Baseball Bat Necks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jive1, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I keep on hearing about how so-and-so bass has a baseball bat neck whether it's Warwick, Musicman, Fender, Tobias or whatever. It seems to me from reading these threads that anything that isn't a slim profile neck like some Ibanez is considered a baseball bat neck (i.e. too thick). From all the basses that I have played, it seems that I run into more "baseball bat" necks than "regular" necks. So what's the deal here? What is the definition of a "baseball bat neck", or what neck profile is considered too thick?
  2. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    To me "baseball bat" implies necks that are make with more of a "C" profile as with Fender P-basses...

    I prefer assymetrical necks where the treble side is thinner than the bass side.. This is very important when playing my 7 and 8 string basses due to the wide fretboards. Any other configuration would be very uncomfortable and I'd guess nearly unplayable.
  3. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Spector 5 strings. Cut and dry.
  4. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Baseball bat is the peak of evolution. Huge neck == Huge Tone. Flimsy neck... you got the point ;)
  5. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
    You must be a BIG wishbass fan then TRU!
  6. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I'll put my "pencil neck" Zon up against any "huge neck" you choose for huge tone.


    You'll lose!


    The size of a neck really doesn't have that much affect on the tone, the STIFFNESS of it does. Some basses, due to the amount of wood in them (Spector, Warwick, FBB) will have beefy tone, but assigning the tone to the size of the neck is a false association.

    The reason these basses have thick tone is the stiffness imparted to the neck from the extra wood in them. A Zon, Modulus, or Status will be even stiffer with a MUCH thinner neck, and will have better definition and depth.

    It will also have fewer dead spots, which makes some people think they're "sterile" sounding, they're just preternaturally even sounding. To some people, this is "unnatural", they're so used to the dead spots, they don't like the evenness.
  7. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I think the term is over-used and often...mis-used.

    To me... a 'baseball neck' refers to a neck that with a 'U' or 'C' profile and more importantly... a low fingerboard radius. That's what gives it that 'round', 'bat' feeling.
  8. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I don't think that I've ever run across a production instrument made after the 1950s that really has what I would consider to be "baseball bat" profile. I'd say that Warwick necks probably get the closest (and there are small production guys here and there that like thick necks), but overall....I don't think the "baseball bat" profile has been in production for many decades.
  9. :D I love my Wish basses! the obscenly fat " baseball bat " neck is a blast to play, reduces fatigue, I can play them for days. I have 4 of them. :eek:
  10. I rejected thick "baseball" style necks, till I used a warmoth birdseye maple neck and fretboard on a black korina 1 piece 5 string jazz body. boy the tone is massive deep, and full-but fatique sets in quickly. I use it to record, but a long set wipes me out, kind of like going from guitar neck to bass-slightly unnatural.
  11. unless I am denser than many people think I am! this explains the fretboard radius, but not the need for a fat, round back with weight and massiveness to the neck, that I think many people object to to, abd many crave.
  12. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Bingo. Big, C-shaped, thick, and beefy necks. I love my NSCR-5, but it does hurt my wrists after awhile if I play below the 3rd fret a lot.
  13. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Spector 5 rules da school, but I agree, playing in the lower register can wreak havoc on your wrist with that extended 35" scale. That bass is best played at the 5th and above.
  14. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    my stiffy produces the best tone. drives the chicks nuts. it can be really kinky and funky. factor in some Barts and my ampeg and you can really making it even thicker.

    :eek: :D
  15. being one of those, who, came to bass, from guitar, be it 20 or more years ago, I love to noodle around past that 12th fret. for tone variety, to pass out of repeat bordom land, and it looks so kool, all that action going on. I have a warwick fortess one-hong kong model with a wenge tree for a neck, sounds great but a bear on the wrists past the 7th fret. tried to have my luthier make a new neck, for it, but he said it sounds and looks so nice, he wouldn't alter it. so it sits-bummer
  16. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I can play all over the fretboard for hours and not get fatigued. Maybe it's because I have rather beefy hands?

    I'll try to keep this from becoming a Spector worship thread (even though there should be more of them), but:

    Gemme sum dat NS-4CRFM aktshun fo m rawk band!
    (Current GAS, as it were. One of those in black cherry? Oh yes...)
  17. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I play with my bass pretty high on me, so the stretch to the 1st fret is kinda far and awkward. Of course, it's not a problem if I play with it lower. Most of my playing takes place between 5 and 12 so it's not a problem.