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Defective aftermarket neck opinions pls

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CDweller, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. CDweller


    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    I purchased a jazz neck from an aftermarket manufacturer who will remain nameless at this point. The neck is beautiful in appearance. Maple with a madagascar rosewood fretboard, and standard size (current Fender spec) frets.

    Prior to installing the neck, I had the headstock cut to a specific shape, and had the neck lightly finished in a light oil. The finish is a type that does not raise the wood grain, and introduces no warpage or anything like that to the neck. The tuning peg holes were also slightly sized to fit the standard Fender BMFL size tuning pegs. It never dawned on me to not make any cuts on the neck until I knew it trued properly. I assumed the manufacturer sent me a neck with a properly funcioning truss rod.

    After installation, it became apparent that the neck did not relieve properly. It would not bow at all, and the best the neck could do was align straight up and down the neck.

    I could have fixed the neck by leveling the frets to accomodate no relief, but then the neck would still not be right. A proper neck has a functional truss rod. You don't adjust relief issues by leveling the frets.

    Returned neck to manufacturer, and they want to level the frets- something I could have done, and something I didn't want to do because it's not a fret issue, it's a truss rod issue. I think they owe me a neck that has a properly functioning truss rod. The problem is that I already had the neck finished, the headstock cut, and the tuner holes sized for Fender BMFL tuners. That should not matter in an ideal world, because this is a neck that should not be patched up and then sold to a different customer. I imagine that they don't care about that, and if it had been returned in stock condition, they'd have just leveled the frets and sold it to an unsuspecting someone else regardless. They can't resell it now because it's been altered, but the issue remains that it's defective (says me; I consider a neck that won't relieve properly to be defective, even if the frets can be ground down to cover up the defect).

    What say ye, collective wisdom of TB'ers?
  2. steveinohio


    May 27, 2007
    You should have made sure the truss rod worked before doing anything. That could be an expensive mistake. Hopefully they will swap it out for you. If they don't I can understand why. Good luck!
  3. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    Always make sure things are correct before doing any work because once it's change you lose.....
  4. CDweller


    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    I'm actually agreeing with you guys after thinking about it- I should have made sure it worked ok. Expensive mistake. The other mistake would be going the standard blame the other guy route for my own failure-

    It's only money...

    However, you have to drill holes for the tuner screws, you have open the tuner holes up a little (they don't come standard Fender size, despite the company's claims), and you have to drill four holes for the neck screws. You can't tell if the neck will relieve properly without it being mounted and strung to tension on the bass. So there's no way you can not alter the neck to see if it works properly.
  5. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    You are correct sir. How can you check truss rod function without drilling/fitting bushings etc. They should give you a replacement. Lets us know the outcome and company when it is settled.
    A neck without a functioning truss rod is not resellable anyway.
  6. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I feel for you. It happen to me with an after market neck. I finally had to peel the fingerboard and dig out the old rod. It cost me double to get it right. A little salt and some mustard will help you eat it.
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Ah CRAP!

    I have a guy drilling, cutting, and finishing a neck for me right now!
  8. CDweller


    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    I don't want a repaired neck. The issue will remain that the truss rod does not function properly. Even if the frets are leveled, or even if the frets removed and the fretboard reshaped, the issue remains that the truss rod is not functioning properly.

    The bass will not develop the proper tone without the truss rod being under compression. It's designed to work and sound best with the truss rod under tension. The neck is not re-sellable, or at least should not be resold.

    The guys at the company have pride in their necks, and I think they'll replace it. I don't like to be the guy bringing bad news to them, but if they're going to advertise that the necks are guaranteed, then I'll have to hold them to it.

    I altered the neck, but how could I have checked the truss rod prior to drilling? And I can't tell them how to run their business, but I and my rather distinguished luthier (Joseph Jesselli) don't think the neck should be used.
  9. +1
  10. At the end of the day, the problem is with the truss rod. The headstock and neck "alterations" have nothing to do with the inoperable, defective truss rod. The neck is worthless and should not be resold regardless of whether the "alterations" were made or not. The seller should make it right. Just my $.02...
  11. CDweller


    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    I have to agree. I don't mind taking my lumps for a mistake I made. If I had altered the frets and goofed them up, then it would be my mistake, and I would pay the manufacturer or whoever for the appropriate repairs.

    The truss rod does not function properly, and altering the frets or fretboard to compensate for this is not the way to go on a quality instrument.

    The manufacturer is reputable, and the guys will most likely make good on this. I'm only interested in having and selling the finest quality possible- won't have it any other way at this stage of the game.

    Thanks to you fellas for helping me to look at myself and the manufacturer.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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