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Difference between Warmoth and Mighty Mite Necks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keef, Oct 1, 2005.


  1. Keef

    Keef

    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    I'd get a Warmoth but I really don't like the idea of the steel rods in the neck – it seems they would really add a lot of weight. The Mighty Mites don't have steel rods in them and are cheaper, plus they include a nut and are finished.

    So is there really a big difference between the two brands other than the rods? I'm looking at a standard maple with rosewood fretboard, don't care for fancy woods, etc. How do these brands compare with say, a MIJ Fender? Do the rods in the Warmoth add a lot of weight?

    (on a side note, I really don't understand the need for the rods in the Warmoth. I've owned a total of around 10 basses, all of them good quality, made in America – buncha Fenders, a Stingray, a 4003 – and I've never had any sort of problem with bending, twisting or warped necks. I do use light gauge strings though, maybe that has something to do with it...)

    Any insight appreciated!

    ~ Keef

    •
     
  2. Micolao

    Micolao

    Sep 7, 2005
    Italy
    the warmoth it's like an american fender neck, but better
    the Mighty mite is like a Squier neck, but better
    It's not only the construction (I hava a Mighty mite one that anyway it's a good neck) but also the quality of the woods (and also the choise of them); the maple in the MM is really light compared to the warmoth.
     
  3. Keef

    Keef

    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    Thanks for the info, Micolao.

    Does anyone know how much weight the rods in the Warmoth necks add?
     
  4. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL

    no more than an extra 10 lbs. DEFINATELY no more...


    from everything I have read and seen, if you want the best parts neck available...get the Warmoth. weight is just a part of playing bass.
     
  5. beadgc

    beadgc

    Oct 10, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I don't have much experience with the Mighty Mites, but another option might be USA guitars. I played one once that seemed excellent, and I've seen positive comments about the company here. They don't use steel rods. If I put together another DIY project, that's what I'm doing.

    I've bought and used a few warmoth necks, both for guitars and basses, and have been very impressed with the overall quality (+, it's just a great company to deal with). But the weight of the steel bars is a problem, IMO. I sold the last bass I put together with a Warmoth neck because of it. Generally, I don't mind a little heaviness in a bass. I own a Spector US ns-6 that's very hefty, but it's also pretty well balanced. For me, the last place you want weight concentrated in a bass is the neck.

    Warmoth seems slow to change. I know at least one of the guys from the company posts here, so one question I'd love to know the answer to is: Why no graphite-rod option? They're good enough for Stuart Spector, Mike Tobias, and dozens of other top luthiers......
     
  6. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL

    good question...mind if I start a thread about it? Last time I did that, we ended up finding out they now make maple w/MOP blocks

    :bassist:
     
  7. thedoctor

    thedoctor

    Jun 20, 2005
    I was about to call you an idiot for worrying about the extra wieght when I wieghed three rod assemblies. 6.3 oz. for each Warmoth rod, 5.6 oz. for a long Martin-style alum-channel and 2.3 oz for a Pro-Fibre double. The last place I want extra wieght is in the neck so your concerns are legit. Carry on.
     
  8. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    IME, the different construction also affects the tone. The more pliant necks have a very different tone and feel - this is the early '60's J feel. The steel reinforced necks from Warmoth are very stiff. It's somewhat a subjective decision, so, you'd be best to try both. I personally prefer the more flexible necks. I don't even like the graphite inlays - give me wood and a truss rod.

    Oh one other thing: there is a downside to the more flexible necks - they can have dead spots. Some do, some don't; so you have to sort through them. The reinforced necks are more reliable in that respect. However, I would still take a good standard neck over the reinforced neck anytime.
     
  9. ebladeboi123

    ebladeboi123

    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    warmoths are nice. But.... they're a full c shape neck. They much different imo than a "regular" p-bass neck. But after about a week, you grow used to it. I went with AAA Birds eye maple w/ ebony fret board. Honestly, its the most beatiful neck i've ever played. And the head stock is a tele, so its awesome...
     
  10. parttimeluthier

    parttimeluthier

    May 7, 2005
    According to the Warmoth website, they offer a number of different neck profiles(at a slight additional cost of course).
    According to their blurb the reason they use these two additional square steel rods embedded in the necks is not only to add stability but they claim that it gives a much more lively tonal response over composite materials with less dead notes. This reminds me of back when I worked as a bicycle mechanic/salesman. You could go up to a high quality cro-moly pro steel bike frame and ping the top tube with your finger. It would give out a nice clear ringing tone. When you pinged the top tube of a carbon fiber/composite frame it would sound like a dull lifeless "thwack". However the carbon fiber frames were generally lighter and stiffer.
    Either way there are lots of happy warmoth neck players out there!
     
