1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TB Android app is working, you may need to uninstall/reinstall. The iPhone app is now updated and should work after you upgrade. TalkBass is responsive to any screen size, so we recommend using your mobile browser for full functionality.

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Do fretless necks warp easily?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by winterburn69, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I have a problem, I bought a Squier VM fretless Jazz in January, noticed buzzing in September that gradually got worse (couldn't even play the lower notes in Roxanne), took it in to get set-up, where I was informed the neck was warped. There was no buzzing anywhere and played great when I bought it, so I don't think it was warped when I bought it, the warp is where the 16-20th frets would be if it had any on the A & E strings.

    I'm wondering how this happened, was it the weather? It's like -30 in January, I changed it from rounds (nickel Rotos, I believe) to flats (Chromes) in July, when it's like 30-35 degrees. I think I should've had it adjusted when I put the flats on. It was crazy hot here this summer. Was it the strings? Was the bass itself? I've heard lots of complaints about these, I can vouch for some fingerboards not being completely flat, with "bumps" where the lines are, it also has an ebonol fretboard. I've had it outside three times since I got it btw.

    I absolutely love playing fretless, so I obviously need another. Not sure what to do though. Do fretless necks need lots of TLC? Would a humidifier/de-humidifier help or make it worse? I don't want to invest a lot of money into another fretless if it's just gonna end up with a warped neck.

    Would a neck from Status-Graphite warp? I've heard they're quite stable and resilient to weather changes.
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    7
    Fretless necks don't warp any more or less easily than fretted ones.

    Your neck warped because sometimes necks go bad. It happens.
  3. Matthew_84

    Matthew_84

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Likes Received:
    1
    I had a vm fretless as well, you likely read some of my posts on here about the fretline bumps. To me, it seemed to require about the same adjustments as a fretted neck.

    Later on though, I swapped out the neck for an unlined ebonol Mighty Mite P Bass neck and found that it was extremely sturdy - just as much as my MIA P Bass with the graphite rods. I think it has to do with being a solid plank instead of a plank with twenty-odd slots cut into it and filled with another material, frets or fretlines.

    I eventually sold that bass for an unlined Warwick Rockbass Corvette with an unlined ebony neck and found the ebony neck was pretty much just as sturdy as the Mighty Mite one...

    By the way, I'd highly recommend the Mighty Mite unlined neck as a replacement for your warped one. The only thing I needed to address was sand the nut slots a little bit lower, and mount the neck myself, but it was about $100, and the tuners fit perfectly. Plus it looked better, to me, being unlined. Don't worry about an unlined neck, if you haven't played on one yet. My ears developed pretty quickly as a necessity and found my playing only got more accurate since I relied on my ears more than looking at the fretlines, which aren't 100% accurate anyway.
  4. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    A change to flats from rounds can require a neck adjustment due to increased tension, but it may not have made a difference as far as the warping goes, even with the weather change. It seems possible, but it could just as easily have been a bad neck out of the factory. As stated above, it happens. Either way, that's unfortunate, sorry that happened to you.

    I can't speak specifically about status necks, but I have a 30 year old bass with a graphite neck and no truss rod, and it plays great to this day. I think it would be a good way to go for a replacement, but they're pricey so I'd at least consider checking out some other fretless basses, as there may be some around the same price as the status neck.
  5. lundborg

    lundborg

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    If truss rod or bridge height adjustment doesn't help, you might want to consider leveling the fingerboard.
  6. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chuck the neck and get another.

    I've had great success with MIA aqnd CIJ/MIJ necks. My CIJ Jaco Jazz fretless neck is the best quality neck I've ever seen. Fantastic consistent grain wood. I've always used 40-100 gauge strings on my basses so they are not running high tensions.

    Regards
    Davo
  7. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as I'm aware, warping would be some sort of twist or bump that cannot be adjusted out with the trussrod. Refering to an increase or decrease in neck relief as 'warping' is probably a little strong.

    Frets can ultimately case a neck to develop a back or forward bow depending on things like tang-size, slot width and the general skill of the luthier fitting them. A garage-mod defret will probably cause an bow in the neck because most people seem to use wood filler to fill the slots, and this stuff can compress under pressure.
  8. Osprey

    Osprey

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status necks are great quality, and graphite is very stable. They do cost though. All the same, you have a serious temperature and humidity-level issues, and need a solution. You could start by mailing Rob at Status to find out his thoughts about your location: I expect he'll be intrigued.
  9. Temcat

    Temcat

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does Mighty Mite's neck have a thicker fretboard than VM's? (I find the VM fretboard rather thin.) Also, what about the weight of the MM neck - was it roughly the same? I'm asking because the stock VM tends to neck-dive.
  10. dropbass

    dropbass

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Moses necks are nice as well and not crazy pricey but maybe eBay
  11. Marial

    Marial Proud Papa-to-be Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    The neck on my VM fretless Jazz is a bit of a flexi-flyer so I'm going to replace it with a goncalo alves/ebony neck from Warmoth. The new neck will cost significantly more than what I paid for the bass, but that's alright. It was my gateway bass to fretless and I want to hop it up. As-is it's a great sounding instrument, but with a couple of mods it will be a phenomenal sounding instrument.
  12. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Likes Received:
    2
    The short answer is "no, they don't".

    As you've read from others, wood will do what wood wants to do. Sometimes you'll see a thread in the Luthier's Corner where the builder feels like they're actually fighting the wood, and to a degree they probably are. Fretted or fretless doesn't matter when the wood does it's thing.
  13. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you bought the VM Jazz new in January, it should still be under the 1-year warranty. You would be responsible for the shipping to and from an authorized Fender repair center (many dealers are also authorized to do warranty repairs), but repair or replacement of the neck should be at no cost. I'd put the original strings back on before taking it in.
  14. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe try raising the E and A strings a little with the saddles, if that doesn't make them too high?
  15. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought it used in January for $150, so no 1 year warranty and it's not a huge loss. Looks like a Status neck (on a P body) might be the answer I'm looking for as I probably won't be leaving Saskatchewan anytime soon.

    OTOH, I played a new Squier fretless P last week and it played great. Thinking about picking one up until I can get the Status necked bass going.
  16. Matthew_84

    Matthew_84

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Likes Received:
    1
    If I recall correctly, the ebonol slab on the Might Mite neck was quit thicker, but the overall neck was pretty much the same thickness

    The neck was roughly the same weight though. May even be a bit heavier due to it being a bit wider at the nut, but I didn't notice this.

    I'm surprised your getting neck dive on it though, I've never really had this issue with Fender style basses. When I played them, I used about a 2" wide suede strap. If you're not using something similar, I'd recommend it. Those thin nylon ones can work with guitars, not so much with a bass though.
  17. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Squier stuff isn't exactly know for high quality. I think you just got a bad one. If it's still under warranty then have Fender make it right. If they won't then you have the option of replacing the neck with some after market part, but that's more money than I would sink into a Squier.
  18. hernameisrio

    hernameisrio

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Subscribing to this, I have the same buzz on my Squier VM Jazz and haven't really known what to do about it...
  19. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone played a Sterling Ray34ca Fretless? a real fretless EBMM StingRay really isn't in the budget and this looks like it may be a good alternative.

Share This Page