Viewing entries tagged
neck relief

New saddle, bad pickup & no relief  :: 2008 Kinal Kompact Bass [4.5 lbs]

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New saddle, bad pickup & no relief :: 2008 Kinal Kompact Bass [4.5 lbs]

New saddle, bad pickup & no relief  :: 2008 Kinal Kompact Bass [4.5 lbs]

Here's a 30" short scale acoustic bass that came through the shop recently for a setup.  The low E was having some low-output issues that I tried to correct with a new properly fit bone saddle (the original was way too loose).  I tried every trick I know but ultimately could not improve that string's output.  Ultimately I found that the B-Band undersaddle pickup was damaged under the E string (pickup was delaminated) and needed to be replaced.

The player strung this bass with super-low tension Thomastik-Infeld Acousticore strings #AB344 (0.041" -0.086").  These soft-feel strings did not have enough tension to pull the neck into a favorable forward bow (relief) and the neck needed to be heat-pressed into relief.

 

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Heat pressing a straight neck :: 2008 Kinal Kompact acoustic bass

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Heat pressing a straight neck :: 2008 Kinal Kompact acoustic bass

Heat pressing a straight neck :: 2008 Kinal Kompact acoustic bass

The combination of a 30" short scale and low-tension light gauge strings was not enough  to pull this neck into a forward bow (relief).  The neck was dead straight with the truss rod backed off and needed some relief in order to get away with lower action.  Here I'm using my temperature controller along with a fingerboard-sized heat blanket to warm the glue joint between the neck and fingerboard.  Strategically placed feeler gauges arranged along a rigid clamping block gently flex the neck into a forward bow while the glue softens.  This forward bow now allows the truss rod a usable range.

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2014 Gibson ES-355 :: twisted fingerboard

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2014 Gibson ES-355 :: twisted fingerboard

2014 Gibson ES-355 :: twisted fingerboard

Setting the truss rod on this year-old Gibson was a compromise that yielded excessive relief (bow) on the bass side and not enough relief (back bow) on the treble side.  Luckily there was enough fret height to allow this twist to be corrected by leveling the frets.

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