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Thread: 2001 Sterling Fretless - Piezo dead on G string

  1. #1
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    2001 Sterling Fretless - Piezo dead on G string

    I acquired a used Sterling Fretless from 2001 a few months back and I noticed the other day that the G is completely dead when using the piezo. I'm guessing that the saddle is bad.

    Is this something customer service can help with or because the bass is so old and the piezo option isn't available at this point, am I out of luck?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaspergretsch View Post
    I acquired a used Sterling Fretless from 2001 a few months back and I noticed the other day that the G is completely dead when using the piezo. I'm guessing that the saddle is bad.

    Is this something customer service can help with or because the bass is so old and the piezo option isn't available at this point, am I out of luck?
    First thing I would do is contact them, they will surely help you.
    Have you already removed the back plate?
    I don't know how a piezo exactly works.
    2001 Sterling Fretless - Piezo dead on G string-b29-jpg
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    First thing I would do is contact them, they will surely help you.
    Have you already removed the back plate?
    I don't know how a piezo exactly works.
    2001 Sterling Fretless - Piezo dead on G string-b29-jpg
    Contact | Ernie Ball
    Yeah I did, though I don't know why. I know nothing about Piezos either so I don't know what I was expecting to see lol

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaspergretsch View Post
    Yeah I did, though I don't know why. I know nothing about Piezos either so I don't know what I was expecting to see lol
    When my car breaks down I still pop the hood for some reason
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  5. #5
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    Opening the back allows you to adjust the volume of the individual strings. See attached diagram. Try adjusting the pot for the string and see if that helps
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2001 Sterling Fretless - Piezo dead on G string-bass-piezo-trim-pot-fd-jpg  

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmang View Post
    Opening the back allows you to adjust the volume of the individual strings. See attached diagram. Try adjusting the pot for the string and see if that helps

    You know what, that's why I originally opened it. But didn't see how I could turn it. I guess a screw driver?

  7. #7
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    I just tried adjusting the trim pot. It's definitely dead.

  8. #8
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    Is your G-saddle verrrry low ... and maybe
    pretty far forward ? This can invoke a design
    flaw in most Fishman bridges ... shearing off
    the tiny wire when adjusting intonation.

    Loosen the G-string, lift the saddle and check
    that connection. If broken, replace the saddle
    at any very COMPETENT shop. It's a standard
    Fishman bridge. No special advantage sending
    an out-of-warranty ax to SLO, unless acoarst
    you don't know where else to find a competent
    repair shop !

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Due to the risk in the design, I never set the
    saddle really low, regardless of action height
    preferences. Also I set it at the forward limit
    OF THE SLOT beneath it
    cuz it's the G-string.
    Whatever the resulting intonation, que sera
    sera
    .... which is no problem for FL. If yours
    is fretted be aware of the risk and find a safe
    compromise intonation setting [per that tiny
    wire] and then never fuss with it again. It's
    wise to follow this precautionary advice even
    if your dead saddle is due to something else.
    It's just how one plays safe with a Fishman
    piezo bridge regardless of the brand of bass.
    Last edited by Golem; 03-14-2018 at 08:51 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaspergretsch View Post
    I acquired a used Sterling Fretless from 2001 a few months back and I noticed the other day that the G is completely dead when using the piezo. I'm guessing that the saddle is bad.

    Is this something customer service can help with or because the bass is so old and the piezo option isn't available at this point, am I out of luck?
    Do you use flatwounds? If the silk at the end of the string touches the saddle it will kill the piezo tone. In that case try to remove a bit of the silk, this helped me restoring my E-string after changing to TI flats (after trying unsuccessfully to increase the string volume).

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paco Maraca View Post
    Do you use flatwounds? If the silk at the end of the string touches the saddle it will kill the piezo tone. In that case try to remove a bit of the silk, this helped me restoring my E-string after changing to TI flats (after trying unsuccessfully to increase the string volume).

    Gesendet von meinem SGP511 mit Tapatalk

    No I'm good there, but the saddle doesn't even make noise when you tap on it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    Is your G-saddle verrrry low ... and maybe
    pretty far forward ? This can invoke a design
    flaw in most Fishman bridges ... shearing off
    the tiny wire when adjusting intonation.

    Loosen the G-string, lift the saddle and check
    that connection. If broken, replace the saddle
    at any very COMPETENT shop. It's a standard
    Fishman bridge. No special advantage sending
    an out-of-warranty ax to SLO, unless acoarst
    you don't know where else to find a competent
    repair shop !

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Due to the risk in the design, I never set the
    saddle really low, regardless of action height
    preferences. Also I set it at the forward limit
    OF THE SLOT beneath it
    cuz it's the G-string.
    Whatever the resulting intonation, que sera
    sera
    .... which is no problem for FL. If yours
    is fretted be aware of the risk and find a safe
    compromise intonation setting [per that tiny
    wire] and then never fuss with it again. It's
    wise to follow this precautionary advice even
    if your dead saddle is due to something else.
    It's just how one plays safe with a Fishman
    piezo bridge regardless of the brand of bass.

    If the connection is broken, it can't be fixed? Can individual saddles be bought easily?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaspergretsch View Post

    If the connection is broken, it can't be fixed?
    Can individual saddles be bought easily?
    The wire usually lets go right at the saddle,
    so you cannot re-attach it. It's a standard
    Fishman part. You replace the whole saddle.

    Cannot recall the brand of bass, but I had
    such a repair covered by warranty even tho
    it was my own actions that broke the wire.

    I pointed out that it's design flaw, that you
    should not be able to shear off the wire just
    by doing normal routine adjustments.

    We don't know that you have a broken wire
    until you take a look, which takes 2 minutes.
    Loose the string, gently lift the saddle. Only
    reason for "gently" is just in case the wire is
    fully intact and the problem is elsewhere.
    Last edited by Golem; 03-18-2018 at 01:09 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x2] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    The wire usually lets go right at the saddle,
    so you cannot re-attach it. It's a standard
    Fishman part. You replace the whole saddle.

    Caannot recall the brand of bass but I had
    such a repair covered by warranty even tho
    it was my own actions that broke the wire.

    I pointed out that it's design flaw, that you
    should not be able to shear of the wire just
    by doing normal routine adjustments.

    We don't know that you have a broken wire
    until you take a look, which takes 2 minutes.
    Loose the string, gently lift the saddle. Only
    reason for "gently" is just in case the wire is
    fully intact and the problem is elsewhere.
    I'll do that tonight and report back.

    I don't use the Piezo usually, so I don't really miss it, but I'd still like to get it fixed.

  14. #14
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    Sorry for the dust lol Yeah it looks like the wire is still attached.

    2001 Sterling Fretless - Piezo dead on G string-20180317_203614-jpg

  15. #15
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    The wire looks kinda squashed though.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
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