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Detuning warps the neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gunnar Þór, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. I have a MIM Jazz and the band I play in tunes a whole step down to DGCF, but I feel the strings are too floppy in this tuning and prefer standard. I was wondering if constant tuning between standard and DGCF would have any effect on the neck, such as warping it or otherwise damaging it?
  2. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I suppose it might, due to a lack of tension that is normally present when the strings are tuned standardly, though I don't really think it would be much of an issue. Probably you could correct anything by adjusting the trussrod.
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    It won't "WARP" your neck. I tuned two steps down and dropped for alot of songs in my old band. it didn't warp it. Talk to brendan, who tunes "BEAD" On his 4 string(s?) for his band.
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    One soulution would be to use a higher tension set of strings fo you have more tension on the neck with the lower tuning.
  5. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    AH! I forgot to mention I used at LEAST 50 gauge or 55. And if you tune BEAD on a four, you would need a 5 string set for the best results, of course.
  6. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    Yeah, I figured that it might cause problems if you use normal strings but tune them down. It would solve the problem if you got heavier gauge strings.
  7. no, i don't think having lower tension can warp the neck. get heavier strings for playability, though.
  8. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    If you tune BEAD I suppose you have to have a new nut cut too
  9. It's not the tuning down that worries me, it's whether constantly shifting between tunings will hurt the neck.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    It will not warp, meaning make the wood curved.
    It willaffect the relief, the intnesional bow in the neck. This is easily redeamed with the truss rod.
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I don't think you will harm the neck. It will shorten string life if you turn them up and down all the time.

    you'll also have a compromised set up in either tuning in order to make it work in both.

    The neck will be none the worse for the wear.

  12. cale


    Mar 26, 2003
    and what about going the other way? I'd like to tune mine to EBEA.. Will that adversely effect anything? Would it make a difference if I told you I had an aluminum neck? Should I get lighter gauge strings?
  13. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    We have a winnah.

    If you stay in one tuning, period, then you can intonate to that tuning (EADG, for example), but if you switch tunings, one of the tunings is going to have a very strange intonation above the 9/10 fret. Which can get funky. I did that to mine, the intonation from EADG to DGCF was off by better than a quarter step. So, you're going to have to pick the majority tuning to intonate to. Unless you're a harder band, where intonation is completely lost anyway. I eventually decided to tune to tune my 5er to ADGCF after a couple months, and it really improved the sound.

    But, if you adjust the truss rod and get the action set up, your neck will be no worse for the wear. You'll have some extra relief, but no warping.

    Graphite is your friend when you retune. Which is why I crave a Modulus more often than not.