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#8 Neck Causing Left Hand to Cramp Up

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by fu22ba55, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I used to own an ASAT and loved the sound, but I had to trade it because my left hand would cramp up something awful whenever I played it.

    Very weird, hadn't happened to me on any bass before or after.

    The ASAT has the #8 neck


    And I'm a '72 Jazz Bass guy, so I'm used to the 1.5" nut width...

    The neck was just too thin (front to back) for me. Maybe the radius too.

    Is the #6 neck more like a vintage jazz bass neck? (thicker, front to back?)

    Has anyone else had this problem and switched to the #6 neck?

    The only problem I can see is neckdive. The ASAT with the #8 was so perfectly balanced (unbelievable for a tiny body like that), that maybe the #6 would add too much weight. Maybe a L2000 with #6 neck is the sweet spot?
  2. Rosebud


    Jan 3, 2007
    IMO it's a combination the front to back c shape curve that the #8 neck lacks, I own one, and the flatness of the 12" radius. I kinda know what you mean.
  3. Mesa


    Mar 20, 2008
    Holly Springs NC
    Funny that you mention this problem specifically with the #8 neck. I just went throught a serious bout of tendonitis on my L2K with the #8 neck. Even though here in CA we don't really have to deal with seasonal setup changes, my bass developed a bit of fret buzz, so I redid the setup. I had previously restrung it with LaBella flats and adjusted only the intonation to the new strings, so I felt a working over may have been in order. I added some relief and redid the setup, but the new string height was slightly higher than before.
    I practice at least an hour a day on a Squier VMJ (I have young kids, and I always worry about them knocking my bass around), but when I prepare for a gig (once every few months or so), I practice using my G&L for a few weeks to make sure I'm used to the differences.
    Well, with the new string height and a bunch of new songs in C and F, I found my hand cramping like hell. It always felt like I needed more neck to grab onto to be able to apply the pressure to fret a clean note. I screwed up my left hand good enough to ruin the gig for me, and my confidence was severely rattled.
    I again changed the setup to try to lower the string height. I took out a bunch of relief (eventually about a third of a turn back from where I originally started), reset the height and intonation, and the majority of my problems went away. I also experimented with using different fingerings and different thumb placement, and between all of that, my cramping has gone away.
    I'll say that a Squier/Fender jazz neck is pretty different than a G&L 12" radius neck, but I love the G&L tone so much. My hands are not huge, but typical p necks have not proven to be much of a problem to me. I've not tried the stock L2K neck. I will say that my reticence to go with a thicker neck was mostly mental, and in reality, having that extra meat to grab on to is worth the effort in better support for my hand.
    In summary, I'll probably continue with my L2K now that I seem to have overcome the issues that I have with the #8 neck. In the future, I will certainly be less likely to dismiss an instrument with a thick neck based strictly on my fear of not being able to play it.
  4. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    It wasn't a problem when I was playing sitting down, since I was using "proper" left-hand technique, but I wear the bass pretty low when standing up, and that's when it happened.

    My '69 Pbass (1.65" nut width) and '72 jazz (1.5") are never a problem, so I think it's the front to back thinness of the ASAT neck as said above.

    I wonder if G&L sells just replacement necks? Then I could pick up an ASAT on ebay and swap out the neck.
  5. Rosebud


    Jan 3, 2007
    my G&L dealer says he can oeder necks from the factory so I suppose it's possible.
  6. Mesa


    Mar 20, 2008
    Holly Springs NC
    I hear you. My reply was essentially a long-winded agreement that the front to back thinness can surely be problematic. As mentioned in the previous post, I'm pretty sure G&L sells necks.
  7. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    Are you sure the problem is from the neck and not the position of the bass? Because there is no horn on an ASAT (like on a P/J/L2k) I found that I had to extend my left arm more and that it was tiring. It also changes your grip a bit.

    There used to be a guy that named "ASATMAN" who made an "ASAT string extender" (ASE) out of aluminum (think of the string extender on a Steinberg Synapse). I have one of these on my ASAT and it really improves the playing position. No neck dive, virtually perfect balance, and I don't have to hold my left arm out so far. Might be worth checking out if they guy is still around...and a lot less intrusive than changing the neck!
  8. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Good suggestion fender3x, but I don't think that was it:

    I play an RD Artist alot, which is extra long scale (34.5) and like a tbird has no top horn, so its neck is WAAAAY out there... and I actually prefer that position to the fenders...

    And neckdive was never a problem with my ASAT. That's what killed me about it... perfect sound, perfect balance, neat look. LEFT HAND CRAMPS UP! OUCH OUCH OUCH!

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