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How to check for a warped neck?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jdwhitak, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. jdwhitak

    jdwhitak Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    Likes Received:
    There is a Musicman Sterling bass at my local Guitar Center. I know that it's been there for a while now (probably years at this point). I've also tried it out a handful of times over that time. The action was a mile high and it had a severe amount of relief. It was completely unplayable.

    The last time I was in there they had it marked down so I tried it again. It was the same as before and I mentioned this to the salesman. Fast forward to this week. I go in there just to browse around and the bass is now perfectly setup. It plays and sounds pretty good and I'm thinking about buying it.

    Anyways, my question is this. After sitting around for years with such a bad setup can the neck have become twisted or warped? If so, is there a way I can tell just by looking at it? I held strings down at the first and last fret to make a rudimentary straight edge and it looks good. I just want to make sure though before spending my hard earned dough.
  2. Immigrant

    Immigrant Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    Likes Received:
    If its really been there that long, offer $100 less than what they just marked it down to. It will still have a warranty, and it's highly unlikely that the neck is warped.

    UNLESS… it's one of those that they hang in the rafters at those joints. I'd be worried that it's completely dehumidified, but that's just me.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Sight it down the neck from nut to tail. Both sides. You'll be able to see if there is a twist. You may see the E side has a toch more relief than G side. Normal. More tension over there. You just don't want to see any twist in the neck.

    Now you say it's setup perfectly with correct relief? Then it is good to go as long as there is no twist.

    As for dehydrated wood like immigrant said, Poppycock. The maple should be dryer over time; that's desirable with maple. It will rapidly hydrate naturally to the ambient humidity. If it hasn't warped by now and you keep it at room temp, chances are it never will warp( twist). As for the rosewood,if present, if it isn't cracked it's ok. Just apply a little lemon oil or other board conditioner and it will be fine. It may be dry but rehydrating with oil is easy and again, no cracks, no worries.

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