Should it stay or should it go?

Question is do I warranty the bass or not?

There are two issues.

  • neck pocket. There are visible gaps around the neck pocket. The neck is on solid and everything but the gaps are there, on one side I could fit a credit card in

  • pokey frets. The frets are pokey, I play with gloves these days and they keep catching on the frets.

I have two other Ibanez basses and neither has these issues. It’s like a bad Squier. It plays fine and sounds great, but for a premium Ibanez, well okay, a Workshop bass, I expect better. I told Ibanez this and they said they will warranty it, shipping would be my cost.

On the fence, leaning towards sending it back because for what it costs, it should be clean, and it will annoy me every time I play it.

am I overreacting?



Keep it and you will regret it foreever

this is why it is best to test an instrument before buying

If you can’t then juts feel free to send it back

1 Like

Hard to tell what you should do…

I don’t see any problem if there’s a gap between the neck and the body as long as everything sits tight.

Protruding frets might be a humidity issue, but that’s hard to determine.

But maybe there’s a reason why it was sold at a reduced price :confused:

1 Like

I’d send it back for a refund. In fact, I’ve done exactly that with two basses that had fit and/or finish issues.

Just as life is too short to drink bad wine, so it is too with instruments that disappoint for whatever reason.


Yeah, I’ve thought about humidity and it’s better than it was, which was sprouty after spending time in a train, that’s gone. The top corner of the frets don’t feel beveled.

I could always buy a file and bevel them.

I asked about the reduced price and the reasoning seems sound. It’s a higher end guitar shop and it was the only bass in their inventory. They cater to guitar players, and I can see why they wanted to clear their lone bass out. The gap doesn’t annoy me that much, the neck is right and tight as they say. If the frets were beveled I wouldn’t care.

I think I would rather warranty it than return it, that way i would have a good bass in the end. Not like I don’t have other basses to play in the interim.

I live on a peninsula separated from the mainland by a ferry. It is absolutely better to try one out first, however, that would take an 8 hour round trip and a day off from work. The ferry line is hours long on the weekends.

Just not practicable.


Cool. Go with your heart.

My Sire M5 arrived last winter (from Thomann’s cold-ass Germany warehouse). It was impeccable in all regards but one: It had some fret sprout, no doubt from going through multiple cold/humidity conditions on its long and winding road to me.

It was faster and ultimately cheaper (time is money, after all!) for me to take it to a nearby luthier to have him do a thorough end-to-end inspection, setup and frets filing on it. He had never seen a Sire M5 in the flesh before and he was blown away by its fit, finish and electronics, especially at its sub-$700 price point. He said he couldn’t build a bass with equivalent woods and components for under $2K.

Bottom line, the fret filing/dressing, setup, and clean bill of health from a pro was more than worth the cost and time in the shop.


Yeah, I’m onboard. Just don’t know where to find a luthier

1 Like

What’s the closest large-ish city to you? It might be worth it to take a road trip?

1 Like

Seattle, which definitely has them; I wish there were one this side of a ferry. It’s a day trip.

1 Like

Yeah, I seem to recall you mentioning Seattle was relatively close to you.

So the options sound like you can:

  1. Keep the bass and play it, as is
  2. Keep the bass, order files, and do the work yourself
  3. Find a good luthier/tech in Seattle to do the work, take it there, schlep it back home
  4. Ship it back to whomever to do the work under warranty

The least hassle, time spent, and good results seem likely from option 2. But it’s your call.

1 Like

Ultimately you want a bass that you love and gives pleasure every time you pick it up. Assuming that as it is it will always niggle, then it seems to me you want to get it fixed. The question then is will a warranty repair by Ibanez (free apart from shipping costs) do a better job than a good luthier. Personally I would favour the latter and they’ll likely fine tune all sorts of other stuff at the same time. More cost better result?

