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neck problem

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by stanger503, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    hey i was wonderin if ne one of u could help me get my neck straight. i like low action but i cant get that without ne neck buzz. plus the treble side will be straight but the bass side looks a little bowed still. ne hints. and it buzzes all over the fretboard with a flat neck.......kinda annoying playing with super high action after about a month or so.
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Hard to diagnose without seeing the bass. What kind of bass is it? Double or single truss rod? You need a 'little' relief in the neck, you can't have it perfectly flat. Were the frets ever levelled? Can you post pics?
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    How high is "super high"? Measured at the 12th fret.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Profile suggests we must be talking about a Fender Jazz - but it just sounds like it needs a decent setup, from a good pro!
  5. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    If it buzzes all over the fretboard, your action is too low or you just play too hard or with bad technique. Different relief on the opposite sides of the neck is what I'm used to call a propeller neck. A good luthier can solve it but it's gonna cost. Let it be if it isn't really bad.
  6. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    It is hard to diagnose without seeing it, but depending on the bass, it's age and condition, I would check and do all of the following:

    1 - check the fingerboard itself to ensure it is level. Check for humps, bows, etc. There are special straight edges that have gaps cut in them to clear the frets so you can check the fingerboard surface and not the fret surface. Old fender bolt on necks are kinda notorious for developing humps or rises at then end of the fingerboard, etc. If the fingerboard is off you will have to remove the frets and plane and sand the fingerboard down to level again.

    2- after the fingerboard is level, install new frets and dress them. If the fingerboard was level, then all you need to do is shave/level down the frets and redress. A good trick for lower action is to dress them down with a "fall away" from about the 14th fret or so, that is, each fret from the 14th on up is slightly lower than the one before it, kind of a very, very slight ramp effect. Some luthiers will even put slightly smaller frets in above the 12th fret or so for this effect as well as better intonation with a smaller fret.

    3 - check the nut grooves for proper depth. This is done by fretting each string at the 3rd fret and then checking the gap between the string and the 1st fret. You want a VERY small gap here, but a gap none the less.

    4 - adjust truss rod for either dead straight, or just a very slight amount of relief from about the 7th or 8th fret up to the nut.

    5 - adjust intonation and string height to taste. You can set the string height just on the edge of where the string starts to barely buzz. This will be audible when played acoustically, but if adjusted properly will not come through your amp.

    You might take it to a guitar tech and explain what you're looking for and get an estimate and doing the work for you.

  7. stanger503


    Jun 13, 2003
    Leadville, Co
    actually it is a dean playmate. i just got it to screw around with but still dont know. single truss. and id go measure but im to tired rite now but id say about a lil over a 1/4 of an inch. i like my action really low so thats pretty high. moneys kinda tight and i dont knwo all that much about fixing anything on a guitar. thanks for your help anyway tho. :D

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