Neck Issues - Back Bow

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unsworthk
Plucker
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:40 pm

Neck Issues - Back Bow

Post by unsworthk » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:12 am

Hi all,

I acquired 2 Tokai Basses this year (both 1983-1985 ish) and i love the sound and feel of them, however I noticed they both seem to be suffering from a bit of a back bow / neck being too straight issue.

I just got a JB-45 and I noticed that it could have done with some relief. So i backed the truss rod off a bit and i noticed that it came completely loose after about a quarter turn. The neck relief is still there, but only about 0.5-1mm. I normally prefer about 1-2mm of neck relief and then adjust the action after that, its just the way i prefer to set my necks up.

So the bass seems to have about 45-50 gauge strings on it from what i can see, but it wouldnt be possible to go lower without having a lack of relief.

I then decided to inspect my other Tokai bass - PJ-55, and noticed that it has similar characteristics, but not quite as prominently.

I have slackened the truss rods both off and tuned the strings up to F# tuning to try and induce some forward bow in the wood. I think that these basses may have been left without the truss rod being adjusted for a large portion of their lives and have been left for dead.

I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced similar things with the necks on 1983 - 1985 Tokai basses?

mdvineng
Guitar God
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:01 am
Location: manchester

Post by mdvineng » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:18 pm

0.3 to 0.35 is the correct relief
TRUSS ROD
First, check your tuning. Affix a capo at the first fret and depress the fourth string at the last fret. With a feeler gauge, check the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 8th fret—see the spec chart below for the proper gap.
Caution: Because of the amount of string tension on the neck, you should loosen the strings before adjusting the truss rod. After the adjustment is made, re-tune the strings and re-check the gap with the feeler gauge.
Adjustment at headstock (allen wrench): Sight down the edge of the fingerboard from behind the headstock, looking toward the body of the instrument. If the neck is too concave (action too high), turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. If the neck is too convex (strings too close to the fingerboard), turn the truss rod nut counter-clockwise to allow the string tension to pull more relief into the neck. Check your tuning, then re-check the gap with the feeler gauge and re-adjust as needed.
Adjustment at neck joint (phillips screwdriver): Sight down the edge of the fingerboard from behind the body, looking up toward the headstock of the instrument. If the neck is too concave (action too high), turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. If the neck is too convex (strings too close to the fingerboard), turn the truss rod nut counter-clockwise to allow the string tension to pull more relief into the neck. Check your tuning, then re-check the gap with the feeler gauge and re-adjust as needed.
Note: In either case, if you meet excessive resistance when adjusting the truss rod, if your instrument needs constant adjustment, if adjusting the truss rod has no effect on the neck, or if you're simply not comfortable making this type of adjustment yourself, take your instrument to your local Fender Authorized Dealer.
Neck Radius
7.25"
9.5" to 12"
15" to 17"
Relief
.014" (0.35 mm)
.012" (0.3 mm)
.010" (0.25 mm)

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ACTION
Players with a light touch can get away with lower action; others need higher action to avoid rattles. First, check tuning. Using a 6" (150 mm) ruler, measure the distance between bottom of strings and top of the 17th fret. Adjust bridge saddles to the height according to the chart below, then re-tune. Experiment with the height until the desired sound and feel is achieved.
Neck Radius
String Height Bass Side
Treble Side
7.25"
9.5" to 12"
15" to 17"
7/64" (2.8 mm)
6/64" (2.4 mm)
6/64" (2.4 mm)
6/64" (2.4 mm)
5/64" (2 mm)
5/64" (2 mm)

this is taken from Fender's site but still applies to Tokai Fender versions

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