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Need Help Installing Warmouth Neck on G&L

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ampig, Jan 9, 2002.


  1. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    I made a great deal on an old mahogany G&L L-1000 sans neck. I then purchased a Warmouth jazz neck to install on it. At the body end, the fretboard on the Warmouth extends past the maple slab of the neck. Apparently on the original G&L, the neck slab continued to the end of the fretboard. Here's my problem: In order to get the proper scale length, I can't set the Warmouth neck tight into the neck pocket. If I mount the neck where I "think" it should be placed, the third mounting screw is about a 1/4" from the end of the neck slab. Can I set the neck tight in the pocket and compensate for the scale length difference by using lighter strings? Have you encountered this problem before? Any suggestions? One other important question. What is the standard scale length for G&L basses and what are the measuring points? Thanks in advance for any help you can give. Peace.
     
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Adjust all of the saddles on the bridge so that they are right in the middle of their path of travel. So that if needed, you have the maximum amount of adjustment in either direction.

    From the witness point on the saddle to the witness point (fretboard-side edge) of the nut should measure 34" or 86.4 cm.

    You can not compensate for scale length by using lighter strings.

    I strongly suggest that you get a neck that is designed for that body. The neck joint is pretty much were the rubber meets the road with a bolt-on. You want the tightest fit possible. If you leave huge gaps in the joint, the bass will really struggle for resonance and sustain. Plus almost all of the tension will be the screws. Since you mentioned that one screw will be only 1/4" from the edge of the neck, the structural integrety of the bass will be suspect.


    Your best bet to proceed with this neck is to set the neck as tight in the joint as possible. Then remove the bridge and replace in the correct position to achieve the correct scale length. This is a little more work, but it will give you the best performance.

    Aren't G&L neck pockets squared? Is the jazz neck cut for a Fender pocket? Even when set it in as tight as possible, are you leaving gaps where the neck is rounded? Although the canilevered fretboard should cover those.

    Chas

    Chas
     
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    make sure you do the measurements first. Hopefully you can avoid the old bridge screwholes showing and you don't want the edge to hang off the back of the bass.

    Chas
     
  4. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    The G&L neck pocket is rounded and the neck seems to fit snugly into it. Your idea with the bridge is great. I just hope there's room. G&L bridges are set really close to the end of the body. I think it's one of there design features. My thoughts with string gauge were, that if I could get my dimensions close but the intonation was not quite perfect, a shift to lighter strings might help.
     
  5. Chasarms is right - your intonation is ONLY affected by string length.

    The truth of the matter is that you won't likely find a replacement neck for the G&L. Using the Warmoth is perfectly acceptable but precise measuring will verify the possibilities.

    As for fitting the neck to the pocket, the real issue is whether the pocket has gaps (too large for the neck) or the neck is too large for the pocket. If the case is the latter, you can enlarge the neck pocket to fit the Warmoth precisely. It's not an extemely tough project but it IS one that needs a skilled craftsman to do correctly. If the neck pocket has gaps (too large) you can still do a fix by adding wood to the pocket and then rerouting for the Warmoth shape. Again, not too tough a project but if you don't have some confidence with the process, it would be best to leave it to a pro.

    Don't be thrown by the additional fretboard that overhangs on Warmoth necks. This is simply a fretboard extension and doesn't have an effect on scale length.

    When I design a bass, I start with the neck heel shape first. I put the neck on my scanner and get a "picture" of it for tracing and making a template for routing. I also establish the centerline in this process. Then I will make a routing template with tempered hardboard or aluminum. By the way, establishing the distance of the neck from the bridge is best done by measuring like chasarms has said but only go to the 12th fret (17" from the bridge). This is a little easier than trying to hold the neck while measuring the full length of the neck.
     
  6. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    The neck fits tight side to side. The original routing goes farther into the body than is needed for the Warmouth neck. If the gap between the end of the neck and the body is not critical, why can't I move the placement of the neck plate forward away from the end of the neck? Also is there any need to fill the gap between the neck heel and the end of the pocket?
    Please clarify this .....It's 34" from the nut to the center of the bridge saddle adjustments or 17.5" from the 12th fret to the center of the bridge saddle adjustments?
     
