Thursday, 18 October 2007
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All of a sudden my AB1 (#3785) has developed a very slight "ridge" running lenghtwise along the back of the neck - from the back side of the headstock all the way down to where the neck joins the body. I'm not sure but it feels as if the neck is constructed of two pieces of wood and that one piece has expanded or contracted at a different rate than the other. This is disconcerting as I don't know if it will "correct itself" or get worse. Has anyone else experienced this?
14 years ago
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#7621
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Yea, I haven't touched my neck in ever(well over ten years!). Sometimes I wonder if I should tweak it just to "exercise" the truss rod...but it's always been "too right" to even fool with. I am not Canadian but I bask proudly in regards to the extreme climate, good supply of rock hard maple and Sheldon's designs/workmanship.
14 years ago
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#7610
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Since I set up my '99 Voodoo when I bought in '04 the neck has not needed adjusting. I assume Sheldon tweaked it when he reassembled it after the pimping. My AB has been stable since the initial setup right after I got it 2 1/2 years ago and after many hours of play. The SJ neck has never been touched- it's as it was since I received it. How's that for stability? I have the glue line ridges on my AB neck, but I no longer notice them. They're just not bad enough for me to mess with. All the other qualities of the neck are so awesome and pleasureable that the lines are a non-issue. Strangely, the Voodoo has never exhibited this problem. :? Mark
14 years ago
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#7608
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[quote="Valkyrie":2mfcpolp]Rather, it may be simply a question of how much the ridge bothers someone; if you can get used to it then leave it alone but if it remains a distraction then do something about it. My general approach to things, when I'm not sure what to do is to wait and see what develops that might help me decide.[/quote:2mfcpolp] At first, I was a bit concerned, too, but have come to simply enjoy the small and sometimes changing ridges. I've never noticed them at all when playing a gig (or even in rehearsal). +1 on Smallmouth's comment about the stability of the necks. I appreciiate it every time I play. Thanks to Sheldon for looking after us all so well.
14 years ago
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#7601
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Brief Update on glueline ridge: It might be just powerful "wishful thinking" (or even divine intervention- hey these axes are inspired, are they not?) but I think the ridge has ever-so-slightly decreased. It's still there but either I'm getting used to it or maybe it's contracting (I'm talking microns here) so I'm going to continue not deciding "to sand or not to sand". I used the Kiwi natural shoe polish months ago. I really like it... make the neck super smooth yet still retains the real wood feel. I think I'll apply some more to the back of the neck and just keep enjoying the thing. I've got a gig tomorrow night - first one since this whole neck issue arose. I'm sure it'll be a non-issue. Thanks
14 years ago
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#7583
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Valk...that's exactly what this forum is for!
14 years ago
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#7581
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Wow... this is becoming very interesting for me. I've not tried sanding my neck yet. Frankly I've not had time but also Sheldon's suggestion to leave it alone had me wondering why. Some of the recent posts here, I guess, are answering this question. Not to sound wishy-washy but I'm thinking maybe there's no right answer to the question "to sand or not to sand". Rather, it may be simply a question of how much the ridge bothers someone; if you can get used to it then leave it alone but if it remains a distraction then do something about it. My general approach to things, when I'm not sure what to do is to wait and see what develops that might help me decide. I really love this forum. More heads are better than one. Thanks a lot for all your comments. I appreciate all this food for thought. I'll keep y'all posted.
14 years ago
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#7580
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believe it or not, it's been something like 8-9 yrs that I have touched the relief of my Dingwalls
14 years ago
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#7575
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When I first got the bass it seemed to take me a while to get to the level of relief I wanted. But once I got there it hasn't moved in over a year--we've gone from hot humid summers to dry cold winters with forced air heat and I've never touched the truss rod. Last time I adjusted it was probably late summer of 2006 I also have that ridge on my AB's neck
14 years ago
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#7573
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I would say my Dingwall Afterburners have the most stable necks I have owned.
14 years ago
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#7572
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+1 on lowphatbass's comment about the necks being the best in the business. I have a Prima Artist and I am taking Sheldon's advice and using KIWI Natural shoe polish once a month and the neck is so smooth and fast and feels great. I love the natural wood with the wax. I wouldn't sand the neck at this point either. IMHO.
14 years ago
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#7571
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Yeah..you get used to the ridges. I wouldn't mess around with sanding.
14 years ago
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#7570
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May be late on this but I'd vote for leaving the neck alone for a bit. Monitor it for a full seasonal cycle, which will also give you plenty of time to really decide how much the ridges bother you, provided they are still there. I have a 9 piece neck, there are minor ridges except for the area of the neck that sees the heaviest playing, they're worn smooth(it's got a lot of mileage on it). I don't notice them anywhere on the neck when I'm playing, but will admit that if I was unfamiliar, or experiencing them on another bass I would be paying attention to them, at least on a minimal basis. My position is that I love the natural feel of these necks, I find that finished necks can feel great in many conditions, but sometimes feel gummed-up and sticky if I get sweaty or have to play in cold conditions. IMO, Sheldon's necks are the best in the business, both in performance and durability, and are a big part of what makes his basses great. I'm thrilled to have seams on my neck!! :wink:
14 years ago
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#7552
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Yes, definitely up and down the neck, with the grain. you can use a soft sponge or something as a pad, or fold the sandpaper a number of times so it conforms to the shape of the neck and sand evenly (hopefully hitting the ridges.) some people use scrubbie pads for light sanding now, but I liked the 600 grit sandpaper.
