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Bad neck? Can it be fixed?

Messages
70
I bought a used Yamaha RGX420S a few days ago as a beater/project guitar hoping at most I'd swap out pickups for some shreddy good fun. The guitar seemed to play fine in the store and I thought the strings were a tad high and I could adjust that myself later. In trying to adjust the string height and neck relief I realized I may have bought a lemon. Holding down the strings at the 1st and 9-10th frets, the strings half way between are almost touching the frets, a little too straight. But holding down the 10-11th and 24th frets, the strings half way between are about 1 mm high or more. My other guitars' necks don't bend so much in one place.

Has the neck been damaged somehow or is it just badly made inside? Can this be fixed? Truss rod adjustment doesn't seem to bend the neck in this one spot, just seems to bend from the nut to around the 10th-11th fret. I considered getting a new neck but would pursue that if this neck really can't be fixed without resorting to drastic measures whatever they may be. Also if anyone else has owned this model, did yours have similar problems?
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Without seeing it, I can tell you that it almost certainly can be fixed. Nearly everything can be fixed. The question is more the effort and expense of fixing it. Unfortunately, it's tough to say what's going on without actually seeing it, though it does sound like maybe there's a kink in the neck near the body.

How does it look if you fret at the 1st and 17th frets? I have a feeling the neck might be kicking up at the end of the fingerboard and it's making it seem like you have big bend when you don't. I've seen this. I don't know exactly what causes it, though I have a couple of theories. I don't think I ever see it on set necks, so I have to think it's caused by the stresses of bolting in the neck....maybe exacerbated by the use of small shims.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,374
+1 on it being a rising tongue, but i dunno about the shims; the kink often seems to happen where the round neck transitions into a square neck heel, well away from any shimming.

the fix is a fret-leveling, unless it's extreme, in which case the fix is a total re-fret, during which the board is planed flat again.
 
Messages
70
Not sure how I would best show this since it's difficult capturing something on a scale this small with a camera that if done incorrectly could be more misleading than anything, but I will do my best to further describe based on the feedback so far. I've also included a side view of the neck to give a general idea of how it's shaped.

Fretting at the 1st and 17th frets, the E and D strings are practically touching the 2nd fret but not the 3rd. Near the body end, the strings are quite a lot higher at fret 15 (while fretted at 17) which is about the same distance from frets 1 and 2 (fretted at 1). The neck changing from round to a square heel happens between frets 14 to 17, there are 24 frets total. I should add that the neck is bolted somewhere between the 18th to 23rd frets.

Ideally would the neck have a gradual, bow-like profile to the relief? The frets have next to no wear on any of them. I have another guitar with pretty worn frets and not evenly across the neck that don't have this rising tongue as you call it.

 
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Messages
70
I took the guitar back to the shop and pointed out the neck problem. The guy working there at the time had a pretty good eye for this type of thing and after seeing the neck for himself, he didn't hesitate to give me a full refund, very cool of him. He thought the neck was unusually round at the heel and figured someone had tried to re-radius the fretboard but did a messed up job. Anyway, saga over, disappointment averted.
 
Messages
70
I didn't return the $15 guitar strap I bought from them, does that count? ;) In all seriousness I wouldn't hesitate going back, they seem like genuine guys, plus there's new stock periodically so something of interest will pop up sooner or later.
 






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