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Stingray Neck Relief


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In between not-so-regular gigs these days my 12 year old American Stingray is on a wall hanger, inside a house with minimal temperature changes. After an initial adjustment a while ago, which seemed OK, I picked up the bass which fouled on  frets 1 to 5 in particular. I increased the relief only jusy enough to clear the problem and all seemed well. Now, a few months later, the action is too high at 12 fret and you can see the relief bend looking down the neck. OK I can adjust again but I am unsure why this has happened again. I don't really want to get into a cycle of increase/decrease relief and everything I read says hanging by the neck is not a problem. I have checked the neck/body join etc, no sign ofa problem. Any advice appreciated.

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I have a 1996 Stingray and it needs a tweak of the truss rod once or twice a year, whereas my other basses almost never do. I put this down to the oil and wax neck finish, which makes it more susceptible to temperature and humidity changes than the poly finishes of the others. 

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On 13/12/2021 at 02:34, pineweasel said:

I have a 1996 Stingray and it needs a tweak of the truss rod once or twice a year, whereas my other basses almost never do. I put this down to the oil and wax neck finish, which makes it more susceptible to temperature and humidity changes than the poly finishes of the others. 

Same here... my '88 Stingray gets a tweak twice a year when the seasons change.

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To reassure you re. hanging basses by the headstock; I've got basses that have spent 30+ years on wall hangers with no issues.  Tweaks every now and again are normal.  Just out of interest have you changed strings recently and do you tweak the truss rod or just the bridge screws?  

 

It need not be temperature that is causing changes, it can as easily be down to humidity.  You might not feel it but things like damp washing hung on rads or tumble driers running all day etc can increase moisture.

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Thanks all for you help and advice, I feel less concerned now. I changed the strings earlier this year and can't quite remember whether I adjusted the neck at the same time but have now done so 3 times this year, including today. I haven't felt the need to adjust the bridge height on the basis that returning the neck to the original relief should produce the action I like. Intonation had not been a problem with that process.

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My 95 Ray has a very sensitive neck that needs adjustments quite regularly. It’s been like that for years, but never really bothered me. Other basses of mine, including MM, have never needed anywhere near as much adjustment as this one. Some folk say the Birdseye maple Rays are less stable, but I’ve seen that some are stable and fine so it could just be hit miss on them. 

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No 2 basses will be the same in neck stability that's the nature of wood. Even if they were made one after each other. 

From my experience stingrays are pretty stable. I believe I've worked on ones dating from 78/79 to modern ones. That's not to say that some won't need more regular adjustment. 

 

Did you check the relief with a feeler blade? What you might of done is loosened it off a bit too much for example going from .004 to .014 which might only be half a turn in some basses. Which would cure the fretting out and still feel playable but then the strings pulled the neck just a touch, as it didn't really have enough tension in the rod. And then the neck is say .019 measured at the 7th which is a noticeable bow! These tiny measurements actually make big changes. 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 20/12/2021 at 02:19, Twincam said:

No 2 basses will be the same in neck stability that's the nature of wood. Even if they were made one after each other. 

From my experience stingrays are pretty stable. I believe I've worked on ones dating from 78/79 to modern ones. That's not to say that some won't need more regular adjustment. 

 

Did you check the relief with a feeler blade? What you might of done is loosened it off a bit too much for example going from .004 to .014 which might only be half a turn in some basses. Which would cure the fretting out and still feel playable but then the strings pulled the neck just a touch, as it didn't really have enough tension in the rod. And then the neck is say .019 measured at the 7th which is a noticeable bow! These tiny measurements actually make big changes. 

 

 

 

I agree and also its worth checking the relief the day after adjustment.

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It very much depends on the individual bass.

I've had basses that have never needed so much as a slight tweak, and others where I spent more time adjusting the neck than I did playing them.

One of the latter was a A USA Stingray 5 string.

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