How to evaluate a vintage neck on ebay?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by astack, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. astack


    Nov 12, 2011
    Washington, DC
    What's the best course of action/questions? True, clean frets, clean nut, no cracks etc.?

    I imagine I could ask all the questions I want, but I'll just hear what they want to say to sell the thing and then I could be stuck with a lemon. True or am I being too pessimistic? Just trust the feedback and get over it?

    Is it really just a gamble based on looking at pictures? Speaking of, what's normal back-of-neck wear? Specifically, what am I looking at here:


    Thanks in advance, TB! :bassist:
  2. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i think of necks like dogs, nobody is going to just get rid of a nice or good one
  3. astack


    Nov 12, 2011
    Washington, DC
    :/ But nobody keeps the whole litter?? (not sure where this analogy is going...)
  4. REMBO

    REMBO Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2011
    a neck can be a hard thing to purchase without seeing it in person!

    1. it could have a bow/back bow

    2. the truss rod could be shot

    3. the neck could be a re-fret

    the one pictured here has a big scrape!

    how much is it selling for?

    you really do need to see the neck with string tension on it!!

    list more info on this neck purchase!!
  5. astack


    Nov 12, 2011
    Washington, DC
  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Looks like previous owner played in the same position. Looks like a wear burn through the gloss & paint to expose wood.

    Agree difficult to asses without having/seeing it.

    Suggest short evaluation period with insured return in pre-sale agreement? It's eBay afterall.
  7. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    Tough to tell without holding it. As for the scrape, an hour of sanding and an hour of oiling should take care of that. I would want to see a pic of the neck length-wise to see what the relief looks like, to bad there's no pics of it at full tension.
  8. astack


    Nov 12, 2011
    Washington, DC
    Thanks the tip on fixing the wear spot. I was hoping something like that would work.

    I slept on it and am gonna go for it. Maple boards don't come up too often. The description covers all concerns -- even if there aren't the best pics -- so there is some legitimacy for a return/dispute. Worst case, I could flip it and lose maybe half the cost, and that's fine with me. Anyway, I'm optimistic :)

    Thanks everyone for the input!
  9. astack


    Nov 12, 2011
    Washington, DC
    Welp, got it today! At first look, it's dead straight with no twist. Score. That spot in the pic above is more indented than I was expecting/hoping. Might need a bit more elbow grease to flush out. I think one of the tuner holes was bored out slightly. Or maybe these old ones are just like that. And the tuner screw holes look like newer tuners were installed at some point. The frets could be cleaned up some (feels like it came from upstate New York in the winter, which it did).

    A few more "heavy" wear items (mojo? :D), but all in all about what I was expecting. I'll take it to my repair guy for a final check, but barring a problem there, it's a keeper!
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    how easy is the truss rod to turn? does it push the neck into backbow without too much cranking?

    as for that blem, i dunno about "sanding and oiling"; seems to me that if you did anything at all to it, you'd want to (after cleaning the wood as much as you can with naphtha or whatever) look into filling it with a hard gap-filling finish, superglue maybe, to get it flush with the rest of the gloss. at that point, scraping, sanding and buffing should make it one with the overall finish again, to where you don't feel it while playing.
  11. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    fwiw, you bought it from a tb'r who buys stuff and parts it out, so its not like he put any of the wear on there.
  12. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I've gotten dogs from people who getting rid of them that were great animals.

    Better than most people.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i have a whole bunch of nice old gear that i've accumulated from one guy who's always buying and selling, looking for that one elusive piece that will transform his playing :)

    (thing is, he sounds great, and exactly the same, on everything he plays through.)
  14. astack


    Nov 12, 2011
    Washington, DC
    Popped into the tech's over lunch. Clean bill of health! Well, again relative to it's age and as far as he can tell without putting it on a bass and stringing it up. But truss rod is functioning and he didn't see any cracks/structural problems, which is the big thing.

    Makes sense.

    Good to know!

    Thankfully, I'm not in this boat. This will just be a cool, fun little project build. No silver bullets expected. :)