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Gaps at the neck joint - *Hambone*

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ChenNuts44, Nov 13, 2003.


  1. ChenNuts44

    ChenNuts44

    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    I've noticed a few posts recently where people have mentioned there dislike of any kind of gap at the neck joint between the body and the neck itself. I've heard people speak of gaps ranging from credit card widths to fractions of a business card, and no matter what the size, they'll always frowned upon. I have played basses with and without gaps and honestly haven't noticed any tonal difference. Gap or not, the instrument has always been stable, and sustain wasn't noticibly effected. I thought about it for a while, but wasn't really able to come up with anything. Is this simply an imperfection that some frown upon (no one wants a flaw in a new bass), or is supposedly more to it than that? Let's hear it!
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Gaps at the side don't affect tone and sustain negatively. You can even "choke" the sound by too tight pockets or glue etc.

    It's only important to have a defined connection between body and neck.

    Marleaux for example even limit the size of the connection for better tone on their fretless basses.

    [​IMG]



    http://www.marleaux-bass.com/eng/baesse/details.html
     
  3. What they said...:)

    I want to emphasize though that the remaining contact area under the butt of the neck needs to be flat with as close to 100% contact as possible (Marleaux design included) and for best sustain, the pressure applied by the mounting bolts substantial.

    That's why I always recommend threaded inserts.
     
  4. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Hey Ham:

    In your opinion would the benefits make it worth while to put threaded inserts in a bass? Im thinking about my Fender P specifically.
     
  5. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    there is a great post on this subject (I need to look for it also)

    without getting in brother Ham's way, in my situation, threaded inserts are the way to go. I have a warwick that i bought and came with two necks and hardware. being that I have multiple personalities, I change back to a different neck every first light.

    just my situation

    ;)
     
  6. NJL is absolutely right. Inserts are BY FAR one of the best improvements you can make to any bolt-on design. Sustain improves, tone with it. In fact, I might go so far as to say that inserts do more for sustain than a high mass bridge - it's arguable but they're close.

    Remember, while the wood screws are capable of pulling about 50 lbs. apiece, the insert/machine bolt installation can pull about 250 lbs. apiece. Thats 1000 lbs. compared to 200 - actually no comparison at all.
     
  7. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Thanks Ham and NJL! So I assume this is something that would have to be done professionally? I definitely wouldnt trust myself. I guess this is kind of s dumb question but it this something that would detract from the long term value of the bass? Like for example in 20 years would you have a case where someone would say well its a great vintage Stingray but its been modified with threaded inserts...
     
  8. If you are good with wood and do some test runs into similiar materials, I think you could do it yourself. There is definitely a technique that gets developed after doing a few. If you are hesitant in the least, pass the DIY in favor of a pro.

    I don't know about the value question. This alteration can be done without ANY outward, visible sign that it exists. That seems to be OK for a lot of other parts, like pots and wire but since this is a structural part, it may be different. I would be inclined to think that this should be OK as well since it IMPROVES the instrument and does it in ways that aren't subjective like a difference a new pickup would make. And exactly what value would a vintage bass have with neck screws that are stripped and don't hold the assembly together well? I think that should be taken into account also.
     
  9. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Where are these little gems available from? Also, anyone have any pics? How do they install, just enlarge the current hole, and insert? Thanks
     
  10. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
  11. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    get them from rockler
     
  12. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    i am also interested in using 'inserts' on my bass. I have two questions: 1) Which size do ya'll all use. 2) After putting in the insert, which type of fastener do I use, a bolt? A machine screw to fasten on my bass neck? Please answer if you can thanx.
    R.H.
     
  13. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    that really depends. i'll let someone more experienced answer that. just remember, do it very, very slow. when drilling the hole (if you don't have a drill press) use two people to make sure your are going in straight.

    when i put in the inserts (i had to leard the hard way), use the screw or bolt to slowly screw the insert into the wood (make sure the screw doesn't get stuck in the insert).

    just my 2 cents
     
  14. In the forseeable near future, I am going to be creating an illustrated how-to for a defret and refinish of a neck. This subject has convinced me that I should add a how-to for threaded inserts. Since this is something I do to all of my basses (eventually!) I'll tack it on for ya'lls benefit.
     
  15. Stu L.

    Stu L. Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    We're waiting :D ;)
     
  16. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Thanks for your input guys. I just did a search on the "setup" forums and found elsewhere where Hambone was talking on what sizes he uses for his inserts so now I know. I think the inserts thing is very cool and should be done to any bass you love. I hope I find an insert to work on my already drilled holes on my neck heel, but i will drill again if i have to. Its a "mighty-mite" P-bass project.
    R.H.
     
  17. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Sure I know, but I strip my holes on my neck cause i like to take mine apart. I'm one of those people who won't leave a bass alone and likes to diddle a little too much, hehe.
    R.H.