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Neck thickness and string tension

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by unbrokenchain, Jan 5, 2012.


  1. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    So, the previous owner of my bass had the neck shaved down to where it feels thinner than most other basses. I'm looking to get some more acoustic volume out of the instrument, and I'm looking first to strings. I've only used nylon-core, lower tension strings (SuperNils and Innovations) on this bass, so my question is, how thin is too thin for a neck? Should I have any issues with warpage if I use mittels? The neck itself is about 3/4" at its thinnest towards the nut (with another 3/4" of fingerboard, making the total neck thickness about 1.5"). The heel end is also thinner than most basses, but I'm not sure exactly where to measure that. Sorry for poor photo quality.
     

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  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Similar to my 2 basses, seems standard to me. Mittels are fine for mine.
     
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    You don't mention what your bass is, but if its a Chinese bass, some of the maple used for necks is pretty soft. I would check the straightness of the neck at the fingerboard/neck seam and keep an eye on it after changing strings. Maybe take a good photo of the line vs the straightedge so you can quantify any bow in a few weeks.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Much of the neck's strength comes from the union between the fingerboard and the neck itself. If the neck bows too much, the bond between the two begins to fail under most circumstances. I have had basses with very slim necks and never really had a problem providing the join between the board and neck was sound.
     
  5. with a rangers hat and shovel,and a pair of dungarees.
    you can find him in the forest,just a sniffin at the breeze.
    he can spot a fire before it starts to flame, he's that fire preventing bear, thats how S..... got his name.
     
  6. Bowfire!
     
  7. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks for the response, yeah it's pretty similar to a Kay I play on that the college owns, but I was playing around on a Shen the other day in a shop and noticed it was at least 1/4" thicker for most of the neck. My bass is a German ply and about 10 years old, the neck is straight and I have no reason to think it would fail, but it is a cheaper instrument and I didn't know if there was some magic diameter that a luthier strives for in dressing a bass neck. Thanks for the photo idea JD, that'd be a good way to monitor things.
     
  8. my relic has a thinish neck...it has been strung with 3 mittles and 1 stark for about 4 years...no problems. be mindful though of the body, and keep and eye on the top for any signs of sinking etc.
     

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