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juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 234
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - 9:06 am:   Edit Post

Hello again. I'm having a bit of a problem with my '05 Brown Bass. The strings don't seem to be giving enough tension on the neck to counter the truss rods: both the truss rods are completely loose (just snug against neck), and there's no clearance on any string halfway down the neck when i hold down the 1st and 24th frets (none anywhere on the neck). The strings are new and are flatwounds, so the tension from the strings should be fine. This seems to be a bad thing, especially since the strings buzz as they age and there's nothing I can do about it but raise the bridge. What can be done about this? Will this correct itself over age?
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 284
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

not correct, eaven the position of the tailpiece...
I had the same problem with my new SC signature from 2004 ... loose truss rods from the beggining, it's inacceptable for the price BUT I can't do nothing from Europe .. too expensive to send the bass AND Mrs Mica don't pay shipping for adjust HER problem... Thank's for a bass at 6700$...
I had my solution: you put a book between strings and fingerboard, at the biginnig, near the body. You give more tension (a,d,g,c for example) and you put your bass in a dry place ... 2 or 3 weeks to wait and your problem would be resolve a little ... after you put some special oil (huile de lin cuite) on the fingerboard.
Good luck.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3370
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - 9:45 am:   Edit Post

Devon:

If the truss rods are completely loose, then the problem isn't that the rods are "too strong". As is often said around here, it takes a while for the wood to realize it's not a tree. You might call Alembic and talk to Mica about this. I suspect you may need a heat bend. Other than the hassle of sending it back to Santa Rosa, should you want Alembic to do it, it's not realy a big deal. I had it done on my Custom Further, "Woody". When it was fist built it had no relief with the truss rods completely loosened. After the heat bend, no problems. I believe this is also something a good luthier can do.

Bill, tgo
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 235
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - 10:08 am:   Edit Post

I'll call Alembic then.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 619
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 8:22 am:   Edit Post

Sorry to sound biased here but I cannot see how Alembic can let any instrument go with this problem and I honestly have never experienced this with even the most cheapest of guitars/basses.
I would imagine all supply stock has been properly seasoned before sent to the factory for use.
Maybe a liberal dose of lemon oil will open the grain and allow it to 'stretch', I wouldn't put it anywhere where it is too dry though, it could have the opposite effect.
I would definitley call Alembic for in depth info about this.
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 236
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 8:33 am:   Edit Post

too dry? :D I live in new mexico! ;)

I'm still waiting to hear back from Alembic...
ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 674
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 10:00 am:   Edit Post

Devon,

I went through the same thing with my Dragon's Wing. In my case I use DR Hi Beams, .40-.100 which is a fairly light string. As I bought the Wing used, I didn't have the opportunity to have Alembic set it up for me using the marque that I prefer. Essentially, DRs tend to have a lower tension, even their heavier gauges when compared to other makes. As there wasn't enough tension in the string to pull the neck forward for relief, my Wing buzzed all over the place. In this case, it needed a heat bend. In my area I could not find a luthier to do this for me, so I sent it back to Alembic (and yes, I had to pay for it). They did a heat bend, and all is well with the world.

Before you send it back, I'd suggest, in addition to the other advice you've received here thus far, that you try a different brand of string. If you're having the same problem, then it's not the string. Conversely, you could put a heavier gauge on for a week or so and tune it up perhaps a step or half step higher than you normally tune, and let it sit for a week or two. Similiar to Pierre-Yves suggestion, this might pull the neck into relief, not unlike a heat bend. Better to try this than spend the money to send it to Alembic if you can't find a luthier in your area.

Heat bends aren't as scary as they sound. A competent luthier should be able to do it without much of a problem.

