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70's Pbass neck gap

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by magnaton, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. magnaton


    Dec 12, 2013
    I've heard that two of the more common 70's pbass pitfalls are the weight, and a gap in the neck pocket. I've tried to find some examples of this gap online, but haven't had much luck. Can you folks please explain to me where this gap occurs so that I can keep an eye out for it while shopping around. Pictures would be especially helpful.

    Thanks much.
  2. thingk


    Jun 3, 2005
    My 78 has a gap in the neck pocket. I was told it was caused by worn out equipment in the manufacturing process. It has never caused an issue.
  3. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I have heard that this is one of the most common quality issues of CBS-era Fenders, because of their focus on quantity over quality, but I don't have picture samples to show you. I think many will agree that just because there's a gap, doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad bass.
  4. Kevin aka Kebo

    Kevin aka Kebo Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2011
    Princeton NJ
    Owner - Kebo's Bass Works
    The gap is a space between the side of the neck and the body.. I've played and sold hundreds of gap basses and the thought that this is an issue, well its asthetic only.. Ive seen 11 pound precbs basses and Ive seen 7 pound 70s basses.. Just find a bass you love and enjoy it..
  5. Thrash3r


    Aug 5, 2013
    My 76 has a small gap but I've seen plenty of brand new MIA Fenders with a bigger gap, I don't worry about it.
  6. magnaton


    Dec 12, 2013
    So let me see if I'm understanding this correctly:

    With the body, neck up, facing you... the neck pocket extends further out to the right than the neck itself? Is that the gap?

  7. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    If you follow the side dots up to the pocket... There. Also, their ability to bolt a neck on so the treble side of the neck was flush with the treble side of the pocket wasn't exactly stellar either, you'll frequently find overhang from one or the other.
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I had 4 70's Fenders and none had a neck pocket issue. I have played a few with it and the only way you knew it was there was to look at it.
  9. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    Dude, just imagine taking the neck off the body...theres a big pocket that's routed out. Put the neck back on and if anywhere where the neck doesnt touch(even if its just a credit card thickness) the wood "walls" where it has been routed out....thats the gap. In a perfect world the neck looks like the same piece of wood as the body. I have a sadowsky which is so tight it looks like the pocket was undersized and they tapped the neck in gently with a mallet like it was a slight interference fit. My new fenders are all nice and tight...one good thing about cnc routing is it is extremely accurate as long as the end mills are fresh and not worn.
  10. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    To the right and left. The only Fenders I've seen with neck gaps were mid-70's production. Usually '73 to '77. I've owned a few with this issue. I will admit, it didn't affect playability. But it's very sloppy workmanship, and it bugged the living crap out of me.

    Here's an example on a '72 Telecaster bass I owned -
  11. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Modern fenders are just as sloppy. It's what it is.
  12. I can not for the life of me understand why you, or I, are hearing this so often. Why is a slight gap a "pitfall?"

    That vast majority of my bolt on neck basses, from a wide range of manufacturers and even custom builders, have a slight gap in the pocket. My basses never suffered one bit from what I can tell. I always thought the mating of the back of the neck heel with the bottom of the pocket was the important relationship.

    Please, if there is a valid, objective, rational explanation for criticizing a slight gap at the side walls (other than aesthetic concerns), someone please offer it up.

    Otherwise, I wish we could bury this one once and for all in the same place where "handling frogs gives you warts" is buried.
  13. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Too tight a fit can cause finish cracks. Better to have a wee bit of room for the wood to expand/contract.
  14. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I think the concern, aside from aesthetics, is whether it leaves the neck more prone to movement in the pocket. I don't know that it does. So far as I know it doesn't affect anything of substance. (I recently saw a pic of Jimmy Hendrix playing a Strat with a noticeable gap. Didn't seem to bother him.)
  15. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Nobody asked for a "too tight" neck pocket. People just want a neck pocket that's not sloppy. P and J basses havent changed much for 50 years. It's a wonder fender still can't get it right.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Not the post '08 MIA Fenders in my experience. They have pretty high QC on them. Never had a neck pocket gap in any I have owned. The MIMs are another story(albeit better now than in the past).

    I've had 3 mid 70's Precisions which all had gaps. 2 of them were outstanding basses both tonally and in playability. You really just need to play one before you purchase.
  17. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    I owned 5 post 08 usa models. No difference.

  18. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    That seems really odd. Most 2008 and later Fenders I've seen have been assembled really nicely.
  19. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Their modern CNC routing is as good as anyone else's out there. I'm not sure what you're seeing but my experience with the newer Fenders (and of course pre-CBS Fenders) is a bit different.
  20. That's a reasonable point.

    However, the walls at the side pockets are pretty thin, especially the treble side, as evidenced by how often they chip away in those areas. If you are expecting those thin walls to keep the neck stable and aligned, you're probably expecting too much.

    That's what the bolts are for.