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HELP!!! Major neck issue (KSD Content)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassnyc1, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I tried a search but couldn't find anything. My apologies if this has been covered already.

    So I brought my Ken Smith Design Proto J 705 to my local repair guy for a few things. Besides replacing the input jack with a switchcraft jack that I bought back in the States and cleaning the control cavity to clear out the static, I wanted him to do a set up. I noticed that when I fret certain notes, (for example, an F on the 3rd fret of the D string) instead of a nice smooth "mmmmmmm" sound, it kind of sounds "mwahhhhh" almost like a fretless but very harsh. It's almost unnoticable on quick passages but when holding long notes, it's very much there and it's all over the fretboard. Not knowing much about setup, I figured at least it needed an intonation set up and maybe a fret filing to get things even.

    The repair guy called me today (keep in mind that he's speaking in Japanese and since my Japanese isn't great, I have my wife talk to him and then translate later but she knows nothing about Basses so the translation might have been a little wacky)

    He said that either the neck is twisted or warped and the truss rod turns but does nothing to fix the problem. He said that the way to fix it is to remove the fretboard from the neck and then even it out and then put it back. He said that this job will take about 2 weeks and cost about 20,000 yen (which is about $220 U.S.)

    Maybe most of you understand what all of this means but I have almost no clue. All I know is that I was counting on using that bass for a mini tour of San Francisco next week. Since it won't be ready by then, I'm going to have to take one of my 4 string basses which is okay but a 5 string is what's called for with this band. Furthermore, I'm not sure if I should either have it fixed or go Bass shopping OR at least neck shopping. Buying a new bass right now isn't really an option and if I try to buy a new neck, I have no clue how to make sure it will fit the neck pocket, etc.

    So, two things: #1:can anyone explain what my bass's problem is a bit clearer for me? #2: What would you do if this were your bass?

    As always, thanks so much in advance for any and all replies
  2. By the way, I did read the post by TB member gimmeagig and all his troubles with Brooklyn Gear with his KSD. I may or may not have the same issue with my neck so that's why I'd be so appreciative if anyone can offer some advice. I also just emailed their new distributor D'Angelo so we'll see how they react to a KSD owner who wants to possibly pay for a new neck.....
  3. Bump. Anyone?
  4. harmendebresser


    Mar 11, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Endorsing Artist: Höfner, Pyramid Strings, Dr. No FX & Asterope cables
    Alrighty then... Well, it's a serious problem that in a way you were very lucky you'd have him take a look at the buzz problem for sure. Imagine being on the road with it, and have the neck snap in the middle of a gig! In other words, the neck's ability to relax (bow) or increase tension (straighten) is no more... So I'd look at it this way; getting an entire new neck & having it fit and setup / buying a new bass is WAY more expensive than having the trussrod replaced. To be honest, 220$ doesn't seem to be a lot since it's quite an operation - work hours that is. Shouldn't worry though; it IS a pretty common thing (usually happens when someone picks up a vintage guitar from a pawnshop that has been not used for years on end, the new owner tries to set it up & snap!). Just detune your E string for the tunes you'd need a lower bottom for on the tour!
  5. +1 USD220 to replace the trussrod sounds a good deal 2 me. Furthermore, its the only sensible course of action (sorry!) if you want to keep using this Bass and I'd do it without a second thought.
  6. Thank you so much harmendebresser and PJSShearer for your replies and advice. I'll take that advice and have the trussrod replaced since (as you pointed out) $220 is a lot cheaper than a new neck or a new bass! I was reluctant at first to invest even that much into this bass since I'm saving for a Sadowsky but since my saving is at a snails pace AND I've got a wife, 3 year old son and another baby on the way, I think it'll be a long while before I have that kind of money saved so in the meantime, it looks like this neck will be repaired and will be around for awhile.

    I have 2 more questions regarding your responses:
    #1: I understand that such a thing could happen to a vintage instrument since it would be old but this Bass is 5-6 years old.

