When is a neck too thin?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bardolph, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    So on my custom fretless 5 the neck is a five piece maple/walnut laminate through body. For the specs I had it sawed about as deep as my skyline neck. In the sanding process I did take off a somewhat considerable amount of depth. I'm just wondering how thin I can make the neck without having to worry about warping problems.
  2. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    It would probably have to be very thin. I've played some 6-string basses where the neck was ridiculously thin, maybe tops 2 inches thick thin.
  3. Pedula Thunderbass comes to mind.

    Thinest neck I have ever played. It was like playing a fretboard
  4. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    2 inches? I'm talking distance between the surface of the fingerboard and the back of the neck.
  5. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    way less than 2 inches... depending on construction of the neck

    my curbow is less than an inch I think from top of fretboard to back of neck
  6. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    When it's too thin, the neck will snap.. The only thing that will remain is a broken neck and a truss rod sticking out. That's how you know.
  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I say it's too thin once your palm starts hurting. Squeeze your thumb and your other fingers too close together and you're asking for trouble.

    I prefer my necks to be almost an inch thick at the nut. Thick neck = more tone and less strain on the hands.
  8. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    I agree. I've got a MIJ Fender P-Lyte that has, by far, the thinnest neck of any bass I've played. It's very convenient, and even comfortable..for a while. After a while it my fretting hand does begin to cramp because I am naturally wanting to close my hand more around the entire neck and let my fretting hand thumb creep up onto the top of the neck as opposed to it staying on the skunk-stripe where I feel it should be. Thicker necks do seem to have more sustain to my ears, I would imagine from the sheer increase in mass.
  9. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    A good guideline is to leave at least 5mm of wood between the trussrod and the back of the neck. I generally make the thinnest part of the neck (near the nut) 15mm. I mark the centre-line of the back of my necks after bandsawing, and I make sure that I don't touch that area until I am doing my final sanding. This works with the Stewart MacDonald truss rods I use. Don't forget that different fingerboard dimensions will change the thickness as well. Some boards are substantial.

  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    One of the very few things I disliked about my Conklin GT-BD7 was that the neck was so thin-particularly up by the 12th fret. My fretting havd would occasionally start aching from the pinching position.