Still Having "Dead Tone" Issues

Jak Angelescu

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A while ago I posted up asking if anybody had issues with Ernie ball paradigm strings. I thought that my deadening of tone was coming from my strings but I changed my strings and I am still having the issue. I can’t explain it. My guitar just doesn’t ring like it used to. I haven’t changed my amp set up or anything. Everything is still the same. I just feel like I’m fighting my guitar to make something sound smooth and it’s getting quite aggravating. It’s not difficult to play. But I just feel like I’m fighting for the sound to come through. I am trying to practice some of the lessons slower and it literally just sounds choppy, clunky and disgusting. I said in the other forum my battery seemed fine. But could a weak battery cause this kind of problem? It’s getting quite disheartening and rather frustrating. Because when I record myself trying to put it up on the school, I literally sound like I haven’t practiced in years and I am trying to play things beyond my capability. Any feedback or advice is much appreciated!
 

Ed Seith

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Calvin might be on to more than he thinks. This sounds to me like you may need to loosen your truss rod a 1/4 turn and let the neck bow a touch more (it may take a day to get relaxed). Seasonal changes are normal if you keep your action low, and what you’re describing could be due to being super-close to fret buzz, but not quite there.
 

Jak Angelescu

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I did recently adjust my truss rod to give more of a bow in it because the 1st fret was buzzing incredibly badly. But I also think I may have adjusted it too much. Yet if I tried to move it back the other way the 1st fret buzzed. But I do agree with both of you. It’s been raining like h*** here and recently started get warmer with a lot of humidity. All of this seem to happen in like the course of a week. I will try adjusting the neck again tomorrow because maybe it just needs to be turned back barely a little bit. It sounds like the way you are describing it a tiny little smidgen of a turn can make a big difference
 

Syn Gates

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Dumb question but did you change the battery? A bad battery will absolutely destroy your tone. Cuts the signal in half
 

Jak Angelescu

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That’s exactly what I was thinking. When I’ve tried everything else and it doesn’t seem to be working. I have a bad habit with leaving my guitar plugged in even if the amp is off and I’ve been told that drains the battery. But because it was working I thought it was fine. I thought that when the battery goes the battery goes lol. There’s no like sliding or slipping of tone. I will buy a new battery today and try that. Thanks so much buddy!
 

Dan Shipway

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Thanks for the reminder! Haven’t done it in a while so this thread gave me an excuse
 

Ed Seith

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@jak – that is correct. A cable being plugged in is the “on” switch for any powered on-board electronics, whether it’s active pickups or a sustainiac. I must have misread – I thought you’d already tried that. Definitely try the battery before wrestling with the neck!
 

Ed Seith

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Handy gigging tip – ALWAYS have 2 or 3 spare 9-volts (and any other batteries you use) in a gig bag you bring to the gig with you. I have a wireless that uses AA batteries – I *always* have spares in by bag, just in case. You never know. #beprepared
 

Firsty Lasty

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Only active pickups use batteries, traditional pickup construction uses no batteries. It’s always good to have 9v batteries at home because they’re also what’s used by a lot of smoke detectors.
 

Christopher Lonski

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Could you record an example if you haven’t figured this out, Jak? It’s always much easier to diagnose the problem if we can hear an example of what you’re dealing with.
But yeah, as many pointed out, a dead battery with active pickups will kill your tone. People don’t realize this, but active pickups have incredibly weak magnets, which allows you to get the pickup really close to the strings and allows for more sustain because the magnetic field isn’t pulling the string as much and affecting it’s vibrations. The battery and preamp are what make the signal louder and give you volume. If you take the battery out, you can still hear a sound, but it’s very faint and not the tone you’re used to hearing considering the preamp isn’t technically turned on.
 

Jak Angelescu

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As some of you have seen on my Instagram the problem has been solved! I didn’t even have a battery in there to begin with lol!