By the Neck

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Dad Bass, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Dad Bass

    Dad Bass

    Jun 22, 2005
    New Jersey, USA
    From the threads I've read the Engelhardts may have the thinnest neck. Who else is close? I played a friends Strunal 50/4 and I thought the neck was thick.

    I'm moving from and electric and don't have big hands.

    Any comparison is great.

    Thanks, Pete
  2. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    My Christopher has a much thinner neck compared to a Strunal or a New Standard Cleveland.
  3. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    Don’t know the answer to your question, though just about any good luthier can shave the neck down on any bass. Trick is not to shave more off than the neck can handle w/o warping. I had an Engelhardt for many years with its characteristic thin neck, and the neck eventually started to bow, causing daylight in the neck/fingerboard joint.

    When I switched to bass with a thicker neck, I flirted with the idea of having it shaved. But I got accustomed to it long before I had the opportunity to do so (thank goodness). As long as you don’t have a death grip on the neck with your left hand, the thickness shouldn’t matter too much.
  4. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    I went from playing a 1/2 sized bass with a very thin neck to a New Standard Cleveland. The NS neck seemed huge, after a week or so I didn't notice. Last week I was thinking to myself how comfortable this neck is to play. Long story short, don't compare a double bass neck to an electric bass neck. If your hands are really small it might be an issue, but if they're normally sized you'll get used to it.

  5. ctcruiser


    Jan 16, 2005
    West Haven, CT
    One of the reasons I bought my Engelhardt was just for that reason. They have a thin neck and I was coming from playing an EB. (The other bonus was that they make a lefty model)

    Plus, I don't have to worry as much about weather conditions. I have been told that eventually I will migrate to a bass with a thicker neck.
  6. Don't be too quick to discount thicker necks even if you do have smaller hands. A thinner neck tends to encourage more hand pressure which in turn can lead to pain and bad technique. You will probably find a moderate-sized neck requires significantly less effort to play.

    It is only natural to prefer a thin neck when moving from a bass guitar. It keeps you in your comfort zone but to really play a DB you need to expand that zone.
  7. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004

    My old DB has a thinner neck and a thin finger board. I bought a New Standard which was very thick in comparison. Within a week, I noticed I could play much longer without getting tired. I had a double header last Saturday - LONG afternoon wedding and a late club gig. Woke up on Sunday and started practicing and wished I had another gig that night. I would have had all kinds of pain and stiffness with my old neck.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Getting away from my Dinglehart neck and going to the more conventional neck size and set angle of my Shen was probably the single biggest moment of progress in my bass playing adventure.

    When I pick up a Kay or Engelhardt, my hands start complaining in just a few minutes.

    There are rather petite ladies all over the world doing everything from professional SOs to bluegrass festivals that play big, conventional basses. I'd be surprised if your hands are any smaller than any of them.
  9. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    There's a reason that bass necks have been thick and large for centuries, IMO. Small, thin necks make my hands cramp up in minutes.
  10. You've got me wondering now. My bass has a thin neck compared to others I've tried.

    Could I get a new neck, or can the existing one be "thickened"? Which would be the cheaper option? Or would it change the sound of my bass, possibly for the worse?
  11. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    How thick is your fingerboard?
  12. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Go for the bigger neck. I went from BG to a thin-necked DB. When I got my own, I found the neck was huge compared to the school's DB I had been learning on. I'm not talking a small increase, I mean the business end of a baseball bat, compared to the twig I had been using.

    My hands are pretty average -- a baseball batter's glove, size L, fits like a second skin (I discovered this last night while wasting time at Canadian Tire) and this bass' neck is far, FAR more comfortable.

    PS: I haven't played baseball since I was 13 and have no burning desire to do so, despite not one, but two references in the above post. Just a strange coincidence.
  13. Larry, haven't measured the fingerboard but from memory it's about 3/8". The bass is only 18 months old so there's been no work done to the FB yet.

    Why do you ask?
  14. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    My old bass had some work done by someone who was not a great luthier, and now the FB is way too thin and the neck feels like an electric bass. I was just going to suggest getting a new, thicker FB if that was the problem.
  15. I see, no - it would need to be a shim under the fingerboard or some pieces laminated on to the back of the neck to build it up. Neither are particularly attractive options.