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Neck Splitting in the back

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Demonjrx, Jun 1, 2012.


  1. Demonjrx

    Demonjrx

    May 30, 2012
    United States
    So I'm new here, to posting anyways, I've always read things here for advice since I've started playing, but I have an issue here that I don't want to try and fix all by myself. The issue I have is that my acoustic bass, is splitting on the back of the neck, the neck has been like this since I bought the bass (It's pretty cheap, one of those off brand Sky acoustic/electric basses from amazon) but lately it has gotten worse, I was wondering what would be the best way to fix this myself. Would using wood glue and a clamp do so? I'm not sure, I've never fixed anything myself like this before. :meh:
    Here's some pictures of it
    http://www.freeimagehosting.net/dmafu
    http://www.freeimagehosting.net/ocq4b
    P.s. Sorry If I posted this in the wrong section, I wasn't sure if there was one that would be better for this.
     
  2. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Your scarf joint is failing. That is a manufacturer's defect (I would surmise insufficient / poor quality glue) if it's how it's been since new and at normal pitch all this time. Amazing that it is failing so perfectly to compromise the actual finish along the seam.

    I assume you have completely slacked the strings? I would send it back to Amazon. I would have right when I got it. You COULD fix it, but by doing so you could also freeze the trussrod in the process then it's even more useless.
     
  3. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    There was an ESP LTD 5 string bass on CL here--still is, actually--that I passed on, because of a scarf-jointed headstock. I've seen too many of these fail.

    I'd return it, and put the money towards a less disposable "instrument".
     
  4. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    I think a properly executed scarf joint is much better and stronger than a 1 piece neck in terms of an angled headstock, but the operative phrase is "properly executed", which this one clearly isn't.
     
  5. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    I would have to disagree with this. A scarf joint really just saves raw material and provides an easier way to create an angled headstock. The joint itself may be slightly stronger thanks to the glue but the headstock is still equally susceptible to breaking if dropped, just at a different point on the neck.

    To the OP: as others have stated you have a joint that was not glued properly from the manufacturer. Yes, it can be repaired by a qualified luthier but it would be cost prohibitive (probably $100 or more if you want the finish touched up once the joint is re-glued).

    If you have the ability to return it to Amazon or the manufacturer then by all means do so. And don't bother with another instrument of the same type unless you have the time & patience for more surprises like this.

    Good luck!
     
  6. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    You can disagree all you like, but it is unquestionably a superior way to create an angled headstock due to the scarf joint's design improving the wood's grain orientation at the headstock. Stand on a scarf-jointed neck at the nut region, then do it on a 1 piece neck. Nuff said. This technique has been used for hundreds of years.
     
  7. Demonjrx

    Demonjrx

    May 30, 2012
    United States
    Wow. I really didn't expect to get this many replies so quickly. :) I am almost certain that I cannot return it, seeing as how I bought the bass back in November or December. And as for the strings I just put new ones on it about a week ago. I should change how I said its been that way since I bought it though, I meant there was a noticeable seam there since I bought it. The actual split didn't appear until about 2 days ago or so. Should I just scrap it now?
     
  8. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Rather than scrap it, I'd drizzle some glue in there and release the string tension to close the joint and then clamp it.
     
  9. pnut166

    pnut166

    Jun 5, 2008
    alabama
    Take a shot at fixing it. Use a SMALL amount of quality glue, clamp it, leave it for 24 - 48hrs.
     
  10. Demonjrx

    Demonjrx

    May 30, 2012
    United States
    Okay, I'll try I mean worst case scenario is that I make it worse, take the strings off and scrap it lol
     
  11. Hi.

    Prettty common failure in modern lower quality instruments.

    Well, it's Your perogative to disagree, but anyone who's been around one piece mahogany necks with angled headstocks :)cough: Gibson :cough: ) will agree with Hover. Improved structural strenght comes first, saving material only as second or third.

    OP, if You have played the bass any period of time like that, You have to remove the sweat and skin-oils from the joint first, otherwise the glue won't hold. I use isopropanol alcohol for that. SPARINGLY ;).

    Regards
    Sam
     
  12. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I'll have to take your word for it. I've been working on instruments for over 40 years and I've never seen a scarf joint fail like that. I've seen more than a few busted off Gibson headstocks.
     
  13. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    I'll bet your new strings put a lot more tension on the neck than the old ones did. I'd fix it myself ... great if it works, no big loss if it doesn't. First, figure out how you'll clamp the joint while the glue sets. Then choose a glue (I'd probably use Titebond or Elmer's Wood Glue). Seeing it's a cheap instrument, I'd leave the finish alone, perhaps a light sanding at the joint a few days after the glue sets.

    And check the tension on that string set, you might have to go to a lighter guage. Thomastik-Infield makes some nice low tensions sets for acoustic bass.
     
  14. Demonjrx

    Demonjrx

    May 30, 2012
    United States
    I'd figure I'd let you all know I filled it with a bit of glue and clamped it, as for the strings you mentioned can I buy them from Guitar center or Musicians Friend?
     
  15. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    Look on line ... Thomastik-Infeld Acousticore AB344 ... around $60 per set. I just happen to have a brand new set here that I'd sell for $40 shipped. Let me know if that interests you.

    BTW - these strings are highly recommended by acoustic bass guitar players. They have a nylon core, and are bronze wound. Nice upright-ish thump. Seeing as I already have a nice REAL upright thump from my double bass, these aren't needed anymore. Let me know if you're interested.
     
  16. Demonjrx

    Demonjrx

    May 30, 2012
    United States
    Err, this probably bad to say but those strings would be worth more than the bass. It's my beater.
     
  17. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    :D It could be worse! Even a cheap-ish set of strings for my upright runs for $130 ... and go up, up, up from there!
     
  18. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    It's the newer, cheap instruments, on which that I've noticed this joint failing.

    Gibson headstocks: bread & butter work, for decades!
     

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