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Neck: Flatsawn or Quartersawn?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SolarMan, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. If it's done right it shouldn't matter. Or does it?

    Looking back I realize that I have only "bonded" with flatsawn necks to the point that now I have the notion that they are superior to quartersawn.

    I can only imagine that the neck must flex slightly more with flatsawn (which gives the tone and feel I like).

    I think Mike Lull is a flatsawn fan too.

    Who else is of the mind that one is better than the other?
  2. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Mike's bass necks are graphite reinforced. He therefore feels that the additional stability of quartersawn is not needed with his basses (even though he offers it as an "add on" if the buyer wants quartersawn).

    Since you asked for opinions, I will offer mine. I prefer quartersawn if it's available, due to the additional stability. Do flatsawn necks provide better tone?? I don't know. I don't recall anyone doing an A/B test on that. It would be interesting!
  3. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Given a choice, I opt for quartersawn.

    Better still, are multi-lam necks.

    A "good" flat sawn neck is fine, too.

    A "weak" flat sawn neck can be problematic.
  4. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I would think quartersawn would be less likely to warp in a problematic way than flatsawn wood when used in a bass neck.

    In any length lumber with a thinner side and a wider side side there is less likely to be warping when the grain runs the short way i.e. quartersawn. Even if it did want to move it is far more likely to be in a way to not adversely affect the action of the neck and fretboard.

    It would seem a flatsawn neck is more likely to get funky humps or warps parallel to the fretboard.
  5. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    Either can twist or bend, they would just do it in different directions.

    My preference would be for a multi-lam 3-5 piece neck, quarter sawn with the grain direction flopped on each piece.

    Having said that, my current P bass is flat sawn and it doesn't bother me a bit.
  6. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    Quartersawn seems to have less of a chance to have 'dead spots', but it's more expensive to produce because there is less yield from the log it's cut from...which is why basses with quartersawn necks tend to be more expensive (G&L is an exception).
  7. Rich McCoy

    Rich McCoy

    Apr 8, 2013
    Try this test:
    Take a deck of cards and lay it on a table and tap on it with your fingers. Then take that deck and stand it on it's side and tap on it.
    This is a basic demonstration of the differences between the cuts.
    I have played both and quartersawn rules easily, at least the one I played did.
  8. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Flatsawn necks tend to give a little more reassurance and predictability with regards to climate changes, some people like to have that option of tweakability.

    I will say that a bowed quatersawn neck spells more trouble than a flatsawn one.
  9. I've had flat & 1/4 sawn necks. I've never noticed any issues, and my climate swings to both ends of the spectrum (welcome to BC rainforest).
  10. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    What does that mean?
  11. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    What about the 2 piece Peavey necks?
  12. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    I prefer quartersawn but:

    a "good" and well constructed flatsawn is hugely better than a "bad" quartesawn.

    I thing construction and building techniques play a major role
  13. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I don't think I even knew that they ("they" meaning anybody) offered quartersawn necks until about 2010 when I was researching the differences between Lakland's Skyline and domestic basses. Never knew, or even thought to confirm, how any of my wood necks were made.
  14. I like both. Actually quartersawn speaks a bit more to me as it tends to have a bit more solid tone and better sustain but flatsawn can be punchier / have more attack subjectively, in my limited experience (though I have two very similar G&L's, L-2000 and L-1500, the latter w/ quartersawn neck as the probably most relevant difference).
  15. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    Quartersawn is prettier but I don't care either way if the neck is good.
  16. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I'm not sure now, I was high when I wrote it. :oops:
  17. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    +1 To Templar