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Help! Fender Japan Jazz with bad neck: Heat Treatment?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ostinato, May 3, 2005.

  1. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I've got a brand new Fender Japan '75 Jazz Bass with a "stubborn" neck, and as the days go by, the truss rod has been turned tighter and tighter until it can't adjust out the annoying back bow. This sucks because this bass is the most esthetically beautiful Jazz I've ever had the pleasure of owning, so the incentive is there to do all that I can to save this bass. The pic doesn't begin to do this bass justice :crying: :crying: :crying:


    I've tried all options, I sent it back to Ishibashi (?!) hoping to get a new neck, but somehow they managed to straighten it somewhat and they sent it back, saying the neck was ok. It probably is "ok" , but for me "ok" isn't enough. I did some more tweaking but...well you can guess what happened next morning.

    Anyway, to get to the question at hand, Does anyone have any experience with the technique of heat treating a neck or has anyone had it done? Would it work on a neck with inlays? Any expert input would be appreciated. :crying: Thanks
  2. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Why are you turning the truss rod so much? Truss rods should only be turned a little at a time, I have a Marcus Miller jazz that I thought about sending back because it has a stiff truss rod but it takes adjustments well. It never needs more than a 1/8 of a turn in either direction. If you find the truss rod stiff on your next adjustment try detuning the bass, place the bass between your knee's while sitting with you feet at both sides of the body achoring the bass. Gently push the headstock in the direction you want the neck to go while turnig the truss no more than 1/8 turn, allow neck to set. do again if necessary. Hope that helps :)
  3. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Yes, I bought it new from Ishibashi Music in Japan. After about a week I knew something was up with the neck and called them up. I talked to Koichi about the situation and he apologized profusely...it was almost embarrasing actually...but he offered to pay shipping both ways just to check the bass. Wow. So I took advantage of the opportunity to get the problem fixed, hoping maybe to get a new neck on order. I will say Koichi is one of the coolest nicest guys to deal with, and he did his best to get it fixed.

    A Fender Japan warranty isn't valid anywhere except Japan, so my only option is to get some one local to look at it. I'm just looking for any other opinions you guys might have.
  4. Here's the thing. Without knowing exactly what the conditions are, no one can really diagnose it from this distance. There are several good reasons that you are experiencing these problems and "heat treating" a neck, as you call it, isn't necessarily the way out for all of them. For instance any one or a combination of these could be existing:
    • Bottomed out trussrod nut
    • Bunged threads on trussrod
    • Anchor end of trussrod failing
    • Stripped trussrod or nut

    any one of these teamed up with a neck that's prone to bow and you've got your trouble. If your trussrod isn't out of adjustment AND you continue to be able to take bow out, I would keep on keeping on until it settles down. Don't get frustrated and let it take a set in a compromising position - continue every other day adjustments - small ones dammit! - and continue to assess the progress. If you bottom out the truss rod threads, take the nut off and put on a couple small washers or a spacer to give you some more adjustment space. If the trussrod works, and it appears that it does, then you've just got to find the point that this neck settles down. I bet that when you finally do, it's going to be one of the most stable you've ever played because the neck will really have "tightened" up, for lack of a better term, and any adjustments later will be small if at all.

    Now, if the TR is truly toast - not broken but flattened out to where it's ineffective - I would look into a new neck under warranty. At that point, you can't do any more.
  5. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Yupper...I've had two washers in for a few days. As far as I can tell, the neck just doesn't wanna get to the desired straightness that I need for it to play smooth, it's almost like after a certain point, the neck refuses to budge. Hopefully tomorrow The neck will maybe re-adjust and I can get another turn in. :meh:
  6. I may be reading this wrong but I thought one would loosen the truss rod to decress back bow.(12th fret higher than nut and brdge). If the neck has too much relief then tightening the rod would help straighten it. Maybe just a language barrier thing.

  7. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    The neck has a backbow (your typical concave relief, stiff strings with high action, etc.) so I'm attempting to decrease the relief. But I've pretty much accepted the fact that the neck can't be fixed with the truss rod alone. Also it seems that when the string tension is removed, the neck STILL has a backbow.

    There is a shop here that offers heat treatment, so I might be taking it in in a few weeks to see what can be done. I'll let everyone know if and/or when I get it done, and I'll hopefully post the results for everyone to see.
  8. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    :confused: :confused: :confused: I always thought backbow meant the bow (curve, bend, non-straight region) was facing back....sheesh oh well.

    Thanks. Stay tuned for another exciting instalment. Same *** time...same *** channel.

    Mod edit: respect all users please.

  9. I think we may be onto something here. I didn't notice this detail either :rolleyes:

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