Jump to content
Left leaderboard
hiram.k.hackenbacker

(READ IF YOU HAVE A) Fender '61 Flea Bass (Woes)

Recommended Posts

So, I only use this bass for one band who I dep with occasionally. I've been brushing up on my Ska over the past few days in preparation for a gig this Saturday and I've been leaving the bass out on a Hercules stand when I'm not using it.

I came down stairs this morning and picked it up for a quick noodle after breakfast and found that something had happened to the neck overnight. I like a nice low action and this bass gave that to me, but when I picked it up this morning, I found it was now unplayable. The string height shown in the picture is about 7 to 8mm from the top of the frets. I don't know much about truss rods, but could it be that it's failed? Anyone with one of these basses will testify that it's a right PITA to adjust as you have to take the neck off to do it. I haven't had a chance to do that yet as I'm out of the door in 10 minutes.

Bought new from Kenny's 2 years ago. What are the options with this if it's the truss rod that's shot? Obviously I'll try and adjust it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Truss rods don't just break. It's made of metal and it's sealed inside the neck. The only time you can damage one is while you are actually adjusting it  but only of you overdo it and snap the nut off.
It may need adjusting but it's not broken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has there been a significant change in the weather? Or did you leave it close to a radiator or similar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Dom in Somerset said:

Truss rods don't just break. It's made of metal and it's sealed inside the neck. The only time you can damage one is while you are actually adjusting it  but only of you overdo it and snap the nut off.
It may need adjusting but it's not broken.

I did adjust it when I started using it again the other week and the truss rod was very stiff to adjust, but it always has been. Somethings happened as it’s pretty far form how it was set up last night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Has there been a significant change in the weather? Or did you leave it close to a radiator or similar?

No, I never leave any of my basses exposed to any significant changes in heat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I did adjust it when I started using it again the other week and the truss rod was very stiff to adjust, but it always has been. Somethings happened as it’s pretty far form how it was set up last night.

You'd know about it if you broke the nut off. A possible scenario - you adjusted it the wrong way or too far   and it's taken a day or two to settle? Some necks don't react immediately to truss rod adjustment and move a bit in the next few days.
Can you remember what direction you turned it and what were you trying to achieve?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

No, I never leave any of my basses exposed to any significant changes in heat. 

Not heat, but humidity. If you've just switched on the central heating, for example, the level of humidity in your lounge may have changed drastically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Dom in Somerset said:

You'd know about it if you broke the nut off. A possible scenario - you adjusted it the wrong way or too far   and it's taken a day or two to settle? Some necks don't react immediately to truss rod adjustment and move a bit in the next few days.
Can you remember what direction you turned it and what were you trying to achieve?

I’m not a complete numpty in terms of knowing how to adjust a bass. It needed a slight tweak to bring it down, but I’m fairly sure that’s because I hadn’t played it for months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

Not heat, but humidity. If you've just switched on the central heating, for example, the level of humidity in your lounge may have changed drastically.

Slightly cooler today and the heating has flicked on, but it’s nothing this bass hasn’t been through before. All a bit odd. I’ve just taken it apart and will report back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I’m not a complete numpty in terms of knowing how to adjust a bass. It needed a slight tweak to bring it down, but I’m fairly sure that’s because I hadn’t played it for months.

You said you didn't know much about truss rods, just checking that you have the basics right before looking for more serious problems.
You turned the truss rod nut to the right?
A guitarist friend of mine keeps bringing me his guitar to sort out after he adjusts it himself as he consistently turns it the wrong way. I've lost track of the times I've told him. 

Edited by Dom in Somerset

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is some serious neck movement, if that`s happened without any adjustments I`d be taking it to a luthier who knows what they`re doing, I`d expect some kind of movement with the weather changes in autumn/spring but not that much.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, to the right when looking down the neck from the body. I meant I don’t know much about the mechanics of how they are held in place. I get the principle, but I’ve never seen the guts of how they are secured. I’ve just taken the neck off and it’s like the truss rod has been wound almost completely off. None of the tension that was there when I adjusted it the other day as the crosshead adjuster rotates freely. I’ve turned it to where I can start to feel it tighten and I’ll put it back together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Lozz196 said:

That is some serious neck movement, if that`s happened without any adjustments I`d be taking it to a luthier who knows what they`re doing, I`d expect some kind of movement with the weather changes in autumn/spring but not that much.

