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How Straight does a neck need to be?

Question:

> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings.

Bowed TOWARDS the strings? No, it should be somewhere between flat and bowed AWAY from the strings, otherwise you will get buzz or you will have to set your strings uncomfortably high. I find a bass playable with neck relief (how low the frets are at the middle of the neck compared to the ends) somewhere between flat and maybe .025" though I like it best roughly midway in that range. YMMV.

Response:

Hi all Some time ago, I read a Roger Sadowski’s article about setting up a bass guitar. According to him, the trussrod adjustment should be just enough to avoid 1st fret buzz/rattle. I tried this with my Warwick Corvette and it worked fine. Just my two cents. Cristiano Oliveira – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the > flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? > Pete Collin > I prefer my bass necks to be nearly straight.. I tend to use far less relief > than any factory spec.. and more straight than most players. > You have to have a pretty good fingerboard and fret work to get away with > it. > But, yes, they do have some relief, and are supposed to, but it should play > nicely even so. > Twang! > — > Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. > Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).

Response:

> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Bowed TOWARDS the strings? No, it should be somewhere between flat and bowed > AWAY from the strings, otherwise you will get buzz or you will have to set > your strings uncomfortably high.

If you look at an archery bow. you could say the the bow was bowed toward the strings.. the middle of the bow is bowed away, but the ends bend toward.. I’m sure he meant the same thing. Twang! I find a bass playable with neck relief > (how low the frets are at the middle of the neck compared to the ends) > somewhere between flat and maybe .025" though I like it best roughly midway > in that range. YMMV.

— Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).

Response:

> -Brian Pearl said…- > *…I found that it is best to wait 24 hrs before judging the > effectiveness of a truss rod adjustment…[/color] *

I recommend the same. — ‘My Website’ (http://tinyurl.com/l68a) posted via the bass forum at http://pointbeing.com

Response:

> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the > flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? > Pete Collin

I prefer my bass necks to be nearly straight.. I tend to use far less relief than any factory spec.. and more straight than most players. You have to have a pretty good fingerboard and fret work to get away with it. But, yes, they do have some relief, and are supposed to, but it should play nicely even so. Twang! — Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).

Response:

I like the way this page describes ’setting up’ a bass.  The only tricky part is that it lists metric feeler guages… http://www.wheatdesign.com/rmmbfaq.html#setup Bass Player also did a series of articles over 4 issues that thoroughly explains the different aspects of setting up a bass guitar (Nov ‘01, Dec ‘01, Jan ‘02 & Feb ‘02).  About a year ago, I decided to stop paying folks to tweak the truss rod, raise the strings and intonate the bridge – and the Bass Player articles were my initial handbook. There was also an article in Jan ‘03 about a bass tech at Berklee – very insightful. I’d recommend that all bass players learn to set up their instrument…it really taught me a lot about my basses.  Sure – it takes a while to get good at it…but it is pretty hard to REALLY screw up a bass, and over the long run saves a lot of $$. FWIW – I found that it is best to wait 24 hrs before judging the effectiveness of a truss rod adjustment… — be blessed…bp

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the > flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? > Pete Collin

Response:

it’s called relief and every bass (or guitar) must have it otherwise it’s almost unplayable. Have a look at Gary Willis’  pages for an explanation http://www.garywillis.com/pages/bass/bassmanual/setupmanual.html

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the > flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? > Pete Collin

Response:

Contary to the belief of many, a bass neck and fongerboad shouldn’t be laser straight.  However, it does have to be stable and in control, with a tiny amount of slope between the nut and the bottom of the fretboard, called ‘relief’.  It’s really a feel adjustment.  If you like the way the thing plays, don’t worry about changing it.  If a string buzzes at seemingly random spots on the neck, you could need a truss rod adjustment.  Under no circumstances do you turn the truss rod more than 1/4 turn at a time. One-eighth (1/8) turn at a time is wise.  After each  turn of the truss rod, re-string, re-tune, whatever it takes, and give the effect of the change a couple of hours to take hold.  Eventhough you may notice a change right off the bat, it may not set in fully right away.  All this is why if you like the bass the way it is, leave it be.  It can be a painstaking process…or relatively easy.  It just depends on the bass. Edward G. — "You don’t always get what you pay for, but you always pay for what you get."  –Don King —

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the > flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? > Pete Collin

Response:

> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the > flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? > Pete Collin

Needs a truss rod adjustment. Simple matter. — Neal Pollack The Bad Habit Allstars http://www.badhabitallstars.com Carbondale, CO, USA

Response:

> I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little > use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it > appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. > Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the > flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? > Pete Collin

That’s normal, and desirable, for a bass to have some bow in the neck.  It’s called "relief".  Read the FAQs at altguitarbass.com to learn more.

Response:

I bought a nice used P-bass about a month ago.  It has recieved little use, and plays very nicely.  I just sighted down the neck, and it appears very slightly bowed towards the strings. Should the neck appear this way?  I have a Les Paul that has the flattest neck you have ever seen.  Should a bass be different? Pete Collin

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