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anyone installed carbon or titanium bars

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Whippet, Feb 23, 2018.


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  1. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Has anyone ever installed a carbon fiber or titanium bars as an after market part on their neck?

    I am looking at an instrument that has neck problem (the truss rod maxed out and will eventually be unplayable) and want to install either one of them. Is this a relatively simple job for the luthier or an almost impossible job which I should just skip all together.

    Thanks for all information in advance.
     
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Need more info on the truss rod issue. Gotta sneaking suspicion that the installation of any stabilization...or new truss rod if truly required...will be expensive.

    Riis
     
    Whippet likes this.
  3. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    The only thing that I can tell is that the truss rod is maxed out. Everything else seems to be working fine. The truss rod is not one of those removable ones either. Currently no buzz and the action is set low, as in 2.1mm at the 12th fret on the B string.

    This particular bass is a frankenstein bass and the parts seem to be a mismatch but surprisingly it sounds good. I really have no idea where the neck comes from but a friend of mine says that he will give it to me for 300 bucks. He said that the neck has been gradually but steadily bowing and it has gotten to the current point.

    The pickups are Seymour Duncan Jazz and I figure it has to be worth 50 bucks and the bridge is a Schaller 5 string bass bridge along with Schaller pegs. That has got to be worth 70 bucks. So I figure if I like the sound, it might be worth fixing. BUT......

    As you said, after doing research I have a feeling that I would have to put in another 500 - 700 bucks to get the neck fixed properly. I would have to get rid of the frets, the fretboard, carve out a tunnel for the carbon spars, and do a bunch of things. I might as well try to find another neck.....

    It does sound good though, which is why I was wondering if there was a possible fix. Hard to say if the thing is going to do well after a neck heater treatment, which is why I was wondering if adding carbon or titanium spars might do the job. I know that carbon and titanium spars will alter the sound a little but I figure it might be worth the effort.
     
    Zoobiedood and Zooberwerx like this.
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    What kind of neck is it? A pic or two will help. If it is truly a dual-acting rod, we'll have to re-think our approach.

    A quality aftermarket (or used) neck would be the better value IMO if the existing neck is toast.

    Riis
     
    Whippet likes this.
  5. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014

    Sorry I am currently out of the country and don't have access to the bass right now. But the rod is a dual. I will try to get in touch with the guy and see what he has to say.
     
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    DA truss rods are strange agents and, IME, don't have the "limits-of-travel" associated with their single-acting counterparts. They're also packed tighter-than-ticks so you really have to man-handle / flex the necks while adjusting. IOW, if you flex the neck in a near back-bow and tighten the rod, it should hold its position.

    Riis
     
    BuffaloBill, 96tbird and Whippet like this.
  7. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I will tell the guy to do what you said and see if it works. Thank you for all the information, I will keep what you wrote in mind since so many of the guitars I come across have a double action rod and are really tight, it makes me wonder if it is rusted, stuck or maxed out.
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    There's a procedure for adjustment. If ignored (i.e. he just cranked on the thing willy-nilly), you can damage the components...the hex socket is a real beotch.

    Riis
     
    Whippet likes this.
  9. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I know that you are not supposed to turn it more than half a turn in one day and I am supposed to loosen the strings. Is there anything else I should tell the the guy other than what you wrote above about flexing the neck?
     
  10. viper4000

    viper4000

    Aug 17, 2010
    Charlotte
    Yes, but I let the doctor do it. I wasn't confident enough to do it myself. Also, my right arm didn't work before the doc did the install...oh wait...
     
    Whippet likes this.
  11. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I just got knee surgery the other week. The doctor told me about titanium and ceramic parts but he strongly advised against them. Titanium ends up fusing with the bone and it is a mess in the long run if you are under 60. Under 60 because the metabolism is fast enough to start this procedure and does enough damage by the time you are too old to do removal surgery. Over 60, he said, it makes no difference because you will die before you see any real negative effects. LOL My dentist said the same thing. Implants using titanium bolts is a bad idea.

