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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through December 18, 2006 » Back Bow on Epic 6 « Previous Next »

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Username: drz

Post Number: 49
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 7:54 pm:   Edit Post

My Epic 6 has too much back bow and I cannot adjust it. It has been this way for the most part since I bought it. I have lived in southern Utah since the day I bought it, pretty much dry desert climate. I now live in Des Moines, Iowa which is considerately more humid. The Bow is even worse now. Truss rods are basically not applied at all. I have always used relatively light strings. I am hoping the problem will be solved to a degree by changing my strings to a heavier guage, adding more tension. Any help appreciated. Thanks
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 641
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 10:03 am:   Edit Post

Sure, more string tension will help, but you won't know whether it's enough until you try. If not - or you'd prefer to stay with lighter strings - then you could have a heat bend done on the neck.
Intermediate Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 164
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 2:57 pm:   Edit Post

This is the way of natural materials sometimes... I'd first try tuning higher to see if you arrive at playable action at a higher pitch. If you trade buzzing from too much backbow for buzzing here and there around the neck, then you probably should think about having a fret mill. Even if the neck is bowed the wrong way with your preferred strings at pitch, this may be correctable in the fret tops if you have enough height.

If there's still too much back bow to do it in the fret tops, then you have a full refret where they can level the fingerboard when the frets are off. If the back bow is really bad, then the fingerboard may be visibly thinner in the middle, but this should correct the problem fully.

You need to consider the heat treatement only if the refret and fingerboard levelling won't fix it. Doing the heat treatment (steam heating the neck to loosen the glue joint between the fingerboard and neck) will require refretting and refinishing.

Good luck.

I'm originally from Ames, just north of you. "Considerably more humid" - that's putting it very kindly!
Username: valvil

Post Number: 885
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 3:56 pm:   Edit Post

Actually, If the bow is really pronounced and the rods are loose, I'd try a heat bend first. If it is done correctly there's no need to refret or refinish.
We do plenty of heat bends here, and occasionally we need to do a bit or refinishing but that's rare.


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