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A twist in the neck? (Hwy One)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mello_bedwetter, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. I got a new Fender Highway One Jazz bass a couple days ago...a real nice looking bass. I put some new strings on it(flats)tuned it up and have been playing it the last 2 days.
    Today I took it by a shop to get it set up and the guy said the neck has a slight twist in it and to keep an eye on it. It may stay the same or could worsen. I'm wondering if any of my other basses may have a "twist". I would have never known the Hwy One's has a little twist. The thing plays good and feels right.
    I wonder how many basses are sold that have a similar problem and goes without notice?
  2. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Or perhaps he's trying to impress you with BS disguised as troubleshooting skill or angling for an inflated setup fee based on fear of a non existent problem he can solve for you? Or perhaps he can actually see a twist...like some people can hear beyond normal human range.

    Did he show you the twist, or tell you how to determine if it was getting worse? Did you ask him to show you the twist or how to tell if it was getting worse?
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    +1 If it plays great to you I wouldn't worry about it so much.

    But that being said, did you buy the bass from this store? If you did and it does have a twist, I'd be exchanging it for another.
  4. To me the bass sounds and feels fine. The guy pointed towards the headstock of the bass, about the first four frets or so on the lower edge(G). He didn't show me what he did to distinguish the twist...I just figure he knows more than me about it. He's been at this shop for 11 years and he doesn't do any "sales", strictly repairs and set ups.
    I don't think he was trying to impress me in my opinion. He wasn't going to gain anything on it. He just said keep an eye on it and if it gets worse to contact the dealer. I should have had him show me how he "measured" to find the twist.
    I'm taking the bass to a guy here in town tomorrow after work and let him go over it for me. I'll tell him what I was told by the guy that did the set up and see what he comes up with.
    In the mean time I have emailed the store that I bought it from to let them know what's going on. I hate to send the thing back, I'm around the St. Louis area and ordered it out of Fort Worth, Texas. I'm sure it will take quite a while to get everything swapped. On the other hand since it is new and if it is twisted it needs to be taken care of.
  5. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Sight down the neck from body end and look for any indication of twist. If you see even the slightest hint take it back to store you bought it at for replacement or refund. Since you only bought it a few days, ago no reason for them not to give replacement or refund for defective neck. Twisted neck on new bass, even if slight is a mfg defect.
  6. The guy I usually go to here in town wasn't in Saturday so I went to a different place. Today after work I went to the local shop and talked to the guy that works on my basses. He eye-balled it and did some measuring with a straight edge over and over again and never could find a twist...not even a little twist. Another guy that works on guitars checked it out and couldn't find anything. After they looked at it the owner came in and looked at it...nothing. After watching them I'm pretty confident the bass is fine. They said there's nothing wrong with it...in fact the neck is straight as can be. One guy that plays bass said it played and felt better than any bass he has played. So it looks like this Highway One is staying with me.
  7. I've done some guitar teching before I was a woodwind repairman (still do from time to time) and from my experience some times the nut creates an optical illusion to make it appear that there is a twist, which may be what the guy saw and if the nut threw his sight off he's definitely either a novice tech or just an overall poor tech. An even if there was a twist in the neck, it doesn't necessarily mean that it would definitely not play right. My 6 string Cirrus has a slight twist in the neck if you look at the headstock in relation to the body and also the first fret in relation to the body (sighting from the butt end of the bass), but the bass side of the board is straight and the treble side is straight also and it sets up with super low action every time.
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    check it yourself, by using the strings as a straightedge:

    hold down the first string at the first fret and last fret, and look at the gap between the string and the top of the 8th fret.

    then hold down the last string the same way, and compare the gap.

    if they're about the same size, you're good. if the gap under the bass side is a little bigger than under the treble side, you're likely also good (an accidental circumstance that can actually be in your favor).

    if the gap under the G is a lot bigger than the gap under the E, you might have an issue.
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Twist in a neck isn't necessarily bad. Some builders design them that way - on purpose!

  10. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Two points on this:

    1: In some string instruments, notably fine classical guitars, symmetric relief is not correct.

    2: If you do want symmetric relief on a bass (and this is usually what the manufacturer intends) and find it's off, I have repeatedly found that this is due to someone at the factory running down the trussrod from slack to tight in one go (presumably with a power driver) and getting it crossed-up in the neck. The effect is to have more relief on one side than on the other, because the rod is slightly twisted and bearing unevenly on the back of the fretboard.

    Loosening the trussrod until it's slack with the strings loosened and very carefully taking the slack out and tapping the neck to seat the trussrod properly will alleviate this problem.

    I have repaired many "twisted" necks on new instruments this way.
  11. And thats why its always good to get a second opinion
  12. Bass_Lord said..."from my experience some times the nut creates an optical illusion to make it appear that there is a twist, which may be what the guy saw"....
    That's what the guys here at the local shop said because they couldn't find anything wrong. Tim, the guy that does most of the repairs and set ups asked me where it's suppose to be twisted. He didn't want to "down-grade" the guy but he said there is nothing wrong with the neck. The other 2 guys checked it out and just smiled and said keep the bass, nothing is wrong. They did say the action on it is really nice.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    Point taken on the classical guitar thing (plausible, since nylon trebles and basses are so different from each other in tension and behavior).

    Interesting idea about the "shifted truss rod" cause for twist. I'll have to look at that next time I run into this issue.

    Either way, my suggestion on a method for checking is still useful, I think, and with the normal range of steel-string instruments, you do want symmetrical or slightly bass-emphasized relief.
  14. mikepaulhamus


    Jun 26, 2011
    I have a 2008 fender jazz bass that has developed a twist on the g sting side small hump om the 6 to 10th fret what can I do I released the neck slightly seems like that helped with the appearance but still have some buzz in the 5th to 12 fret on the d string
  15. mikepaulhamus


    Jun 26, 2011
    other problem with the loosened trustsrod is the bass side e string is higher action
  16. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Ill never forget bringing a POS P-bass into GC for a trade on some cables and correcting the store manager by correctly labeling what he had called "a severe backbow".

    "Actually, the neck is twisted."

    Him and three other employees looked at me like I had a bag of cheese doodles on my head. The best part was them genuinely trying to figure out through their database which Fender came with EMG Selects and a Badass bridge.
  17. I had a set up done by a guy this past December on the HWY One. He's known to be one of the best in the St. Louis and surrounding area. He said the neck was fine. He has all of the tools of the trade plus he's been doing it for years. He did a heck of a job on the set up too.

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