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Bass Neck Swoop: What's up with that?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tpaul, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    At some point in bass-designing history, someone apparently decided that it wasn't enough to have the bolt-on neck of the instrument simply end where the frets ended. Instead, there is a whole generation of basses where the neck swoops down level with the body, and keeps going an inch (or three or four) after the last (highest) fret. Generally the butt end of these necks are cut on an angle as well. Like this:

    $_1.JPG DV016_Jpg_Large_580529.001_walnut_flat. egsfaeqf9wr0l34eraqi. jmsr. sr1.

    Is there a purpose to this? I mean besides style?
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    In several of the pictured examples, the end of the fretboard is quite near the front edge of the bass' body. The extra added neck wood extending into the body pocket adds more flat "contact area" to solidly support/attach the neck.
    MarkoYYZ and mech like this.
  3. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yep. M.R.Ogle has it exactly. If the bass is designed with the cutaways real deep, so that you can reach the upper frets, then the extra length of the tang (that's what we Luthiers usually call it) makes the neck/body joint stronger and more stable. Usually, the back two neck attaching screws go into the tang.

    The angled end is usually just a style thing.
    MarkoYYZ and mech like this.
  4. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    A style thing that defeats mixing and matching parts to use either the neck or the body for Frankenbasses.
  5. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I have a small trim router and I've had to chop out an angled pocket SEVERAL times for a neck swap.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Which parts suppliers may actually view as a good thing - "exclusivity". The shape of the diagonal end seems fairly standard, haven't checked to see whether any of them from different manufacturers are really interchangeable or not though.
  7. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    They're not. And, since they're different "lengths" into the neck pocket, you usually have to move the bridge when doing one of those franken-swaps. It's not a "one screwdriver" and done project.
    TinIndian and bholder like this.
  8. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I would imagine that Franken-bass-compatibility is not one of the design considerations made when designing a new bass.
    gebass6 likes this.
  9. reddesert


    Mar 19, 2015
    Further proof that electric basses are really just giant solid mandolins.
    bholder likes this.
  10. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I know that for many of us it is not a consideration when buying a bass either!
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    Actually, it was for me. I toyed with the idea of making necks that were "Fender Standard" compatible, which would allow more people to buy our stuff with the knowledge they could make changes of their own if they so desired. Ultimately, I didn't want a perception out there that we were buying off-the-shelf necks and bodies, so everything is completely proprietary and following my "ideal design" concepts with freedom from external influencing factors in terms of compatibility.

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