Hope this helps,

Alan
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 237
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 10:16 am:   Edit Post

Hi Alan. Yeh, I changed the strings. I believe they're .45 Diadarrio flatwounds, but it was a set I had sitting around, so I don't know. Not used though. I may do the oil/high gauge/tune up thing. My guitar tech told me that a heat bend is a catch all fix for this type of thing, so I'm a bit skeptical.
ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 675
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 11:30 am:   Edit Post

Devon,

I've also noticed that I've never had a buzzing problem on my Rickenbackers using similar strings. They're neck through like my Alembics. Nor have I ever had this problem with a set neck or bolt-on. In fairness, I don't have this problem with my SC Sig Standard, my Essence, or my Europa. I didn't have it with my Spyder either, or the other Essence which I recently sold to a friend. My Europa and Essence have the same gauge on them; the SC has .45-.105 DR Hi Beams on it (can't find a lighter gauge in the DRs in short scale). The Europa is an '03; the Essence a '91, and the Sig Standard an '06.

Hope you can get it resolved. I know how much it sucks when your bass won't play the way you want it to.

Good luck,

Alan
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 238
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 12:08 pm:   Edit Post

I've never had this problem either. I've had 2 other Alembics, both neck through, and both of which I was able to get plenty of forward bow in them. It is a bit stressful having it not be up to my expectations, especially for an instrument like an Alembic.
lmiwa
Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 90
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 3:06 pm:   Edit Post

I'm close to having this problem (VERY little neck relief right now), but I also tune a 1/2 step low. I can't fault the bass when it was designed and built for standard tuning! I usually use slightly heavier gauge strings compensate for the detuning, and as a side benefit, the extra tension keeps the relief in the neck.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 287
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post

Alembic, with my respect ... would have NO PROBLEM for the price... They have chance I love this instrument but I think IT WOULD BE PERFECT for more than 6000USD ... Bass from Poland are great bass, nice sound, PERFECT, no problem of neck or tailpiece, and the price is the half.
mayones bass

Alembic sleep on his reputation ? I play Alembic until 1980, I had 3 series I, 1 essence, actually 2 signature and I will buy one other and one Serie I... BUT.. please SAlembic do anything...
ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 676
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 4:11 pm:   Edit Post

Pierre-Yves refers to perfection in his post. I submit there is no such thing. If things could be made perfect, there would be nothing to strive for, no? Perfection, I think, is something to be striven for, but never attained. That's what separates, IMHO the outstanding from the mediocre.

I think it all boils down to expectation. Pierre-Yves obviously expects his Alembics to be perfect and I can understand that. However, the people that make them are human, and humans are, by nature, imperfect. That they would produce something that is less than perfect should surprise no one.

This being said, I can understand why Pierre-Yves feels the way he does, especially being on the other side of the pond where sending something back to Alembic is a very pricey option indeed.

Alan
lmiwa
Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 93
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 4:32 pm:   Edit Post

Wood by its very nature changes over time. I'm sure no bass leaves Alembic with relief problems! However, as conditions change from location to location, by season, over time, etc., the wood in the neck will change as well. Some necks may twist, some my bow forward (correctable to some extent with the truss rods), and some may bow back, causing neck relief problems.

I have a carbon fiber neck Modulus which is about as stable as possible. It doesn't even have a truss rod. I get the relief it was built with and I better like it or I'm in trouble!

NONE of my other basses are that stable. All of them require truss rod adjustments every so often. As I stated above, I tune down, so I probably have more issues than most.

I have had some very expensive basses develop a twist in the neck. Very frustrating and expensive to correct, but a fact of life with wood necks.

Alembic necks are multi-laminate constructions with dual truss rods. For a wood neck, that's about as good as it gets. But expecting all of their necks to always be perfect and never develop issues is simply NOT realistic.

The fact that it happened with a bass that is located overseas instead of nearby in California is really unlucky. However that is a risk of purchasing a bass whose manufacturer isn't located reasonably nearby.

If you have a good working relationship with the Alembic dealer in your area, they should be able to assist you with the arrangements for either returning your instrument to Alembic, or getting the necessary work done locally.

