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Carbon Fiber In Neck


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I was reading an interview with Carl Thompson

Wondering what others think of extra neck reinforcement.

Below is what CT thinks.I`ve thought about Carbon fiber in the neck,but not sure yet.

The whole interview is at his website


Thanks for your thoughts

...."Aaron: Have you ever used carbon fiber stiffing rods in a neck?

Carl: No, I didn't like it. I found the neck hard to adjust, The neck should be-You should be able to adjust the neck. I don't believe that business about things not being adjustable. You should-a piece of wood is going to move and it should move I think. And when it does it'd be nice to be able to take care of it. You know, these guys that make all these-I'm not going to mention any names, I don't want that to be in print-but I've seen a lot of those graphite, solid graphite necks and stuff that they don't put truss rods in. Guys come in here with them and they say, "Carl, can you get my action lower, you know, can you do that?" And I say, "Yeah I could if I could straighten out the neck but the neck has a shoot up there at the end and I can't take it out. So if I drop the strings you're going to be in trouble. There is nothing I can do, you know." "Well can't you straighten it out. It's not supposed to be warped." "Well it is." And they've made no provisions to take care of it. A lot of those graphite things are just-I guess you do get more sustain out of it and all that kind of stuff but they're heavy. And I put a couple of rods in a couple of necks. I thought I would try that just to see. And I didn't like the way my truss rod worked after that. It just couldn't-it didn't-when the neck moved a little bit I had to fight the rod. You shouldn't have to do that.

Aaron: So you don't use any reinforcement?

Carl: Not at all. Use good wood. That is part of the reason people just have all of the problems they have. They don't use the right product in the first place. It's like New York when they fill up the potholes. The reason they are out there filling the potholes all of the time is because they are putting paper mache or something in there. I don't know what they are putting in there. But they're not what they, you know, should be putting in there. That's why they've got to keep digging them up. Or maybe that's good because they keep people working. I don't know.

That's why they have so much trouble. People have trouble with necks because they don't do the right thing in the first place. I'm not saying mine are perfect because I have problems from time to time too. But not like I see on other things. "...

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I've been reading that interview for the past three years (the time I've been researching my project), and I'm not sure I agree with him anymore. In that time, I bought a six-string bass. It has a wider neck, so I'm not sure NOT having them is such a good idea.

Is it pointless in some applications? I say it is - I honestly don't know if my ES-335 needs carbon rods, but I can see them in a bass.

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It doesn't work for Carl - doesn't fit into his designs, his way of building, his wood selections, but it works for a lot of other great builders (Rick Turner to name but one). I haven't had any problems adjusting any of the necks I've built with CF rods; one needed tweaking to add relief, but that was one slightly crazily hefty neck, and a minor truss rod tweak got it where I wanted it to be. Keep in mind I don't tend to build massively multi-ply necks, and most of my necks are made of mahogany, so that may be a little different from a maple/purpleheart/ebony laminate setup.

Find your own way around; I find CF does things I like in my necks, stiffens things up enough (not too much), leaves me plenty of adjustment range, and a pleasantly stiff neck. You may find otherwise. Do what Carl did; try it for yourself, see where it leads you.

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he is i think talking about cf rods only...no truss.

on the ones i built with the cf rod...they still adjusted fine.of course i made the neck straight and i don't do the relief thing...so i really have no need to put a forced forward bow in..

i just stopped using them because my necks are always multi-lams...makes it a little redundant

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he is i think talking about cf rods only...no truss.

Well not really:

solid graphite necks and stuff that they don't put truss rods in.

I don't really understand if he actually speaks about all-graphite necks (does any other than Modulus make those) or CF reinforced wood necks!

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