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how much neck warp is too much 2

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by williamk, Mar 19, 2013.


  1. williamk

    williamk

    Apr 2, 2008
    hi there
    I recently changed strings on my p from rounds to flats (chromes) and obviously the tension is different. I now noticed that the neck is clearly bent inwards...however the strings are perfectly in tune (including at each fret because I know how to adjust the bridge properly-altought that's as far as I go in setup by myself) and the action is nice and low and comfortable. So really in this case, is the bent neck an issue at all? Can it just stay like this if the bass plays well?
    thanks!
     
  2. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    If it plays the way you want it should be fine. Folks like more or less neck relief (curve) depending on taste.

    A truly bad neck would be uneven or unable to be brought into good playing action at all.
     
  3. Andyman001

    Andyman001 Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2010
    Idaho
    I would loosen the strings and tighten the truss rod a quarter to a half turn, then tune back up just to see hoe it responds.
     
  4. williamk

    williamk

    Apr 2, 2008
    hm yeah but the screw is only accessible if i take the neck off completely, but yeah i might give it a try
     
  5. I would take off the strings, loosed the rod completely and let it sit for a couple of days.
     
  6. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    You know, this means something different to everyone. So, looking at neck sideways... would the neck curve upward or curve downward? If the neck curves upward too much for you it's called having too much relief... curving downward too much is called not having enough relief. So which is it?
     
  7. williamk

    williamk

    Apr 2, 2008
    uhm well looking at the neck sideways it's bending towards the bridge so I guess it has very little relief...?:confused:
    basically it looks like the strings are "pulling in" the neck
     
  8. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    This is assuming you play right-handed, 4 string......

    1. With your left hand, fret your E string at the first fret (i.e. fret an F). Hold it down.

    2. Now, with your right hand pinky, fret your E string on the highest fret of your neck. Hold it down, too.

    3. Now, with your right thumb, press on the E string around the 12th fret. Is there a tiny bit of space between the string and the fret, like less than a millimeter? Or is there more than that?

    By doing this, you're basically using the string to make a straightedge right up against your neck so you can see how much forward bow - aka "relief" - the neck has.
     
  9. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Okay. By changing the strings, the tension increased causing more relief (more bend) in the neck. This by itself is not bad in any way. What it does is affect the action by creating more distance from the fretboard to the strings... which may or may not be desirable to you.

    Something to note... adding relief can alter intonation. How? By increasing the distance the fretted string has to travel, the string actually stretches a wee bit more than before... hence a change in intonation.

    If your current setup is (1) comfortable for you, and (2) notes sound in tune to your ears... you're good to go... no worries... just play the heck out of that thing!
     
  10. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Why? To what end?
     
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    To accomplish?
     
  12. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    osmosis :smug:
     
  13. williamk

    williamk

    Apr 2, 2008
    I'll try this and give you feedback!
     
  14. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
  15. williamk

    williamk

    Apr 2, 2008
    there seems to be about 1mm...is that good?
     
  16. If the warp is caused by the truss nut, this can fix it. I did this on my Spector which had some warp on the treble side, and that did the trick.
     
  17. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Probably a tiny bit on the high side, but not anything to worry about - in other words, I wouldn't be worried that your new strings have too much tension for your neck.

    If it feels comfortable to you and the bass is playing cleanly with no fret buzz problems, it's fine.

    As stated above, you'd do well to read through some of the linked setup guides. Please don't take offense at being told to read up - it'll really serve you well to know these basics in the future. You'll be able to adjust your own instruments to fit your playing style, and you'll be able to spot potential problems in basses that you might want to buy.
     
  18. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Here's my 2 cents. Your thread asks...................."How much neck warp is too much?" (You probably meant to say bow instead of warp.)

    How much bow is too much? Although it's a matter of personal preference, over 1/16 of an inch (1.5 mm) at the 8th fret (20 fret basses) measured from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string is probably too much..................when a string is pressed at #1 and #20 at the same time and then measured at #8.

    But some.............like James Jamerson like an 1/8" (3 mm) or more (more???) bow.

    You mention that your action is low with your new strings and that it's in tune at all frets.............so if there's no problem then there is nothing to fix.
     
  19. williamk

    williamk

    Apr 2, 2008
    alright, thanks for all the nice advice, in the end I think it's pretty fine. I did read the articles, btw, thanks for that too, I should have read these before...!
     

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