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Concern about dark/thick grain on EUB neck

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by GKon, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Hi folks,

    This is my first post in the UB section, as I've just purchased a Harley Benton EUB500 (basically a Palatino with the HB name brand on it).

    I just unpacked the instrument from its box and have a major concern about some of the grain on the neck.

    There are 2 very dark, vertical lines running up the center portion and on the right side of the neck. They follow the grain pattern. I can NOT feel them with my fingernail, but, I don't know if they are a crack waiting to happen or if this is ok and a natural phenomenon. They are much thicker and darker in color than any of the other grain lines.

    In the pic showing my hand, You can see one of the lines running from the tip of my thumb down the entire length of my hand. The second line is about 1 inch to the right of it, and slightly shorter in length.

    (In the same pic, at the "butt" of my palm, just to the right, there are 2 parallel lines, about 1/2" long, that are actually divots I can feel in the neck. These are not grain lines, but from something actually pressing up against the neck. Although I can feel them, I'll force myself to get used to them.)

    In the pic further down showing a small chunk missing from the fingerboard (again, something I'll live with), you can see the second, dark, vertical grain line. Any input?





    Any info and input will be much appreciated. Thanks, in advance.

  2. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    Looks like mineral streaking from my perspective as a cabinetmaker - very common in maple and nothing to worry about from a structural standpoint.
  3. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I agree they look like mineral streaks. The divots in the neck and the chip in fingerboard are a different story. Palatino basses, as you probably know, do not have a good reputation. I think you will have to way the price, your expectations, the cost of return, and what else is available to you in your price range.
  4. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Thanks, misterbadger and RSBBass for your input.

    As long as the marks are only comsetic issues, they don't bother me.
    Someone did mention, however, the fact that the grain does not run parallel up the neck and near the body, creating possible strength issues?

    As far as the quality of the Harley-Benton/Palatino, I've done several months of research and am aware of the inherent pro's and con's. All in all, I believe it will suit my needs quite well for now.

    Thanks again for the information.
  5. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
  6. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Well, the slash knot in the second photo confirms that the piece of wood used for the neck is not really up to the standard, but its a Palatino, right?

    The bass may have issues which will cause problems as it matures (which is why we say, "Don't buy a CCB!") But you have the bass, so you might as well be playing it! ;)
  7. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Hello Jake,

    It is a Harley-Benton, sold through Thomann Musikhaus in Germany. In essence a Palatino but, typically, Thomann usually does a thorough inspection and, as well, usually has higher standards in regards to quality control.

    I've been reading up on both the Palatino and the Harley-Benton EUB for months and, from all I had read, although they are not a top dollar instrument, it sounded like it would satisfy my current needs.

    The good thing about Thomann is that they have a fantastic return policy. They have a 30 day money-back guarantee. They will take it back, no questions asked, pay for all shipping and either refund or replace, as I desire,. They also have a 3 year warranty.

    Bottom line is, I want one of the EUBs.
    The question is, should I hang on to this one, or should I ship it back and request a replacement.
  8. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Well, I spoke with my Customer Service Rep at Thomann.

    He was very helpful.

    I sent pictures and a detailed description of the "problem" to their Service Dept.
    They will give me their opinion on the issue with the grain lines on the neck.

    If I decide to send it back, they will pay for all shipping charges, in both directions, and send me a new item, free of charge. My main concern there, and one which I addressed with them, is that if I do get sent a new unit, I would like it to be fully inspected to be free of any damage (gouges in the neck, chunks missing from the fretboard, etc) and that it have a neck with straight grain lines.

    I should be hearing back from them within 48 hours. Until then, I can just stare at the box with my new EUB sitting in it. A perfect example of "so close, yet so far" ;)
  9. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    So, I heard back from Thomann. Their reply was specific regarding the missing piece of fingerboard and the 2 dings in the neck. I can replace the entire instrument or they will give me a 40 Euro discount.

    Regarding the grain of the neck, their response was:
    "Regarding the wood grains, they are not a relevant matter and we can’t influence them."

    I don't know what exactly that means. I responded asking for clarification of whether, by "they are not a relevant matter" that it should not pose a problem or that they mean, it's not something we can fix. I'll wait for their response to make a final decision.
  10. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    So, after talking more with Thomann's repair department, I've decided to hang on to the EUB. I have a 30 day money-back/trade guarantee (they pay for the shipping) and a 3 year warranty.
    After everyone's input and the info I got from Thomann, I'm pretty confident all will be well with the bass. I am going to set it up and play it. Then, if before 30 days something doesn't seem right, I'll send it back, free of charge, and get another.

    After the 30 days, if anything happens in 3 years, I can send it back to be replaced.

    Sounds good to me.

    And, I got a 40 Euro gift certificate to make up for the minor nick on the side of the fingerboard and the dings in the neck.

    I'd like to thank everyone for the help and info. You helped me out a lot.