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A moving graphite neck..any advice?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by HalfManHalfBass, Apr 12, 2006.


  1. HalfManHalfBass

    HalfManHalfBass

    Jan 21, 2003
    Hi guys. Has anyone any experience or advice of the following? I would really be very grateful!

    Recently I have discovered a problem with the neck on my 5 string Status fretless neck. Where I live suffers greatly from huge fluctuations in both temparature and humidity but I didn't expect it to affect my graphite necked basses!

    Basically, whereas before I could induce both a forward and a backward bow to my fretless, it is now neccessary to have the trussrod maxed in one dirrection to induce even the slightest of backward bows (concave). Last year there was a time when the trussrod needed to be in the neutral positon (practically undone) to remain straight and true with the minimum of curvature for the best action.

    Why would this suddenly change so drastically? I have undone the trussrod as much as I deem safe and tuned the bass to +3 semitones to try and induce a bow and see what happens....maybe it will return the other way so that the rod needs not to be so cranked, but the fear is that if this continues it will soon be impossible to adjust the neck if it bows forwards any more...... Any suggestions please?
     
  2. MattMPG

    MattMPG Matt Pulcinella Guitars

    Apr 6, 2006
    I have an old "Washburn" Status with the same problem. I removed the nut from the end of the truss rod and put on a few appropriate sized washers and put the nut back on. This give the nut some more room to bite on to the rod.
    I also installed very thin strings.

    It helped a little.

    Thats about all you can do with graphite necks.

    I thought this was only happening to mine because it was a cheapy. Kind of scary to think it can happen on an expensive one.

    Matt

    MPguitars.com
     
  3. Hi HalfManHalfBass

    You know I would call or e-mail Rob at Status for his input, he is always very helpful.

    Matt - I think the Washburn Status had a wood neck iirc.

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  4. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    Poulsbo,Wa
    I had the same problem with my Modulus Q5 (pre-truss rod). I ended up selling the bass because of it. OTOH my Modulus jazz had no truss rod and was totally stable.
     
  5. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Racine,Wi
    This has me kinda worried, I just put together specs for a Mark King 6 string from Status. I am spending quite a bit of cash. did you contact status regarding this? If so, what was their response? I feel a nightmare coming on.:(
     
  6. HalfManHalfBass

    HalfManHalfBass

    Jan 21, 2003
    Hi guys, many thanks for the input. I haven't tried yet to email Rob Green about this as I'm really baffled about the problem and want to be absolutely sure that it's not a climatic/humidity thing-which could just as easily reverse. I no longer live in the UK, so returning the instrument would be a real (expensive) hassle if not entirely necessary....

    The removal of the nut to insert an extra washer on the truss rod is impossible as the nut is part of the neck's casting, so removal would destroy the neck!

    As for worrying about whether to purchase a Status, please let me reassure you that they are fantastic basses and this is the 3rd I currently own (a custom order I made last year) plus I have had experience of a Musicman Stingray replacement neck too-all without any problem whatsoever. In fact I would love to order another 2 customs in the future, when money permits! This is why I'm really confused as to what has happened-I have been playing and setting up my own basses/guitars for over 20 years now but this issue has really got me beat!
     
  7. Hey LoEnd

    I would just like to add my.02. I have owned over the years about 6 Status basses and they have all been flawless. So I don't think you should sweat it over the quality of these basses it is first class, as is the customer service. This has been my experience with Status.

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  8. lowlife6

    lowlife6

    Oct 6, 2002
    Minden, NV
    I know this thread is 2 months old but I just chanced upon this and felt I had to add my 2 cents since I once was a graphite nut (as in fanatic) and can offer some advice, learned from costly experience. But my problem is associated with a convex (high action) as opposed to halfman's problem...

    I was once (abt 3 years ago) so sold on the no-deadspot, super-stable-neck-that requires-no-adjustment-forever hype that at one time, i had:

    - 1 x Zon Sonus 5 standard
    - 1 x Zon Sonus 5 standard fretless
    - 1 x Zon Sonus 5 custom
    - 1 x Zon Sonus 6 standard (with Adjustable truss rod)
    - 1 x Zon Sonus 5/1
    - 1 x Zon Legacy Elite 4
    - 2 x Steinberger XP
    - 2 x Steinberger XM
    - 1 x Steinberger XL
    - 1 x Status S1 Deluxe 6 string (with Adjustable truss rod)
    - 1 x Modulus Graphite Quantum 5 (with Adjustable truss rod)

    Ok, so the point is that I was really into graphite necks. As far as I know, there were only 3 makes that escaped my graphite quest : Gould, moses and German maker Schack.

    My overall experience have shown me that graphite neck are not as stable as the brochure says it is, especially over an extended period of time e.g. more than 5 years (by which most warranty would have been over).

    Out of the 5 Steinbergers I bought used, 4 of them had higher than acceptable action i.e. higher than 3mm space in the middle of the neck when string is fretted on the 1st & last fret. Which is why I kept only the Stein XP2

    I bought my 1st Zon new and after 5 years or so of constant tension, the neck become upbowed permanently, resulting in a high action. Zon's service was great the 1st time because they took back the neck and replaned the fingerboard. They said the neck might have shifted. I was to pay for shipping both ways and was happy with that.

    After that, I bought a used Sonus 5/1 (for $900) that already had a backbow. This time, Zon suggested that they install a truss rod in the neck but required about $500 in repair cost. To me,it didn't seem right because I bought a graphite bass advertised as "will never warp". Even though I bought it used, I paid a premium over a wooden-necked instrument for the "never warp" promise.

    To cut the long story short, I sold the Sonus 5/1 at a $500 loss and subsequently cleared all my graphite basses, that does not come with a truss rod. Even my 2001 Sonus fretless, which I regard as the BEST FRETLESS in the world, was showing slight signs of graphite fatigue. The Status & Modulus graphite was the most stable of the lot.I don't expect any issues from them but I just didn't want to take any more chances.

    Don't get me wrong, the clarity in tone & the feel in these Zon's, Status's, Modulus, Stein, Moses are to die for. But if you play fretless or slap with a low action, you should look for a graphite neck that has an adjustable truss rod. I hear that Zon's from 2005 comes with a truss rod. That should be safe.

    If you already own a graphite neck without an adjustable truss rod, my suggestion is to loosen the strings occasionally or whenever you're not playing it for a long time.

    I know I'm not alone in these graphite experiences. A few other graphite owners also faced a permanently bowed neck after years of usage.

    I still have one bass which I love too much to sell. But it has a permanent back bow. So with the strings removed, I applied "opposing" tension with some bars & clamp. I'm hoping if I keep the tension on for 1 year or so, the neck might just be straightened over time.

    So suggestions to the original post would be:
    - Put some shims in the neck pocket to tilt the neck forward
    - Send the neck to a pro for a fingerboard replane
    - Use super heavy gauge strings

    As far as I know, graphite has no moisture aborption/dispersion capability. But then again, it's supposed to be warp free too.

    Good luck.
     
  9. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    +1 to that (belatedly). I have owned two Status basses (still have one) and have two of Rob's graphite necks on other basses. All have been perfectly well behaved in every respect.

    But I am also confident that in the unlikely event of a problem, Rob would be able to sort it out, even if it inconvenienced him a lot. He's a terrific guy and customer service at Status is 2nd to none in my book.
     

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