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How messed up this neck?
Old 8th August 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

How messed up this neck?

https://ibb.co/px92G2S
https://ibb.co/8MfCQLg
https://ibb.co/PwTZZvg
https://ibb.co/n6ntxPQ

Seems pretty twisted
Old 8th August 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
Do the notes choke out or buzz on certain frets?

A view from a different angle would be good. While it does seem to be warped it could be an optical illusion.
If it plays fine it plays fine. If it chokes or buzzes then it needs some work.
Old 8th August 2019
  #3
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Unlike ski-ramps or back bended necks that can occasionally be dealt with, there is only one thing to do with a twisted neck: garbage.

Photography tip for the OP: Never ever take a picture against the light

Last edited by numero6; 8th August 2019 at 11:23 PM..
Old 8th August 2019
  #4
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brmusician's Avatar
Currently there are pretty inexpensive neck rules in which you can check if neck is straight pretty easily. I've just ordered one and gave up trying to guess if neck is bent based on the inspection method you've shown at the pictures.
Old 12th August 2019
  #5
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kingofspain's Avatar
Hard to say...

First post here for a while...

Hard to say what's going on from those photos, as others have said it looks a little warped, but it could be a trick of the light.

A good way to check for yourself is to sight down the neck from the nut towards the bridge. On an un-warped neck all the frets will be parallel with each other.
If the frets on your neck are not parallel along the length of the 'board, you've probably got an issue.

If you're not sure, try taking some photos of what I described, and maybe we can help out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

If you live near a shop with a PLEK machine, they could analyze the neck in great detail for you.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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kennybro's Avatar
Your photos are no indication. Second one looks a bit whacked, but hard to tell.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Hot Vibrato's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
If you live near a shop with a PLEK machine, they could analyze the neck in great detail for you.
A skilled luthier can also analyze the neck in great detail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by numero6 View Post
Unlike ski-ramps or back bended necks that can occasionally be dealt with, there is only one thing to do with a twisted neck: garbage.
I've never encountered a neck with a functional rod which was warped so badly that the board couldn't be leveled and refretted to geometrical perfection.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
A skilled luthier can also analyze the neck in great detail.
Not sure if you have ever had a guitar PLEK’d by a competent PLEK luthier or seen a PLEK analysis.

The PLEK analysis allows you to see details of the neck down to a thousandth of a millimeter. It analyzes every fret along the entire length of the fret It analyzes the fretboard. If you have never seen a PLEK analysis, you have no way of understanding how the PLEK tools allow you to understand everything about your neck. A luthier with a feeler gauge, relief gauge simply, or other manual tools simply cannot analyze a neck to the same detail.

When we do PLEK setups on my guitars, it takes 45 minutes to an hour. About 20 minutes of the time is for the analysis. Then the luthier and I go over the PLEK analysis and decide what we are going to allow the machine to do. The machine is programmed and then the PLEK is performed. I only allow the machine to level and crown my frets. This only takes another 10 minutes. The remaining time, the guitar is in the hands of a skilled luthier for action, intonation, relief, etc as he uses the PLEK analysis to precisely setup the guitar. PLEK does not replace the luthier, it augments him.

I have had level and crowns done by some really great luthiers. I am sorry, but none of them compared to how my guitars are after a PLEK.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Hot Vibrato's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
Not sure if you have ever had a guitar PLEK’d by a competent PLEK luthier or seen a PLEK analysis.

The PLEK analysis allows you to see details of the neck down to a thousandth of a millimeter. It analyzes every fret along the entire length of the fret It analyzes the fretboard. If you have never seen a PLEK analysis, you have no way of understanding how the PLEK tools allow you to understand everything about your neck. A luthier with a feeler gauge, relief gauge simply, or other manual tools simply cannot analyze a neck to the same detail.

When we do PLEK setups on my guitars, it takes 45 minutes to an hour. About 20 minutes of the time is for the analysis. Then the luthier and I go over the PLEK analysis and decide what we are going to allow the machine to do. The machine is programmed and then the PLEK is performed. I only allow the machine to level and crown my frets. This only takes another 10 minutes. The remaining time, the guitar is in the hands of a skilled luthier for action, intonation, relief, etc as he uses the PLEK analysis to precisely setup the guitar. PLEK does not replace the luthier, it augments him.

I have had level and crowns done by some really great luthiers. I am sorry, but none of them compared to how my guitars are after a PLEK.
20 minutes for analysis? A luthier can just look at the neck and tell you what it needs in 30 seconds or less, and can produce results that are just as precise. The only advantage of a plek machine over a skilled luthier is the time saved in labor and training, and elimination of the possibility of repetitive use injury.