14 years ago
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#7551
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Hey reddavid and others, maybe this question is a no-brainer (but I'd rather ask than make a wrong assumption). If I sand the ridge does the direction of sanding matter? I'd assume I should sand along the length of the neck - this just seems intuitively correct, but what do I know. Thanks.
14 years ago
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#7545
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There is definitely that strange feeling - taking sandpaper to your beloved bass. That lasted about 20 seconds. The light sanding was a nice way to get rid of wax and dirt build up on the back of the neck. The 600 grit is so mild, it really doesn't do much sanding. The oil was helpful to keep any dust down, like wet sanding paint. I think it would remove any ridges pretty quickly. I don't think you can run into much trouble - low risk, high reward. Go slowly and carefully and see how it goes. I wouldn't have the patience to wait. It would bug me, and I would try to deal with it ASAP. If it happened again, I'd sand it down again, since it was so easy the first time?! I don't think it is the type of thing to re-occur, though. The neck has probably settled in and done what it was going to do in your environment.
14 years ago
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#7538
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Hmmmmmm...... this is definitely food for thought. Would you recommend waiting awhile to see if the ridge reaches some maximum and then stabilizes there before sanding? I'm wondering why Sheldon recommends having a luthier do it? Thanks!
14 years ago
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#7536
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Don't be too shy about sanding the neck. I had a few pits in the back of the neck of my AB - II when i received it - probably happened at the store. Annoying to see/feel. 600 grade sandpaper with a little fretboard/lemon oil and you can get the neck very smooth, without taking taking much surface off at all. clean everything up and apply the wax of your choice (or sheldon's choice) and you're good to go. IMO, YMMV, ETC.
14 years ago
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#7535
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Hey Burning Skies. I really appreciate your feedback. Sounds like your experience has some similarities to my own. It sounds like keeping my bass in a controlled humidity/temp environment won't reverse or prevent the ridge along the glue line. It's reassuring to hear from Sheldon and all the rest who've replied that a laminated neck actually has advantages over a solid neck. Of course after this has been explained it makes sense (duhh). I may consider sanding it if it gets much worse though I don't think I'd ever polyurethane it because I really like the "woody" feeling Sheldon refered to. I'm just "mourning" the loss of the perfectly smooth, silky neck that has astonished my band mates when they've tried it. If it gets a whole lot worse, y'all be hearin' from me again about this... Thanks,
14 years ago
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#7529
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Hey Valk, I had this happen to me as well. When I got my bass from BassCentral in Florida (USA) it had come directly from Sheldon and basically turned around out the door. From there it made it to upstate NY, in the early summer and within a few weeks I noticed the seams becoming noticable. This, along with something else that I thought to be an issue made me sort of freak as this was the first bass I'd purchased in this price range and of course I contacted Sheldon about it since I thought my new bass might be falling apart. I also the same week purchased a dehumidifier (even though our humidity was sitting around 50% at the time) and kept the bass in my spare room with closed door and two different humidity meters (as I don't really trust a single one). The room held my 5 basses and the humidifier and was known by friends, roommates and bandmembers as "THE HYPERBARIC CHAMBER". Anytime I wasn't on stage, at rehearsal or playing at home the bass was in the chamber. For about 8 months I kept my bass in controlled conditions when not being used...and this is what I discovered: It won't get rid of the seams or really minimize them. They kind of do what they do and won't get any worse, and for the past year and a half or so, mine has been living without any climate control through all seasons and condition and there has been no deterioration or change. The feel of it was an unwelcome distraction for me for about 4 months when I first had the bass then I got used to it and now I don't even think about it.
14 years ago
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#7524
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Again, thanks for all this feedback and in particular from Sheldon. I keep my AB1 on a stand in my livingroom 99% of the time. I rehearse with my band in my garage about 4 hours per week where I'm sure it's more humid and probably around 60 degrees F. When I'm gigging, of course I transport it to and from the gig in it's hard case. We do occasionally gig outdoors but never in inclement weather. I've never measured the relative humidity inside my house but we're not aware of feeling like it's damp inside. We keep the temerature at around 68 degrees F. I live about 25 miles south of San Francisco, along the coast, so our climate has no real extremes from season to season -never gets extremely hot or cold for any extended period of time. I guess for now I'll see if the ridge along the glue line continues to get worse. If it does I'll cross that bridge when I get to it and figure out what to do. One last question: Is it possible or expected that the neck would "shrink" back to it's original allignment and thus have the ridge return to being undetectable, or is it a situation where once it forms it's there for life?
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