    #2: I bought it new and have NEVER had it set up since I got it. It really was perfect when I got it setup wise and it's stayed pretty much the same so how could the truss rod lose its ability to function if it hasn't been adjusted? It has gone through 5 or more years of seasonal changes and a few overseas flights but??????

    Again, replies are very much appreciated. I don't want to make the same mistake again!
  7. From what you are saying - and you are CERTAIN that no-one has touched the truss rod? - then this issue was there when you bought it and so I would say that the truss rod probably wasn't fitted correctly.

    Note: that you can break the truss rod, or more likely strip the thread, on any Bass - brand new or vintage - simply by overtightening it.

    When you get it back, the repair guy should have set your bass up correctly and you shouldn't need to touch it unless you change to a different brand of string that has a different tension, or you experience a big change in temperature or humididty. There are probably hundreds of threads on this site on how to adjust a truss rod, but the big thing is to make small changes at a time - no more then 1/4 to 1/2 a turn - and then let things settle down before adjusting it again.
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    if you bought it new, you should see about getting it replaced under warranty before you let anybody tear it apart.
  9. All of the previous replies are missing the boat.
    The problem is NOT the trussrod. The trussrod was mentioned only because it cannot be used to correct a twisted neck.
    The problem, as stated by the OP, as he was told by the Japanese repair person, is that the neck is twisted, and to fix it, the fingerboard must be removed. The repair person will then flatten the area that the fingerboard glues to to remove the twist, and then re-attach the fingerboard. Presumably the repair person will then, if needed, re-level/crown the frets, and do a setup.
    If I am correct, the price quoted is unbelievably low.
  10. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    And if it is still under warranty then it is KSD who should make it right (and bear the costs associated with doing so.)
  11. harmendebresser


    Mar 11, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Endorsing Artist: Höfner, Pyramid Strings, Dr. No FX & Asterope cables
    Yes, I see what you mean... Well, in the end I'd still say it's a pretty affordable repair all things considered, indeed! No new neck or bass investment will definately be appriciated by the wife & will have the owner back on his happy feet in just 2 weeks :bassist:
  12. .,.. and I'm surprised that a Ken Smith would suffer from a warped neck...

    However, as pointed out, I missed the point and I stand corrected.!!
  13. Hello again,

    Well I went to the shop today to check out the situation. Apparantly, I was a bit off as to what the repair guy thought would remedy the problem. He told me that he will NOT remove the fretboard from the neck, he said that they will apply heat to the neck to soften it and then try to make it straight. This may work but there's no guarantee theat it will be a permanent fix. This is what he is proposing for about $220. To make matters worse, I brought him another bass for him to setup. A half a hour later he calls me to say that the second bass has the same problem, only worse and it's basically almost inrepairable!!! I'm starting to think that where I store my basses when not in use is part of the problem. In Japan, in the Tokyo area, the winters can be cold (about 0 degrees, 32 fahrenheit) and it's very dry so maybe I have to start keeping my basses in a room with a humidifier going 24/7
  14. Unfortunately, it's no longer under warranty. :meh:
    I've had the bass over 5 years.....
  15. Hmmm, I would take both your Basses to another techie for a second opinion - just to be sure - but if both necks are that badly warped then what he's proposing is the way to go.

    Where do you store your basses anyway?.
  16. Thanks everyone for the replies/advice.....

    I plan on taking at least my KSD bass to another "doctor" for a second opinion.

    I've been storing my basses in my bedroom. As I said before, the winters in the Tokyo area are somewhat cold and very dry. The summers are hot and VERY humid. That, combined with houses and apartments that don't have ANY insulation may be part of the problem. As of yesterday, I've moved all my basses to my in-law's house where they have a room with a computer controlled humidifier that's on 24/7.
  17. As for what to do if another tech gives the same diagnosis, I'm still thinking about a new neck since even if I do the repair, it's not 100%

    Let's assume the neck truly is a write off, any other suggestions?
  18. If the neck is truly a write off - and we haven't got there yet - then get a quote to replace it!!.
  19. It's been a week and still no response from D'Angelo, KSD's new distributor
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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