Serious "what to do" Advice Needed

So. Before I dive into the details, I have to put these facts in order:

  1. I am not a woodworker and lack even the most basic tools to do any of the steps I’m listing below. I don’t even own a drill.
  2. Money is tight right now, and after some really frivolous bass expenditures, any significant expense is out of the question. Ultimately, I have to sell some basses to recoup some of those expenditures.

With all that said, here is my beloved Carvin B4:

This is the bass that I bought, sold, and bought back. Just looking at this bass fills my heart with warmth. I love the way it looks. I also love the way it sounds. That said, it has a problem. I’m not sure when this happened, but I first noticed it after I bought it back and looking back at original purchase and subsequent sale pictures, it looks like it might have had this problem then and I just didn’t notice it. But here’s the problem:

The neck is twisted. The strings still run straight from bridge to nut, and it’s still playable although it does negatively affect action. Many people have recommended that since it’s still playable, to forget about it and just play the damned thing. But… I can’t get past it. It’s like a wedgie I can’t pull out. I know the neck is twisted, it sticks out to me like a sore thumb, and I can’t enjoy playing the bass because of it. It breaks my bass-loving heart to know that such a great instrument is damaged, and… call me insane… I can’t just let it be.

I have a few options which constantly bounce around in my head:

  • Sell it. Get what money I can out of it and bid it farewell forever. For as much as I love this bass, I can’t enjoy it in its current condition and maybe someone out there can fix it.
  • I’ve talked to a few luthiers, who state that a Plek job might be able to fix it, as would a re-fretting, or a fretless conversion. That’s several hundred dollars that I can’t afford, though, and none of them are 100% guaranteed to fix it.
  • Replace the neck.

I have two options when it comes to replacing the neck. I’ve discovered that the Carvin B4 basses do not use a Fender “standard” size neck pocket or mounting screw configuration. The Carvin B4 necks are about 1/8" narrower on each side, and the necks do not sit as deep into the body as Fender “standard” necks do.

A while ago, I purchased this BexGears neck from Amazon:

It’s a very decent neck for the price. It fits perfectly into the neck pocket on the B4 body, however, it doesn’t match the B4’s neck profile, and it is not drilled for mounting screws. I’d have to have holes drilled to match the body. Also, the headstock is horribly horrible, and it doesn’t use the smaller, Carvin tuning pegs… it uses the larger, Fender “standard” paddle tuners (which I purchsed as well). If I went this route, the small, lithe, and light Carvin body would be greatly outbalanced by this huge, boat paddle of a head stock.

A while ago, I also purchased this Warmoth neck and finally received it last week:

This is an amazing neck, although it, too, does not match the B4’s neck profile. It is made and drilled for the Fender “standard” neck pocket. The headstock looks like it could be a Carvin headstock. But to make this one fit… the neck pocket would have to be routed widthwise for the additional width, and it would have to go deeper into the body (which might interfere with intonation), and either it or the body would have to be filled and re-drilled for mounting screws. I’d have to have all that done. At least with the BexGears neck, if I don’t like it on the B4 I could put the original neck back on… if I have the body modified for the Warmoth neck… it’s done. And as of right now, I could resell the Warmoth neck and return most of my investment… if I install it and maybe have to fill/re-drill screw holes I don’t think I’ll have that option.

So… help me, Obi-Wan Bassbuzzobi, you’re my only hope. What would you do with this bass if you were me? Would you just sell it and be done? Try to have the neck fixed? Or give one of the other necks a shot? I have to either fix and keep it and sell another bass, or sell this one for whatever I can get for it.

Thanks for your insight.

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  1. Simplest: Sell it and get something else
  2. Next simplest/Some money out of pocket: Have a competent luthier drill/mount whichever neck fits the current bass best
  3. Least simple/Most costly: Have a competent luthier mount the neck that has the looks you like and rout the body to fit it

If money is an over-riding issue, just sell the bass and the extra necks, and get something else.

Actually, the cheapest route that doesn’t involve playing the bass anymore is to go back to your hanging wall art idea. No money spent, but no money recouped, either. And you could sell the other necks, maybe.

Sometimes, circumstances call for shooting something in the headstock and moving on. Only you can decide if this is such a time. Good luck, man.

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You could try putting two E strings in the lower two slots, removing the other two and cranking them down really tight, then wrapping it in a heating pad for a couple of hours, leaving the truss rod neutral with the nut just ran up against the truss rod. To truly fix the original neck it would need to have the fingerboard releveled. Otherwise

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I have heard of luthiers straightening necks with a hot press method. Check takbass for more info. And the expense isn’t that bad I don’t think

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hey @timsgeekery First thing, Mabey your truss rod is too tight?(Or the anchor point in the center is broken) and bending your neck in that strange angle? that’s a cheap status check imo as a first start. I would also recommend a stand that does not touch the neck if you are currently hanging it by the headstock. K&M Heli Black Electric Guitar or Bass Stand 17581, 2 3/4 Arm

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They do it all the time, however twisted necks have a lower success rate because it’s usually something in the grain of the wood, not just a neglected truss rod

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also throw some dunlop fretboard oil on there and see if its just the fretboard warping from being dry?