    As ceramic joints, the guy said that it sounds good on paper but it is not the same. You lose a lot of movement angle and doing every day chores become a real pain.

    Looks good on paper but sucks in real life.......
     
  12. viper4000

    viper4000

    Aug 17, 2010
    Charlotte
    I didn't have much choice. I ruptured 2 discs in my neck, so it was either repair it with what was available or literally lose the use of my arm, and more over time. 5 years in, and I'm more active than I was for 10 years before the repair!

    Oh, and I've never done a custom truss, so I'm no help to your OP.
     
    Whippet likes this.
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The "half turn per day" is a bunch of crock. Personally, I wouldn't tell this guy to do anything. I would, however, ask permission to take it for a bench eval with a talented tech in attendance...not "respected", not "trusted", not "well-known". If there's truly a compromise, I want the guy to see it as-is. IOW, if it's bad, don't make it worse.

    Where do you call home?

    BTW @Whippet & @viper4000: you guys are a couple of trainwrecks. I think I've seen you at the corner table at Hardee's every Saturday morning.

    Riis
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    songwriter21, Whippet and 96tbird like this.
  14. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    I personally wouldn’t buy this bass unless you deduct the price of say an all parts neck.

    Once the truss rod has reached it’s limit don’t try and force it and get any more turn out of it. You will strip it. Fender make washers that can give you a bit more travel.
     
    Whippet likes this.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If it's double-acting, all bets are off: fixed nut, no washers. Truth is we don't know exactly what we're dealing with at the moment as background is largely anecdotal. We'll know more when Whippet gets back to the states.

    Riis
     
    craigie, Whippet and 96tbird like this.
  16. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    He would have to give me money to give me the bass. I would do him a favor to steal it from him. LOL
     
  17. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I am in Kiev Ukraine, but this bass is in Tokyo Japan. I will be going back to Japan in just about a month. The thing is, I doubt the guy wants to take it to a luthier and spend the money for inspection and setup.

    He quoted 25000 yen which is more or less around 300 bucks for the bass because he knew the parts were worth about half the quoted price.

    I will tell the guy to not fiddle around with the bass anymore and give it to me for free. I have a feeling a new neck is going to cost more than the price of the parts and a carbon or titanium spar job is going to run around 500 or more bucks.

    I just called a reputable luthier and I asked if I can get it plekked but he said that the cost of the plek job is around 150 bucks but that is just shaving the frets and the inherent problem isnt solved. Defretting the board, plekking the fretboard, then fretting the board, is going to cost around 400 bucks. But once again the luthier told me it was a temporary fix. After all there is a chance the wood is going to keep bowing. He said what you said, he would have to take a look at the guitar first. Then see if a plek job and refretting is enough. Now this is not including the cost of a new truss rod or carbon/titanium spars.

    All of a sudden this bass is starting to look really expensive....... Especially since I just bought a brand new Fender USA Dimension Elite V bass for just about 1100 bucks online from a store in Tokyo this morning.
     
  18. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    I’m not sure why anyone would install a DA trussrod on a bass. There’s certainly enough string tension so that you’d never need to push the neck forward. Could be out there though.

    And that’s true that the washers won’t work on every neck—good point.
     
    Whippet likes this.
  19. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014

    I always thought that DA was just more sophisticated and expensive, after all it is double. But as you put it the tension should be enough to keep it bowed.

    Interestingly I was told by several luthiers that PRS has perfected the truss rod action. They all said that PRS understand what a truss rod should do and designs the neck very well accordingly.
     
  20. I'm working on a 30 year old Memphis P bass, I used the proper method of using a clamp in the center, a block under each end of the neck and a 2x4 as the rigid beam. Pulled the neck into back bow by tightening the clamp, then took up the slack with the truss rod. Have put the bass back together with the strings tuned and play. This is done over again until it's just right.
    Worked well but this neck is just a bit too flexible compared to a good bass. So I decided to inlay 2 carbon rods.
    Will be doing this ASAP.
    Watch this video for how this stuff should be done the right way.

     
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