What is neck dive?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oliver, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    I have played alot of basses and read alot of forums but i have no idea what neck dive is!
    can someone enlighten me?


  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    neck dive = neck heavy

    When the neck and headstock are so heavy that the neck has the tendency to drop towards the floor and you have to counter this with your fretting hand. Usually found on basses where the strap button is higher than the 12th-14th fret, e.g. Gibson Thunderbird or Warwick Thumb.
  3. It's the tendency for a bass' headstock to want to "dive" for the floor when it's not being held.

    This usually happens with basses that have unusually small bodies, and/or large or heavy headstocks. One of the best examples of this is a Gibson EB-O.

    You can get used to it.

  4. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    thanks guys

    much appreciated
  5. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    If you sit a bass on your knee to play and you have to hold up the neck because it is off balance then it has 'neck dive'. same if your wearing it with a strap, if you feel like the headstock tends to want to fall, it has 'neck dive'
  6. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Play my Cort Curbow 6-string - you'll learn what neck dive is! :p

    Fortunately, it was pretty easy to get used to.
  7. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I have a second definition of neck dive, but it would be against forum rules for me to post it here ... :p
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You a bad man...god... :D
  9. most basses dive like that if you rest them on a strap or on your lap, unless you get a Carl Thompson.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Not at all!!

    I have never owned a bass that had neck dive and I always test for this before buying! I find that it puts unnatural weight on your left wrist and can be the cause of carpal tunnel, RSI etc.

    I would avoid it at all costs!! :eek:

    It doesn't have to be dramatic - like dropping to the floor - so with Thumb basses, they just slip down enough to make your left arm/wrist position uncomfortable. But long periods of playing like that could be quite damaging and I don't want to take the risk with my health!!

    I would only buy a bass if it stays in a comfortable position for my left hand/wrist when playing standing up with a strap. This is part of the reason I would never buy a bass without trying it first!
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    B.S. :spit:
  12. Here's a good NECK DIVE CURE

    Fixed it for ya!

  13. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Note that this works on the bass shown in the article. On some basses, such as the Gibson Eb3
    I use, the body is thinner, and as a result the neck heel is to thin to mount a button, so it depends on the bass if this good little fix is possible.

  14. balembic


    Oct 17, 2003
    Huntington, WV
    I have found that wide leather straps tend to help moderate neck dive by letting the bass grip your body better than thin nylon straps which allow the bass to slide.
  15. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    a lot of times, neck dive is cause by stupid upper strap button placement.

    my warwick corvette pro 6 would be my perfect bass if the headstock didn't insist on sniffing my toe jam all the time...

    good luthier books will talk about how to design bodies that will balance

    EDIT: Sorry, i just had to run outside; a marching band just marched down the street. they march to City Hall every year for the Chili Bowl

    when it comes to balance, nothing balances better than my jazz. if you notice, the strap buttin is right up with the 12 fret mark.

    i think Melvin Hiscock (or Hercock - i don't remember his name) in his book talks about the simple rule that if you have the upper strap button close to the 12 fret, it will most likely balance well.
  16. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    If you have an instrument you really like but it has bad neck dive, consider hooking the end of your strap to the headstock, right above the nut. It looks old-school, but works very well. run a nice piece of sturdy nylon twine/rope(thin) under your strings and around the headstock, tie to a good strap and quit complaining. Millions of guitarists did this before the advent of two-buttons-on-the-body. :)
  17. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Holy thread resurrection!

    I think having the strap attached to the headstock would be bad for the neck.
  18. +10000000000
  19. depends on how heave the bass is, but most classical guitars are like that.
    I bet its okay as long as you don't put a lot of weight on guitar.