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Seen this issue on F-bass necks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CaptainWally, Sep 7, 2005.


  1. Nope, smooth as glass...

    34 vote(s)
    52.3%
  2. Just a wee bit, but nothing to worry about...

    18 vote(s)
    27.7%
  3. Yes, it's been an issue for me...

    13 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    First, let me say I think the F-bass is an outstanding bass that feel and sounds excellent.

    On some of the occassions I've had the pleasure to play one, I've noticed that I could feel the "separation lines" on the 3 piece neck. I think it's 3 pieces?

    In a couple of cases, this was pretty subtle, but in one case it was pretty noticeable to the point of being a little bothersome. I'm sure it's an easy fix, but I'm curious if it's a rare problem to which I had inordinate exposure, or if it's fairly common.
     
  2. Wood is a living thing............
     
  3. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Uhhhhhhhhhhh, ok. :eyebrow:

    :)
     
  4. jivetkr

    jivetkr

    May 15, 2002
    NJ
    This happens on my smith too. Its just wood...it moves with the seasons. Sometimes I feel the lines & sometimes I dont.

    Nothing to worry about.
     
  5. What I was meaning too.....
    I feel that a bit on my F....I don't worry as it plays perfect....
     
  6. He's righter than you've made him out to be. He's getting to the fact that wood, being the natural material it is, will always be affected somewhat by outside atmospheric forces. It will also have it's own internal stresses that can't be seen or anticipated in some cases and that might show up later as some sort of anomaly like you've described. Of course, good builders try to minimize these things by picking the finest stocks to begin with and then picking the best from that to make their necks but it's not always possible to make it perfect like you've seen. Even Alembics will occasionally have an ebony board that will shrink back and leave the fret ends exposed with a little time. Of course that makes Alembic look really bad but it's only because of the wood and not because of any poor quality work on the part of the builders.
     
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I've experience it on almost all multilam basses with natural finishes. If you're in a place with seasonal changes, it happens.
     
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    My Dingwall with a 5 lam neck has this too. It was smooth as glass the first week or so, from then on, I can feel the laminate seams.

    Drives me nuts when playing...I asked a few other Dingwall owners and they have it too. I even keep mine @ the proscribed 40% humidity 98% of the time and they're still there.
     
  9. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I didn't say he was right or wrong, but his comment sures makes more sense with the accompanying explanation! :)
     
  10. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    What is the advantage of a mult-lam neck?

    (I play on a graphite neck bass, which is an entirely different camp, of course).
     
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The laminates are sometimes chosen of different woods that have different 'movement' characteristics in varying humidities...which hopefullly counteracts neck warping or even the kind of seasonal adjustments that most necks have. Usually the grains of the different laminates are done in opposing directions so that when wood expands or contracts it pulls and pushes at the same time to balance it out and keep motion to a minimum.
     
  12. My BN6 has this problem as well. I bought it used a couple of months ago and was wondering if I should try to sand the back of the neck so it is more even.

    Considering I only paid $1400 for it, it's something I can deal with, as I don't expect this bass to be perfect.
     
  13. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Different pieces of wood will expand & contract at different rates, and with a multilaminate neck you will feel the glue joint at these places. On the F Bass it will be relatively moderate, as the different pieces of wood are still the same species, and will react in similar fashion. On a neck with different speicies of wood in the neck, the feeling may be a bit more pronounced.

    If it really bothers you, you CAN lightly sand (with very fine grit paper 600 or higher is what I use) the neck in these areas IF you reseal the wood afterward (any number of oils can be used, or if you want to really work on it, a bit of clear rub-on polyurethane). My personal tendency is to just ignore it.

    It isn't unusual to feel this at all in multilaminate necks, and it not a sign of an impending problem.
     
  14. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    So a mult-laminate neck is inherently more stable than a single piece of wood. You might feel the wood seams, which you won't in a single piece neck, but overall the neck will be more stable and more resistant to actual warpage. Is that right?

    P.S. Good posting Gard, thanks.
     
  15. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    If it is done correctly, yes, it will make the neck much more stable. Every builder has a different "formula" they tend to prefer, but the basic idea is to use two primary pieces of wood (maple tends to be the most common) that are cut from the same larger piece and "bookmatched" so that the grains run 180 degrees from each other. This means that when piece #1 moves UP a certain amount, piece #2 will move DOWN the same certain amount, effectively canceling out the entire thing. Then you use a third piece in between these two which will be either from a different piece of lumber entirely (another piece of maple in the case of F Bass, or in our case purpleheart) which is either affected differently or in some cases much less (which is why we use purpleheart, it's VERY stable).

    There are a few other "tricks" that will help, using graphite reinforcement rods, for instance.

    Oh, and Captain, you're welcome! :)
     
  16. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    My Bn6 is just now starting to do this. For the first year and a half or so that I had it, it wasn't at all noticeable. Now, I can feel it, but it doesn't bother me all that much. For me, it is easily offset by the workmanship, tone, and overall quality that my BN6 oozes. And if it got to be too much, I could either send it to George and have him fix it, or, take it to a reputable luthier locally who could take care of it.

    Do you guys think that flamed, quilted, or birdseye maple would have much more of a tendency to shift or move, rather than standard quarter sawn maple. I know George does alot of basses these days with flamed maple fingerboards, or flamed neck lams, and I wondered if they are as stable as regular maple?
     
  17. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Wolfbass (howdy neighbor) -

    I agree, George builds an amazing instrument! :)

    Based on talking to several builders, including my boss, straight grained or "rock" maple is definitely more stable than flame bird's eye or quilted. We have even noticed a difference in the stiffness of our necks when we use a bird's eye fingerboard - we "overbuild" (use double the graphite reinforcement bars) the neck a bit to compensate for it, which is why we charge extra for bird's eye compared to most of our other fingerboards.
     
  18. There was a thread about this a short while back. Theoretically, a multi-laminated neck is supposed to be more stable and also reduce the probability of dead spots, due to the different frequency profiles of each piece of wood 'averaging out'. However.... in my many, many years and many instruments with multi-lam necks and solid quarter sawed or straight sawed maple necks.... I've always found a good chunk of solid maple to be more stable than the multi-lam.

    If you like the look of a fancy multi-lam neck... cool. If you think you are getting a more stable neck than a big chunk of maple... I'm not so sure.
     
  19. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Interesting dissenting remarks!

    Awaiting the rebuttal...
     
  20. fraublugher

    fraublugher

    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    my gut instinct is telling me it's time for mineral oil.

    the human thumb is sensitive and can distinguish between two adjacent wood densities . the marriage doesnt allways work out over time.

    my garz SEVEN lam has this issue but ive got thousands of hours of sanding experience and it still sends shivers up my pecker.

    an instrument is like a plant , if you change the environment
    it takes time to acclimatize.