For those of us who have to purchase our Alembics used on eBay, this is a risk that we should expect to assume. Alembic already provides WAY more support than any other manufacturer I have known.
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 239
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 4:50 pm:   Edit Post

Amen Loch! Yup, ebay's a risk alright, and I think I wasn't dealt the best hand (though the bass, otherwise, is spectacular). The upside is that Alembic is being extremely accommodating for my issue, so I may send it to them.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 288
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 5:52 pm:   Edit Post

sorry, doble click

(Message edited by pierreyves on November 12, 2008)
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 289
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 5:54 pm:   Edit Post

You know what ? even a problem on Alembic bass is open, I have just the impression to enconter a wall of afficionados ... objective ? I don't know...
The only thing I can say with certitude: I bought 2 shorts scales series I, one had the same problem. I have one SC deluxe, it has this (light but...) problem. I bought 1 medium scale serie I and 1 MK 5 = no problem... My distillate = no problem .. OK, for 5 Alembic = 2 necks with problem... It's not the first or the last time this subject will be open... All basses brand news...
I'm speaking about loosen truss rods, impossible to correct the neck,
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 620
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 3:30 am:   Edit Post

Well touch wood(pardon the pun) I have never encountered this problem with my 93 MK, I oil the board three times a year and check the relief using my experience and feeler gauges.
Thinking back to ajdover's comment, I have never known this problem with bolt on necks, my old 83 Alembic powered Squier P bass who is in the hands of thrash playing son, the neck has never moved at all and I have never tweaked the rod in 25 years!
I remember someone said that JD basses had necks that almost wanted to re plant themselves back in the ground!!!!
Once when I was in Florida on holiday the band at Wet'n'Wild were all using PArker Fly guitars and Modulus bass because of the heat and humidity..the drummer must have had a mechanical ratchet key to keep his drums in tune.
Is it a climate problem for some of you??
lmiwa
Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 94
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 6:04 am:   Edit Post

Climate is certainly an issue here in Chicago. Hot and humid in the summer, dry and cold in the winter. It's bad enough that I have to tune the PIANO at church at least once a month!
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 241
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 6:14 am:   Edit Post

Dry and dry here, and a little more dry in the winter. However, around July or August, we get a rain season that's enough to swell my back door to the point of making it hard to open.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 622
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 9:36 am:   Edit Post

Well in the UK we have wet weather but humidity is no problem as we don't get it.
Heated houses may cause a problem but I have not yet experienced it(hope I never will)
oujeebass
Intermediate Member
Username: oujeebass

Post Number: 133
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post

For a guitar company to guarantee a neck for life of ownership, would be like a car manufacturer providing a warranty on an engine for life. It just couldn't be done. Carbon fiber is the only way to go for necks that aren't going to move due to climate.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3372
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post

Alembic did not charge me for my heat bend. I can't imagine they wouldn't stand behind a new instrument on an issue such as lack of neck relief. Purely subjective cosmetic issues, like the point in the middle of the tailpiece doesn't line up exactly with the center of the center stripe may be another matter.

Bill, tgo
lmiwa
Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 98
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 3:42 pm:   Edit Post

I don't think the problem is with Alembic charging, but with the inconvenience and cost of shipping from overseas.
jalevinemd
Senior Member
Username: jalevinemd

Post Number: 693
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 7:59 pm:   Edit Post

I had the same problem with Big Stubby. Truss rods were only finger tight and by the summer, there was no relief in the neck at all. Strings wouldn't even vibrate. I didn't want to send it back to Alembic for several reasons, including the thought of being without it, the risk that something could happen in shipping, plus the cost of shipping. So I went to slightly heavier gauge strings to force some relief into the neck. This worked great. I'm hoping this winter to be able to tighten the truss rods so that by summer I'll have the room to loosen them if so needed. If not, then it's off to Alembic for the heat bend.
keurosix
Advanced Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 380
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 8:46 pm:   Edit Post

In defense of our host: I know that when they build the guitar to the customer's specs, they design the neck to work for the strings specified considering tension, guage, scale, and truss rod balance. A guitar that is set up from the factory should be able to get neck relief most of the time, barring drastic climate changes. However, when we get guitars and change the recipe by substituting strings - a very common practice - and look for a fast low action, it is easy to go beyond the design limit. My old Series 1 came from the factory with heavy guage flatwounds on it. It was not my custom order, and I hated flatwounds, so off they came in about 2 seconds. I found out rather early that I needed a medium to med-heavy guage round wound string to even get the truss rods to kick in - not my preferred guage string. I fought with this for years and finally traded away the guitar never knowing that a heat-bend was an option. Had I called Alembic, it would have been corrected and I would still have the bass today.
Kris
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 243
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 10:36 pm:   Edit Post

Alembic also offered me a free heat bend, given the age of the instrument. Have to pay shipping, but who can beat that sort of service?
white_cloud
Senior Member
Username: white_cloud

Post Number: 529
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Sunday, December 07, 2008 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post

For the very reason of this topic I switched to Carbon graphite back in the eighties. I had a Jaydee supernatural that had a crazy neck that simply became a unplayable liability in the end - a shame as it was a very attractive looking instrument.

