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neck joint tightness: make or break on otherwise great bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gustavosal, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Howdy,

    I've been looking around for a Jazz (4 string). I lean toward the Fender '62 AVs, but have a shot at an 08 Am Standard. Bass sounds good, is reasonably light, has a minimal dead spot at C# on the G string, and looks great-- the Oly white/tort guard. Finish shows no flaws. The only thing that has me wary is that the neck pocket joint is not as tight as it is on the other Fenders (Am Std, AV, Custom Shop) I've looked at (and of course not as nice as Laklands or Lulls I've seen lately). The gap is maybe 1/32" while the other basses have tight and invisible joints. Should this keep me from buying this this one?

    TIA for your input.
  2. No. It's not as big a deal as some would have you believe.
  3. There has been intense debate about this in the past. I am no expert, but IMO a little slop is probably good as the wood is going to expand and contract a bit. Also, Fender necks are like this. If it's too sloppy, you can probably find another exact same bass with a tighter fit if you look around. There is going to be variation between each and every one to some extent.
  4. A friend of mine has a 70's J bass and has a pretty large gap on the side of the neck joint, but it still sounded good to my ears. I personally would have been more concerned about the weight, but I wouldn't think it matters too much.
  5. Jjango


    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Again, you will get varying opinions – but in my opinion it doesn't matter, other than for purely cosmetic reasons.

    Someone will likely say that a tighter coupling makes for more "vibrational transfer" or some-such, but I've never noticed a sonic difference myself.

    (IMO, YMMV, etc.)
  6. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    The "real" contact happens on the the bolted side.
  7. The neck join on one of my basses was extremely tight. It caused more problems than anything. With the change of the seasons, the neck wood expanded and put too much pressure on the wood around the neck pocket and there is a finish blemish that is now there from it.

    It is wood, there needs to be some room.
  8. Thanks, these are really helpful responses. I appreciate it, and will keep that bass in my sights.
  9. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Interesting (and helpful) responses here. I am such an OCD freak that spaces have always bothered me. It's nice to read sords such as these to help alleviate my neurosis. :D
  10. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Purely aesthetic, imo & ime.

    As long as you have direct, flat coupling of the neck and the body at that joint, the gap is actually a bit beneficial, as was alluded to earlier.
  11. gustav-
    If you're buying from a store, go with the one that feels/sounds the best to you.
    If you're buying online, it's always a crapshoot.
  12. I don't think it makes much difference. I've had Fenders with tight neck pockets and some without. Didn't seem to make a difference either way. That said, I'd go for the '08 MIA Standard. Best bass Fender has put out in a LONG time, IMO.
  13. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    All that matters to me is that the neck doesn't shift. Which I usually find they don't shift anyway.
    What bugs me is pockets so tight that the finish cracks or chips off just from temperature changes or when you go and remove the neck.
  14. gnome01


    Oct 30, 2001
    Bronx NY, USA
    I have a '78 fretless p bass with HUGE gaps on both sides of the neck! You can easily shift the neck by yanking it - but it still plays and sounds great, as long as you don't yank the neck while you're playing -- as if people do that anyway...:smug:
  15. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    How does the bass feel to you? How does it sound to you? That matters. Slight gap? Not so much...

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