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Do all neck-through necks eventually go bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Trounce, May 12, 2003.

  1. Trounce


    May 12, 2003
    Hi everybody! Just wanted to take a sec to introduce myself and ask a question that's been on my mind for some time.

    I've played bass as a hobby since 1990 and over the years I've owned a number of mid-grade basses from several companies. I'm a fan of many different styles of music, but I especially enjoy jazz fusion & progressive rock. Some of my favorite bass players are Jaco, Jeff Berlin, Geddy Lee, Stu Hamm, Billy Sheehan and Victor Wooten.

    I currently own an early 90s Peavey Sarzo Bass and the neck is bowed pretty bad. I took it to a local repair shop and they said my only option was to go with a lite gauge string set to prevent some of the bowing since the truss rod was fully adjusted.

    My question is this: do all neck-through bass necks eventually bow? I really like the feel and tone of neck-throughs, and I'm looking for a new bass, but it's a real bummer to know that eventually I'll have to replace the whole guitar if the neck goes bad. I'm wondering if I shouldn't just buy a quality bolt-on so that I can just replace the neck in the future if needed.

    Thanks for your time, I've read many messages on this board before I joined and I know it's gonna' be a real help to me. :)

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    They don't bow more or less than bolt-ons.
    Anyway, you won't find a replacement neck to fit your bolt-on, unless it's a Fender.
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Right. Truss rods work the same way in bolt-on, set-neck, and thru-neck instruments. No more or less like to go bad on account of attachment method.
  4. I'd say the same thing. BTW, I have a 1979 Ibanez Musician (neck through) which I bought brand new. There is no sign of bowing whatsoever after all these years. Nor are there any problems with the fretboard. I think this is the rule rather than the exception.

  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i have a '73 ric 4001 in the closet and its neck is fine. has rounds on it too. a well constructed neck through should last a lifetime.
  6. Trounce


    May 12, 2003
    Thanks for the feedback, guys! OK--so what's with all the pirate references? :)
  7. If you truly love your neck thru or set neck bass and the truss rod is still intact it is possible to resurrect it, but like many things the fix might be more than what it is worth. Don't get me wrong I have a PV Verdine White Signature bass and I do truely love it's tone, but it sure ain't a perfect player.
    The fix I refer to is called a pretension or retension. What will need to be done is to have the frets removed, loosen the truss rod a bit and resurface the fingerboard and then refret. Sometimes you might loose or damage the fingerboard dots, but in the case you mention, fancy inlays!, they really should be removed, the fingerboard replaned, the cutdowns for the inlay recut and then reinstall the inlays.
    I know that it sounds like a big pain and expense but I've had it done to 2 of my basses and it was worth it, but the PV might stay a fretless after the replane if I decide to go that way.