Problems with neck?


Junior Member
I just got this neck from Warmoth: 

It's a "Pro" neck with the side adjuster.  I had a Graphtech nut and Stainless Steel jumbo frets installed.
And it's a really cool neck, I really like the way it feels and looks, but I think there may be something wrong with the truss rod.  Warmoth says they manufacture their necks with a slight bow which straightens when you adjust the truss rod, but mine is almost perfectly straight with almost no adjustment to the truss rod nut at all.  The Truss rod nut is only just tightened about 1/4 turn from being loose, so almost any tightening of the nut will make it back bow.

The thing is, I've already put a Tru-Oil finish on it, installed the tuners and installed it on the guitar.  It wasn't until I started trying to set up the guitar that I noticed that the truss rod nut had no adjustment on it. 

Do you think I will be able to send it back under warranty?  I'm concerned, because I've already had to drill the small holes to attach the tuners in the back of the headstock, and It's got the frets and nut already installed, which might make it un-returnable.  I've also already put a Tru-Oil finish on it as well, about 12 coats.  Anyone have any idea as to what my options are?  It's just past the 10-day period since I got it as well.  Am I SOL?
I plan to call Warmoth Monday first thing, but I thought I'd see what kind of feedback I get here also.
You're OK. Proceed ahead and see if she plays well. The strings will probably pull the neck right in place where you want it. As long as you did a good job with the finish and the neck is entirely protected, you're warranty is still good. If you run into problems and convinced the neck is backbowed, just call Rob at Warmoth and he'll lead you down the resolution path.  :icon_thumright:
Thanks, I was planning on calling them on Monday anyway.  It does play pretty good, except for the one note: The 13th fret is high just under the high E string, so the E note on the 12th fret is dead.  I'll probably have to take it to a local luthier to have it set up and have that fret ground down and leveled a bit.

Also, it's not staying in tune as much as I'd like when I use the trem, even though I've got locking tuners and a Graph tech nut - I thought that'd make it more stable than it is.  Whenever I dump the trem down, the strings come back sharp.  Any ideas?

Thanks for the help!
Hi - Wow - SAME issue here!

I just got a fully finished Fatback Tele neck that was slightly backbowed when I opened the box.  I installed it and even at full string tension, it is PERFECTLY straight(even backboweed a hair)  and listen,  that is with BOTH the side nut and heel nut TOTALLY LOOSE!

I thought after a day or so at full tension the neck might start coming forward, but it is still straight (slightly backbowed) and buzzing like crazy.  Both nuts are free and  loose.

Note that I did try the "side-adjust reset procedure" in the instructions but that did nothing; it only backbowed the neck even more.  This is a significant bummer as I already installed the gears and a decal that I had custom made!

Does this mean that the neck is defective?  HELP!

Thanks - Frank
Hi Frank,

Sorry to hear you're having an issue. Fatbacks are pretty stiff because of thier thickness and won't be affected by string pull as much as a standard thin for example. Give Rob a call on Monday and he'll ask you some questions and help with a go forward plan.
Thanks Greg - do you think there is a way to resolve this without sending it back, or in light of what I said does it seem defective? 

I guess that I would just be really bummed if it had to be replaced not only becasue of the work involved and losing the decal, but there are no finished FB w/ 1-11/16 nuts in stock or on the line.

Thanks again for your help... much appreciated
Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to answer that yet. Rob will do some troubleshooting with you, so if possible, have the neck with you when you call him. Thanks.
Hi Sermonator/Frank,

How is the neck playing?  You didn't indicate if there were any buzzing issues.  If it plays great, I'd say don't worry about it.

Cymbaline, if you've got one note on the neck that is buzzing, a little bit of a fret level may take care of it for you.  While most folks can bolt the neck on and go, some fret leveling or setup may be necessary.  This does not indicate a defective neck.

For both guys, I'd suggest playing the guitar and see how it plays.  If you've properly finished the necks and have followed all the warranty guidelines, your necks are covered.
I'm hoping a spot fret level will take care of my problem.  It plays pretty good everywhere else except for that one spot.  I know that fret is high right at that spot because I put a ruler on the frets and I can feel it rocking right at the 13th fret, and only right under the E string, and a little less under the B string. 

Hopefully all it'll need done is a level and crown right at that spot, as I think it'll be a bit cheaper than doing the whole neck.
Here's some pics...
Full shot

Nice bird's eye figure on headstock

Back of neck

As you can tell, I'm a David Gilmour fan!

The neck has some really nice birds eye figure in it.  This was my first attempt at using Tru-Oil, it came out really well.  I put about 12 coats or so (I didn't really count), and hit the back with 0000 steel wool. I've been playing the heck out of it for the last couple days so it has a nice sheen on the back.

The body is a MIJ 1957 reissue body from reliablefender on ebay (I recommend him, very fast service), with EMG DG-20 pickups I salvaged from my other Strat.
The bridge is a Callaham Vintage S-model with the shortened arm.  It sounds great, has a nice lively "zing" to it acoustically.
Hi - thanks for the response - even with both nuts totally loose there is still a back bow with strings at full tension.  If I hold down the A or D string at the frist and last fret there is no relief at all anywhere on the neck.  There is a good amount of buzzing.  Even if I got it to play OK, I'd still want a neck with some relief and a functional truss rod.  Thanks again
Sermonator1 said:
Hi - thanks for the response - even with both nuts totally loose there is still a back bow with strings at full tension.  If I hold down the A or D string at the frist and last fret there is no relief at all anywhere on the neck.  There is a good amount of buzzing.  Even if I got it to play OK, I'd still want a neck with some relief and a functional truss rod.  Thanks again

Sounds like a call to Warmoth would be in order.  Good luck!
Hey, beautiful guitar! That's a very nice neck indeed. I always did like a maple with a maple fingerboard over a one piece neck. I think you get a little more warmth from it. Sort of the best of both worlds i.e. rosewood on maple vs. straight maple.

Too bad your having some issues, I'm sure they will get resolved.

Cheers on the build!

Well, I just called and spoke with Rob, he was very helpful.

He's thinking that the neck hasn't really stabilized yet, being brand-new and having those big 'ol jumbo SS frets put in it.  Suggested to completely loosen the truss rod adjustment at the heel, to where it's floppin' loose, and then either tune the guitar up 1/2 step, or go up a string gauge (from 9s to 10s in my case), and let it sit for a week or so.  If it hasn't moved by then to give him a call back.

We'll see how it goes!
I am having a similar neck issue.  One piece maple, standard thin contour, ss 6105 frets.  Neck is straight as an arrow, no relief at all with truss rod slack.  It's been about three weeks and I thought the relief would come eventually but still nothing.  Plus I am in the Northeast and it is still very dry up here.  I am tuned down a half step with 10's so I am thinking I may string it up with 12's and let it sit for a while as suggested.
After you do what you're planning and if the straightness is interferring with the playability, call Rob at Warmoth.