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Neck Stability

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cv115505, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

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    Ok, I am new to all of this (building my own basses) and I have a pretty fundamental (4 syllable word for stupid) question.

    What contributes more to neck stability... multi-laminate construction, or stiffening rods? Is there a real difference?
    I know companies that typically build Fender-esque designs typically employ either graphite or steel stiffening rods, while other companies use 5-piece multilaminate construction or just use quarter-sawn necks... So what really works, and what is just an advertising gimmick?
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  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

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    Nov 5, 2004
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    I'm also curious to see what the opinions are.

    I've owned multi-laminates and necks with extra stiffening rods, and (unfortunately) I've had to occasionally adjust them all about the same. Some stable, some wonky of each type.

    Except for this one G&L neck, a "bi-cut" maple one that hasn't moved in about 19 years. And I don't even know if they do that anymore.

    Might also post this in the "Luthier's Forum" on here.
  3. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

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    My G&L has a quartersawn neck and I definitely already posted it in the Luthier's Corner section haha
  4. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

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    Nov 22, 2004
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    My experience has been that Fender-style necks are very stable. I have an '06 Fender '51 P reissue that came from Japan in a cardboard box: it has required one tweak to the truss rod, about 2 weeks after I got it. I have or have owned three other Ps and a Jazz, and I believe I have never had to adjust any of them, including the J which was shipped here in a trade from the Pacific Northwest. That Jazz Bass, by the way, had the lowest action without fret buzz that I have encountered.

    I also owned a Carvin LB20 bass with a laminated mahogany/ebony neck that needed to be adjusted nearly every time I pulled it out of its case.

    The single bad neck I have encountered was on an Indonesian-built Squier P, because some idiot had cross-threaded the truss rod. I sold it for what I paid for it, so no harm done, but that was not a fault of the instrument.

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