrument's body....

Not from what I've read about Gibson. They did it to discourage copying the design and to make it be more classy and upscale when compared to other companies using slab bodies. Remember the solid body design was implemented to keep the body from vibrating. As Les himself said "only one thing should be vibrating - the string" Mike

"Where are we goin'?"
"I don't know but we're on our way!"
Dickie and Stymie
 

Des Howl

Les Paul Forum Member, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
800
Mike, I hear you, but are we talking about
- Gibson's business reasons for the arch-top Les Paul or
- what the archtop physically does on a solid body, as regards vibration and deadspots?

Whether or not anything but the string "should" vibrate based on Les' general statement (aimed at getting a lapsteel-like pure tone) I doubt LP's would sound the same if they were made of completely non-resonant wood or metal. It might be an accident, but mahogany warms up the tone.;)1
 

Mike Shaw

Active member
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
2,883
I doubt LP's would sound the same if they were made of completely non-resonant wood or metal. It might be an accident, but mahogany warms up the tone.

I agree completely. As a matter of fact Gibson did extensive testing of different woods and combinations of woods before they settled on the mahogany/maple as the best reasonable combination.

Mike, I hear you, but are we talking about
- Gibson's business reasons for the arch-top Les Paul or
- what the archtop physically does on a solid body, as regards vibration and deadspots?

Well..both. The LP is a mass produced guitar. In order for the arch top to be tuned to eliminate deadspots you would have to custom fit and tune everything to the needs of each body. Since wood varies so much you could not have an effective "one setup fits all" type of situation. If you could then every LP ever made would play and sound exactly the same (assuming similar stings etc). There would be no way Gibson would take so much time to "tune" each guitar. So I believe that most of the design elements are pretty much carry overs from Gibsons other guitars, and that Gibson wanted to use the equipment they had to make it difficult for other companies to steal their design. I believe that as long as all the string angles and such are adequite, it makes no difference whether a guitar is an archtop or slab, one would not have an advantage over the other as far as deadspots. I really believe that assuming no loose parts or other flaws, that the body wood is more likely to cause deadspots at certain frequencies. Mike


"I made a cake once, but it fell and killed the cat!"
Moe Howard
 

Des Howl

Les Paul Forum Member, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
800
Ah well, Mike... so much for the romanticised notion of certuries of Luthiers' wisdom being passed on in the form or arched-top solid bodies.:dead:

But hey, they look cool as hell, don't they?:wow

Thanks for the interesting replies.
 

John Catto

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,609
It's not a myth at all when applied to an ARCHTOP that the carve of the top highly influences the sound. But an archtop is a hollow bodied guitar where the top (and back) act like a speaker. However the mere presence of any chamber which might have an inflence is considered the devil's work by most Les Paul owners ;). In fact many archtop builders don't do the final recarve around the edge (dimple on a Les Paul top) until the instrument is assembled since this acts as the spider in speaker terms of the top. Take a look at the Gruen link in the 150k Burst thread below and have a look at the D'Angelico guitars he has there to see the output of one of the finest archtop builders the world has ever seen. Funny thing is that those guitars were hitting 20k when bursts were 4k. Unfortunately to many traditional dealers like Gruen (many of who's opinions I consider way out of line) this imbalance hints at a faddish change in the market and he may or MAY NOT be right? Anyway I'm way off topic here, but in any case the carved top of a Les Paul is a cosmetic effect chosen by Gibson purely because they had the machinery to do it and their competitors did not.
 

Ezra

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
63
I've experienced Ray44's theory. I had a 01 Sg Classic which was completely dead on the 3rd string 11th fret. I did everything, set up, new saddles, nut work. nothing worked. One day I got the same idea as Ray44 and I played the same note at the same octive on all the strings I could. It was dead to some degree or another on every string. Just the 3rd was the most noticable. So I got a FatFinger, It helped but it didn't go away, It bugged me so much I sold the guitar at a loss 3 months later.

Now I play a couple Travis Beans, and with the aluminum neck through construction every sting rings clear.
 
Last edited:

bluestein

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
367
Gibson was looking to compete with the "radical" telecaster in the early 50's. They arched the top because they could....literally because they had the ability and Fender didn't. Nothing more than that.

Find a good luthier, and have him look at your guitar. He will isolate the cause of the "deadspot", and tell you if it can be fixed or not.

In my experience, Gibson's need to be set up professionally upon delivery anyway.
 

Chad

New member
Joined
Sep 26, 2001
Messages
168
From most complaints I have heard, it seems that deadspots are almost always most noticeable on the G string and between the 12th and 15th frets.
 

Mike Shaw

Active member
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
2,883
...it seems that deadspots are almost always most noticeable on the G string...

That's what I've been saying about my wife for the last 15 years!

"Pardon my glove." WC Fields
 
S

Snags

Guest
Dead Head Ed. .. . .. Doesn't roll off teh tongue too well. . . .. ..



heeheehee
 

Des Howl

Les Paul Forum Member, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 20, 2001
Messages
800
Ed Rafalko said:
I have a huge dead spot at the end of my neck. it's called my head.

:lolspin You aren't alone on that one Mr. R...
 
Top