Wood can be extremely unpredictable. I would expect Alembic to pull out all of the stops to rectify any problem of this kind on a new bass - reputation is a massive factor to any potential high end bass customer!
pclifton2004
Junior
Username: pclifton2004

Post Number: 23
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 3:41 am:   Edit Post

Sorry to say but I also had this issue on my custom SC - not enough neck relief available resulting in massive buzz at the action height I wanted. It was one of the reasons I parted with the bass. Yes, I use 30-90s and it was a short scale bass, but something is a little remiss if a bass called Stanley Clarke can't handle that set-up from the factory! The irony is that an early 70s Series I small body short scale I later had came strung with 25-85s and had bags of truss rod neck relief available and worked pefectly with no undue buzz and low action! It's a shame graphite sounds like rubbish, or it would be the ideal way to go, but you can't beat the tonal qualities of wood. Perhaps dual-action truss rods would be a good progression? I had them on a GB bass and they could handle any string tension with ease. Ayway, I think I better stick with 34" scale length from now on!
bigbadbill
Senior Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 486
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 5:36 am:   Edit Post

I wondered about dual action rods too. If Alembic use single action rods, they seem to be in the minority these days. Having said that, there may be valid reasons why they do so; I'd be interested to hear about this from the source.

I forgot to spec my usual 40-95 Rotos on my Triple O and found it a little rattly on the E side when I fitted them (truss rods completely slackened off) after receiving it, so I kept the 45 Alembics on until recently when I fitted some old 45-100 Maximas; they seem fine so far.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 308
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post

A question to the staff:
WHY basses of Stanley have only ONE truss rod and this one is never cover.. ?
pclifton2004
Junior
Username: pclifton2004

Post Number: 26
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2008 - 12:37 pm:   Edit Post

Early Alembics had only one truss rod, not sure if you mean that or his later ones, and I presume he doesn't have a cover so he can get his guitar tech to adjust it with ease at any point? After all, his bass has to be purely functional and is in constant use in many climates per year - a decorative cover over the truss rod probably just gets in the way.
bkbass
Intermediate Member
Username: bkbass

Post Number: 190
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post

This may sound completely crazy but... years ago I had a Pedulla with a tung oil finished neck. The case was rather lacking in support of the neck so I put in several layers of bubble wrap plastic under the neck for support. Not thinking anything of it I kept compensating for overbow of the neck. At one point I took out the bubble wrap and the neck stabilized. Again,crazy. So for what it's worth what if you put a couple of layers on top of the neck for a few weeks to see if this starts to help. It could only add for some small amount of protection as well. Hope and maybe it'll work.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 309
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post

ok for the cover BUT Stanley's basses, the last 2 have curiously only ONE truss rod.
Look this picture and the wood on the beginning of the neck.
HERE
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 252
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post

I think the other one is obscured by the angle...
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 310
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 11:43 am:   Edit Post

absolutly not, I know these basses, look at the wood and compare, the base of the neck, the hole is narrow
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 770
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post

Could it be a refinshed oldie?
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 311
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 1:05 pm:   Edit Post

you are incredible.. may you believe me ?





Mica, please say the truth, I have not so time to search on the web..
I have Alembic until 1980, never had one truss rod
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 5727
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 1:20 pm:   Edit Post

Stanley's basses have one truss rod because the first ones he had only had one and he's very traditional. Notice his bass pickup is very close to the end of the fingerboard. Again, the first basses we made for him were done like this, and had no truss rod cover, so we still follow this tradition.

Another practical reason for a single truss rod in Stanley's basses is that his fingerboard dimensions are very narrow and the neck is carved very thin. A dual truss rod simply doesn't fit in this configuration.

