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Adjusting a set-neck Gibson?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bass4satan, Jun 21, 2001.

  1. Howdy all,

    I've got a Gibson Ripper that has a tone to trump all tones, but the action ain't too great. There's only so much I can do with the truss rod and bridge adjustments; even after a professional setup, there's still some fret buzz in the 15-19 fret range.

    After examining the bass, it turns out that the angle of the glued-in (set) neck is tilted backwards, so the fretboard rises as it approaches the body of the bass. This explains the fret buzz -- these frets are too high up for their own good.

    Now, how can this be fixed? Can the glued-in neck be re-glued at a proper angle? Or does the fingerboard have to be sanded down and refretted?

    Don't worry, I'm not fool enough to try this myself -- I just want to know how much I'll be charged by Mr. Luthier.


  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Go to Mr Luth. He'll know by looking at it, how to do. It's awful hard to say anything without actually seeing the problem.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I just went through this with my old Epiphone. After 20 years of playing it, I hadn't realized that there was a slight problem with the neck. I took it to a luthier, and he said that it could be a little risky trying to correct the actual problem. In my case, the problem was minimal, so he played around with the setup to compensate for the neck angle. I would still agree that taking it to a professional is the best thing, but be prepared for the worst.

    I lucked out - it only cost me about $20 to have this done. The cost is going to be dependent on what has to be done, but I think you've mentioned the most likely courses of action. With set necks, you might be better of treating them as neck-through in structure, so you deal with the neck as a continuation of the body - no separate adjustment is feasible.
  4. There isn't anything inherently wrong with the way the neck is attached to the body of your bass. All set neck instruments have this type of arrangement and it is done for a reason. Think about it! If the neck were to be attached with the fretboard totally parallel to the body, you would need to mount the bridge deep into the body to get the saddles in the right position to keep the strings off of the frets. That would limit adjustment to only one direction - UP! By angling the headstock behind the body, the bridge and it's adjustment can be mounted in a more neutral position to allow adjustment either up or down depending on the relief needed by the particular player or setup. Take a look at a Les Paul sometime and you will see the same type of angled neck installation.

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