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tilt-FORWARD headstock?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bryan2112, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. i was in a music store today waiting for a friend and i figured i'd try a fender standard 5 jazz. (the only one they had) it was a MIM. something that jumped out at me was the headstock. it actually tilted forward toward the fingerboard side of the neck. i've never noticed it before on fenders. is this usual, or possibly a bad piece o wood? it wasn't a bad bass otherwise. the b string was not as good as some others i've played. if i had to guess, i'd say it was about a 9% tilt. don't ask where i got that number from, cause i don't even know.

    on a side note, this store is a ken smith dealer, but i was upset to see no proto jazz's around. i was looking forward to trying one out. they stocked a few but they didn't sell as well as his "real" american basses. oh well. hope everyone's having a good weekend.

    peace, furio
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    It SHOULD be parallel with the fingerboard, no tilt whatsoever. I'd say it's either damaged or it's a bad piece of wood.
  3. my first thought was string tension. it really looks like the strings are pulling the head forward. the neck was pretty darn straight though. bad setup? these guys are usually pretty good with that sort of thing.
  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    String tension should pull the whole neck, not just the headstock.
    Probably was a bad piece of wood.
  5. utopia_imminent


    Jun 19, 2004
    my diagnoisis : cross-eyed luthier.
  6. sounds like damage or a bad piece of wood.

    in the early 90's the Jazz Plus had this problem as the headstock was downsized, but with the same thickness as other Fenders.

    I suppose this is a good argument against all-inline headstocks on 5string basses.
  7. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Even a great piece of maple in the Fender design will deflect a little bit. It is no biggie. When you add the tension of the 5th string, there will be more deflection. Couple this with a softer piece of maple and I could see where there could be fairly major headstock deflection: 1/4" or more up from the plane of the back of the neck where it contacts the body and the bottom of the flat part of the headstock at the nut. An especially white piece of maple would probably indicate it is sapwood and therefore not as strong and stiff as the heartwood. The bass is probably not a good cantidate for purchase.
  8. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    Yeah i've noticed that before, but on a smaller degree. It seems all flat headstock basses have some minute tilt up.
  9. Jazzguy

    Jazzguy Banned

    May 3, 2004
    I've always seem to notice that about Fenders.
  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Look more closely at your basses and the ones you guys demo. Its pretty common to flex a little forward, but that sounds like its pretty ddramatic.