I pulled the file for the picture you posted, Pierre-Yves, so this information is not from memory, but from the documentation.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 312
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 1:37 pm:   Edit Post

thaaaaaaaaaaaaanks Mica ;o)
I' will very glad the day I will have enough money to order a SC replica...
For example, the piece of maple on the body is larger as a SC signature... NO?

artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 533
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 1:56 pm:   Edit Post

I long for that day too... ;o)
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 534
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 1:58 pm:   Edit Post

A custom may never be in reach but I must say that I am having a great time with the Alembic products I've had the pleasure of owning. Thanks!
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 5735
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 6:15 pm:   Edit Post

On Stan's personal basses the body is thicker at 1.79 inches and the accent laminates are also thicker at .25 inches. This is the same for the Vermilion bass you posted a link to and for the Coco Bolo bass you posted pictures of later.

I will probably move the Stanley specific part of this thread to a new thread in the Artist section since it's pretty far off topic, but with good reference information for other Club members in the future.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 314
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 11:42 pm:   Edit Post

Ok Mica, move it please !
For those who have problem with truss rods free, I do that 2 weeks with strings tuned a little higher in dry atmospher



white_cloud
Senior Member
Username: white_cloud

Post Number: 552
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008 - 4:47 am:   Edit Post

Hope it works Pierre. Good luck. This discussion resulted in some fascinating and insightful revelations about Stanleys basses. Thank you.

John.
mike1762
Advanced Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 203
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2008 - 4:24 am:   Edit Post

That's some high action Pierre!!! I bet you don't have any problem with fret buzz.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 325
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 4:51 am:   Edit Post

After 12 days with this configuration, my neck is now perfect, lightly inner bow. I put ADGC (0.80 => 0.32)strings and I don't need to correct something !
white_cloud
Senior Member
Username: white_cloud

Post Number: 558
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 5:16 am:   Edit Post

That is a really light set of strings - hope it works and the problem has been resolved!

John.
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 326
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 5:33 am:   Edit Post

no problem, I work with this set on my other SC deluxe without adjustment
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 255
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 7:37 am:   Edit Post

Pierre, are you sure that a good idea to have that sort of tension on the tailpiece? Also, it seem like that configuration with the book would bow the neck unevenly along the neck. I'm sure my bass tech would yell at me if I tried this.

Mica, any thoughts?
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 256
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 7:50 am:   Edit Post

Alternatively, wouldn't a better idea be to just tune the bass up really high? I've got the dry climate covered (NM).

Really the bass is fine here in NM. It's just if I have to go on tour I'm f$%ked.

So why doesn't Alembic use dual action rods?
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 386
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 8:50 pm:   Edit Post

It would be so easier !! I never understood that, and never had answer. Fo my last MK 4 quilted maple, Mica put it on heat bend, my neck is the perfect neck I never had.
thebass
Advanced Member
Username: thebass

Post Number: 255
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 2:17 am:   Edit Post

@Pierre: Do you still use 80-32 strings on your SC and is the string action still playable? I have the same problem with my SC deluxe and use now 100-45 strings with EADG tuning. The heavier strings fix the action somewhat but I would like to play lighter strings as well.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 740
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 7:41 am:   Edit Post

80-32 strings..they must be like guitar strings, I once tried 90-36 and they were just too thin sounding, great for fast slap solos but absolutley no bottom end.
I think the best compromise is the 100-45 for an all round sound.
I once played a bass with 110 E string and it's associated other three strings..what a sound but bloody hard to play..it shook the earth!
pierreyves
Advanced Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 388
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 8:26 am:   Edit Post

I have 2 SC deluxe and I use ADGC 80-32 d'Addario xlm 170 + XLB 0.32 = non problem with truss rods free BUT I did 2 weeks of labour mentionned above with the book !! Ask to Stanley !! ;o)
Wood is alive and accept many things what you need !!
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1242
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 9:18 am:   Edit Post

There is also one thing that people need to keep in mind. Alembic sets the bass up for 100-45 Alembic strings unless you order it differently. They will tell you when ordering that it is a good idea to send them a set the of strings you will be using if they are different from the standard Alembic gauges. I did this with my fretless and the truss rod has plenty of room to be adjusted. On my Brown Bass I use the Alembic strings and again have no problems with adjustments.

