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First Warmoth neck, a review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by birminghambass, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Ok, been a semi pro player gigging for 18 years. I've used mostly Fenders with a few Stingrays and G&Ls mixed in. I've always been smitten with the custom options and looks of Warmoth necks and bodies. I finally have put a Warmoth neck through several a-b tests and here's my findings.
    Firt off it's a standard contour maple/maple Jazz width neck.
    Tests compared the neck to my 2005 MIA Jazz Maple/maple, 2008 75 Reissue RW/M, and 2011 MIA Jazz M/M and 72 Jazz M/M. (I didn't do any recording because I find a taste test between variables to be more apparent in person than through a PC recording being listened to through PC speakers.)

    Weight- The Warmoth is heaviest. The difference is more noticeable compared to the 2011 J, barely a difference between the other 3. BUT attached to either of the 4 basses I found zero difference in comfort or neck dive.

    Contour- The Warmoth is the beefiest, thickest front to back. It's reeeeally close to the 75 reissue and 72. Probably the thickest jazz neck I've ever played. The thickness was most noticeable in the lower frets, but not so noticeable that it was distracting.

    Tone- Ah, this is subjective of course but I did notice a difference between the Warmoth and every stock neck when I switched them out. More modern. Seemed more even across the strings with less bloom in the notes. Very subtle but I bet any vintage purist would notice right away.

    Fit/finish- This is where the Warmoth comes out on top. Fretwork was excellent, factory gloss finish was perfect. The ONLY issue I noticed is that the truss rod took more tweaking than the Fenders to get a good adjustment. Must be because of the stiffness. Took a good bit of trial and error to get good low action.
    Overall I'd say it's a great neck. Definitely not a Fender, and IMO not an upgrade. Just...different. YMMV
    mikezimmerman and Preventer like this.
  2. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    Good review. I've always been curious about these. Does your Warmoth neck have the steel stiffening rods? If so, I wonder what difference the graphite rods might make (aside from being lighter).
  3. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Yes it has the steel rods.
  4. Sounds like the perfect neck. I HATE the Fender bloom
  5. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    I always thought that Warmoth necks left the factory needing fretwork. I presume that this is no longer the case?
  6. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I was the second owner but the frets looked new.
  7. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    going off of their website, they dont do any levelling/crowning of frets and suggest that if you use medium/high action, buzzing it's a non-issue and fretwork would only be necessary if you play with low action. and necks with the maple/maple combo and finished glossed/satin, the fingerboard gets finished as well, so fretwork is recommended to remove the finish from the frets.
  8. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    I've bought four. In that experience, only one needed fretwork. Otherwise the millwork surpassed every Fender I've ever picked up. The steel rods are heavy (well, duh?), but do create the even sound the OP mentioned. I had always shaved the backs of the Warmoth J necks to get them a bit slimmer (the rods are buried deep enough that this never caused a problem). I just received my first "slim profile" J neck from Warmoth and it's got a great contour - definitely slimmer than a typical J, but not as deeply cut as a Geddy neck. I haven't finished assembling the bass, but I can't wait to feel the play and hear the sound from the slim neck.
  9. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray

    Feb 20, 2009
    There are alot of Warmoth bass/parts owners on this forum so you will get alot of different opinions.
    Personally I have owned 2 Warmoth basses. An Eight String PJ (sold) and a Fretless Ebony Jazz.(still have)
    I think the Warmoth bodies are great but I have some mixed feelings about their necks.

    I've only had the ones with steel rods and feel they make the bass a bit neck heavy. Yes the notes are even but they do sound different then a traditional Fender neck. Personally I like the notes to bloom. Also they are thicker, both the contour and the thickness of the fingerboard. They now have a slim contour available.
    I would like to try one of their graphite rod necks but I think I would probably go with an Allparts neck next time..they make a more traditional lighter neck.
    For the record their Eight string neck is like a Louisville slugger lol
  10. I've had 5 and I've always kept one at all times. The ones with the steel reinforcement are heavy IMO, especially if you compare them to a Fender MIA neck. Still I don't get any neck dive, the weight is distributed along the whole neck.

    The notes sound more even like the OP said, probably due to the stiffness and modern truss rod, not a bad thing at all but you do lose that vintage vibe. IMO Warmtoh necks are the stiffest wood necks that you can get before going graphite/composites.

    Lately I've been using the graphite reinforced ones. It is still heavier than an MIA Fender neck because it is still thicker and the truss rod is double expanding. But it does sound a bit more like a regular MIA Fender, very subtle and that difference would be lost in a band situation. Also apart from being lighter than the steel reinforced one, I feel like it is a little bit more temperamental, as in I have to tweak it in winter when the weather gets really dry. The steel one would go from 90% humidity to 15% without blinking

    If you want a replacement neck for the MIA Fender, a USACG with the graphite reinforcement would be a closer match. The truss rod design is also lighter.
    ASQTec likes this.
  11. Tim Marshall

    Tim Marshall

    May 26, 2012
    I have a warmoth jazz neck on a alder p bass, the fret board is pau ferro, it has the slim neck and the steel rod's, the neck is a little heavier, but it holds a tuning better and has a stronger bottom on the low strings and sweeter sound on the high d and g string's. you can have the best bass in the world but if you have a bad sounding amp with cheap speakers you're a dead fish in the water. let's face it guitar players are a bunch of picky dude's. anyway i play a warmoth parts bass.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  12. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    I have a Warmoth Jazz neck, unlined fretless Teak/Ebony.

    Wouldn't trade it for the world.
  13. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I have a goncalo alves/bocote lined fretless Jazz neck with the graphite rods, slim contour. It's hands down my favorite neck. Their slim contour shape fits my hands perfectly.
  14. sheltjo6

    sheltjo6 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    I have 3 Warmoth Jazz bass necks: maple with rosewood fretboards and with the steel rods. As already mentioned, the necks are beefy when compared to Fender or G&L necks. But, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Tone wise they sound great imo. On the first bass I experienced a neck dive issue with Schaller steel machine heads installed. This issue was resolved by replacing the Schallers with Jenz Aluminum machine heads. But other than the neck dive issue, I have had no issues with Warmoth necks. Each neck was setup at a shop once and I have not had to make any truss rod adjustments since the initial setup.

    Compared to G&L necks, the Warmoth necks feel more solid in construction.
    I've had issues with G&L necks. The neck on a 1985 L-1000 bowed and the truss rod was pushing through the fret board at the first fret. The neck on my LB-100 has to be adjusted periodically due to seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Warmoth necks no adjustments.

    To me Warmoth necks are a good investment.
  15. I had a goncalo alves/pau ferro neck. I found it less bright than my other Warmoth necks and it was harder to adjust the relief. It was my least favourite Warmoth neck but still nice to play on. My favourite Warmoth wood combos is wenge/ebony. I have one fretted and one fretless and they both sound great!
    Marial likes this.

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