Full size plastic credit card neck pocket shim, would it dampen the sound / string vibrations?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by NoiseNinja, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    So as the tittle says, I am curious to weather a full sized neck pocket shim, made from inserting a plastic credit card in the neck pocket, to some extend might dampen the vibrations from the strings, and thereby sound of a bass?

    I am asking cause that is what I currently have in my main bass, to allow for sufficiently low string action without having the saddles sit flat on the bridge plate.

    Now I don't really have any issues as such, the heel of the neck sits absolutely tight in the neck pocket with absolutely no excess space to either side, and I really have no complains about the sustain of the notes, neither acoustically or amplified, just curious really, and wonder if I could possibly expect any improvements if I was to swap out the plastic credit card shim with one made out of metal or wood instead?

    Edit!!! - performed a test :

    I decided to do a test myself, pressing the end of the headstock of my bass against the tabletop of a wooden table to amplify the acoustic sound of my bass, respectively with the headstock pressed directly against the wood and then with a plastic credit card placed between the headstock and the wood, and from what I could hear, trying my best to press the exact same area of the headstock against the exact same area of the wooden tabletop, applying as close a possible to the same amount of pressure, and plucking the strings the same place and with approximately the same strength, I didn't notice any difference whatsoever, neither in terms of volume, sustain or tone, which would imply that using a full sized plastic credit card neck pocket shim likely won't dampen or otherwise affect the vibration of the strings and sound of a bass, at least not in any noteworthy way.

    Still interested in hearing what people has to say on this matter though, my test was hardly strictly scientific or fool proof.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  2. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    technically yes, bc credit cards aren't actually wood, but likely results will be audibly and measurably insignificant. for that matter you could try wood veneer or what about a fancy amazon aluminum card?
  3. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    While you are at it, why not test a partial shim. Something about 1/8 the thickness of the credit card in the heel of the pocket will give the same result. And I doubt that you will hear a difference.
    andare, Lownote38 and 96tbird like this.
  4. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    fwiw, i generally have never had to add more then .025" or so to correct this problem. Five 1/4" wide strips of shielding tape stacked upon each other and applied to the back of the neck tenon gets it done easily.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    If the end of the neck heel is making good contact with the wall of the pocket, the connection is complete and the plastic CC really couldn’t change that.
  6. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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