Neck has a dip at the last few frets at the neck joint...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Aune, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Aune


    Jan 2, 2013
    Hi all! Nice to finally be a part of the TB-forums:)

    Now, for the issue: I bought a 93 Japan JB, and while I fell in love with it from the first second, the neck is a little weird. It has a slight bow in it which is fine, but from fret 16-20 it suddenly lifts, making anything played there buzzing so badly. Is it possible the neck is warped? Haven't played around with the truss rod yet, but it hasn't been played for a while (former owner just had it standing in a corner in his bedroom). Should I be worried?
  2. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Yes you should be worried. If I read this right,
    the truss rod adjustment won't help.

    I recently bought a custom hand made bass
    with this problem. I figured I was going to
    have to take the frets off and grind the
    lower part of the fretboard down until it
    was strait, and then refret the neck. I took
    it to a luthier and he said the same thing and
    he said he would charge $200 to do it.

    I only paid $90 for tha bass, so I started on
    it my self.


    I ground so much that three of the position
    markers were ground completely out,


    I ground out so much that there was not
    enough fingerboard left to re-cut the fret
    grooves. So, I ended up just making it



    I don't believe the luthier could have
    re-fretted it either. So, I'm happy with
    my $90 custom, hand made fretless

    I hope your's turns out alright,

  3. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    It's often called 'ski jump' and is pretty common. Unfortunately it's not easy/cheap to fix. If the bass plays ok then don't worry about it. However, there will be a limit to how low your action can be since the fingerboard isn't truly level.
  4. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    If it's not too major, a Fret level could fix it. You could try getting the neck just a little flatter to start with. 1/4 turn only at at a time when tightening truss rod. Be sure to loosen the strings and "help" flatten the neck as you turn the truss rod nut by pushing against the bow. Then recheck for the higher frets with a straight edge. Then just carefully file the high frets. If you aren't playing that high on the neck, it doesn't even really matter. Sometimes that's the reason the higher frets buzz, Lack of use. In that case the higher frets are essentially new.
  5. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    That's a beautiful bass and even nicer after your work was done to it. Very nice job.
  6. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Thanks NYC, that's maybe the best deal I ever
    got on a bass. It has a solid figured curly maple
    body with a 5 piece through body neck and a
    redheart fingerboard with EMG pickups. I did
    about $300 worth of work on it and it that
    didn't cost me a penny,

  7. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    The single most under-rated aspect of a proper set up is fret falloff. The butt end of a bolt on neck is vulnerable to swelling. Warpage of a neck through is likely to show up in the same area. You want your frets to ramp down at the end of the neck. But when all else fails, fretless works!
  8. Aune


    Jan 2, 2013
    Thanks for the quick replies! Yeah I figured worst case scenario was to make it fretless. Shame though, the sound with frets on is so good it even beats my warwick haha, I'd be scared of the thought of "castrating" it. What if I have the chance to file down the frets at the end to compensate for the rise, would that make any difference? They are vintage style though, very small and thin..
    I like what you did with your bass tabdog! Good thing is, with an already warped neck at least now you're sure it has settled so you don't have to run into any other problems :)
  9. 72LML

    72LML Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Burnsville, MN

    Take it to somebody to have a good look at it. Unless it's really bad it can probably be fixed with a fret level. Oh and check your inbox. I sent you a message.
  10. Kerry_King


    Dec 15, 2011
    west hollywood, ca
    Artist Relations: Get'm Get'm/LOXX USA
    I don't know how realistic this is, but if you can't fix it without making it fretless, what about just removing the last few frets? You wouldn't be able to play up there but it might be fun.
  11. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I considered leaving the lower frets off
    on mine. I'm not sure why I didn't do
    that. I don't regret what I did though.
    Something had to give,

  12. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Hay Aune,

    Thanks for the compliment, and I believe you
    are right. It has had 3 years to settle down
    and I think the neck has stableized. It sounds
    awesome fretless.

    Here is some more of my personal experience.
    I had a Jazz Bass that sounded awesome. The
    sad thing was that it also had a ski ramp at the
    body. It also had a twist in the neck. I made a
    fretless out of it and ground the fretboard flat.

    That defretted bass didn't sound as good any
    more. As a matter of fact, it was my least
    favorite of three fertless basses I had at the
    time. I ended up selling it pretty cheap.

    If it was me, I would try to level the frets. If
    that didn't make it playable, I'd just remove
    the lower frets and grind down the end flat.
    You could still play the defretted part and
    keep that awesome Jazz Bass sound.

  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    That thought occurred to me, too. I'd never miss the last half-dozen frets - never use them.
  14. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    If it only buzzes, you could probably just get away with leveling the upper frets and recrowning. Small changes make a big difference. It's also possible that an instrument in that condition would benefit from proper hydration before messing with anything. My basses don't seem to move too much, but I have other instruments that do. A homemade humidifier in the case can work wonders and costs nothing to try.
  15. Aune


    Jan 2, 2013
    Thanks for the tips everybody! I've realized that I just have to live with it, the action is not that bad either so I'm sure I will benefit from this little baby for a long time. I have yet to level the frets etc., so who knows - maybe I can get it even lower... I've given it a good stable home and fed it lemon oil two times, so the fretboard is finally in shape. The intonation is spot on too, so with a lighter set of strings I'm not having any quarrels with it.