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Neck Profiles

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Jimmy Blue, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. Jimmy Blue

    Jimmy Blue

    Feb 10, 2003
    Recently I took a cruise on the Carnival Triumph. The musicians on board were mostly young and all excellent. What a great learning experience. Oh to be 20 something again! Anyway, I had the opportunity to talk briefly with the Jazz Trio bass player. His bass, a 3/4 Wilfer had a very narrow neck. What I would equate to a Jazz bass "A" neck. The Bassist refeffered to it as a "French style" neck. This begs the following questions:

    Are there difinitave neck profiles associated with various builders?

    My Bass, a German factory plywood has a chuncky neck, akin to the Fender bassball bat "B" neck. Can the necks be easily trimmed down? is it advisable and what might be an expected cost to modify the neck profile.

    Do standard neck profile dimensions exist? Is it something that a do it yourself'er could tackle?

    Any info is appreciated.


  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    a "french" or "freedom" style neck is very v-shaped. It takes some getting used to, and not every one gets used to it.
    As far as thinning down your fat factory neck, it's not impossible, and it's not easy. How comfortable are you with scrapers and rasps?
  3. I shaved my neck down to a narrow V many years ago, using a rasp and sandpaper. No problem with the job, but now I wish I'd left it, as my preferences have changed!
  4. I picked up a Swingmaster because I loved the thin neck.
    I find I can play better on the big 4x4 neck of my crappy cremora.
    Its easier to play the big neck as a DB player, the thin neck makes me play like a BG player.
    Not all the time but the habit is always available.
    My next one will probally have a fat neck.
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    You need to be careful regarding how thin you make the neck. It's important you start with a neck that is good and stiff, a solid fingerboard, and a perfect neck/fingerboard joint. Nothing feels worse on a DB than a thin neck which has bent under the pull of the strings and now has way too much camber (scoop). This is a problem typical of Kays and Engelhardts with their thin necks, especially those with Rosewood fingerboards. Playing on a bass as described above has caused many a case of tendonitis or I-think-I'll-play-my-bass-guitar-instead-itis.
  6. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Agreed. On that old Kay to which I'm fitting a new Englehart neck, I'd adding 1/4" of maple to thicken it up a bit first. I don't care for that BG feeling either ;-)
  7. THAT would make a good signature... :meh:

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