neck relief

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bloozeman1, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. bloozeman1

    bloozeman1 Supporting Member

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    whats the purpose of it? I prefer my necks to be about as straight as an arrow for some reason. I just picked up a 60s player strat neck and it has some relief in it and my tech cant get it all the way out and its driving me nuts having that slight little bow starting at the 5th fret up to about the 7-8th fret, I dont like it. how can i get it out to make my action better but with out serious buzz? Im liking the feel of the neck but with just that little bit of relief its making the strings a little stiff feeling for me which I dont like at all.
     
  2. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    The purpose is to allow room for the string to vibrate - especially the lower pitched strings which vibrate in a wider arc. Also - you can actually get the action a little lower at the bridge if you leave a bit of relief (or bow, as some folks refer to it). Why is that, you ask? Because as you move up the neck, the string is shorter and won't swing as much.

    Of course, if you have a light touch - you can get away with a straighter neck... or if you don't mind string rattle.
     
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  3. Brian N

    Brian N Member

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    A bit of bow in the neck is a good thing. It is supposed to have bow and I would be surprised if your other necks really were "straight as an arrow". Try something; take a guitar with a "straight neck" and fret the first fret and the 20th fret at the same time on the low E. Is the string touching the 7th fret, or is it slightly above it? If it's slightly above, that means there is a slight bow.
     
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  4. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

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    Sounds like there's a problem with the neck if your tech can't get it adjusted straight. Did he explain what's going on and give reason(s) why it won't adjust straight?
     
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  5. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    A little relief always makes my guitars play slinkier and less stiff.
     
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  6. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    I like a dead straight neck and medium/high action.

    I once saw Eric Johnsons specs on the stew mac site, tried it out and loved it. I start there, and tweak the action up a C-hair, so I have a little room for slide.
     
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  7. bloozeman1

    bloozeman1 Supporting Member

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    My other 2 strats are Eric Johnson Strats and I love them. Maybe Im just not used to the 60s player neck? theres not a lot of relief in the 60s player neck but theres some, very little but for some reason it feels a little stiffer to me than my EJ necks. When Im playing the one with the 60s neck, at times I think, this isnt so bad it will take a little bit to get comfortable, then all of a sudden it feels like, no I dont think I like this, im on the fence. could that just be due to the fact that Ive played the EJ strats exclusively for the last 2 years?
     
  8. mbetter

    mbetter Member

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    If your tech can't get it out, it's not neck relief, it's a warped neck.
     
  9. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

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    Yes OP, you need to give us a little more info here. You said in your original post that your tech "can't get the relief out". Did he say why? If he tried to adjust it straight and can't - then there's most likely an issue with the neck itself.
     
  10. bloozeman1

    bloozeman1 Supporting Member

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    It's not a huge amount of bow. Very minimal and some would probably say it's fine but I asked the tech and he said he got it as straight as he could and when he tried to get it even more how I like my neck setup he said the first two frets started experiencing some minor buzzing and he didn't want that.
     
  11. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    You may need to look at the string height cut on the nut and/or fret leveling.
     
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  12. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    I've come across a few Fender necks (and others) who's truss rods are all the way tight and still have relief- or have backbow in the first few frets and then relief higher up the neck. If it doesn't behave like it's supposed to I'd ditch it. It will always drive you nuts.
    Personally, I like very little relief. I don't play very hard though so I can get away with it.
     
  13. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    EJ neck is not typical Strat neck IMO, especially if comparing to Fender 60's neck...it's comparing a Les Paul to a Strat neck.IMO.
     
  14. Mrmarshallhead

    Mrmarshallhead Member

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    A dead straight neck will tend to buzz on the lower frets yet feel stiff up top.

    Having a measure of relief allows you to exploit the fact that as the vibrating length of the string shortens, the amount the string moves as it vibrates gets less, so the string to fret clearance required is also less.

    By allowing the fretboard to effectively curve upwards from the lower to the higher end, you progressively lessen the gap between string and the next fret up.
     
  15. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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  16. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    "most" Strat players have "some" relief in neck....most.
     
  17. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    I like a pretty good curve to my necks. It basically makes bending a little slinkier and truss rod adjustments happen less frequently.

    I like medium-high action though. YMMV if you like it real low ;)
     
  18. bloozeman1

    bloozeman1 Supporting Member

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    I'm probably making a mountain out of a mole hill over this. Its really not that bad and doesn't have a massive curve. Just more than what I have on my eric Johnson strats. After reading some of the posts mine probably isn't that bad and I just may have to get used to it. I guess time will tell
     
  19. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    I find Chris' method of adjusting a vintage rod unnecessary and possibly detrimental.
    Loosen the neck screws? :bonk
    Simply remove the pickguard instead of loosening the neck screws.
    How can one get an accurate measurement/feel with the neck out of the pocket?
    Plus, as Chris stated, he doesn't loosen the tension of the strings before loosening the neck bolts.:facepalm
    That is a horrible example on how to adjust a vintage style Fender rod.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  20. lemonpaul59

    lemonpaul59 Member

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    There's a pesky thing called PHYSICs. It gets in the way a lot.

    Ever observe power lines between poles? Notice a dip? The very same thing happens to a guitar string between the nut and bridge. The string is not perfectly straight.

    What you describe is exactly what the manufacturer wanted. The straighter you make the neck, the more it will buzz.
     

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