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Neck Heavy Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by markman, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. markman


    Dec 19, 2003
    Are most basses neck heavy? What do you have that is or isn't?
  2. I have a '78 P, and as you might know, they are beasts. I wouldn't say it's neck heavy though. Great bass, I love it. On the other hand, I have a Carvin. The body is Swamp Ash, which is light as a feather, with a resewood neck. That's neck heavy!
  3. My SX Jazz seems to be fairly well balanced. It's Alder with Rosewood fingerboard and it sits totally neutral when I wear it. When I wear my P bass, it neck dives like crazy.
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Most of my basses (Js, Ric 4003, SR4) balance pretty well, but for the ultimate in "no neck dive" it's unsurprisingly my Status headless that wins the trophy in that respect.
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Depends mostly on the design of the bass and the number/weight/style of the tuning keys. Most Fender-style basses have at least a little bit of neck dive because of the large headstock and those big tuners (Hipshot makes ultralight replacement ones). There's exceptions to everything though- I've played some Jazzes with pretty much no neck dive, and I've seen some basses with small, light headstocks neck dive all the way down. The length of the upper horn (and thus placement of the strap peg) has a good deal to do with neck dive whilst standing.

    Neck dive is one thing I really can't stand in a bass, so none of the basses I have now have any neck dive at all...they all have smaller-sized headstocks with Hipshot ultralight tuners, and straplocks at the 12th fret.
  6. Simball


    Mar 26, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    For a short time I owned an Ibanez (or Kramer, I forget) with a part aluminium neck and head stock (the kind Geezer Butler used to play I believe). You don't know about neck dive 'til you play one! It seemed like the neck weighed as much as the body. :eek:
  7. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    My Warwick Thumb 5 BO has such bad neck dive that I've permanently relegated it to studio-only status. My Steinberger M has absolutely none whatsoever. Any J-bass I've played sits well, though, with minimal to no dive.

    Even though, or because, it weighs next to nothing the '68 Hofner violin bass I sometimes use has neck dive, but the whole thing is so light it's easy to compensate for it without even noticing.
  8. Secondhandloser


    Mar 28, 2005
    Thunderbird- and the thunderbird
  9. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    My SKB3006 has little to no neck dive...which is great for a six string.
  10. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    I like my basses to sit at least a 45 degree angle, maybe sharper. I also think they ought to stay where they're put once the strap is adjusted , not constantly need me to prop them up into the position I want.

    By this definition, my Ric 4001 was somewhat neck heavy. It didn't want to point to the floor, but it didn't want to sit at the angle I wanted. Of the basses I have now, only my "Quest by Vantage" is neck heavy. It's got a super thick neck on a tiny guitar sized body. It's still cool, and really just a toy, so I let it get away with it.

    The most perfectly balanced bass I have come across is my Alembic Exploiter, it has a version of the Explorer body style. Though I must say my tamer looking Ristolas balance great, as does my Mouradian CS-74. I've got a project bass, a Burnside "The Lance" flying V type thing that points straight up if you hold it by the neck strap button. I might set it up to play that way, it'd be funny. The simplist way to avoid a neck heavy bass is to have a huge body and strap buttons positioned correctly.

    I'll have to admit I'm not sure how my BC Rich 8 string Bich balances. That one has to be slung down bout the knees, it just doesn't look right any other way.
  11. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    +1 but I still played it live. Warwicks are HEAVY and have THICK necks! But that is one of the reasons they have that sound.
  12. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    My Warwick Corvette 6/5 is a neck diver - I can only play it seated.

    My Jazz 4 is perfect.
  13. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Neck heavy basses make for a long night of playing. The original Alembic models (and many of the new ones) are very neck heavy. The worst I've ever experienced are the original Ken Smith basses. His new design if wonderful though.
  14. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I had a Jazz Deluxe that was neck heavy.....small body and long neck. It does make for a long nite during a gig when you're constantly lifting the neck up.
  15. for some reason my warwicdk corvette 5 doesnt have neck dive?.... :bag:
  16. Lebowski


    Jul 11, 2005
    Can a neck heavy bass be neutralized depending on body structure? I keep hearing that Warwicks have terrible neck dive, but I have zero issues with my Thumb Bolt on 'wick and find it to have really good balance. Granted I have really wide shoulders. Maybe it's a problem for smaller guys?
  17. Lebowski


    Jul 11, 2005
    ...Sorry... or girls.
  18. Ive got fairly wide shoulders too, ive not had any neck dive problems with any of the 3 of my ibanez's, maybe because the TR 50 and EDA are light as hell with realativly small headstocks (especially the EDA) and my BTB has a really heavy body to counteract the neck
  19. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    In the early 1980's I owned a Kramer aluminum neck bass for a short time. I imagine if Webster had a definition for bass neck dive, he would include a pic of this bass.

    Any of you that has picked one of these basses up and have strapped one on, knows what I'm talking about!
  20. lenorules1950


    Aug 20, 2004
    Meriden, CT
    Most Fender basses are very nicely balanced. The Les Paul bass is slightly neck-heavy. If you're looking to avoid neck dive, stay away from SG-styled basses.