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Unlevel neck problem??

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Hungry Mastadon, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. So I picked up this fretless jazz bass on craigslist a few months ago and I have been intermittently working on getting it properly set up since then. I've constantly been frustrated by the G string buzzing in situations where it shouldn't while other strings are fine (usually around where the 2nd fret would be), and no matter how much I move the saddles and truss rod around it only disappears when it's set up with high action, which I'm not so much of a fan of. So the other day I go and grab a new pickguard (for tone), and I go to screw it in place and realize that the neck is not level with the body, which would explain all of my problems.

    So my question here is how can I deal with this problem without going all out and buying a new neck? Is sanding and/or planing ok here (I'm really no the best woodworker...)? Or should I be seeing a professional about this?

    Check it out here:
    Note the amount of maple showing contrasting from the left to right sides
  2. Are the screws passing through the body freely, or are they threading through the the body?

    They need to pass through freely in order to eliminate the chance that they're just tightening themselves to the body, rather than tightening the neck to the body.

    I'm now going to witness this thread de-evolve into the same old "tone-guard" debate...

    Good luck
  3. The screws are threading all the way through and the neck is sitting nice and flush in there.

    Also, the pickguard thing was kind of a joke, i swapped out a white one for a black one, purely aesthetic.
  4. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Have you tried a very small shim in the neck pocket? A small piece of biz card or sandpaper placed only in the spot where the neck appears "lower" will ever-so-slightly raise it at that point, giving you more intonation possibilities.
    Sure beats sanding/planing anything,
  5. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Why dontcha take off the pickguard, and see how the neck sits in relation to the body? If the pickguard is warped, it'll be an inaccurate reference point.

    I guess if the neck pocket actually is that crooked, you could try a narrow shim along the edge of the neck that sits low. A slice of business card works well for a shim. (As tangentmusic said, just above.)
  6. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Hey, another thought:

    The buzz is only on the G-string, and only within the first couple (virtual) frets, you said. I wonder if the nut slot for that string is worn or was cut a bit too low. You might try a small piece of paper under the string (loosen string, insert bit of paper, tune to pitch) to see if that takes care of the buzz.

    Eh, one more thought:

    Stew-Mac sells precision straightedges. I find mine handy for checking neck relief; you might want to buy one, to check your fingerboard.
  7. I would place a paper shim under the G string in the nut slot to raise it slightly. If the problem goes away, then a new nut may be needed.
  8. Everybody thinks that black pickguards have a more modern, in your face tone.

    They're right.

  9. The screws shouldn't thread all the way through. They should pass freely through the body and only thread into the neck. This could contribute to the problem you're having.
  10. The screw holes in the bass body should be large enough so that you can push the screws through without a screwdriver.. They should only thread into the neck.

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