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Thread: Potential Neck Issue with 2003 MM Sterling

  1. #1

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    Potential Neck Issue with 2003 MM Sterling

    Hi there! I bought a new 2003 MM Sterling in high school, and it has been my #1 ever since. It's perfect, and is my favorite thing I own. I recently had the tech at the music shop I work at set it up, and he mentioned that the truss rod is almost maxed out.

    Is there anything I can do about it? I want to keep this bass playing great for years to come, and if there's something I can do to alleviate my potential truss rod problem, I'd love to know about it. I've heard about putting washers at the end of the truss rod, but is that possible with Ernie Ball style necks, or even a good idea in general?

    If there isn't anything I can do, is it possible to get a new neck made by Ernie Ball? From what I can tell, the chances of that are pretty slim.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2

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    Sometimes the wheel came stuck. Try to loosen it first, before you try to turn it carefully further.
    Usually you don't have to take it to a tech anyway.
    1979 StingRay natural maple

  3. #3

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    It’s pretty rare for a truss rod to max it’s self out, especially on the newer wheel type. Maxed trusses are usually found on older vintage models. But still it does happen but rarely.
    If you are taking your bass to a tech for setups then I’m guessing that you don’t do any adjustments yourself so as Bert says it’s possible that it’s just starting to seize from lack of use

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005.LE
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    Bongo 5HH. Firemist Purple. 2019
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...


  4. #4

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    I haven't been around for awhile, but I believe if you want EBMM to sell you a replacement neck, you'll have to surrender the old one. I could certainly be wrong here, but your best bet is to call Customer Service.
    2000 Sterling Trans Teal/Maple
    2004 Bongo 4HH/Black
    2006 Sterling HH Trans Teal/RW
    2009 Sterling by Music Man JP50

  5. #5

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    Since I buy mostly used gear, I’ve fixed a truly maxed rod at least on 2, maybe 3, EBMMs. EBMM makes this easy to do. Put a fender washer between the wheel and the wood (“fender” with small “f”).
    There’s already a Teflon washer in there. It stays right against the wheel, the fender washer fits over it.

    A maxed rod is NOT a sign of a neck problem. It just means that, at the hidden end, years of pressure has compressed the spot where the rod bears against the wood. The wood ages and compresses. You can’t get in that hidden place to add a shim, but you can shim the accessible end by use of the fender washer.

    On one bass I had to dremel away about 3/32” of the body wood behind the wheel and trim the PG a tiny bit. I think the designed dimensions of that body route changed some time over the years, or maybe it’s a Stingray vs Sterling thing.

    If you hafta work on the body wood, plan your project so you remove more wood than PG. That way, the PG hides your wood butchery !
    Last edited by Golem; 01-09-2021 at 09:25 AM.
    EB SUB SL4 - SR4p FL [x3]
    Early EB SR4 defretted
    SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL
    SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL [x2]
    Bongo4Hp FL [x2]

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

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