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Flat and Sharp Notes - Bent Neck Issue?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by wisconsindead, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. wisconsindead

    wisconsindead

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    May 16, 2013
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    Hello,

    I'm having an issue with my Affinity Series MII Squire Short Scale P Bass (late 90s-early 00's?). It has some concaving (with respect to the fretboard) of the neck. The action on my bass is way high, maximum relief is probably 7-8 mm at the 11-12th fret. I cant seem to get the strings any closer without serious buzzing past the 12th fret. While i'd like to have lower action, i can still deal with it (its the bass Ive learned on after all). The real issue is with the notes being out of tune, especially along the E string. The issue is exacerbated as I move to lower pitched strings. I will also mention I have intonated this bass and right now its about as good as I can get it and as low as I can get it. The 1st and 12th frets of all strings are in tune. I'm also afraid to use the truss rod on this guitar. I've used a good amount over the past two years always turning in the same direction. And its about nearly stripped. you learn a few things through experience. I'm basically of the opinioin that using the truss rod to completely fix this neck is a bad idea. Maybe I'm wrong... I'd take a picture but dont have a camera or smart phone.

    Is this a common characteristic of bent necks? Any cheap suggestions on fixing this? I would look into a new neck but apparently short scale Pbass squires are rare? The only other one I've seen was a friend who had one. i havent seen them on the internet.
  2. bassmanrocke

    bassmanrocke Supporting Member

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    Yes this is characteristic of overbowed necks. It is because the farther down the neck you go the more you have to stretch the strings to fret them. Trying to intonate with such high action is nearly impossible because you are trying to compensate for something that changes depending on where on the neck you are playing. You should be able to tighten the truss rod to remove some of the bow. Then you can intonate when the string height is more consistent down the length of the neck.(Note- intonation is always a compromise, but overbowed necks make this a compromise that is out of the range of acceptability for most players)
  3. wisconsindead

    wisconsindead

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    Thanks. I figured I'm basically screwed with this bass but still wanted to see if there was something I hadnt thought of.
  4. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    My guess is that your "about nearly stripped" truss rod is more like "stripped." Things that are "nearly stripped," are "stripped."

    So, you might want to go ahead and try the truss rod. If it's stripped, your pretty screwed anyway, and that's why the neck is so bowed (because the truss rod isn't actually doing anything). If it turns out that it's NOT stripped, then you may be able to pull it back some. If so, don't try to do it all at once.
  5. wisconsindead

    wisconsindead

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    Well my worry is that the neck may snap. Probably a low probability. I guess I am not sure if my neck is within the "truss rod fixes it" range or beyond. I can get the truss rod to turn, but it doesnt mean that the next turn wont soon be my last. When i say nearly stripped, thats what it is.
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

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    Dec 13, 2010
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    You can remove the nut and put a washer or two in to gain more tightening room. If it still turns for you then the neck can usually be made to behave. Look you don't know what you're doing so either read the guide by Jerzy Drodz posted here to learn how it all works or get it to someone that knows.

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