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extreme terror

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Seiki, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. So, on my upright, I've got this seam between the base of the heel and the body of the instrument (indicated in the picture with a red arrow - don't have pictures at the moment). The bass has held up well since I got it about a year and a half ago, and I can't help but feel this seam is slowly separating. There is no breakage; it is as through the glue used has given a bit of its strength away and has been ever-so-slightly resigned to the tension of the strings. There is a crack in the finish along the seam between the heel, but it's tiny and rather unnoticeable unless looked for closely. Now, when I mean slowly, I mean slowly; I can barely fit the corner of a piece of paper into it now at its absolute widest gap. I could not do that a year ago.

    The rest of the heel is still firmly attached. I'm wondering how much of an issue it is and am concerned since this is not only my only upright, but I am a young soul who does not have a huge amount of disposable money. Getting the instrument in the first place was an investment, even though the thing "only" was $600 USD (yes, a cheap Chinese bass is better than absolutely nothing otherwise).

    Is this a normal occurrence? Can it be fixed now instead of later?

    Attached Files:

  2. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    Breathe. It's not worth worrying about, at least not yet. When it becomes an issue, you'll probably move on to a better bass rather than sinking $$ into a neck reset. If you're really worried about it, a set of lighter-tension strings (depending on what you have on there currently) might ease your concerns. Just my $.02
    Seiki likes this.
  3. You make a great point that I hadn't thought of. I think I've advanced pretty nicely, considering I started from nothing but bass guitars. I know I'd keep playing, so buying a better one would be a wise investment by the time it becomes time to when this one gives way - if it does. Would be nice to step up to a carved top perhaps, since I've been playing more arco than I ever have (not to neglect pizz.).

    Worst case, even if there's a catastrophic failure and the thing ultimately completely separates into two pieces, it would give me something to play with and attempt to fix myself, right? Either way, I'd never scrap the thing - I'd love to keep my first love on hand for later days when I am older. I'm of young blood.

    Thanks a lot. What you've said does alleviate my tensions significantly.
  4. Ortsom

    Ortsom Banned

    Mar 23, 2016
    As I don't hear any offset mentioned, the gap opening up could be due to wood shrinkage. Young instrument, made from young woods, presumably.
    If the gap worries you, you could massage some glue in. Strength-wise that is not likely to help much, but it may help a little.
  5. bassmastan

    bassmastan Guest

    Jun 25, 2011
    You may not need a whole neck reset. A luthier using straps and shimmying some glue in there could very well do the trick. I have seen it done before and worked quite well. I saw on your profile you live in or near Chicago, you are fortunate enough to live by some really amazing luthiers and bass shops. A440 is out there as well as Andrew Hassle who is a young guy but a killer luthier.

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