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What is this?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by agfrag, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. agfrag


    Feb 24, 2006
    Novi, Mi
    I was shopping for basses, and came across this black strip of wood on a couple basses from totally different manufacturers (different continents, different decades...) and was wondering what it is. I am imagining that it might be a way to hide a neck joint repair, as both basses had a split as seen in the blurry photo.

    Any ideas?

  2. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    To save money on wood, manufacturers often use neck blocks that aren't quite deep enough to get a full heel out of. A lot of repaired necks will have a similar shim, but hopefully not that long. That to me looks like a neck in need of repair.

    Edit- Realized you were talking about the ebony strips. They are just decorative and hide the end grain of the ribs. Many makers use them.
  3. Joey, same thing happened to me. I got sucked in by the separating neck and forgot to read the question.
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    That's a built-up heel and isn't necessarily coming apart. I see them like that often - the two pieces of wood have slightly differing shrinkage rates and have cracked the finish but its not always a complete separation. Photo's a little blurry, eh?

    The ebony filler strips are probably original. I'm partial to the look, personally. ;)
  5. My carved Romanian flatback (Roma, I think) has a strip just like that. In fact, that could be a picture of my bass.

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