Effect of neck finish on tone.

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Effect of neck finish on tone.

Postby (s4001) » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:47 pm

I have a faux Geddy bass I assembled. Warmoth neck, MIM body and Dimarzio 123's. I've had it for many years in various incarnations. When I got the neck I put about 6 coats of lacquer on it. Over the years I wore it down, so I refinished the neck. I played it with a few coats for the last couple years. A few months ago, I went and put about another 10 coats on it so it has a very thick finish. The result of a thick finish on it has been probably the single biggest improvement on tone made to this bass. The tone has really come alive and is real deep and growly. I had no idea that the neck finish was such a huge contributor to tone.

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Re: Effect of neck finish on tone.

Postby (Ashgray) » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:12 pm

I've found that stripping the clear coat off of the neck improved the found of my 4001 fretless immensely. The neck required re-shaping, due to the excessive negative angle between bass of neck and body-wings junction, so that I could obtain a playable action. My local luthier asked if I wanted the clear coat re-applied once the work has been done - I chose not to, and am glad I did, as the sound of the strings on the now oiled but otherwise natural bubinga fingerboard has created a much warmer, woody tone. As an added bonus, the fingerboard now looks superb, now that the white filler-glue steaks have been removed, and the oil brings out the beautiful natural grain of the bubinga.

Ash
1976 4001 "Shadow" Fretless
1978 4002 Walnut
1986 4008 Silver
1999 4001 V63 White
2012 4004 Jetglo

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Re: Effect of neck finish on tone.

Postby (FretlessOnly) » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:33 am

One wonders why the term "neck" is used when the term "fingerboard" is meant, and vice versa.
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Re: Effect of neck finish on tone.

Postby (jps) » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:37 am

Ashley had the finish removed from the whole neck including the fingerboard, so his description makes sense, to me, I think...
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Re: Effect of neck finish on tone.

Postby (Ashgray) » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:37 pm

FretlessOnly wrote:One wonders why the term "neck" is used when the term "fingerboard" is meant, and vice versa.

That depends if you know what's meant. :wink:

Seriously though, whilst I like having the clear coat finish on the fingerboards of my fretted Ricks, I may consider removing it from my other Rick fretless and neck, as it suffers from exactly the same neck angle issues, only worse, and stripping of the finish on the entire neck may be necessary in getting the work done to make the action playable. Hopefully, it will result in an improved tone too, although that's quite nice at the moment. Worse case scenario is a maple block into the neck pup route, if the planned work isn't enough to restore a playable angle and action.

Ash
1976 4001 "Shadow" Fretless
1978 4002 Walnut
1986 4008 Silver
1999 4001 V63 White
2012 4004 Jetglo

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NS CR5 Omni Bass Fretless
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