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Talk about a pain in the neck!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Charlie Quatro, Jun 4, 2001.

  1. Hello all,
    I bought a Stingray 5 about six weeks ago and have been in love with it ever since for the most part.
    Here's what's causing the pain:

    First of all, keep in mind I live in a basement so it's probably about ten degrees cooler than upstairs and the bass has remained in the basement since I got it.

    The bass played great for the first two weeks. Then one Saturday I picked it up and everything below the sixth fret on all the strings was either dead or very close to it. The notes just completely buzzed out on the frets.

    OK fair enough. I adjusted the truss rod to bring the neck forward some and then dropped the action down and I'm back in business. Played even better than before.

    So two more weeks go by and guess what?
    Same thing again and just as bad.
    So I went through the whole adjustment process again and now it's even better than the first adjustment.
    When I adjusted the first time (a couple weeks ago) it seemed like the truss rod could not be tightened more. Then this time it seemed to have some slack back in it again.

    Has anyone had this experience with Stingrays before?
    What realy scares me is, what happens when I take her out of the basement? Am I going to have to re-adjust everything all over?

    I'm halfway considering the Status graphite neck replacement but I hate to give up the maple on the Stingray.
    Anybody have the Status neck?

  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Charlie - Getting a little warm and humid up there?
    I used to grew up in one of the humidity capitals, St. Louis, moved to humid Florida, and now live in another humidity jungle.

    Here's a homemade dehumidifier that flamenco guitarists use that may help - get a real sponge and place it in a Baggie that has a lot of larger than pinprick holes in it, (use something like a Bic pen), and keep it in the case.
  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    hI, Charlie,

    To answer your question , I haven't personally had that to happen to a Stingray. However, I have seen the same results with a lot of different basses.

    I'm not sure that I would have went to the truss rod to tweak a problem out below the sixth fret. I'm assuming that you mean that the notes go sour between the sixth fret and the bridge.

    I've found it to be a good rule of thumb to adjust the end of the neck that's got the problem. That reasoning makes me think that the bridge height may have needed adjusting rather than the truss rod.

    Another thing that you may want to consider is that tightening the truss rod will normally make a fret buzz get worse because tightening reduces relief on a single action rod.

    I would suggest that you check the neck for relief
    and get that right. Once you have a bit of relief, readjust the bridge height if buzzes on the frets at the bridge end of the fretboard.

    Be extremely cautious with tightening that truss rod any more. You are truly on the brink of disaster.

    If you have no relief or a backbow, it's a VERY strong indicator that the truss rod could be in danger.

    I wouldn't give up too quickly on the Stingray. If it's only five weeks old, it hasn't had time enough yet to settle in. The whole idea is not to worry too much about the humidity or temperature so much as slowly bringing the instrument to the exact same mosture content throughout each wooden part. When it reaches that point it will settle down and stay in adjustment, normally.

    What will probably happen when you take it out of your apartment and into a different environment? That depends on how you choose to set YOUR bass up.

    If you choose to set it up with the lowest possible action, You may have to make truss rod and a bridge adjustment.

    If you choose a bit higher action, you may only need to adjust the bridge height, if even that.

    A bit higher action and you probably wouldn't have to adjust anything.

    Another rule of thumb is that the lower you keep your action, the more maintenance adjustments you normally will make.

    It's a tradeoff.

    Sorry for the T.M.I.

  4. Thanks pkr2,
    What I meant is everything below the sixth fret (E-A on the e string) just buzzed out.
    And this was not with low action at the other end.
    And yes I was actually loosening the trus rod, turning the adjustment counter-clockwise.
    Sorry for the confusion.
    I think it's fine for now. I'm just concerned it's going to wack out on me when I take it outside of the basement environment.

    I hope I don't have to go through it with the Ray 5 fretless I have ordered.

    I guess I'll have to wait and see.

    Thanks Again.

  5. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    I had the exact same problem with a SR5 not that long ago. I think it might have to do with the raw maple neck, because none of my basses with finished neck had this happen to them. I took my bass to a local MM dealer and they repeatedly made adjustments free of charge. However, that bass is gone now, and my baby's neck is made of graphite...
  6. leftybassdog

    leftybassdog Senior Supporting Member

    The neck on the stingray has no finish from the nut to the 6 bolts and a change in the temperature will cause it to change, put a good coat of gun stock oil on it. when you take it from the case let it sit out at room temperature for about 5 min. if there is a great change in the temp let it sit longer and it will be fine. FAQ @ www.ernieball.com
  7. I'm just going to adjust it a couple more times if I have to and if it keeps changing with different environments then the necks gonna have to go.
    I like the maple but I can't deal with the hassle.
    I also don't like those kind of surprises.

    I'll just go with the Status graphite neck and let them install it.

    I didn't pay that much money for a bass to have to jack around with the setup constantly.

    It's been fine since I last adjusted it but it will be coming out of the basement for an audition this week.
    I'll see how it handles it.


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