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Low action possible with #6 neck?

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by Nedmundo, May 7, 2006.


  1. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    I've described setup issues with my new bass in my "L-1500 arrives" thread, and even though the action is minimally higher than on my Fenders it feels like a big difference. I studied Fender's setup guide, which recommends slightly higher action for basses with 7.5" fretboard radii like my #6 neck. I then noticed that my DiPinto Belvedere has the lowest action of all my basses -- with nearly zero buzzing -- and it appears to have the flattest radius. (It probably helps that I get it set up at Chris DiPinto's shop. :D )

    So I'm developing buyer's remorse about the #6 neck, thinking I should have gone with the #8 and its 12" radius, which probably allows lower action. I doubt my dealer will allow an exchange on a special order, or that G&L would allow a neck swap so I could get a #8. (But I may inquire about both.)

    Thus the question: Are there any special tricks to getting low action on the #6 neck? I think the real problem is lack of fretboard "fall-away" at the high frets, which my Fender necks seem to have. This makes me think a dressing of the upper octave frets might be required. I've read that some players routinely spend $150 for a thorough makeover of new basses including fret work, and maybe this is why.
     
  2. flash99

    flash99

    Jun 8, 2005
    New York City
    Interesting thread - I was looking at two basses in my store yesterday, one with a #6 and one with a #8 neck and I noticed that the action on the #6 was higher but really couldn't get any lower without buzzing. I have one G&L personally with a #8 neck and it is the best player in the bunch. The funny thing is I was thinking about keeping the one in my shop with the #6 neck for myself but now I may just order the same thing with a #8.
     
  3. PeppermanL2K

    PeppermanL2K ...and on the 8th day, God created the Habanero.

    Feb 3, 2006
    Huntsville, AL
    Can the same be said about 7ender J's? Does the same, I hesitate to call it an issue, but, issue exist there?
     
  4. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    I'm not sure, but I've been thinking about it. Fender prescribes higher action for its basses with 7.5" radii, which suggests it is an issue there, albeit a small one. This includes the vintage reissues and others like the Aerodyne. I used to have a vintage type P-bass, which could never get as low as my modern American Series models, but obviously many vintage Fenders have legendary playability, so who knows? But that's one reason I suspect the issue with my G&L lies in the fretboard slope in the second octave, not its radius.
     
  5. paulraphael

    paulraphael

    Apr 13, 2006
    Brooklyn
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    interesting ... i just had my first pro setup ever, on an l2000 with a #6 neck.

    the tech told me that the neck was slightly high at the body end, so it would take a bit of fret work if i wanted very low action. he didn't mention anything about jazz necks or radius, but he did say that this was common.
     
  6. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    That's exactly my theory. Thanks for the post!
     
  7. paulraphael

    paulraphael

    Apr 13, 2006
    Brooklyn
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    The tech said that it comes from the neck distorting from the compression of the strings ... that they're probably fine when they're first made. I have no way of knowing if this is true or if it happens more often with skinny necks. Interesting just the same.
     
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia

    Thanks for the post. Fascinating indeed. Does the #8 feel much different than the #6 to you?
     
  9. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    My action is very low on my G&L with the #6 neck. The only reason I've ever heard that the radius effects action is if you do extreme bends. I've never had any problem with mine and it's set very low.
     
  10. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    I brought my L-1500 to a master luthier today for analysis, and he quickly discovered that the truss rod doesn't work. How about that? :eek: So it's back to the dealer tomorrow. Hopefully G&L's customer service will be as good as Fender's was when my Jazz's neck twisted two years ago. (I had to throw that in, because it seems we only read the negative stories about service from G&L's grand-daddy. ;) )

    I'm still curious about the radius/action relationship though. A very reputable tech/luthier I've used emphatically said it doesn't matter at all, and that seems to be the majority view here, unless one bends strings.
     
  11. flash99

    flash99

    Jun 8, 2005
    New York City
    FYI - If the truss rod doesn't work, chances are (unless the bullet is just stuck, which can be fixed with some WD40) they will replace the neck. See if you can request a #8 neck if this is what they wind up doing.
     
  12. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    Thanks for the post. I don't think the bullet was stuck. He turned it so much the neck should have been back-bowed, but it didn't budge. He thought it should be replaced, no question, but my shop is analyzing it independently. Their tech said he needed to work it awhile to get it to move the first time, but he seems to think it works. I did ask them about getting a #8 replacement, and they're willing to pursue that with their G&L rep.

    By the way, the luthier who checked it out is a great guy, and didn't charge me a penny. Looks like he does darned awesome work too: www.bucciguitars.com. He's about ten minutes from my office, and when my dad turns 70 next year his 1940's Gibson L-5 might get an extreme makeover from Mr. Bucci.
     
  13. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    The number 6 neck is cooler. :D
     
  14. sdguyman

    sdguyman

    Jan 31, 2003
    San Diego
    I will vouch on this as well, my L2000 with the #6 neck is very, very, very low without any of the problems mentioned above.
     

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