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Does neck profile have a big impact on a bass sound ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Papersen, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I´ve just been reading some posts about some basses (FBB, Warwicks) with thick neck profiles. Since the neck has an important role in transmiting the vibrations of the strings, I wondered it there´s a direct relation between neck thickness (D profile for example) and bass sound (accentuated low and low mids, following the same example).

    Also thought about P bass necks vs J bass necks (again I know the importance of pickups in these basses)

    I know there are a lot of factors involved such as: body woods, pickups, hardware, strings, etc. but don´t know how much the neck profile impacts on the sound.

    Any help ?
  2. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I have multiple basses with different profiles.
    Somehow I think I make them all sound like me.

    I suspect that while it may be a factor, it is one of the most subtle
    factors in bass tone.

    Case in point: A store in my region is owned by a bass player,
    who plays a Modulus professionally, and they all adore the tone
    of the Burns Bison Bass 63 MIK reissue I lent to a student of theirs.
    The all steal it and groove on it. It is a 3 pickup bass with a stupidly thin guitar like neck. What is happening here?

    The pickup tones and the setup, and rigs they use totally overide
    any difference in the 'Neck'.

    In my humble opinion, the neck radius, given amp technology and EQ
    means nothing.

    Rock on bro ...
  3. i am not sure myself, but i remember hearing a billy sheehan interview and he says a thicker neck makes a better sounding bass. he said he wanted his signature bass to have a huge neck, but yamaha said that it wouldn't sell like that...i'd take it with a grain of salt, i know just because they are pros, that doesn't mean they know what they are talking about...i remember the discussion on mike pope and his idea to add length to the b string by extending it from the back of the bridge, and i do believe we decided that if the added length wasn't between the bridge and the nut, it wouldn't have any effect.

    personally, i don't think the neck thickness makes much tonal difference...but i've never done research!
  4. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    i'm sure it'll give some more body to the sound but i thought it was more about sustain.
  5. That is brilliant!

    Not that I know what I'm talking about either, but I think every bit of the makin's of an instrument make a difference, but not necessarily an audible one by itself. I think if you take a bunch of different factors and add them up you'll end up with an audible difference. Otherwise you'd be able to listen to a recording and say- 'ahh, that's a 1961 Jazz bass with a "slab" fingerboard attached with hide glue, but the volume pot on the neck pickup has been replaced and re-soldered with Pinkett brand 60/40 solder. I also can hear a wear spot on the back of the neck around the 9th fret. And they used too much plasticizer in the lacquer.'
  6. That's one way to think about it, it could also act as a tone sink. That the mass of the neck could be keeping it from vibrating. Just a thought.
  7. PRS mentioned that the stiffness of the neck is proportional to the cross-sectional area and inversely proportional to the length.
    this was in a review of one of their guitars which had a shorter neck than usual.
    I forget the equation they stated, but the length affected neck stiffness more than the area.

    I think this affects the sustain and fundamental content of the note.
    if so, the old Fender Bass V (wide neck and only 15frets on a 34in scale(short neck,long body)) should have lots of sustain.