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I don’t know how much the bass costs, but it might not make financial sense to spend money fixing it unless the sentimental value outweighs the cost.

I would probably play it the way it is until the neck twists to an unplayable state (which may be never) and then change the neck, or sell it with full disclosure and move on.

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Hey Tim,

Check out this video for some info on twisted necks and possible repairs.

From the picture you provided it is almost certainly twisted but it may actually be twisted in a “good” way making it somewhat easier to play as the guy from Crimson will point out.

The other options are costly, time consuming and may not even produce a good result in the end. Even after I dealt with a bowed neck and a maxed out truss rod (it was heat wrapped and reset) I still wasn’t happy with it and sold off all the parts that were still functional (I almost broke even too).

My only advice is to not let it bother you as it can eat you up thinking about too much. Do what you can as easily and quickly so you can spend time enjoying your other basses or anything else for that matter.

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:100:

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Yeah, I need to recoup some cash… whether that’s by fixing this one and selling different bass or selling this one because I don’t enjoy playing it for the twisted neck.

I actually did that. Didn’t help. Thanks though.

I don’t think it’s the truss rod. I’ve looked into that, loosened it and tightened it. Honestly, I think the wood itself is warped.

It might not look it in the picture - it’s getting some weird lighting - but the fretboard isn’t dry. I tend to oil my fretboards pretty regularly.

I have taken a bath on this bass solely for sentimental value, LOL. For the amount of money I’ve spent on it, I could have had a brand new, fully custom-to-my-tastes Kiesel or something. I bought it, loved it, made a dumb decision to sell it, tracked it down and bought it back thinking it was my “forever bass”. Then I noticed the twisted neck, sigh, and I’ve since spent more than the original price of the bass from my first purchase on necks. And that’s why I’m trying not to give up on it, but after all this money and seeing exactly what I’d have to do to get the Warmoth neck to fit, the sentimental value is decreasing rapidly. I love the look and feel of this bass, and I feel a sort-of kinship with it for all I’ve gone through to own it, and I thought it would be my “forever bass”, but… at some point it becomes a losing battle.

That’s what my GF says. She says that the amount of time and money I’ve spent agonizing over this specific bass is unhealthy. She thinks I should sell it for whatever I can get and save my sanity… it’s not like I don’t have other, untwisted basses to play and love, you know?

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Wise woman. You’ve spent a lot of time and moneys, plural, on this thing. If you can’t stand playing it the way it is, strongly consider getting shed of it. Life and disposable income are too short to keep throwing good money after bad.

Not trying to harsh on your bass. If you DO love it, love is deaf, dumb, blind and not to be ignored. But if you know in your heart it’s just a bass, and one of several, then let it go. Just my take.

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I have a carvin guitar and years ago it developed a twist in the neck. I sent it back to carvin, they took the strings off and let it set for a couple of weeks. Put new strings on it and never had another problem. I have a cheap bass I bought my son 20 yrs ago, when I started playing bass I pulled it out of the closet and after a few months it developed a severe twist, instead of trashing it, I took the strings off and let it set about a month. I got to thinking about it, put new strings on it and the twist had righted itself. Its a very affordable option that has proven results, now any of my guitars or basses I’m not regularly playing have the string tension off. I hope this helps.

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Sounds like it’s time to raise the action and make a slide bass

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This is some good advice. Thanks!

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I actually called (well, emailed) Kiesel about this bass. They no longer do service work like that, and they no longer make B4 compatible necks. =/

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So.

After reviewing the responses in this thread (thanks, all you Bass Buzzers!), listening to my GF, and engaging in some deep thought, I’ve decided it’s in my best interest to sell this bass and be rid of all the stress it’s put me through.

Basses should not be stress inducing.

I know I touted this as the bass I’d never sell, but in my defense, I didn’t think I would, and that declaration was made before I’d noticed the neck twist and gone down the rabbit hole of what it would take to fix it. If the B4 didn’t have the neck twist, or it was easily fixable, I wouldn’t be selling it, and I probably wouldn’t own my Osiris or my B50.

I’ve listed it on Reverb with full disclosure of the twisted neck, and I’m including the Bexgears neck and tuners. I’ve also separately listed the brand effing new Warmoth neck that’s never been touched save to inspect it after receipt. They’re both up on my Reverb page, with the link in the Reverb shop thread.

Thanks again for all your feedback, and for putting up with my insanity. :slight_smile:

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Good for you, you can also sell it with a clear conscience.

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No worries! It’s your bass and you’re entitled to change your mind and do whatever you want with it!

Good man! :+1:

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I think selling it was the best option if you couldn’t live with the twist. I hope you can sell all parts and the bass well. Just take time before jumping into buying another bass. And if, go for one you can play and feel. Your perfect bass match is out there. Congrats to your GF. She cares about your sanity although you play the bass! Just kidding. Cheers!

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