In this video, Richard Hoover talks about why he chose to add a plek to Santa Cruz's tooling. At no point does he claim that the performance of the plek is superior to that of his craftsman. In fact he states that the same results can be achieved by hand, but it takes a great deal of training, it's time consuming, and repetitive use injuries can result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgKB7DRf4QU
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
20 minutes for analysis? A luthier can just look at the neck and tell you what it needs in 30 seconds or less, and can produce results that are just as precise. The only advantage of a plek machine over a skilled luthier is the time saved in labor and training, and elimination of the possibility of repetitive use injury.

In this video, Richard Hoover talks about why he chose to add a plek to Santa Cruz's tooling. At no point does he claim that the performance of the plek is superior to that of his craftsman. In fact he states that the same results can be achieved by hand, but it takes a great deal of training, it's time consuming, and repetitive use injuries can result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgKB7DRf4QU
30 seconds? I think not. A human could not perform as comprehensive of an analysis in 30 seconds. With a human it is more iterative: assess, work, assess, work, assess, work, etc. If you have ever done a crown and level yourself, you should know that 30 seconds was a silly thing to say. The process of analyzing the frets with a fret rocker and marking high frets over the entire fretboard is not a 30 second endeavor, and all you determine by using a fret rocker is the position of a fret relative to the frets adjacent to that fret.

For that matter, a human would not be capable of fully analyzing the entire length of every single fret and the fretboard and understanding exactly where each fret is relative to every other fret on the fretboard. PLEK can do that.

You did not respond to my statement. Have you ever had a guitar PLEK’d? Are your statements based solely on what you have read and been told?

Funny thing is that Jay Wolfe at Wolfe Guitars in Jupiter, Florida had a different perspective than Mr. Hoover. Jay stated to me that the PLEK allows him to operate with a precision that he cannot without the machine. He said that with PLEK he has complete plan for all the adjustments to be made to the instrument before he begins altering the guitar.

The “luthiers are just as good as PLEK” thing is IMO nothing more than luthiers who are afraid of losing work to automation. The thing is the PLEK does not eliminate the need for the luthier, it is a just another tool in their toolbox.

The other thing with luthiers: they are just like PLEK techs. Get a ****ty PLEK tech and you get a ****ty PLEK job. Likewise a ****ty luthier gets you a ****ty manual crown and level. The computer is at least consistent in what it does, and there are so few PLEK machines in the US, that the different shops are well known for their abilities (or lack thereof). Luthiers are a different story. There are so many you don’t know what you are getting until they have done the work.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
There may be some advantages to a computer assisted system yet if the neck in question is half as bad as the OP is suggesting then an experienced tech will visually assess it in under 30 seconds if that.

Standard procedure would to be LEVEL, then re-crown if the neck wasn't so far out that it was a pointless procedure.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
A skilled luthier can also analyze the neck in great detail.

I've never encountered a neck with a functional rod which was warped so badly that the board couldn't be leveled and refretted to geometrical perfection.
I have, on some early '70s Fenders. It's possible the necks might have been fixed by pulling all the frets, planing the neck, and doing a total refret, but that's a LOT of work and not cheap.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
30 seconds? I think not. A human could not perform as comprehensive of an analysis in 30 seconds. With a human it is more iterative: assess, work, assess, work, assess, work, etc. If you have ever done a crown and level yourself, you should know that 30 seconds was a silly thing to say. The process of analyzing the frets with a fret rocker and marking high frets over the entire fretboard is not a 30 second endeavor, and all you determine by using a fret rocker is the position of a fret relative to the frets adjacent to that fret.

For that matter, a human would not be capable of fully analyzing the entire length of every single fret and the fretboard and understanding exactly where each fret is relative to every other fret on the fretboard. PLEK can do that.

You did not respond to my statement. Have you ever had a guitar PLEK’d? Are your statements based solely on what you have read and been told?

Funny thing is that Jay Wolfe at Wolfe Guitars in Jupiter, Florida had a different perspective than Mr. Hoover. Jay stated to me that the PLEK allows him to operate with a precision that he cannot without the machine. He said that with PLEK he has complete plan for all the adjustments to be made to the instrument before he begins altering the guitar.

The “luthiers are just as good as PLEK” thing is IMO nothing more than luthiers who are afraid of losing work to automation. The thing is the PLEK does not eliminate the need for the luthier, it is a just another tool in their toolbox.

The other thing with luthiers: they are just like PLEK techs. Get a ****ty PLEK tech and you get a ****ty PLEK job. Likewise a ****ty luthier gets you a ****ty manual crown and level. The computer is at least consistent in what it does, and there are so few PLEK machines in the US, that the different shops are well known for their abilities (or lack thereof). Luthiers are a different story. There are so many you don’t know what you are getting until they have done the work.
Gary Brawer in SF is one of the best techs/service luthiers in California. He doesn't need a Plek machine but he has one and finds it to be a invaluable tool.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Quote:
Those pics don't really show anything - they're taken from the wrong end of the fingerboard and the lighting is horrible - the light source should be at the same end as the camera, not pointing into the lens.

