Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BassBus

Unstable neck

Recommended Posts

[size=4][font=Arial, sans-serif]I bought a bass on here recently which has a rather unstable neck. It arrived with a noticeable forward bow on it. Didn't think much about that and did a setup. Played like a dream so went to bed. [/font][/size]

[size=4][font=Arial, sans-serif]Next morning it had developed a forward bow again. The action had risen by at least 1-1.5mm. Trus rod had reached it's maximum and I wasn't going to try turning it any further. I have tried clamping it with the rod loose which allowed a great setup again. Each time I do this it always settles back into the forward bow over night when the room is cooler. [/font][/size]

[font=Arial, sans-serif][size=4]The trus rod appears to be dual action so I turned it all the way anticlockwise to induce a forward bow. Clamped it again for a day then left it out the clamp for a while before I restrung it. Strings on[/size][/font][font=Arial, sans-serif][size=4], setup and playing like a dream again. Again when I come to it this morning action has risen by 1mm. At least there was some travel left on the trus rod so I gave it a little tweak. Perfect once more. Just checked the action and as the heating is now on, room warming up, the action has gone down again by half a mm.[/size][/font]

[font=Arial, sans-serif][size=4]Beginning to annoy me. Anyone any ideas for cures or what might be wrong? The bass is an Ibanez GWB-35, if that helps, from what looks like 2006.[/size][/font]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really sorry to hear about that. I'm afraid that I have no great words of wisdom for you, but I don't think I'd trust that particular neck for the future. Any neck that moves so much, so quickly is simply a bad one. I guess a new truss rod could be a potential fix (and it probably is the problem currently), but I expect that a new rod plus the labour charges for replacement would cost as much as for a new neck.
I wish you luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's really what I've been thinking. I've had (and have) a 'few' basses over the years and never experienced this before. Just one of these things. At least the bass is so good when it's right that it would be worth having a new neck made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same issue with a lovely '78 P Bass. Rod was fine but the neck would react to temperature changes and bow backwards. I had it clamped and steamed once or twice which temporarily solved the problem, but in the end, it had to go.
Its worth your while going to a decent Luthier to see what they may be able to do....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mart. Looking at the back of the neck I think it is just a badly made neck. It is thicker in the middle than it is at each end, if you see what I mean. As long as the bass is warm it plays beautifully.

Dave Reaume of 'Dave's World of Fun Stuff' on YouTube had a live stream recently. I put the problem to him. He seemed to think the neck was just a big pile of s%@#. :lol:[size=4] [/size]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's fatter in the middle than at the pocket, then you can shave the middle thinner; solving that issue. I can't see how this would cause the problem you're having.

I was the previous owner. I never had/experienced the problem and I bought it from my bass teacher. He'd never seen it either, but neither of us gigged it. It stayed in the house in a stable temperature.

What I did find is in my opinion it had no sustain. I had it strung B-G and the G was a real "plink" tone. I just thought "it's not to my taste". But this does make me think that the strings may be too tight.

Try measuring the scale length. If it's longer than 34" maybe it needs the bridge moving. I can't see how this could be wrong from the factory, but if they make different types of GWB with different bodies/ necks they could be a mis-match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't think any of the above means I doubt what Graham says, but if I knew it had a problemd I'd have fixed it, or sold it as faulty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said in my PM, Rich, don't worry about it. I think the crucial factor for it is to be kept in a stable temperature. It has been in heated rooms for the last couple of weeks and is performing perfectly. My house does tend to get a bit cold at night and that is what induces the forward bow.

These things happen, that's life. Just a Friday afternoon neck. I wouldn't like to shave the neck any thinner than it already is. Probably end up exposing the trus rod. :D[size=4] I remember one of Iron Maiden's guitarists doing that.[/size]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully agree about shaving the neck. It's not to noticeable. But I think the tension on the strings is worth investigating.

Have you tried Ibanez support?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't have any lighter strings than those that are on it, 95-25, E-C. Maybe that's why it has been a bit more stable in the last few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the wood on the neck is still a little green? Or, maybe the neck is actually bowed (take the strings off, loosen the truss rod - is it still bowed?). There's a guy on Youtube who fixed a neck like that by setting a block at either end of the neck, and placing the neck on the blocks (fretboard side down) and clamping the middle of the neck down towards the bench with quite a bit of force. Maybe that's something to consider?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a pain indeed.

If it's any consolation, Deirdre Barlow's neck is even more unstable.

Edited by RandomBass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='RandomBass' timestamp='1388614447' post='2324142']
That's a pain indeed.

If it's any consolation, Deirdre Barlow's neck is even more unstable.


[/quote]got 4 strings on it as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='MiltyG565' timestamp='1388610298' post='2324065']
Maybe the wood on the neck is still a little green? Or, maybe the neck is actually bowed (take the strings off, loosen the truss rod - is it still bowed?). There's a guy on Youtube who fixed a neck like that by setting a block at either end of the neck, and placing the neck on the blocks (fretboard side down) and clamping the middle of the neck down towards the bench with quite a bit of force. Maybe that's something to consider?
[/quote]

Please read my opening post.

[quote name='RandomBass' timestamp='1388614447' post='2324142']
That's a pain indeed.

If it's any consolation, Deirdre Barlow's neck is even more unstable.


[/quote]

No, sorry, she's not headless. :D[size=4] [/size]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to be late to the party! I think it's the Bakelite fingerboard that's the problem. It reacts to temperature at a different speed to wood therefore the neck acts like a bimetallic strip- it's an inherently unstable design hence the lack of truss rod cover. Shame really as it's a great sounding bass but getting a decent setup is nigh on impossible

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard similar about a Cort Curbow with a synthetic fingerboard.
It belonged to a luthier's wife, and he said it made an excellent hygrometer. I'd suggest a new, wooden fingerboard would be a good fix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Jonotron' timestamp='1477954656' post='3165576']
Sorry to be late to the party! I think it's the Bakelite fingerboard that's the problem. It reacts to temperature at a different speed to wood therefore the neck acts like a bimetallic strip- it's an inherently unstable design hence the lack of truss rod cover. Shame really as it's a great sounding bass but getting a decent setup is nigh on impossible
[/quote]

Bakelite ?
I Googled the model number and everything I read says it's ebony ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='rmorris' timestamp='1478297180' post='3168346']


Bakelite ?
I Googled the model number and everything I read says it's ebony ???
[/quote]
No - I think it is ebonol. That is black paper and a type of epoxy highly compressed. From an expansion point of view - if differential expansion is the issue - I suspect that is pretty close to ebony and that it is the neck wood that is expanding and contracting more than the ebonol does. An ebony fretboard would, on that basis, have a similar issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...