1 Like

Not saying it’s not an issue (because obviously it is), but that is one thing that gets really “magnified” by the glove(s). I have noticed the slightest little protrusion from a fret with my gloves, while you probably wouldn’t notice it with your bare hands. The fabric of the gloves sticks to everything not babyskin smooth :wink:

1 Like

Two years ago when I first got my Fender P bass there was a tiny bit of sprout.

I used my Stew Mac fret file and it took me about 20 minutes.

IMHO you don’t need a guitar tech to file fret ends. Watch a video, be patient and it’s straightforward.

Done. I’ve never had to redo it and it’s now my favourite bass. YMMV


Yes. Fret end dressing is easy and anyone can do it. You should get a proper end dressing file for this one though as the special flat edges will help not mar the fretboard.

But should you warranty it or work on it yourself? Why not both? RMA it for warranty work and then if it isn’t perfect when it comes back, fix the little bits yourself.

Doing my own fret spot-levelling and dressing was pretty empowering for me. I feel pretty confident I can handle most cases of non-reconstructive bass maintenance at this point; I’ve replaced nuts from blanks, leveled high frets, dressed fret ends, polished and removed scratches from fretboards, all the electronics work, etc etc by now, starting from no experience at all doing these things (well, except electronics and metal polishing) three or four years ago. It’s not all that hard, it turns out. And you don’t need that many tools if you’re judicious about what you buy.


Yes, every defect on frets is felt.

You know, it’s scary when you do something for the first time. Intimidating might be a better word. Like the first time I did setup on my own. It was like OMG I’m going to break it.

Which of course I didn’t. Just yesterday I pulled out my MDB5, which was in BEAD, put n a set of TI flats, adjusted the nut because all of a sudden there was more tension on the neck, and then raised the saddle of the E string as it was too clanky. And wondered how I ever played it that low. But I just did it without a lot of thought. I’ve come a long way with B2B

So fret ends should be a breeze


Dan is your go to guy for this stuff.


Yeah he’s awesome.

And don’t be afraid to get little scratches or scuffs on the fretboard, those sand and buff out nicely.


I’d send it back. Unless they are willing to pay you for the frets work say a couple hundred off.


I enjoy dressing frets when needed.
This would not be a reason to return a bass IMO.
You could try to get them to take some $ off and filing them is truly no big deal.
My Edwards E-Groover from Japan had some bad sprout, which was gone in under 15 min with the Stew Mac file and no harm came to the fretboard.

The neck pocket…unless the neck is moving around why does this matter? I just had a look across all my basses. Some pockets have zero gap, some have some pretty wide ones. Never noticed a single one. But…if this is important to you, have them exchange it, with an inspection first with pictures to you.

The bigger question is - do you love the bass and want to keep it or are you just not loving it and looking for reasons to return it? I ask this as this sort of thing has happend to me on purchases. I have also had the opposite, things wrong with something I really, really, really wanted to keep - but had to be returned as there was absolutely no reasonable fix.

Whatever you decide is the right answer for you.
But if you love it, and there is an easy fix to the thing that matters, then keep it and don’t look at the neck pocket, look at the frets, lol.


You’ve gotten good responses to your questions. I can confirm that the lateral fit of a neck in the neck pocket is not an issue that should concern you. Some bodies are cut leaving a small amount of room for expansion and contract of the wood and for centering the neck if needed. It’s not all that uncommon. As long as the neck is firmly bolted to the body and you don’t sense any issues with it’s playability it’s good.

Fret sprout can impact any guitar or bass if it encounters a very dry climate with low humidity. If you’re living in the Pacific NW I could almost believe the situation would rectify itself once the neck too lived in that climate awhile longer. But dealing with it yourself as many of us do it surely less of a PIA than returning it or the type of trip you’ve mentioned that would require a tech or luthier to do it for you. Unless of course you want then to do a full set up for you.

Just invest in a fret end file and watch that video. Once you’ve done the work you’ll never have to deal with it again on that bass and if in the future you encounter fret sprout you’ll have the experience of already have done the job. As players we all need to learn some of the basics for the adjustment and care of our “tools of the trade”. It’s a nice looking bass. Congrats.