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laminated necks

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Darth_Linux, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Darth_Linux


    Oct 12, 2002
    Spokane, WA
    I'm having trouble understanding how a neck made of 5 or 7 pieces of different types of wood all glued together is going to resonate in any cohesive way. Would any luthiers or experts be able to enlighten me?

    It seems like a one piece neck would be more freely able to vibrate than many different types rigidly held together with glue . . .
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Why not try the "Luthiers Corner" forum!! ;)
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Laminated necks tend to have a higher resonance frequency than one-piece necks. This makes for fewer or no dead spots.
    Also, those necks are more stable and are probably less likely to shift or warp in changing weather.
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Wood has a tendency to twist and warp but you'll find that it will warp more in some directions than others. One of the reasons for laminating is to balance that out.

    A single piece of wood will have a particular direction it will pull towards. If you cut that wood into three parts and glue back together so that the centre part is opposite to the outer strips, the tendency of the outer parts to warp forwards will be balanced by the pull of the inner part to warp backwards. As long as the glue is sufficiently strong, you now have a much more stable neck.

    It also allows you to use different types of woods to take advantages of their various strengths. Some of this will be cosmetic (ie. the pretty lines ;) ) but it can also have mechanical value.

    If you look at the world of design, you'll find plenty of examples where a composite approach is much better than 'pure' materials - for example, next time you see something constructed out of concrete, note the steel reinforcing rods.

    As Bruce said though, the Luthier's forum is probably the best place to take this question at TalkBass.

  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I'm not a luthier, but I thought that the "resonating" in one-piece necks was what caused dead spots - on Fenders for example - and was to be avoided.

    So the stiffer the neck, the less chance of dead spots?

    That's why on the higher-end Fenders they add carbon fiber reinforcement to stiffen up the neck.
  6. Darth_Linux


    Oct 12, 2002
    Spokane, WA
    thanks for the great responses.

    I know that composites are stronger in the real world - for example plywood/laminate double basses tend to not explode on themselves or break apart as much due to their stronger construction, but have you heard the tone compared to a fully carved double bass made from single pieces of wood for the top and back?

    that's kind of the direction my mind was taking me in.

    thanks again
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Double Basses are very prone to inconsistent notes - so dead spots and wolf tones - where the note either dies or rings out like feedback!!

    They are much harder to set up properly - so I think any person who does a bit of DIY could set up a Bass Guitar, but I doubt very much they would do as good a job on a DB!

    Also DB necks are much more massive and usually have thick ebony fingerboards - whereas a onepiece, thin maple neck is going to be very different.

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