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What's going on here? (neck joint)

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Mikey3, Mar 25, 2009.


  1. Mikey3

    Mikey3

    Aug 8, 2007
    Michigan
    I wasn't sure if this was the paint/finish peeling off with some string tension, or if there was damage to the wood, weak joint etc... anyone ever see something like this before?

    Thanks
    Mikey

    Edit: Here are some links to bigger pictures

    DSC_0326.jpg (2.4 MB)
    DSC_0322.jpg (2.7 MB)
     
  2. kurt ratering

    kurt ratering

    Dec 2, 2008
    waltham, mass.
    bass luthier, johnson string inst.
    has your bass recieved any blows to the scroll lately?
     
  3. Mikey3

    Mikey3

    Aug 8, 2007
    Michigan
    No blows to the scroll that I am aware of. Its basically brand new, just got strung up, and then this happened, I imagine was due to tension. The neck seems stable though, bass doesn't go out of tune, just a bit flat when sitting for a while, and I thought that was due to new strings. I can send it back, but I do like the look/feel/sound of the bass, just don't wanna have the neck fly off on me.
     
  4. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Any chance it is just a change due to humidity changes? It looks that way to me, but those are pretty tiny pictures. You have not filled out your profile, so I have no idea where you live, but if it is either drying a lot, or more humid than before, I can see where it could crack the finish in a way similar to that.

    I had a friend who bought an instrument in Brazil and brought it with him to school in Michigan. It split, and the gap just got wider and wider, as the wood continued to dry out. That's a pretty major shift, though, from Manaus to Jackson, Michigan.

    I would not worry about what I am seeing on your bass, personally, but I might retouch it after a while, once it had stabilized.

    Chet Bishop
     
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, more detailed pictures might help. Still, unless your bass did take a blow, there's no way that should happen to a properly humidified instrument that hasn't endured rapid changes in temperature and/or humidity. Actually, I would worry about it. The best course of action is to visit a luthier and trust what he/she says.
     
  6. Mikey3

    Mikey3

    Aug 8, 2007
    Michigan
    Thanks...I attached some bigger pictures, and I will be visiting a luthier very soon I hope!
     
  7. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Some people pick up or move their bass holding just neck and fingers around the end of the fingerboard! Are you one of them?

    When you pick up your bass by the neck, you have a big heavy object wiggling around on the end of a stick, held on only with glue and a tight fit. This can cause stress at that joint and could easily cause that varnish cracking.

    Be careful to move your bass left hand on the neck and right hand under the upper bout.
     
  8. Mikey3

    Mikey3

    Aug 8, 2007
    Michigan
    ya thats not it either, I always grab like you just described.
     
  9. Darren Molnar

    Darren Molnar

    Nov 6, 2007
    saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada
    humble instrument maker
    Wood is always expanding or contracting, its a natural material that reacts with its environment. Looks like the wood is doing its thing. but, whatever that " varnish" is, it's not flexible enough to move with the wood. I've seen this mostly on the cheap asian candy apple finishes, where it is so brittle it cracks if you look at it funny. Esp where the paint is bridging over two different pieces of wood. But it is not exclusive those basses. any bass where the "varnish" is thick and brittle, and bridges the pieces.

    Stop looking at it funny ;) and pay attention to your humidity, which is good advice for anybody. i'd like to see some more room between the neck and the plate mortice. looks too tight on this one.
     
  10. did you hear/feel a thunk when you were bringing it to pitch?
     
  11. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I love the size of your pix - you can actually see what's going on! :D

    I don't think you have anything to worry about. Like Darren, I think your woods are adjusting (which they will continue to do for many, many years) and your thick finish can't keep up. Check it occasionally but keep on playing. :)
     
  12. Mikey3

    Mikey3

    Aug 8, 2007
    Michigan
    ya those Nikon cameras are pretty sweet! i am glad to hear that most think that its not much to worry about as I love the sound and feel of this bass.
     
  13. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Actually, now that I look at the full-size photos, it seems to me that there is some sort of white filler underneath the varnish in that joint, and either the wood or the filler or both have shrunken just a little-- the varnish was not able to move with it. Just my opinion.

    Chet
     
  14. perchance the front corner of the heel found "home".
     
  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I think it may be the lighting in the first pic. In the second one, it looks like you can see bare wood. In any case, they're really great pics and if Jake (a bona fide luthier) says not to worry, then I think the OP can rest pretty easy.
     
  16. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    "Jake (a bona fide luthier) "

    I'm not sure I've ever even played a lute! :)
     
  17. +1
    "i think the OP can rest pretty easy"
    it's rumored that i put the bone in bonafide ;)
     
  18. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    I was once told I put the "Uggh" in ugly...I liked that line. :)
     
  19. Mikey3

    Mikey3

    Aug 8, 2007
    Michigan
    Thanks for your input guys. BTW, pardon my ignorance, but what is the OP?
     
  20. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Sorry, it stands for "original poster," you know, the person who started the thread. ;)
     

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