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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Fender4Me, Jun 13, 2020.
Should a Jazz bass neck be on the same plane as the body or should there be a slight tilt rearward ?
It's designed to be flat, but shims can introduce necessary tilt as needed.
I've asked this exact question before and never have received a direct answer.
I've also have been told that I was wrong that they should be dead parallel but with no back up.
I know you can shim them out of plumb; I know you can introduce bow; but my Sandberg (and now G&L) sure look and measure parallel but I can't find any tech info to support this observation. I like the way they play assuming the strings are not super light gauge.
Perhaps a guarded secret....
They are designed to be flat, parallel, and on the same plane. No ifs, ands or buts. There are other ways to design and build a bass, but that's what Fender and Fender derivatives do.
Agreed! Fenders are designed and manufactured to be flat: fingerboard parallel to the body top surface. People sometimes tilt Fender necks with shims to correct ski jump problems, or to correct for mismatched hardware.
Thanks everyone. My Jazz had a slight tilt forward (headstock high) . It had a business card in the pocket so I sanded a full maple shim to an angle and now the neck is level with the body. You haven't lived until you've sanded a .035" thick of maple veneer to an angle
Thanks for the reply Bruce! You're one of the few professional luthiers (as opposed to hobbyists like myself) that reply to these type of threads.
In some industries, knowledge is power and I get not sharing information if it affects you're lively hood.
In regards to guitars, knowing how to do a project is a very small piece of the puzzle when you consider the handwork, craftsmanship, experience, and finesse involved. (IMO)
That's my job here, Jim. I try to provide straight technical answers to questions from Luthiers, hobbyist and pro. Because in most cases, I've been there and done that, and actually worked with these problems.
Building a fine bass guitar is a lot more complicated than it first looks. There's a lot of engineering needed. Those pesky technical details that you have to get right.
double sided tape on an angled block and a Wagner Safe-T-Plane. remove shim from block with coping saw blade and peel off remaining tape residue with fingers.
indeed. one thing to understand about fender is that they were and still are manufacturers. they don't have a time honored or self-imposed artistic pedigree to uphold like say gibson or martin or a boutique builder. they make instruments and amps and were/are pretty darn practical with production expedients and design elements made to be built easily and profitably. flat neck geometries, bolt on parts, automotive paint, basic plastics, simple stamped metal work, industrial grade electricals, etc.. and as such they have become masters of this strategy.
Yes, Fender's #1 design rule is to build by the millions, inexpensvely. Leo brought mass manufacturing to the world of guitars. And, he was successful.
The Henry Ford of guitars, basses, lap steels, and amps (in his day)!