Yes, that was my first thought along with a few expletives 😬

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Yes, to the right when looking down the neck from the body. I meant I don’t know much about the mechanics of how they are held in place. I get the principle, but I’ve never seen the guts of how they are secured. I’ve just taken the neck off and it’s like the truss rod has been wound almost completely off. None of the tension that was there when I adjusted it the other day as the crosshead adjuster rotates freely. I’ve turned it to where I can start to feel it tighten and I’ll put it back together.

You'll probably need a bit more adjustment than just gripping but at least it's not broken .Weird how  it went like that , you must have a gremlin infestation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having had it apart - twice - and adjusted the truss rod I conclude that it is indeed knackered. The first time, I rotated the rod adjuster just to where I could feel it tighten and there was no difference in the string height when I reassembled it. The second time, I rotated the rod adjuster and it just keeps going around and around with no change in tension whatsoever, so I don’t think it’s attached to anything at the nut end anymore ☹️

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Having had it apart - twice - and adjusted the truss rod I conclude that it is indeed knackered. The first time, I rotated the rod adjuster just to where I could feel it tighten and there was no difference in the string height when I reassembled it. The second time, I rotated the rod adjuster and it just keeps going around and around with no change in tension whatsoever, so I don’t think it’s attached to anything at the nut end anymore ☹️

Aargh shiiit! 
The thread must be stripped somehow. I've heard of this being repaired but I've never been asked to do it, I don't think you'll be using this bass any time soon.

https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Truss_Rod_Installation_and_Repair/Truss_Rod_Rescue_Kit_Instructions.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Dom in Somerset said:

Aargh shiiit! 
The thread must be stripped somehow. I've heard of this being repaired but I've never been asked to do it, I don't think you'll be using this bass any time soon.

https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Truss_Rod_Installation_and_Repair/Truss_Rod_Rescue_Kit_Instructions.html

Would another option be to get a new neck?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fender have a 2 year warranty - check your dates as you may be lucky.

I had a Fender Nate P from around the same period that developed a truss rod issue - seems that it was eating into the wood inside the neck when it was investigated - and the neck was replaced under warranty (just a month before it expired) with no problem. And I've since heard of at least 2 others having the same thing in the USA - i wonder if its from the same series/source and theres a batch issue?

Edited by Mudpup
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Would another option be to get a new neck?

Of course but the kit is only £12(?) and  you have nothing to loose.😯
Sorry my mistake, it comes up as a google search result as £12 but it's actually £166.
Warranty or replacement.

Edited by Dom in Somerset

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Mudpup said:

Fender have a 2 year warranty - check your dates as you may be lucky.

I had a Fender Nate P from around the same period that developed a truss rod issue - seems that it was eating into the wood inside the neck when it was investigated - and the neck was replaced under warranty (just a month before it expired) with no problem. And I've since heard of at least 2 others having the same thing in the USA - i wonder if its from the same series/source and theres a batch issue?

Just checked. Ordered 29/6/16 ☹️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Just checked. Ordered 29/6/16 ☹️

Dammit...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like this option and it’s just up the road from me. It will probably double the cost of the bass to me, but at least I’ll be able to use it.

Black graphite fingerboard would look odd, but the natural option would look fine I think?!?

http://www.status-graphite.com/status/frames/index_home.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should still contact the store and Fender, maybe you get lucky. The warranty has just passed but they may choose to be decent persons and fix your problem regardless. It's a situation that shouldn't happen, a truss rod can't break on its own, surely a design flaw. They should take responsibility for that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Ghost_Bass said:

You should still contact the store and Fender, maybe you get lucky.

That. And if the shop do nothing contact Fender UK directly, you never know. I have dealt with Fender UK after the shop that sold me a bass went under and they sent me spares no problem (but it was still under warranty).

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...