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Neck Stability

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cv115505, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    Ok, I am new to all of this (building my own basses) and I have a pretty fundamental (4 syllable word for stupid) question.

    What contributes more to neck stability... multi-laminate construction, or stiffening rods? Is there a real difference?
    I know companies that typically build Fender-esque designs typically employ either graphite or steel stiffening rods, while other companies use 5-piece multilaminate construction or just use quarter-sawn necks... So what really works, and what is just an advertising gimmick?
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I'm also curious to see what the opinions are.

    I've owned multi-laminates and necks with extra stiffening rods, and (unfortunately) I've had to occasionally adjust them all about the same. Some stable, some wonky of each type.

    Except for this one G&L neck, a "bi-cut" maple one that hasn't moved in about 19 years. And I don't even know if they do that anymore.

    Might also post this in the "Luthier's Forum" on here.
  3. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    My G&L has a quartersawn neck and I definitely already posted it in the Luthier's Corner section haha
  4. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    My experience has been that Fender-style necks are very stable. I have an '06 Fender '51 P reissue that came from Japan in a cardboard box: it has required one tweak to the truss rod, about 2 weeks after I got it. I have or have owned three other Ps and a Jazz, and I believe I have never had to adjust any of them, including the J which was shipped here in a trade from the Pacific Northwest. That Jazz Bass, by the way, had the lowest action without fret buzz that I have encountered.

    I also owned a Carvin LB20 bass with a laminated mahogany/ebony neck that needed to be adjusted nearly every time I pulled it out of its case.

    The single bad neck I have encountered was on an Indonesian-built Squier P, because some idiot had cross-threaded the truss rod. I sold it for what I paid for it, so no harm done, but that was not a fault of the instrument.