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Truss Rod Nightmare

Discussion in 'Bass Hardware, Setup & Repair' started by David N Owenby, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. David N Owenby

    David N Owenby

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    I've seen many different posts about the problems with the truss rod in these basses and want to share another first hand experience that kept me up for several days- I even had dreams about this... I bought this bass used for less than $900 and was ensured by the seller that he had my tech look at this bass, the frets are good, etc.

    Thankfully the company I purchased this through agreed to refund me when the seller clearly sold me a lemon with a frozen truss rod...

    This is the most often forgotten yet one of the most crucial parts of your instrument, so this is applicable to all basses. I also want to clear up any confusion out there on what will happen if you break the truss rod (accidentally, of course) in your Warwick bass.

    For any bass owner, you have several options if this happens, they are limited and they are very costly in time and $$$ and since you own a Warwick, be prepared to cringe at the $$$ involved.

    1)Take the DIY approach to remove the fretboard, buy the new rod and put it in yourself. You better be prepared to replace the fretboard too, because these do not come out as easy as most other do.
    2) Find a Luthier who is competent, willing to give up bench space, and devote the huge amount of time to do it and be ready to pay a lot of money.
    3) Send the bass to Warwick and have a replacement neck put on-Warwick will not sell you a neck, they require you to ship it to them and they do the work in house-this is a fact and there is no way around it...

    The first option is about the cheapest and doable if you are very highly mechanically inclined, but it is a 10 out of 10 that may render your fretboard unusable afterwards...
    In the words of one Luthier I spoke with who has a resume that spans decades working with Steely Dan, Bon Jovi, etc-"Warwick uses an epoxy on the fretboard, removing it takes much longer than other basses, this is heart surgery on a bass that is very difficult to work on, good luck finding someone."

    I contacted three Baltimore area Luthiers, one in Chicago, and even a custom Bass manufacturer and they gave me a minimum price of $1200 - $1600 to do this work on a bass that I payed $850 for...

    A replacement neck was recommended so I contacted Warwick and the price given was nearly $1700 and they did offer a discount.

    I love the product design, the woods they use, the engineering and craftmanship, this was eye opening as well. This storyhas a good ending but I have found that my experience here is atypical when in most cases I read about have a bad ending.
     
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  2. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    Hey David, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you had this experience. A minor addition to your post, you don't have to send the whole bass to them. Warwick will send you the replacement neck provided you show them that you destroyed the old one. The initial price offered was kind of steep though. Best of luck with your purchased gear in the future!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  3. Hector

    Hector Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi David, Welcome to the forum!

    Sorry you had a bad experience with a used bass. To me this sounds like a case of Buyer Beware. Even the best engineered instrument (or car) in the world can have problems if a previous owner uses a sledgehammer to make fine adjustments.

    Hope you are not turned off Warwicks :)
     
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  4. Hoggles

    Hoggles Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    @RIP knows it's possible to order just a neck....

    Screenshot_20190201-224414__02.jpg
     
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  5. RIP

    RIP California U.S.A. Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Hey David....welcome man!

    Just an FYI, #3 is not a fact as I just bought a neck through Warwick about 8 months ago. I talked to Florence and she worked with me through one of her U.S. distributors.

    I did though need to destroy the old neck and send proof (pics) as they will reissue the S/N to the new neck.

    Total time it took was about 7 weeks, but well worth the wait
     
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  6. David N Owenby

    David N Owenby

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    Thanks for the feedback on the post and I'm glad to hear you were offered another option because in all my correspondence with H. P. Wilfer it was not discussed, mentioned, or given as a variable but I did purchase it used.
     
  7. David N Owenby

    David N Owenby

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    Not at all, I'm surprised to see so many different posts of people saying they can buy a new neck since this was not offered to me whatsoever.
     
  8. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    It can happen with any bass. My Fender Marcus Miller V USA has a warped neck. A replacement will cost me a fortune. It is standing in the rack now gathering dust. Don't think I will ever play it.
     
  9. David N Owenby

    David N Owenby

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    It would be much more fixable on your bass. You could buy a replacement from warmoth or try to straighten it yourself. That's a nice bass to just retire from a warped neck.
     
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