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Broken Neck = Death?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by tplyons, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've got a 1940's Kay C-1 at school that I love to death. It's got a broken neck, which was poorly fixed and is separating again. It was fixed with a single dowel, which worked for a while, but over the past couple years has begun to bend back open under the weight of the strings.

    As the #2 bassist in the school, I've requested that the bass be set-up and fitted with a new adjustable bridge over the summer rather than getting a factory new bass with a FAT neck and horrible setup. The head of the music department has declared the bass dead weight and will not put any money into it, except strings. Everything is as original as I can tell, except the bridge, and it sounds wonderful. The top's finish is beautifully cracked and the back is missing a chunk of laminate every here and there, but the bass looks beautiful, sounds beautiful and feels great, except for the absurdly high action.

    The question:
    Is a bass with a broken neck and a botched repair job salvagable? I would love to purchase this bass from the school because it just feels and sounds so good. Is it possible to repair a botched repair, or would the purchase just be a waste of money? If it's a decent sale, how much would a 40's C-1 with a broken neck and poor setup go for?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Necks are replaceable / graftable if not repairable. Take it to a luthier and get a quote for the repair.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Exactly my thought, but I'd like to keep the neck, repair if possible. Would it be possible to fix it right?
  4. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    Yep, its dead. Send me $500 and I will have it shipped to me and prepare it for a proper burial. I'll send you the plot number so you can visit it here in Aurora on occasion.
  5. mpm


    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Or better yet, send me $400 and I will coat it with spar varnish, mount a trawling motor on the bow (that would most likely be the neck block, huh?) (hold it, 'bow', doesn't that go in those quiver thingys?), and have a lovely bass boat. Gettit, "bass boat"??? I can always 'varve" the neck (sorry Ahnold).
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    To give a definitive answer, "maybe." You'd just have to get the opinion of a qualified luthier to know for sure. Otherwise, you can replace the neck with an Engelhardt neck. They are the same profile and once properly done, it would be none the worse for the wear. You might end up with a sturdier, more cost effective repair replacing than attempting to repair.
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Yes, for a Kay Bass you would be better off getting an entirly new Neck. A Neck graft can run about $2,000.oo and up if done by a real pro. Most older Basses have had this done already but the Kay does not have a valuable handmade Scroll that needs to be saved. Go with a brand new Neck and fit the old tuners on it if they are still good.