  11. Micolao

    Micolao

    Sep 7, 2005
    Italy
    Maybe, sound apart, it's because the price will be much higher.
    I suppose, but I'm not sure...
     
  12. jaymeister99

    jaymeister99

    Aug 2, 2005
    How does mighty mite compare to a real Fender neck?
     
  13. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    A real Fender neck can be almost anything from many countries and different factories.
     
  14. jaymeister99

    jaymeister99

    Aug 2, 2005
    Ok, well then how does the mighty mite compare to an MIA, MIJ, and a MIM Fender.
     
  15. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I don't know the Mighty Mite necks but just comparing Fenders I think the Japanese models have been the top quality for the last 20 years.
     
  16. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    The steel in our necks makes the necks a bit stiffer, but mainly it adds mass-loading. This has the effect of lowering the resonant frequency of the neck and adding brightness and sustain.

    Our thinking is this: graphite would make our necks more expensive and add some marketing appeal, but we don't think it would make the necks better, and they'd definitely sound different. The weight added by the extra steel in our neck can be more than offset by a light set of tuners, if balance is a concern.
     
  17. beadgc

    beadgc

    Oct 10, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Brian--

    Thanks for the answer. But while I understand your reasoning, I still think you may want to reconsider it as some point, because you may be limiting your potential market share. You note that graphite would make your necks sound different, but not neccesarily better. My question would be, how do you define better? You offer dozens of body woods, which will make the two othewise identical Warmoth bodies sound incredibly different (solid hard ash vs. chambered big leaf maple, to pick a pair). As different as they are, one is not necessarily better. By offering different options that, you're letting your customer make the choice. Sme thing with the expense. The once-piece AAA flame maple body will be X times as expensive as an ugly piece of alder, even though many people my think the alder sounds better.

    As long as offering graphite rods as an option did not result in making a neck that was clearly inferior, you'd just be offering your customers more choice, and letting them decide whether it was worth the additional cost.

    Once again, as someone who's put together a few basses and guitars with your products, and may want to again, the 10 oz. additional weight of the steel is a problem for me. I'm going to be using ultralight tuners on whatever neck I use. As things stand now, my next project is likely to be one of your bodies with someone else's neck.

    Best regards,
    Rob
     
  18. For a while, Mighty Mite made the necks used on Reverend guitars and basses and, believe me, there was nothing wrong with them. At similar price points (for brand new merchandise), you will see similar quality and features...spend more, get more; spend less, get less.
     
  19. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    Certainly, we don't think graphite is a bad idea, and we also aren't closing the door on exploring this option in the future...

    Just to be precise about the weight, though, here are some specifics:

    Each one of the flat steel bars in our bass necks weighs about 2.8 oz. There is one as a part of the double-expanding truss rod design (we're not changing that), and two as additional reinforcements. That's 8.4 ounces more than a vintage-truss rod neck of the same dimensions... probably more like 8 after you account for the wood removed to add the reinforcements. Now if you accept that we're not going back to a vintage single truss rod design (see our site for the reasons for this), you'll see that there are only 5.6 ounces to be saved by eliminating the two remaining steel reinforcements, and then of course you've got to add back in the weight of the graphite you add instead. I don't have the figures in front of me, but be generous and say each graphite bar weighs just half an ounce. So for us to change over to graphite we'd be adding around $20 to the price of a neck to save 4 1/2 ounces or so (3.6 sticks in my head - I'll check my research at the office on monday). And a set of Ultralites or BML Lite tuners weighs 8 ounces less than a set of vintage full-size tuners...

    Believe me, we've thought this through! Having said this, I know people would like to see a graphite-reinforced Warmoth neck, and we'd probably sell a lot of them. We do listen when people ask... this is another one of those "not yet" things. :)
     
  20. beadgc

    beadgc

    Oct 10, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Brian --

    Thanks for the info: it's more than I had on this, and is helpful.

    I'm planning on putting together a fretless jazz project some time in the next few months. The body will definitely be one of yours, and as for the neck, well, if I haven't seen anything about graphite in the meantime, maybe I'll write you and offer to be a guinea pig.

    Best of luck,
    Rob