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Mitigating Neckdive


WCriley

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As mentioned in another thread, I recently purchased a cheap 6-string bass with the worst neckdive I've ever encountered.

 

I remember reading that some people suggest moving the bridge-end stap button up a few inches to help with this problem. Does that really help?

 

I thought about changing to ultralite tuners, but can't really justify spending $120 on a $100 instrument.

 

I also thought about cutting an inch or so off the headstock. But then I'd lose the "Douglas" logo and the fun of having people know I'm playing a bargain basement intrument.

 

Any and all suggestions and comments will be appreciated.

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The most effective thing is to change the balance point. This is best accomplished by extending the upper horn button. This is not easy to do where it looks like it belongs on the guitar. Sometimes you must extend it a inch or more to achieve proper balance.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Friction. A wider strap that's kind of rough on the inside. I've a couple cheap leather ones that are suede on one side. Put the split side or suede side towards the shoulder.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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Hold the bass up by the horn's strap button. if the neck doesn't dive too severely, you can probably correct it by putting in a new strap button where the neck meets the body. I had to do this when I had a righty bass played as a lefty.

 

 

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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Thanks guys.

 

Picker's idea of a rod sticking out of the upper horn reminds me of a wireless guitar I once saw with an antenna sticking out like that.

 

Paul, all my straps are 3" wide leather. Problem is that the they're older than a lot of the people on this forum, so the split side has become well polished. I bought a new suede strap, and it helps as long as I'm not moving around too much.

 

Bottom End: It seems to me that moving the strap button away from the head would make things worse. BUT...I held the bass in the air by the strap attached only at the horn. It hung perfectly! Maybe I need to move the OTHER strap button behind the upper bout? Weird idea, but it just might work...

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Something like this on your upper horn. Unfortunately, I can't find the company that made this anymore.

http://www.box.net/shared/static/a8vr6khpi3.jpg

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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Here's a thought- maybe the balance point is pretty good with a single point lift like the upper horn, but the body being small and light might be adding to the problem by the strap pulling up on the lower strap button and tipping the bass.

 

What I mean is by holding the strap in your hand, it might be balanced in a static sense, but on your body, your shoulder acts as a fulcrum point and the weight on the horn button pulls over your shoulder and winds up pulling up on the bottom strap button and the body might not have enough weight to counteract that pull so the bass tips due to the difference in force, kind of like a mechanical scale.

 

It seems to me that is why the gritty straps work better- the friction of the strap on your shirt 'bites' in your shirt and doesn't transfer as much of that force to the other strap button (until it slips a few times and needs re-adjustment).

 

You could maybe find a way to add a few ounces of weight near the back of the body as a test, and maybe stuff some extra weight in the electronics cavity to counterbalance- as long as it doesn't make it too heavy.

 

The punch line is the upper horn strap button is probably the static center of gravity but it doesn't account for the true balance point of the instrument while being played, that's why the neck dive issue is there.

 

For grins, maybe take a good balanced instrument and A-B it with the Douglas by holding it up by the strap on the horn button and see what happens. I'd bet the 'balanced' instrument has body dive.

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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Based on the pics in the other post, I'd suggest that you try moving the rear (near the bridge) strap knob up. Remove it from its current center-most position, and try it (just a guess here) paralell with the top edge of the bridge, or 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch higher than that.

If this works, you may want to add a Grolsch rubber disc to help keep the strap in place.

 

Just a suggestion, YMMV.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks again, guys.

 

I installed Strap Locks and moved the bridge-end button to about where wrab suggested. Seems to have helped. At least now I don't need to hold the neck up while I play.

 

As for the Heads Up strap: My wife also suggesting adding weight to the body. But what attracted me to this bass is its light weight. Adding weight would defeat the purpose.

 

At some point in the future I just might add a rod of some sort like Picker and Lug have suggested.

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Friction. A wider strap that's kind of rough on the inside. I've a couple cheap leather ones that are suede on one side. Put the split side or suede side towards the shoulder.

 

Increasing friction helps a little but not that much. My Warwick is notorious for neck dive and I have a leather strap that grips well to my shirt. Unfortunately the big downside is is my shirts ride up in the back and the bass still dives, not as much, but it still does. Relocating the strap button not only on the bridge end of the bass but putting the horn button under the tip of the horn might help.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

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On one bass which had neck dive, I taped the strap to various points until I found good balance points. Then I moved the strap buttons. I ended up attaching the top end of the strap at the peghead like on an acoustic guitar. You'll need an extra long strap to do that and it looks a little weird but it works.

 

I used one of these snap-on connectors so I can take the strap on and off.

http://mediacdn.shopatron.com/media/mfg/421/category_image/x01_152500.jpg

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I ended up attaching the top end of the strap at the peghead like on an acoustic guitar. You'll need an extra long strap to do that and it looks a little weird but it works.

 

When I first got the bass in question, I actually considered doing just that. But it would make it even more confusing to people who think I'm playing a "lead guitar"!!!! But...what the hell, it's simpler than attaching something to extend the strap button.

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I don't understand complaints about neck dive. I often play a Gibson SG, a guitar often reviled for this affliction, but I don't see it as a problem at all. When I am playing, I hold the neck. There's no chance for the neck to dive because I'm playing. When I am not playing, I hold the neck and mute the strings. There's no chance for the neck to dive because I am holding the neck. It's not like the headstock is so heavy that it jumps out of my hand and heads for the the floor immediately when I let go of the neck. It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

 

Indeed, with your gig that makes sense. For me, neck dive is a pain in the ass since I use charts. I really need two free hands between songs. And in the practice room, I'm writing-erasing-typing. Sucks when the headstock keeps smashing into my desk. Makes me wonder why the old Steinberger style guitar on a pivot strap didn't really catch on. I know that somebody made one you could retrofit a guitar with , but that company is gone-o.

 

 

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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OK, I see your point. So it even happens when you're sitting down? Sheesh. That's really irritating.

 

Try stapling the strap to your shoulder. You might need to use about five staples. Sure, you'll bleed a little, but that bass won't neck-dive.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Try stapling the strap to your shoulder. You might need to use about five staples. Sure, you'll bleed a little, but that bass won't neck-dive.

 

Why didn't I think of that????

Not sure staples will hold...maybe I'll try 1" roofing nails.

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Oh, now you're just being silly. Drywall screws are more dependable--once you have the threaded holes in your shoulder, you can just re-screw that strap any time you want. Plus, you know... bloodshed is always nice when music is involved.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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