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Is A Tiny-Little Neck RELIEF Good?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by SurferJoe46, May 11, 2010.


  1. I have my Affinity P and it has a small - very small neck dip/scoop/bend/relief that although it never bothers my playing - just bothers me that it's there at all.

    Straining at gnats or should I go in and fix it?
     
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If you're talking neck relief, a slight degree is acceptable and, actually, quite desirable. Disclaimer: many TBers will tout the benefits of maintaining a perfectly straight, zero relief neck profile...but its never worked for me.

    How much "scoop" are we talking about?

    Riis
     
  3. BadB

    BadB

    May 25, 2005
    USA
    The neck shouldn't be absolutely straight, it should be very slightly bowed. Fender has an online owners manual that can tell you how to measure it properly.
     
  4. I can just barely see a little light at about the 8-9th frets. No clunks now to speak of except my playing ability.

    I'll check out that Fender instruction - thanks.
     
  5. The rule of thumb I go by, is if you can fit a business card between the octave fret and the string, with the first and last frets pressed, that's just about ok. I wouldn't want any more than that, but that's the amount I have on my P copy, and it plays like a beast. :bassist:
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    If you are "digging in" and playing hard - then neck relief is essential really or there will not be enough room for the strings to move!

    A straight neck is desirable if you are using a very light touch and are going for speed and economy of movement.
     
  7. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Unless you have a Rickenbacker, a slight bit of forward bow at the headstock end of the neck is ideal.
     
  8. I shall immediately cease to worry and lose more sleep. :D

    Thanks.
     
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    OTOH, if you're able to launch arrows like a longbow, you have too much relief.

    Riis
     
  10. They may have to be teeny-tiny arrows though.

    Now I'm not gonna sleep another few nights. Thanks. :crying:
     
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You should really invest in a capo and set of feeler gauges (Pep Boys $4). Come in handy for this sort of thing.....bass maintenance, not archery.

    Riis
     
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    The right tools help. You certainly can make due without them. You can fret the first fret with your left hand and the last fret with your right hand and then plink down on the string with your left pinky and listen to it.

    If I had the extra cash I would buy the neck relief gauge from Stew-Mac though. That thing looks cool.

    btw, I use a capo and feeler gauges when I check relief.
     
  13. cessna928

    cessna928

    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    I got hung up on the same thing when I first started my headfirst dive into bass setup and maintenance. My experience: if it's a low enough action for a easy play without undue fret buzz, ignore it. If it's so high you strain a ligament fretting something, drop it down. But, always remember to to make small changes and see how they effect you're playing. Just remember not to let any little quirks distract you from having fun playing and practicing.
     
  14. DutchDude

    DutchDude

    Sep 12, 2007
    Can neckrelief damage the neck of the bass?
    Because I like high action and have quite some relief on my neck
     
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    That's interesting 'cuz I can see two ways of pulling this off. I don't know which makes more sense:

    *Near-normal relief, jack the strings up via the bridge saddles.

    *High relief (> .016"), string height to taste.

    Riis
     
  16. X 10000000.

    I just make sure to not make many changes or big changes too quickly too.

    One-eight turn a day or two is good enough to make sure that things settle in and don't go over the hump and make it wrong in a completely different direction.

    I'm patient.
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Artists like James Jamerson played with high action throughout their careers with no problem.:)

    On the other hand - without seeing the bass it's difficult to say - but excessive neck bowing, could be a symptom of a problem or inherent weakness in the construction...?:eyebrow:
     

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