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Effect of neck width at nut on tone...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alper Yilmaz, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Alper Yilmaz

    Alper Yilmaz Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY

    I am about to order a P bass to Mike Lull. I am used to the narrower Jazz necks on four string basses in general, but this time I am indetermined between a P and a J neck. Would the neck width affect the tone of the bass, what do you think?

    I am after a typical P bass tone, by the way...


  2. Wider spacing sounds better for blues/R&B, narrow spacing sounds better for metal.
  3. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    No it doesn't. 😳^^^^^^^
    Boom762 likes this.
  4. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    LOL! :cool:
  5. Ha, the peanut gallery always delivers here on TB.

    Seriously, I think the tonal impact of nut width would be so minimal as to be imperceptible.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Gentletrolls start your engines!!!
  7. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    No no, bigger nuts sound best for metal!
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Just play what you're comfortable with.
  9. Lee Bruton

    Lee Bruton Guest

    May 11, 2012
    Bigger nuts sound good for metal?? How you figger?? LOL
  10. Dredmahawkus


    Nov 4, 2012
    makes it easier to hold on to the neck when you are banging your head!
  11. Lee Bruton

    Lee Bruton Guest

    May 11, 2012
    Maybe he should hold on to his nut (nuts)
  12. No effect on tone at all.
  13. sven kalmar

    sven kalmar

    Apr 29, 2009
    the question is What nut?
  14. BRASS nuts for metal...! Seriously; if you're going to order from Lull, you can ask him the differences, and the pros and cons before you order. He ACTUALLY answers his own phone! Talk to him.
  15. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    the only difference i can see is if the neck is a way more substantial piece of lumber then sustain could potentially improve... but, since playing a 2x4 seriously spoils your chops, i agree with the "no"s
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Not IME. For example, I shaved the neck on one of my DIY P basses from 1-3/4" to 1-7/16" at the nut with no ill effect. Same with other basses I've done the same mod on.
  17. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I always experience a difference. I used to think it was the extra lumber in the neck. These days, I'm more inclined to think it's just because the wider string spacing lets me play more expressively.

    I sound "bigger", and more "P-basslike" when I play basses with bigger necks. It's not just my impression, because other people have commented on it.

    That doesn't mean it's going to work that way for everybody. I'm also a big lug with big hands...
  18. Now, THAT is one of the smarter answers I've heard to this question. Highly subjective and dependant on the player of course, but a good thought nonetheless. I am impervious to string spacing, I can utilize the same range of dynamics regardless, but I don't doubt there are some players who are more sensitive and influenced by this aspect.

    I was thinking, in a blind sound test using the same string attack on a P versus J -width neck, there is no discernable tonal difference.
  19. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Surely a chunky 1 3/4" classic P neck is going to have more mass than a modern 1 1/2" Jazz. I do think that the neck mass in relationship to body mass can/does have some effect tone, but comfort is an overriding factor here, IMO.
  20. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    For me, it's not about dynamics, it's about the left hand's effect on tone production. Touch, ease of doing string shakes and bends, that sort of thing.

    Once again, it's going to be very subjective thing, also dependent on ergonomic issues like the size of your hands, slender vs pudgy fingers, strength, etc.