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24 fretts to standard Jazz neck replacement

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tedward, May 10, 2010.


  1. The bass I built has a 34" scale 24 fret neck. I'm thinking of replacing it with a 20 fret Jazz neck. Is this going to be drop in swop or am I going to have to do any changes? Tom
     
  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    You will have to move the pocket closer to the bridge and make sure the spacing adjustments are taken into account when choosing the neck or a bridge change may be needed also.
     
  3. Marton

    Marton

    Sep 20, 2005
    Quebec
    Are you sure it's not the opposite ?
     
  4. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Builder,mcdcustomguitars
    Your bridge will be in the wrong position. You may be able to put a spacer in the back of the neck pocket to compensate.
    Rocky
     
  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Really, it's impossible to say without further details. You could, in theory, have a 24-fret neck and a 20-fret neck that are exactly the same length, with exactly the same pocket dimensions. In that (unlikely) case, it would drop in perfectly. Chances are this isn't the case. So we can't really help you until you provide measurements - lengths of both necks (nut to heel), width of pocket, distance from pocket to bridge, etc. But if you take these measurements, you may discover that you no longer need our help!
     
  6. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    If you put a spacer, there is no room to bolt the neck compensating for the 4 fret deletion, thus the whole setup and alignment needs to be altered to accomodate the shorter and wider heel block. Everything needs to adjusted to make this change. If you put the 20 fret neck in the space for the 24 fret, everything else moves back on the body to keep scale, to fit the 20 where the 24 was you either fill the pocket and rerout or you MOVE IT FORWARD to eliminate the fill and only have a slight modification, saving a LOT of time and work. This type of mod is very involved and should usually be done by a luthier with EXPERIENCE doing this type of mod, as there are many factors most do not consider before taking it on. Maybe - should have been clearer in my original response, so as not to confuse those who have not done such a mod before.
     
  7. Ok...so it sounds like more work than I plan on doing. I don't want to modify the body. The neck pocket is cut with a Stew Mac Jig. 2 1/5" wide and 3 7/8" long. I should just build a new neck and call it quits. The whole reason I want to start this project was to have a lighter neck and change the head stock design and just replacing the neck with a pre made Jazz neck would be the easiest route (so I thought). The neck I originally made is rosewood and too heavy and throws bass out of balance. I was thinking that maple would be lighter. I hope I'm right in my thinking. If not let me know. I like the old Tele bass head stock and that too would have less wood at the head stock and help cut down on the weight for better balance. Thanks for the replies Tom
     
  8. What theory is that? :p
     
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    The theory Warmoth uses, for one:
    fretboard_3.
     
  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Exactly. Or, going the other way, there are plenty of higher-end basses whose necks extend further into the body than their fingerboards do. Nowhere is it stated that the fingerboard and the neck must coterminate.

    Edit: To the OP, if you want to reduce weight on the neck, have you tried Ultralite tuners? Moving the rear strap button higher on the body can also shift the center of gravity enough to counter neckdive.
     
  11. David1234

    David1234

    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    You could always go short scale. Make a neck that joins on just like your current one but starting at, say, fret 3 or 4, so as to retain the bridge position.
     
  12. I hadn't thought of shortening the scale and I think that idea might work. i could take it down to 22 frets by eliminating the first two frets. As far as the tuners, I don't think that alone will solve the problem and I tried relocating the strap button. Tom
     
  13. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Can you post some pics of the bass Tom?
     
  14. It's the one on the left (tha Tele).
     
  15. That's bloody lovely
     
  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Oh, it's a Tele. No wonder you're having issues with neck dive. In my most humble opinion, the Tele is the wrong design for a bass, especially a 34" scale instrument.

    I don't think building a new maple neck is going to help much. Best advice I can offer, if you're definitely going to re-use the body, is to go to a 30" scale length. Second-best advice is to use some sort of strap button extension for the upper button, a la Steinberger and others.

    So yeah. Good luck with that.

    Edit: Just noticed the Omni 10 in the pic - nice! I'm finishing up a pair of Jack 10s myself - can't wait to play them out!
     

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