carbon fibre neck stiffening rods
I am curious to know if many TB'ers have had these installed on their basses, and if so, what the results were. Or if any luthiers have opinions they'd like to pass on, even better. I've searched a fair bit here and not found much information...
I have a bass that suffers from higher than average string tension and am wondering if the cf rods might help reduce it somewhat.
I know there are plenty of lower tension strings that'll help too but I'd just like to know if the cf rods might do the trick. Thanks in advance everyone!
BTW has anyone specifically tried/installed this product?
Hi Brent, I don't see how a stiffer neck is going to alter the string tension of your instrument.
I've installed 1/4" x 1/2" rectangular carbon fibre bars into double basses, guitars and mandolins. They all react similarly with cleaner highs, a more complete set of partials and a quicker response. They also have very straight, stiff necks! ;)
The 'Neck Beam' is full of air, and as many people have heard me say, air is not a tone wood.
Here are the 'Search' results that eluded you: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/search...rchid=22453338
Thanks Jake! BTW I guess I should have mentioned that the neck on this bass is quite thin. And the fingerboard isn't super thick either. I'll put a straight edge on it in the morning to check for curvature.
Unfortunately your link above seems to be dead... I have a feeling I may have read what it refers to though:-)
I appreciate your thoughts on this matter and the 'neck beam'. Cheers!
I've yet to install CF rods in a bass neck, but we put it in the mandos we make where I work. We install two rectangular rods (something like 3x9mm) in a slot, fill it with West System epoxy thickened with their high density filler and capped with a maple strip to plane flat.
I believe that Robbie installed one of the Gemini neck beams in an old bass at the Oberlin workshop...perhaps somebody who attended will chime in.
bassmanbrent, if your bass feels stiff/tense it might be worth looking into having a raised saddle installed (this is something I'm considering having done on my hybrid bass.. the D and G especially feel pretty stiff).
Tension's a whole different story - give me a call if you want to talk about it.
I think that if your bass' neck is thin and flexible, this can be contributing to a feeling of tightness. A lot of the energy you impart to the string will be usurped by the floppy neck, causing you to fight harder to make the bass sound. Also, I would bet the neck is bending and your fingerboard camber is excessive, causing you to squeeze rather than apply your arm weight. The fix would be to reinforce the neck with a CF rod (as you mentioned in the OP) and put a new ebony fingerboard on the bass. Your luthier may also need to heat-straighten the neck when he/she removes the fingerboard.
Thanks Arnold! You are right on all accounts. The neck is bending a little and there is a lot of relief on the G string side of the board. It looks like I know what needs to be done now. I really appreciate your, and everyone else's, input on this matter. Cheers!
I had CF rods, a thick ebony FB and a 3/32" maple shim installed on my Kay (plus block reconstruction and angle reset,[new bridge,endpin, etc.], natch) done on my 50's C-1 by a Boston guy... whole different experience than a stock Kay. I ain't talkin' ballpark, I'm talkin' league. It's kind of shocking how much vibrational string energy the stock Kay neck/block absorbs, and how much of that translates to wasted effort on the part of the player...
I have this conversation almost every day with Kay owners that come through my shop. 90% of them keep thunkin' away at factory spec and complaining about not getting the sound they want and telling me how thier left hand hurts.....the other 10% are blissful about their rebuilt beauty that they can play all night long!
I've come to realize that when I think of a vintage Kay, this what I'm thinking about and talking about- one that has been corrected to overcome some of the original design issues. If they had built them like this from the beginning, there would be a whole different demand for them today.
How was it uncomfortable?
most times i come across "higher than normal string tension" is when customer doesn't realise they have an extra long string length. Just saying. What's yours Brent?
Hi Matthew. The bass has a string length of 41 1/8". I don't think it's the cause of the problem in this case. Thanks for your interest in this situation though!
ok, well its not that then!! And if your neck is not straight, yep Arnold's analysis is likely correct. you feel like there is too much tension in the strings cos you have to pull them down too far. good luck!
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