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How much neck warp is too much?

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

  1. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Studying my RBX170 neck carefully I have learned that there is indeed a hump on the fretboard, on the E string side only, at around the seventh fret. One really strange side effect is that the hump, or whatver is causing it, effects the action of the truss rod. The neck only seems to gain or lose relief that point on that side, as in all the movement is from the seventh fret to the nut. The more I try to turn some relief into the neck the more the hump bunches up, so right nowmthe action is very low.

    The best setup I can get is not terrible, I end up with about 1/16th inches worth of hump peaking under the seventh fret but sloping to include the sixth and eighth. The bass is pretty well playable but the other side of the neck has almost no relief and I still get a choked out not on the fifth and sixth fret on the E, again not horrible but apparent once noticed.

    Would you all live with this of you liked the playability otherwise? Would you have someone more skilled look at it? Or would you move on, considering the issue with the warping is also causing the truss rod to function less properly? (And it is not a very expensive bass, just plays above its price point otherwise.)
  2. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    At $143.99 out the door from MF, I'd be happy that it's playable at all, frankly. If you have warranty on this bass, what you've described may be covered.
  3. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    These Yammies have incredible feeling necks for the price, I recommend trying one next time you see it, you won't be so quickmto dismiss the playability of an iexpensive bass. The rest of the bass is pretty uninspiring but solid for the price.

    Mine is, however, eleven years old, from the first year of 170 production.
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Just about any professional service outside of a basic setup is going to be cost prohibitive on such an inexpensive instrument. If the setup is playable I wouldn't waste too much time scrutinizing or fighting it.
  5. Pressing fret 1 and fret 17 at the same time you should get a gap of 0.3mm or less between the string and fret 7, more than that is "bad" for me...
  6. mellowgerman


    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    +1 the necks are great, fret-work is pretty great, and I actually really like the P pickup in these basses. Mine is probably ten years old too so I can't speak for the quality of the newest ones. But if it's anywhere near as good as the old stuff, I'd be quick to recommend one as best bang for the buck to anyone looking in that price range
  7. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Well, it's an 11 year old instrument. It's not uncommon for necks to go through changes over the years... and it seems yours is in that group.

    You could certainly take it to a luthier/tech person for an inspection... probably the most common sense thing to do as all of us here can only give an opinion based on your observations... not our own inspection with our own hands and eyes.

    As already mentioned... you'll have to make the call whether or not the repair price is worth it to you.
  8. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    It is playable now, dead spot aside, but only with the current gauge strings. If I change anyhting that changes the tension on the neck, tuning, strings, etc., it will be worse.

    I went from Boomer 45-105s to Sunbeams of the same size and it still took a few days to get it settled in, and that was simply from hex to round core. God forbid I go lighter.

    It also gets worse if I try to play in drop D. I don't 'need' to play drop D but there are a number of songs I learned in the 90s that I'd jam along to if I could.

    So I would describe the playability as stable but limiting.
  9. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I'm not going to outlay moeny to fix this one, but now trying to get opinions as to whether the issue is mild enough to live with, because otherwise I like the bass, cheap as it may be, because we are dirt poor while my wife goes through grad/ law school.

    I have scrimped a couple hundred dollars to put either towards an amp or a replacement bass or both, just have to decide. When I think of all the gear I owned when I was a semi-working guitarist I wish I could have even one of those guitars or amps back to trade for a bass these days. The American Strat, the Les Paul Special, or the Blues Deville would all be good trade bait, but they are gone.
  10. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Won't fit an RBX170 mate.
  11. nothin a router cant handle :cool:
  12. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Call Yamaha and ask them about a replacement neck:

    In order to use the Yamaha 24x7 parts order website, you will need to know the Yamaha part number(s) you would like to order. If you do not know your part number(s), please contact us for assistance by dialing (888) 892-6242, Monday through Friday, from 7:30AM - 5:00PM Pacific Time (closed 12PM - 1PM).
  13. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I've just this afternoon inquired with Yamaha via e-mail. If the price is good I can put the rest of my money towards and amp, finally.
  14. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    If the truss rod is under a lot of tension, I would take the strings off and loosen it all the way and let it sit for a couple of weeks. It just might work itself out or at least improve. Also half-round strings are good for reducing fret buzz, if you can stand them. I can't...
  15. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Aaaaand a new neck is listed as $165.28.

    Nope, sorry.

    I just thought to check my e-mail and there was the parts manual listing the part numbers. Entered into Yamaha24x7 and there was my answer.
  16. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    I have an RBX374. Nice bass. Not my main player but it's a nice bass for the money. Don't let anyone on here tell you your bass isn't good enough to gig with. Had I done it all over again, I would have bought the RBX170. Mine has 2 humbuckers in it and a crappy preamp. Yours has a P and a J pickup. Good luck!
    If you get a new neck, have some fun with the paint and just play the dang thing. The right string makes all the difference.
  17. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Just read your answer. I was too fast on the draw.
  18. Where I live, Toronto, these basses come up on CL all the time, for cheap money.
    Pick up a used one with a functioning neck, and you'll have a back up for parts as well.
  19. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Solved the problem, bought a used SR300M for the price of a new RBX170.

    Neck is straight and the overall package is certainly a durability upgrade.

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