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problem with neck alignment

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by free4all, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. free4all


    Apr 27, 2004
    Hi everyone, first of all excuse me for my English, I'll try my best... :p

    I have a problem with my 3/4 laminated bass that I think affects both playability an sound: the neck is not centered to the body of the instrument, the end of the beveled fingerboard is closer to the E string side F hole. There is a difference of 1cm between the distances from the end of the fingerboard to each sound hole, so I guess the end of the fingerboard is 5mm off to one side (the E string side). Of course the difference is more dramatic at the bridge.

    I have been to a couple of luthiers and they suggested different approaches not involving an expensive neck reset.
    One of them wants to take off the fingerboard, glue a piece of wood to the G string lower side of the neck and reshape the neck (he says that the neck width at the nut is a little larger that usual and that would allow this type of work). This would give the neck a new direction. Then he would make a new bridge and soundpost.

    The other one wants to work on the bridge by leaving one foot higher and by making the string grooves a little closer to one side. This would be a lot cheaper. He says that any major work wouldn't be worth it because of the type of problem and the type of instrument.

    The string length is 41 1/2 '', FB length is 33 1/2 ''.

    I have no idea how much better this bass would sound if the strings were running right in the center of the instrument like they should. I can't decide which type of work I should get done and I would really appreciate your opinions or ideas.

    Thank you
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    The most important thing is that the bridge feet be centered on the bass' top. If the bridge position is whacky you will lose some tone and evenness. Since it's a plywood bass and it seems like you want to be thrifty, I'd consider just having a new bridge cut. Of course the correct repair involves resetting the neck, but it sounds like that would be too expensive.
  3. free4all


    Apr 27, 2004
    Unfortunately I kind of have to at the moment :(
    Thanks for your response Arnold, it helped.