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Strings digging into top of neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cerokilik, Oct 20, 2013.


  1. cerokilik

    cerokilik

    Aug 22, 2013
    Clinton, MI
    alright so recently I purchased a Fender Modern Player Jazz V. Great sound but I've noticed the strings are digging into the top of the neck and creating grooves. From what I've heard this is a common problem with basses that have a trussrod access at or around the heel of the neck.

    How can I fix it so it doesn't cause more damage? it looks like its just the lower strings(B-E-A) so is it a matter of adjusting the bridge? Also what would I use to repair the damage already done? epoxy?
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    First off, if this is actually doing as you described, I'm curious how the bass is even playable. But in any case, you need a good guitar tech and a set up.
     
  3. When you say "top of the neck", do you mean the fretboard? Fingerboard in the case of a fretless?

    Never heard of it. Never have seen it. I'll be watching this thread for any answers from users or pictures you might post of the damage you're describing.

    If you have grooves forming on the fretboard in between the frets, it's a technique issue.

    IMO, truss rod access location has nothing to do with fretboard wear. :confused:
     
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    +1 on this. Technique as in bad technique is most likely the problem, especially so since this is a new instrument, so presumably, there is not a lot of playing time on it, as of yet.
     
  5. cerokilik

    cerokilik

    Aug 22, 2013
    Clinton, MI
    Not sure how good quality the pic is but... 1382283541146.
     
  6. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I've seen it before. It is a cosmetic problem only. It is caused by the string's break angle being sufficient enough to make the string rub the neck past the nut. It doesn't really hurt anything, but the neck should have been shaped to prevent this.

    I'm surprised so many people have never seen this.
     
  7. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I had to check to make sure I was remembering correctly, but my US Lakland has this issue. So, it is not a function of "cheapbasses," or anything like that. It is about the shape of the fingerboard past the neck and the break angle of the string.
     
  8. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Umm, yeah. No. You don't understand the issue. Technique is absolutely not a factor here.
     
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Don't sweat it as this is fairly common especially with retainer-equipped basses. You may have the retainer too low which causes the string to "drag" across the headstock aspect of the fingerboard after it passes the nut. You have two choices: raise the string retainer to reduce the break angle or leave it as is and clean up the newly-formed grooves with a nut file or such. The latter will eliminate undesired friction points which may impede tuning. My Peavey Millennium had the same problem.

    Riis
     
  10. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    excuse my bass ignorance .. is the nut grooves cut too deep? seems shallow to me in the pic, albeit it is pretty fuzzy and with that camera angle my perspective could be off.
     
  11. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Past the nut, towards the end of the headstock? Yeah, that close "bar" string retainer is pushing the strings down into the "excess" fretboard up top.

    Probably matters not a bit, it is mostly cosmetic, but I'm a bit surprised that Fender didn't forsee that happening and shape the end of the fretboard to clear the strings.
     
  12. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    This is fifteen years of wear. Not a big deal. And, there is no string retainer here.

    DSC00522_zps32a9421c.
     
  13. blowinblue

    blowinblue Blue in name only. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    This Fender-style four string never has had, never will have the problem you describe. That doesn't help you solve your problem but this is how I chose to prevent the issue before it could get started. All of my basses have angled headstocks. With a non-angled headstock it seems that often this grooving issue just has to be tolerated.

    StammieP-bass5.

    M. M. :)
     
  14. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Agreed. You should angle the headstock on your Modern Player Jazz V. That will prevent the issue.

    Or...you could realize that it is not in any way about the angle of the headstock. It is about how far the fingerboard extends past the nut and the break angle of the string. In blowinblue's picture, it is not the angle of the headstock "correcting" this issue. In the picture, the fingerboard ends at the nut, and that helps avoid the issue.

    Also, I'd love to see a picture of the rest of that bass. I bet it is beautiful!
     
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The fact that your bass has an "end of fingerboard" nut and not the slot type has a lot to do with it. Case in point: the fingerboard wood just north of the nut snapped off my Mill 5. I filed down the rough remnants and walterw installed a pseudo end of fingerboard nut. No more grooves 'cuz there's no more fingerboard...and this is a non-angled headstock.

    Riis
     
  16. blowinblue

    blowinblue Blue in name only. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    Good points. I agree with both of you. When I had this bass built like this it wasn't primarily to avoid 'grooving'. It was to eliminate the need for a string retainer. I hate string retainers. Not having to worry about the possibility of grooves behind the nut is just icing on the cake.

    M. M. :)
     
  17. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Good heavens! The fretboard is invading the headstock! That's an extreme example.
     
  18. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    100% harmless. Put it out of your mind. Angled headstocks suck IMO because they break right at the joint. If there's no joint then it's all good.
     
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Nice of you to say that after you have seen the photo but not anyone else. :scowl:
     
  20. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Now I know why I have avoided Lakland basses. Design defect. :D
     

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