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Million Piece Necks

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassline_Delux, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Hey, I was thinking about it, and I realised, I have no clue why necks have more than one piece, wouldn't that make them less solid, and therefor crappier...I dunno. Also, even when you do have mulitple pieces whats the difference between say a 5 piece neck and a 9 piece neck?
  2. Generally they are made in three pieces to increase the stability of the neck. Single pieces of wood have more of a tendency to warp and twist, and any imperfection in it would make it more like to sound dead in spots. Another reason could be cost savings on the wood itself, but the added work wouldn't justify the cost of building it. Hmmm I guess that was a pointless statement.

    Of course they look cool, especially when they use different kinds of wood. The luthiers say it can give the bass different tones as well.
  3. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    Different woods have varying degrees of 'warp factor'. By gluing together strips of wood where the grains lie in different directions, it resists the adjoining pieces tendency to bend based on humidity, tension (of strings), density of the wood itself, and probably a few other factors. Even multi piece necks of the same wood will tend to be stronger because of the cross grained bonding.
    As to the number of pieces used, my guess is part aesthetics, part theoretical strength.
  4. whats the difference between say a 5 piece neck and a 9 piece neck?[/QUOTE]

    Four pieces.
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL

    Badum, chh....
  6. -good crowd. Tip your watress, she could be my sister...
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I don't know about stability, but I love the stripes. I think multipart necks are almost a necessity on neck-through basses just for the appearance.
  8. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    My Kubicki has a 28 piece maple laminate neck.

    Yea, it's solid.
  9. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    The correct term is lamination.. You'll see websites refer to "laminate" necks or "multi-laminate". IIRC the practice is to join them together with the grains opposing.. This is what gives them better stability..

    Perhaps someone who knows more about this can confirm or correct that statement.
  10. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    Heh--my rockwood 8 string fretless neck has about 80 laminates. I win. :D
  11. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    In general woodworking, laminating strips of wood provides additional strength and stability.

    In bass terms, there are a lot of different theories as to how valuable this practice is. Some believe the more laminations there are, the more stable. Some believe the more laminations, the more glue-joints there are, and thus a decreased quality in tone.

    I believe Roger Sadowsky is a big proponent of NON-laminated necks, and I know Mike Tobias has also experimented quite a bit with non-laminated necks. Other well known luthiers such as Stuart Spector are famous for their 3-piece laminated necks. As mentioned above, Kubicki uses as many as 28 laminations, and I believe Parker's Fly bass has a huge number of laminations, as well.
  12. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    a couple of the Manne basses that I have played had multi-lam necks:

  13. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    But isn't it also true that if the wood isn't properly sealed, the laminates may start to ever-so-slightly separate and thus you can feel the 'line' between them as you're fretting?

    And I do think that some people just prefer the 'feel' of 1 piece necks over laminate necks. Really subjective.

    My Samick Fairlane 6 has a 1-piece neck (and dual truss rods) so it's stiff enough for me. And despite NJ climate changes, she consistently plays great.
  14. I'm not certain, but I think a well-done glue joint should be stable, well-finished(sealed) or not. Of course, throwing a thickly finished multi-piece neck, however well done, into the sea might result in delamination.
    I have had multiple lam'd pieces(on basses I'd bought, not built)shift, or expand & contract at different rates than the piece next to it/them, reulting in a much more noticeable seam. I was told the structural integrity was not compromised.
    And I'm sure some prefer the looks/feel/tone(perceived or otherwise) of one or the other.
    Again, this all opinion, not to be confused with absolute truth...