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neck on eletric bass keeps bowing back and up

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ivanfeg, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. ivanfeg


    Mar 15, 2012
    Only thing I've noticed is this only hpapens as the weather changes. As the humitity goes up, I have to take it in to have the neck adjusted because some frets will start buzzing. Then when it gets dry again, I've gotta have it taken in to have it adjusted because the strings are too high. Is there any way to keep the neck from bowing? I'm blind so I can't "look down the neck" as they say you can do, I can just feel that I've gotta fret a lot harder than I did about 2 months ago.
  2. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    That's the nature of wood, unfortunately. Wood expands as it gets humid, so a little movement as seasons change is normal. How much varies from neck to neck, but necks with stiffening rods will be a bit more stable. There is no easy way of fixing the problem on an existing neck, though. (Unless it's an unfinished neck. In which case you could apply a lacquer to it to somewhat inhibit the moisture transfer. )
  3. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier

    There's no reason that you can't make those adjustments on your bass yourself, just because you're blind. Get the right tools and learn where the adjusting screws are. Have someone show you how adjust the truss rod on the neck and the action at the bridge, and you can do it yourself after that, whenever it's needed. You'll probably do a better job adjusting it yourself too, because you'll set it where it feels and sounds best. I mean, who really cares what the relief looks like?

    As Smilodon said, if that particular neck moves around a lot with the weather, there's not too much you can do about it. If you like that neck, learn to live with it and adjust it when needed. Otherwise, look for another neck or another bass.
  4. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    Also, over time, the neck will probably stabilize. I have some older, cheap necks that don't shift much at all, and they aren't high-end instruments. But when I had a brand new MIM Fender Jazz, that neck needed to be adjusted very regularly over the first several years I had it. The MIA I got (that had graphite reinforcing rods) rarely shifted.

    So if you're sticking with that bass, give it time. And learn how to tweak the relief on your own -- I don't use tools to do that any more, and just go by feel, so it's something you could definitely learn and master.

    Good luck!

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