Thompson Hybrid neck broken

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by hhalt, Apr 13, 2014.


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  1. hhalt

    hhalt

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Location:
    Reno, Nv
    Just wondering if anyone has had issues with the Thompson Hybrid neck separating from the body. I purchased one for our university program and after two months, a student, after practicing was just standing with the bass in its case and he heard a loud pop. The neck had come clean off! See pics. It is such a clean break I doubt it was dropped, but who knows with a school bass.

    Then just today, one of my young students had the same issue. His bass was two years old. I live in Reno which is very dry, which is why I like getting basses from the String Emporium, since it is not such a drastic climate change.

    A little bummed, since I just bought one for myself.

    Attached Files:

  2. hhalt

    hhalt

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Location:
    Reno, Nv
    Third pic.

    Attached Files:

  3. 360guy

    360guy

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    I've seen this situation on a different bass recently. It appears that the bottom of the mortise was poorly fit. There's a lot of string pressure pulling up from that joint. It can be fixed but if it's new I'd try to get it fixed free or get another replacement bass.

    I don't think the seller did anything underhanded. That's a spot that only the maker or manufacturer sees prior to sale.

    Sorry your having trouble but the student is not at fault.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Disclosures:
    Bass Technician, Club Bass - Toronto
    It looks to me as if the neck joint was not well fitted. That can be corrected. However, I am more concerned with what appears to be a twist in the neck - the peg box seems tilted relative to the neck joint in the photo. Perhaps that's just a matter of the way it was photographed, but I would want to be sure.
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  6. robobass

    robobass

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
    Disclosures:
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Ouch! That looks like the PU expanding foam I used to mount the door frames in my apartment. It probably would have held if they had sprayed enough in. The stuff is truly amazing as an adhesive. I don't understand why these budget bass factories don't use hide glue. Is it that much more expensive to just shim the gaps? Also, when you factor in losses due to failures, returns, ruining visible surfaces by getting this stuff on them, not to mention bad press from repairers, I can't believe there are any savings in the end. Perhaps it's simply down to a lack of background in traditional luthiery.
  7. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    asheville, nc
    Another thumbs up and happy customer for all the money you saved and the great deal had buying a Chinese bass!
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  8. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    Judging from the glue residue, it looks like maybe 15% of the surface was actually touching the neck block. And if that's true it's not at all surprising that the joint failed.

    You can easily find out if it's hide glue: Take the foot of the neck and run it under warm water (with the water draining away from the fingerboard - you don't want to remove that). If it's hide glue, all of it will soften, dissolve, and scrape off in a few minutes. If not, you have a job ahead of you to remove it.

    In any case, you will need a much better fit between the neck and mortise for it to hold in future.

    Good luck,

    Paul (eh_train)
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  9. hhalt

    hhalt

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Location:
    Reno, Nv
    Thanks for all the replies. You have affirmed what I thought all along-that this was not due to being dropped. But since it is a school bass, the company I purchased it from will not cover the cost of the repair.
  10. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    That ain't hide glue. I have it on good information that Shen uses a glue made from corn starch and vinegar in addition to hide glue. Maybe this is a similar recipe. It's supposed to be incredibly strong stuff, but is soluble with acetone.
  11. LHbassist

    LHbassist

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    These basses are in good hands, I'm going to use the correct glue and techniques to repair them. Hans is a friend, and one of my clients.
    These factory made Chinese basses have some nasty surprises for us repair people. I've seen almost NO glue on one end of a bass bar, and twice as much on the other end, like the worker was distracted, or didn't care. Makes trying to remove things almost impossible sometimes. I've seen horrible billets, cracked pieces of maple used to make a new instrument. Mostly, even the really nice looking, sounding and playing basses from China all suffer from them using the wrong glues for assembly.
  12. hhalt

    hhalt

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Location:
    Reno, Nv
    I think we all know Chinese basses have their issues. The reason I have been recommending these basses to my students in Reno (very dry), is because they have held up fairly well. I have two students with Wan Bernadels that have had not one issue for over three years. I am concerned with the hybrids because just yesterday, one of my students had his neck come off after two years.

    Are they using this foam as a filler in place of maple? I haven't seen my student's bass, but I am wondering if it looks similar to the one pictured here.
  13. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Disclosures:
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    If you otherwise like the bass, just take it to your luthier. Re-fitting the mortise and gluing it with hot hide glue will return it to service and it will probably sound better in the bargain.

    And just because the student doesn't remember the neck coming loose from being whacked on a door frame doesn't mean it didn't happen. ;)
  14. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Disclosures:
    Repair guy, Lisle Violin Shop
    +1 A neck reset is not detrimental to the value of the instrument. It's also a great opportunity to correct anything that isn't to spec with the original neck parameters.
  15. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    NYC, Inwood.
    "I am concerned with the hybrids because just yesterday, one of my students had his neck come off after two years."

    A bad neck joint is a bad neck joint no matter what kind of bass it's on.
  16. hhalt

    hhalt

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Location:
    Reno, Nv
    Fortunately, LHbassist will do it right! He has literally rebuilt a bass that had been run over by a van!
  17. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    NYC, Inwood.
    Excellent.
  18. robobass

    robobass

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
    Disclosures:
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    In the end, if something had to break, it was better to have the neck come off clean rather than breaking at the heel. I'm surprised the seller didn't offer more support, though. School bass or not, there is no argument to be made that this was not an exceptionally poor glue job, and constitutes a manufacturing defect. Were I involved in this, I would be going after the seller in a big way.
  19. robobass

    robobass

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
    Disclosures:
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    15%? I think you're being very generous!
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  20. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2002
    Location:
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Sadly, there is nothing else on the market that is playable in the price range of the Chinese basses. Engelhardt basses are laughable when bowed, and have a horrid neck joint and fingerboard. Uptons are much more expensive. The Germans are double in price. So the beginner and school markets have been completely ceded to the Chinese. James, are you ready to start manufacturing student basses to compete? ;)
    uptonbass likes this.
  21. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City area
    Disclosures:
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    +1

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