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Another weird idea.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Joey.Ogden, Sep 16, 2008.


  1. Joey.Ogden

    Joey.Ogden

    Aug 11, 2008
    Okay, I am once again wondering about an idea I had, if anyone's tried it...

    Basically, I am rounding the neck on my first bass. So I got the top edge pretty much done (the rest will be rounded with sandpaper) and then started on the bottom edge. But I found that if I put the bass in playing position, the point where the neck is only about three-quarters of the way rounded (so it makes a D shape, but with one side larger) is very comfortable. Far more comfortable than a normal bass neck, for me anyways.

    I can imagine the following pros/cons:

    -There's more wood where the higher tension strings are
    -It's more comfortable
    -It's impossible to tell unless you look very carefully
    BUT
    -If the wood does warp, it might twist because if higher strength on one side
    -Could possibly mess with the tone or sustain, due to uneven mass underneath different strings (I have no idea if this is true or not)
    -It makes your wrist bend just a tiny bit more when you use a "clasical" grip (I don't, so it's not an issue.)

    Are there any companies (or small-time luthiers) which make asymetrical necks like this? And how much of the pros/cons are purely my overactive imagination, rather than actual risks or benefits?

    Oh, and don't even mention what it'll do to the truss rod. I've learned my lesson about mentioning those things on TB, but let's just say it's not an issue. ;)
     
  2. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    The D string is actually the one with the highest tension, usually, not the low strings. So I don't think that's really an advantage.

    Asymetrical necks are relatively common. I don't think there's a significant risk of warping unless you have a severe difference in the thickness between the two sides. The tone/sustain thing is unlikely to be a factor IMO. So, I say, if it feels good, it is good.
     
  3. Joey.Ogden

    Joey.Ogden

    Aug 11, 2008
    The D and G side of the neck is the thicker one. ;)

    I've never played a bass with an asymmetrical neck before... Or maybe I just never noticed lol. What companies use them?
     
  4. What a mess

    What a mess

    Aug 20, 2008
    Valdosta Ga.
    Carvin Bunny Brunnel model
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Tobias. Warmoth Gecko. Both of those also have it thicker at the bass side.

    But it it feels good to you. go for it. You can always thin it down to symmetrical later.

    You may also find that the profile is better at one area of the neck, but not another, since your hand is at different angles while playing near the headstock or near the body.
     
  6. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Ah... typically asymetrical necks are thicker on the bass side, and I thought that's what you were describing. In any case, here's the only factor I see as significant:

    -It's more comfortable

    There are no rules - check this out:

    http://buildingtheergonomicguitar.com/2007/12/trapezoidal-guitar-neck.html
     
  7. asad137

    asad137

    Jan 18, 2007
    Minneapolis
    Physicist
    I always thought it would make a lot of sense to make a 5-string with the apex of the neck back carve centered between the A and D strings -- that way, your thumb is referenced to the same spot relative to where it would be on a 4-string.

    Asad
     
  8. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    yeah, most of the asymetric necks I've played on are relatively subtle. I don't know that I'd even have noticed on my gecko neck if I hadn't read about it beforehand. I've often wondered about very asymetric necks though. I'd try it for a week or two and see how you like it. you can always cut it down some more if you change your mind.
     

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