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permanent backbow?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by KingCrimson, May 18, 2011.

  1. KingCrimson


    Oct 6, 2008
    hey guys so i have a dilemna, my main player seems to have a permanent back bow. I cant get any relief even if i loosen the trussrod all the way. But the truss rod DOES work.

    Does anybody know a solution? Its a handmade bass from the 80s called signature excalibre, i really want it to work again, its metal tone is perfect!

  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    Use heavier strings, or tune it sharp
  3. KingCrimson


    Oct 6, 2008
    heavier strings are a good idea, but what should i loosen the trussrod and tune it sharp? then get a bow back in it?
  4. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Shim the neck (Just kidding!)

    Find someone who has experience with heat treating necks, and have that done. In fact, I'm doing that now, to a PV Cirrus that I got last month, that still has the slightest backbow--the previous owner had stored it unstrung, with the trussrod tightened up. LMI's new digital controller for heating blankets, is a godsend!
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Something I did a while back that worked for me was like what was already mentioned. I put very heavy gauge strings on, loosened up the truss rod, and tuned the strings sharp. The neck bowed quite nicely. I left it like that for a couple of days. When I put my regular gauge strings back on, the back bow in the neck was gone and the truss rod become engaged again to adjust relief. The heat treating method is probably a better way to go, but the heavy string method did work for me.
  6. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Definitely try the heavy gauge string thing first - no need for the neck to be heat/steam-treated unless absolutely necessary. I bought a very nice '76 Fender P FL about a year and a half ago on the cheap and there was some buzz in the upper register. So, I checked out the rods: backed off to near loose. (I had bought this on ebay after asking many questions, but not the right one, apparently. But no big deal.)

    So, I slapped a set of Fender 9050M flats on there, brought it to concert pitch (no need to go sharp unless this doesn't do it), and hung it up for two weeks. Perfect! I snugged up the rod just a bit and that brought the neck right where it needed to be. Now it's just fine.
  7. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    I didn't say anything about steam, and I don't recommend it.
  8. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Sorry, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. I've heard of steam being used in conjunction with heat treatments before, so I sort of lumped them together in my general comment.

    Odds are that heat treating would work, but my main point was that the expense of that may not be needed if the increased string tension does the job.
  9. Just loosen the truss rod and put some high tension strings on it. May take a few months to make a difference.
  10. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    My tech-friend does the heat fix on necks with chronic backbow. I'd look around for a good tech if I were you, where are you located?

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