Keith
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 264
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post

I use 45-100 strings and live in New Mexico (super dry). The Brown Bass barely has a forward bow and the truss rods are doing nothing: completely loose. I can only imagine what'll happen when I gig in California or something. And I haven't even oiled it recently. I'm going to Spain for 5 months in the fall. It needs to be fixed by them or I'm going to have to get used to higher action.

It's a bit strange to design a bass around a particular (as opposed to a range of) gauge of strings. On a bass like this you'd want to use whatever gauge strings you want. What if you change styles or the bass changes hands? My guess is the best bet is more neck relief is better than less: let the truss rods do all the work.

I'm sending my bass into Alembic tomorrow for a good old heat bend. Free of change. There couldn't be a better resolution IMO.

Also thinking about getting a polyurethane finish on it. It might be too dry in New Mexico for a natural finish.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1243
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 10:08 am:   Edit Post

Devon,
I didn't say design I said set up. There is a difference. My response was primarily addressed to the most recent posts that are all complaining about very light gauge strings.

I get quite dry here in the winter with the forced air heat. My house literally shrinks a 1/4" or so. However I also get quite humid in the summer. It could just be the constant dryness of New Mexico that has affected your bass. Another thing is wood being a natural product you can never be 100% sure how it will react. I'm sure the heat bend will remedy your situation.

Keith
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 265
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 11:28 am:   Edit Post

Well setup will only get you so far.

I can't imagine dryness doing anything but reducing the tension from the neck (lower density), though stranger things have happened.
thebass
Advanced Member
Username: thebass

Post Number: 256
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 3:01 pm:   Edit Post

I suppose the "unemployed" truss rods are not just affected by the climate. I use the same setup as you, juggernaught but here in the middle of Germany it's approx. 65%-75% rH, between 0C...30C and it rains at least 90 days a year...and I still have loose truss rods.
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 266
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 3:09 pm:   Edit Post

Werner, I wouldn't necessarily make that conclusion. The way I see it, neck relief is a gradient problem. Mine seems to be particularly bad since it's occurring in a very dry climate, where the neck has relatively low density due to the lack water in the neck. In your climate, the neck probably has a much higher density, having absorbed more moisture. I bet if you brought it here those truss rods would start engaging as the neck lost density became more pliable.
thebass
Advanced Member
Username: thebass

Post Number: 257
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post

Devon, my knowledge of wood is just enough to tell that it's grown, it burns and in some rare occasions could look and sound very good :-) As an electronics engineer I feel much safer to discuss about electronics. But because we have similar problems with the same bass and setup in totally different climate regions I just concluded it must be caused by something different than humidity/temp changes.

BTW: all my Alembics imported from the US have protuding frets aside the fingerboards. It's fixed by just a few file strokes but I am sure each Bass leaves Alembic with fret edges perfectly flush Living in a rather humid region of the world I thought the wood should be expanding a little, rather than shrinking. Am I wrong ?
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1246
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post

Werner,
I experienced the same issue of protruding frets with each of my Alembic basses. I do not know if my non-Alembics did this as they all have bound finger boards. I live is a very humid area in the summer (80%-100% rH) but in the winter the furnace makes my house quite dry (10%-20% rH). Both seasons are far beyond the normal rH for northern California. I noticed the fret protrusions the first winter and have not had a problem since filing the ends.

I will say that my all maple neck basses appear to be more stable that than the Brown Bass but both require pretty major seasonal adjustments.

Keith
juggernaught
Advanced Member
Username: juggernaught

Post Number: 269
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 3:21 pm:   Edit Post

Werner, I think the best you could conclude from that observation is it isn't caused by just humidity/temp. In this case, it's how the humidity interacts with the particular neck, which in itself is a big set of variables. It's better to compare the same bass in different environments than compare different basses with different woods/structure.

I think Alembic says somewhere that it's not uncommon for frets to protrude the first year or so after birth. I might be talking out my ass (ass is my nature), but it may have more to do with how the wood changes after it's metamorphosis from a tree to a bass than specific environment changes....

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