  7. I beg your pardon ampig...Half of a 34" scale is 17" and not 17½" !

    :bangs head on keyboard:

    I've been working diligently on a 35" scale project and have had that in the front of my mind for several days. Sorry for the confusion.

    I think you are in a good position from how I read your post. Since the neck fits tight on the sides that's a good thing. The small gap at the base of the neck could be covered by the extended fretboard. I've prepared a little diagram:

    [​IMG]

    If the shaded area is all the gap we are talking about AND your Warmoth, when in the neck pocket, seats down against the corners of the rout for the G&L, well, I wouldn't worry about it. The scale might just be right and all it would take is a saddle adjustment to fine tune. If the neck doesn't get all the way into the corners, it is a simple thing to relieve the width of the pocket a little to let the Warmoth slide further down into the pocket. You can simply use sandpaper (and a block!) to open up just that area.

    Try measuring this setup and get back to me with how far off the neck bolt is when the new neck is nestled against the corners of the body rout. I bet it is fairly close and problably doesn't need moving. You've described a 3rd mounting screw - that could be a problem since the Warmoth neck uses a heel adjusted truss rod. You'll have to be very careful in selecting a screw for this mount since it should be short enough not to get into the truss rod slot. It might be a good idea to scrap the 3 hole system, use a Fender style neck plate and go to a 4 bolt system.
     
  8. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    Thanks for the help. Your response has me thinking. Using the g&L body, I won't have access to adjust my truss rod. I may want to trade the Warmouth neck for a neck where the maple slab extends to the end of the fretboard and the truss rod is adjusted at the head stock. This would solve all of my problems. Do you know of any aftermarket manufacturers who fit this bill?
     
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    The only place that I am aware of that sells necks that adjust at the peghead is Carvin.
     
  10. With a Warmoth, even if you've had an additional slot cut out to expose the truss rod, you are relegated to having to remove your neck to adjust the truss rod. Not a terrible thing but it can be inconvenient if your aren't confident with the whole process in the first part.

    I helped this problem quite a bit on my custom maple fretless by installing steel threaded inserts in the Warmoth neck. With inserts, you can take the neck off as many times as you need without fear of the threads eventually giving up. It also really helps out with the acoustic coupling of the neck to the body. IMO it rivals neck-thru's for tone and sustain.
     
  11. on the Warmoth P bass I built I cut a slot in the body and pickguard and the truss rod can be adjusted using an angled screwdriver.

    Ampig, if you're stuck for getting a wood neck for your G&L body, Moses do a graphite neck for G&L basses, and Status in the UK offer 21fret graphite necks for the Musicman Stingray, which will probably fit too.

    Hambone, you said you weren't expecting any deadspot problems on your fretless Jazz due to using the threaded inserts and bolts- how did it turn out in this respect?
     
  12. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    If I were you, I'd look for someone who switched necks on their G&L from one size to another, and get it. G&L and Fender neck pockets are different. same with Music Man. You can make it work, but it will never be what it should be.
     
  13. MTR, the tone and sustain I wanted are there but the attack and general volume vary ever so slightly at one or two places on the neck. It's more apparent at lower volumes than higher. I wouldn't consider it any worse than the usual Fender out there. What this bass excels at is giving off notes that swell in volume. Very cool! I'm giving the instrument a facelift and upgrading here in the next coupla weeks but I don't expect things to change much.
     
  14. my Warmoth P has a deadspot at C# on the 6th fret of the G string, and a slight one at the 7th fret D too. they aren't noticeable at volume, as you say, or when recording- they're more felt when playing.

    my bass excels at the Iron Maiden Steve Harris sound, or the sound on Megadeth's new album (maple neck P bass used there too)- maple fretboard, heavy ash body, badass bridge (strung thru-body). lots of sustain. not a very subtle sound though- there's always a bright, cutting tone.

    I'm also very pleased with the range of tones from the double jazz bridge humbucker with single/series/parallel select - jazz bass and stingray tones available- more versatile than the US Fender P Deluxe.

    I'm thinking about building another, with Warmoth's 2+2 angled headstock to see if reducing the headstock size alleviates the deadspot problem, and a lighter swamp ash body for a more woody tone.