Also it would have been nice if you had embedded the photos into your post (use the paperclip icon) so they could be viewed in series without having to load each one separately. Externally hosted photos are a royal PITA.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Hot Vibrato's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
30 seconds? I think not. A human could not perform as comprehensive of an analysis in 30 seconds. With a human it is more iterative: assess, work, assess, work, assess, work, etc. If you have ever done a crown and level yourself, you should know that 30 seconds was a silly thing to say. The process of analyzing the frets with a fret rocker and marking high frets over the entire fretboard is not a 30 second endeavor, and all you determine by using a fret rocker is the position of a fret relative to the frets adjacent to that fret.
I'll correct my previous statement: I can tell by looking exactly what fretwork is required to render the surface of the frets perfect to tolerances which will allow a guitar to play every bit well as a perfectly pleked guitar, and I usually can tell within 30 seconds after the rod is adjusted. (I never timed myself. It just takes hardly any time at all to assess the playing surface of the frets in order to determine what fret work needs to be done)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
You did not respond to my statement. Have you ever had a guitar PLEK’d?
I've worked on dozens of guitars that have been pleked at the factory. They play great once they're set up properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
Are your statements based solely on what you have read and been told
I trained under a master luthier for ten years before opening my own repair shop, which I've been operating for fourteen years now. In that time frame, I've done literally thousands of fret jobs for hundreds of satisfied customers. I currently handle all the repair work for the only locally owned music store in my town. I employ two craftsmen whom I've trained to do fretwork to the same degree of precision as I have been trained. Nearly all of the finest guitars in my region have been on my bench at some time or another, and virtually all the best players around here are my clients. And fret work is almost always taking place in my workshop virtually every day of the week. My statements are based on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
For that matter, a human would not be capable of fully analyzing the entire length of every single fret and the fretboard and understanding exactly where each fret is relative to every other fret on the fretboard. PLEK can do that.
It's not necessary to analyze each and every fret relative to the next along the length of the entire fingerboard, or to analyze the surface of the fingerboard relative to the frets to the hundredth of a millimeter. When analyzing a neck, there are five potential diagnoses (assuming the rod is functional):

1: It's perfect and needs no work (almost never the case unless the guitar has been pleked or leveled by a skilled luthier).
2: It's not perfect, but it's close enough to meet the player's needs (often the case with newer guitars, or players who don't require low action)
3: The frets need to be leveled and recrowned (this can be done under simulated string tension, which can indeed yield precision on the level of the plek machine)
4: The guitar needs to be partially refretted and the frets leveled (also can be done under simulated string tension)
5: The frets need to be removed, and the fingerboard and new frets need to be leveled under simulated string tension.

To be fair, sometimes it takes more than 30 seconds to determine whether frets can be leveled adequately, or if a full refret is in order. But usually it's quite obvious to the trained eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
Funny thing is that Jay Wolfe at Wolfe Guitars in Jupiter, Florida had a different perspective than Mr. Hoover. Jay stated to me that the PLEK allows him to operate with a precision that he cannot without the machine. He said that with PLEK he has complete plan for all the adjustments to be made to the instrument before he begins altering the guitar.
I'm sure Mr. Wolfe is happy with his plek machine. It's an amazing tool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
The “luthiers are just as good as PLEK” thing is IMO nothing more than luthiers who are afraid of losing work to automation. The thing is the PLEK does not eliminate the need for the luthier, it is a just another tool in their toolbox.
I welcome any competition, automated or not, as long as the work is done by competent luthiers. There's plenty of guitars out there to work on, and good luthiers are rarely wanting for work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
The other thing with luthiers: they are just like PLEK techs. Get a ****ty PLEK tech and you get a ****ty PLEK job. Likewise a ****ty luthier gets you a ****ty manual crown and level. The computer is at least consistent in what it does, and there are so few PLEK machines in the US, that the different shops are well known for their abilities (or lack thereof). Luthiers are a different story. There are so many you don’t know what you are getting until they have done the work.
A true statement indeed. It's wise to be cautious about who you trust to work on your guitar. Plenty of hacks out there butchering good guitars. Which is why good luthiers are rarely wanting for work.

Last edited by Hot Vibrato; 3 weeks ago at 05:34 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Hot Vibrato's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I have, on some early '70s Fenders. It's possible the necks might have been fixed by pulling all the frets, planing the neck, and doing a total refret, but that's a LOT of work and not cheap.
Indeed, it's not cheap. But all it takes to make a guitar play great is a good fret job, a precisely slotted nut, and setup to match the needs of the player. That's it.

For a fine instrument, a fret job costs only a fraction of its value. For a not-so-fine instrument, a fret job can be cost prohibitive (no sense in paying $500 to refret a $200 guitar).
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