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Shippng a bass in pieces.....y or n

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lukaas, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. HI All,

    The results of my search on shipping basses turned up an interesting result,

    Deep in an old thread it was suggested to unbolt neck from body and ship the two pieces separately,

    (consider that I am shipping to Australia, so the cost is considerable, up to 220USD is what I have been quoted)

    Putting aside the possibility of damage en route, what about the the affect of up to 14 days of no string tension on neck, I am concerned about the lasting affect this may have on action, playability,etc or are modern necks, (G&L L2500) up to the task.....

    Anyone have experience or any ideas......(or anyone coming to Australia for a holiday soon ;) )

    Cheers Lukaas
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I'd say just relieve tension on the strings a bit, and ship it intact. No reason to be taking any unnecessary chances.
  3. Have them ship it with no strings or the strings fully loosened.
    but no need to ship in two pieces, unless the seller can't find a box that long.
  4. i wouldnt send a bass in pieces mainly because who knows how competent the person on the other end is at assembling basses. i also wouldnt send a bass with no strings unless the truss rod was backed off.
  5. i had a similar dilemma when i sold a bolt on spector ns2000q4 to a guy in israel and a few other basses to countries that i cant recall right now... sometimes it was a customs issue where the package size would be larger than they would accept, sometimes it was a cost issue... back then i wouldnt have done it... i only offered to once the last time with the guy in israel and he didnt want to

    anyway since then ive started to doubt what a lot of people say about necks needing to be kept under tension constantly... ive had people ship basses from cali to jersey with no tension on the neck and i havent noticed any problems with the 3 basses that were shipped this way... maybe im lucky, maybe im not... people ship necks by themselves all the time. used and new and i havent heard people warning others not to buy a used neck by itself so maybe this issue is exaggerated

    of course i could be wrong
  6. I agree completely. This should be no problem at all, but it is wise to have the trussrod loosened before shipping. After reassembly, just take your time after setting up, and adjust the the trussrod again after a couple of days, and again after a week or so. This goes mainly for necks with rosewood fingerboards though. Necks with maple fingerboards are much more stable, and need less readjustment.
    It is ofcourse best to have your guitartech set it up for you, if you're not exactly sure what you're doing.
  7. Thanks all for the time to help me out.....Ray and Ego are on the right track, I really want to know if necks need to be kept under constant tension as we so often hear....or is it exagerated?

    I am going tpo post on the luthier section as well but all respomses are much appreciated....

    Cheers Lukaas
  8. the necks are not in tension when the build the bass. Or when they install the neck. or when they install and level the frets. Or.... The neck is supposed to stay where it's put irrespective of string tension, though if it flexes the truss rod'll fix it. you should be fine neck-wise if you remove it, though the assembly issue is outside my sphere of knowledge.
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Good points!
  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Hopefully the cost of shipping would drop if the package size is smaller. Dimensional weight can kill you on shipping charges sometimes.

    I believe Lakland puts tension on their bass necks when they install frets...

    Good luck!
  11. Definitely keep it one piece. It would be nice if it were going in some type of case. I think however you send it, keep it in one piece, back the strings off a bit, and wrap it up nice and tight. :cool:
  12. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    A guy at the UPS store fudged the dimensions for me by 3 inches because those 3 inches put me up to what they charge for a 70 lb. package, so your point is definitely true.

  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Some of these answers are making little sense. If taking the tension off a neck for a period of time equal to shipping time is going to harm the neck, why would reducing to partial tension be OK? In fact why would any loosening even be desired? Silly.

    Frets are not installed with "tension" on the neck - there are no strings to provide tension at the time of installation. Here's a picture of Carl at Lakland installing frets, with no unusual "tension"-producing devices:

    This is in the realm of superstition. I once read that you should never take all your strings off simultaneously - that they should be changed one at a time. Hogwash.

    If necks were that fragile, you would ruin then by pressing too hard on the headstock and bending the strings sharp or flat, or by doing various other non-harmful activities. Heck, you can even drop a bass hard enough to put a crack in the headstock, without messing up the neck/fretboard/trussrod system.

    I can imagine there might be some value in loosening the trussrod, since a shipped bass could end up spending some time in hot conditions that might loosen up various glue joints - which the rod and the string tension would then put under stress. And if you were to loosen the rod, you would want to loosen the strings also, if the neck were still mounted. But, by and large, manufacturers have not found this to be necessary.

    My $.02.
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Hopefully they won't use any extreme methods to make it fit into some space that's three inches smaller than your bass! :eek: ;)
  15. I agree to most of your points. However you must know that fret levelling is done with just enough trussrod action to set the neck completely straight. Howelse could frets be levelled?
    And since we are discussing the point of shipping the neck apart from the body, we may assume there will be no strings attached to it ;)
    Furthermore it does make sense to loosen the trussrod when there will be no strings attached for a longer period of time, because a neck is not built to bend backwards, and that is exactly what it will do if you leave the tension on the trussrod.
    But I agree that a well built neck can handle almost anything within reason. I have not heard of one warped Lakland neck yet.. Most neck warping, twisting and other unpleasant effects happen because of cheap construction, and influence of humidity.

    Ok, I'll stop now. I can be funny also once in a while..really :bag:
  16. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Speaking from experience here, one important thing to consider is GST. I imported a G&L2000 into Australia couple of years ago, and had to pay GST on it even though it was second hand - custom's reasoning is that the bass had never been in my possession previously. Also, the bass had it's full value declared (I had no problems with this and am an honest person). However, it would seem to me that if you had the bass imported in two pieces it would be very likely to not be noticed by custom's at all. A bass in a HSC is a very obvious 'target' whereas two much smaller pieces would not be.

  17. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    In a previous thread, someone noted that a bass on a USA/Europe trip (or vice-versa) with the neck removed was considered to be "guitar parts" and of negligible value.
  18. Hey Mike,

    Did you pay GST on the new full retail value?

    I am looking at at 10 yr old bass, surely it will not be assessed as such?

    What do you think....
  19. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Nah, the GST was calculated based on the declared customs value. I got it from Bass Central, so there was a bunch of paperwork attached (from memory I think the bass was US$750 or something). It still seems a bit odd to me that paying GST was required though. :( :spit:

  20. I have imported a number of basses into Australia from the US and always had to pay GST on both the declared value and the shipping. However there is no duty on bass guitars.