Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

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bipedal2
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Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by bipedal2 » Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:15 am

I have an AVRI62 Jazzmaster that I purchased a few months ago. Great finish condition, no noticeable play wear; it was "the" guitar I've wanted for years, and it came with a Mastery bridge came pre-installed so I went for it.

Just got it back from a trusted guitar tech; current setup is playable but action is higher than preferred and fretting gets a bit "plinky" above 14/15, especially on the bass side (not a place I spend a lot of time anyways, but still not ideal). Truss rod nut is tightened to the end of its range and there's a hint of a neck twist, so it's as good as can be for now.

I'll see if the neck self-corrects a bit over the next few months as the New England winter brings drier air. If no, the tech's recommendation was to replane the fretboard and refret. That's a big procedure, but given the otherwise stellar condition of the guitar I may go that route eventually as I'd love to get this instrument really dialed in to its full potential. I suppose a replacement neck is another option, but that's less appealing right now.

Any advice, wisdom, or experience to share re: replaning?

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:16 am

How much is that process?
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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by bipedal2 » Wed Sep 14, 2022 8:40 am

How much is that process?
Planing plus refret would land somewhere in $300-400 range.

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Sep 14, 2022 9:46 am

I guess my fear is that despite the planing and re-fret, I don't know that the twist won't continue to get worse. Did you tech have an opinion on that?
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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by bipedal2 » Thu Sep 15, 2022 5:33 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Wed Sep 14, 2022 9:46 am
I guess my fear is that despite the planing and re-fret, I don't know that the twist won't continue to get worse. Did you tech have an opinion on that?
Good point. The guitar is an '07, so my wishful thinking is that any movement that was going to happen would have happened and the neck would be settled by now, but wood is wood... I'll ask the question.

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by GreenKnee » Thu Sep 15, 2022 7:31 am

If the truss rod is at max then I'd be looking in to a new neck or having the truss rod replaced. Planing and levelling the fret board will work for now, but in the future if it bows more and the truss rod needs replacing anyway then you'll have to plain and level further to bring everything back square with a new truss rod. If you're set on keeping the neck then I would bite the bullet and have the truss rod replaced and the neck straightened at the same time. I'm sure I've heard of jigs and steam being used to straighten back bowed necks?

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by adamrobertt » Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:06 pm

I'm skeptical when techs declare necks to be twisted, tbh. Not that it doesn't happen, but it's pretty damn rare. Much more common is just some bad fretwork. Plenty of guitars need fallaway toward the upper frets.

If he didn't attempt to file some in before declaring the neck twisted (basically do some spot leveling in trouble spots) then I'd get a second opinion.

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by MatthewK » Fri Sep 23, 2022 4:57 am

If the truss rod is maxed, tightening further induces the neck to twist. If you think about it, tightening the nut beyond the point where it can travel means you’re applying a twist to the rod itself, which is anchored at the other end, and thus the twist will apply a torque to the wood and encourage it to twist over time.
It’s a very simple fix to put a washer or two behind the truss rod nut and prevent the problem. Loosen the nut way off, find a careful way to clamp the neck flat, apply gentle heat and allow it to relax, then slip a washer or two between the nut and the wood, before snugging it up.
I did this for a bad twist in a Jazz Bass neck and it fixed it permanently. They’re very susceptible because the forces are greater and the neck is small in cross section at the anchor point.

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by tribi9 » Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:14 pm

How did you apply the heat? I got a neck that could use some of that..

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by bipedal2 » Sun Sep 25, 2022 4:50 pm

OP here -- Thanks all for good wisdom shared so far. I now have some truss rod washers on order. Will try MatthewK's suggestion first and see how it goes, and if no good a consult with a different tech definitely seems warranted.

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by MatthewK » Wed Sep 28, 2022 1:56 pm

Re the heat, what I did was use thin blocks to protect the face of the headstock and the bottom of the fretboard, then clamped them firmly to a flat beam (back of the headstock and the back of the heel should be on a level with each other). Then I got a 150W floodlight (incandescent bulb so it put out some heat) and set it up about 2 feet away, switched it on and left it for a week shining on the fretboard. Then I switched it off and let it cool for a couple of days. The idea being that the glue under the fretboard would soften a tiny bit and allow a little bit of creep, then would set up again. Anyway it worked, then I slipped washers around the truss rod (I had to enlarge the hole in a couple of small ones because of the narrow channel) and tightened the nut to snug. When I needed to put some relief in it I actually rested the neck between two bits of wood under the backs of the headstock and the heel, put my knee on the fretboard to curve it very slightly, then tightened up the nut to snug. I was trying not to use the nut to apply force since I figured that would encourage the same problem to come back. Anyway it worked, the neck was dead straight, and after stringing it up and testing it over the course of a year there was no twist. At that point I sold it on.

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by MatthewK » Wed Sep 28, 2022 1:59 pm

Oh - obviously the tuners and string trees need to be taken off, and the neck has to be off the body!

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by DeathJag » Wed Sep 28, 2022 6:03 pm

MatthewK wrote:
Wed Sep 28, 2022 1:56 pm
Oh dude! You may have saved my 80s Japanese strat that was my main guitar for 25 years until I discovered offsets. I'm gonna try this somehow sometime.

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by MatthewK » Wed Sep 28, 2022 6:40 pm

Awesome! Let us know how it goes! I have one to sort out myself, so if I get to it first I will take some pics.
This was the amount of twist I managed to fix with this method - it was a 2001 AVRI Jazz Bass which I got cheap because of the twist.
Image

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Re: Sorting a minor neck twist in AVRI JM

Post by jdr1014 » Sun Oct 02, 2022 6:04 pm

Wow! that seems like a pretty extreme twist. I think your advice and OP's plan of action are the correct approach to his issue. No way would I plane and refret that neck based on one tech's opinion.

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