Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

How do I avoid a neck dive when assembling a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rubo, Jul 6, 2004.


  1. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Hi, few questions. I have a neck taken from USA Fender Jazz, it's about 2.5 lb, I want to assemble a lightweight bass, using an alder body. I want to keep it under 8 lb for total weight, if possible. Is there a certain ratio of the neck weight to body weight, so I don't have a neck dive. The neck of course pulls most of it's weight in the headstock. I saw lots of Alder bodies on the Warmoth showcase site, which were 3-4 lb - is this too light and will give me a neck dive. Next question is what is the difference between 1- piece bodies they have and regular ones? Last question, if buy a warmoth body and have it pained in sunburst finish, how much does the finish add to the total body weight.

    Cheers
     
  2. With most fender style basses and a light body you are looking at having neck dive. The best thing to do is change the placement of the strap buittons since you will most likely be drilling them yourselves. The finish adds little to no weight; conversely on the headstock side the tuning machines add an unbelieveable amount of weight. A good strap will also take care of most neck dive.
     
  3. Another thing that might help a bit with the balance is to go with lightweight tuners, like Hipshot Ultralights.

    Mike
     
  4. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Yeah I know that strap button and wider strap will help, but I want to leave this as my last option. About the tuners. How much weight do I really save if I switch to Hipshot, do you think it's significant difference.

    Cheers
     
  5. How much weight would you save? Probably no more than a couple ounces per tuner. However, given that it's weight stuck out at the end of the headstock, that makes more difference than some other places you could add or remove weight.

    Personally, I've never played a Fender-style bass that didn't have at least a bit of neck dive, no matter how heavy the body was, but most of the Jazzes and P-basses I've owned had Warmoth necks, which have steel reinforcement and are pretty heavy on their own.

    Mike
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    small headstock

    light-weight tuners

    upper horn (with the strap button) should at least be over the 14th fret
     
  7. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Well i took off the Fender Tuners, wow I can't belive how heavy these are, at least 1/2 lb maybe even more. Now Hipshot Ultralite tuners, are these the lightest on the market? Are there any griphite or plastic tuners?

    Cheers
     
  8. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    http://www.hipshotproducts.com/

    They have a page that lists the weight of their tuners compared to stock tuners. Here is what they say:

    Fender Precision and Jazz Deluxe use the BT4S tuner. These tuners weigh 123 grams each. 4 BT4S tuners weigh 492 grams (there are 454 grams in a pound). In comparison 4 Ultralite Clover Key with ½” string posts weigh 188 grams! Ultralites are more than 2-1/2 times lighter than the BT4S tuners. If you replace your BT4S with the Hipshot Ultralites your headstock will be 304 grams lighter, that’s almost ¾ of a pound! Your shoulder will thank you!

    Fender basses between 1966 and 1982 used the Schaller BMFL tuner. BMFL tuners weigh 110 grams each. Our Ultralite HB6C with ½” string posts weigh 47 grams each. That’s less than half the weight.

    G&L Musicman and Fender Mexican bass tuners weigh 95 grams each. The recommended Ultralite HB6C with ½” string posts is about ½ the weight. Take off 2 tuners and feel the difference!


    It looks like you can expect at to lose at least half the weight.
     
  9. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Yeha, I figured so, I also found a nice one piece alder body at only 4 lb.

    Cheers
     
  10. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    JMX already said it, but I will repeat it once again because its very important and because this is the same as what I wanted to say. You balance with the upper horn, so make at least long enough to be over that area. The half-lenght of the string is at the 12th fret, but since the body is heavier, you have to make that balance point a bit more backwards, 14th-15th-16th is quite common.
    Since you want to make it a light body, then it should be at about the 14th.

    Also, to make it even lighter, have you considered making the body chambered?
     
  11. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Well I'm buying the body from USACG, then I'll most likely take it to a local luthier and have him out in strap buttons so that the body balances well with the neck. I have no idea about chambered bodes, but my guess is Warmoth & USACG don't have these.

    Cheers
     
  12. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    My MIA Deluxe Jazz constantly dove to the floor until I changed to ultralite tuners.
     
  13. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Warmoth does have chambered bodies. They are called "Hollowed J".

    http://www.warmoth.com/common/frames/bassbodies.htm

    Here is a picture of one with the top cut away to show how it is chambered.
     
  14. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Ohh Hallow, I thought chambered meant something else, I'm not interested in Hallow, must be full body, just from light wood - that all. I already found what I'm looking for at USACG, now just trying to find other components for a complete bass.

    Cheers
     
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Hey, that actually looks pretty neat! I like it.


    Rubo, chambered and hollow are different. Chambered bodies have hollow spots in specific areas of the body, hollowbodies are usually hollow with bracing and maybe a centreblock.