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Neck Construction

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by alx564, Nov 1, 2000.


  1. alx564

    alx564

    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Hey,
    While looking at many basses and their specs I always see stuff like 3 piece neck, 4 piece, and so on. I was just wondering what the advantages and disadvantages were to this type of construction. I was also wondering how the pieces lay (are they long and skinny going up and down verticly on the neck, or the other way around). Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Most necks of over 2 pieces are a laminate style with several long pieces put together to form the neck. Advantages are looks, and less expensive to manufacture.
    Some necks are made from 2 pieces, one for the headstock and one for the rest of the neck. That requires a "scarf" joint to be used between the pieces and I am a little leary of this type of joinery. This is done to avoid having to use a thicker piece of wood to make a headstock that is canted away from the fretboard.
     
  3. Also, a lot of luthiers are of the opinion that a multi-laminate neck is stronger than one made from a single piece of wood. Probably the most extreme example is the Kubicki Ex-Factor. A friend of mine has a pre-Fender model, and the neck is made of 32 individual laminates, each 1/16" thick. It is an incredible neck, probably the best I've ever played. He offered to sell me that bass back in '94 and I passed!! One of my bigger mistakes.
     
  4. noise

    noise Guest

    Oct 23, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    What's the deal with graphite necks, then? I seem to remember hearing somewhere that they absolutely keep their shape, so there's no need for a truss rod. Is this true? Does this have any effect on raising or lowering the action?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Hey Noise,
    Graphite necks are said to be perfectly stable, so there's no need to adjust them. But Modulus is now making necks with truss rods, so you can make relief adjustments. The thing to keep in mind is, not every graphite neck is perfect, and if it doesn't have a truss rod, your only option is to change the string height at the bridge. A couple of years ago, I got a used Quantum 4 in a trade, and it had string buzzes that couldn't be cured because the neck couldn't be adjusted. I tried adjusting the bridge but no luck. On the other hand, I used to have a Modulus Flea Bass, and the neck was perfect. I took it in for an intonation adjustment, and the repair guy said it was the straightest neck he'd ever seen. I never had a single string buzz anywhere on that bass.
     
  6. noise

    noise Guest

    Oct 23, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    How does a graphite neck effect the balance of a bass? Are they much heavier / lighter than wood? (Of course, the weight of a wood neck depends on the type of wood used...)
     
  7. Modulus necks are hollow, I believe, so they're lighter than wood. Not sure about Zons and others. The Modulus basses I had balanced very well. Builders will adjust for a lighter-weight neck with heavier tuning machines, etc..
     
  8. alx564

    alx564

    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Well call me an idiot, but what exactly are truss rods. From reading about it in this post I get the feeling that they help adjust the neck.
     
  9. A trussrod is a length of round steel(usually)rod that has a pre-determined amount of bow in it. This rod is encased in a slot in the center of the neck and the ends are anchored in a way that allows the rod to be turned in it's slot. When turned, the pre-bent rod applies force in the opposite direction of it's bend. So, if you have a neck that bows away from the fretboard, the rod can be turned to bend it back into the proper flatness needed. Some wider necks even have 2 trussrods for balance because of the additional width.

    And no, you aren't an idiot. An idiot would have put on that he already knew the answer and not asked the question.