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Warped Neck / Anyone else have experience with Ernie Ball Music Man Factory Service?

Honz

I recently had to return my Ernie Ball Music Man Bongo4 bass to the factory for a neck repair.
The Bongo is a "Ball Family Reserve", limited edition, Firemist Orange Color with Orange Swirl pickguard, and a solid Rosewood neck with Rosewood fingerboard. Gorgeous instrument.
When I received the instrument brand new from Bass Central in FL, it was already set-up very well but not perfect. After some easy adjustments, the Bongo played so effortlessly. Like butter in your hands. The neck was so thin & comfortable. More so than my Jazz. I felt like my playing actually improved because the instrument was so effortless to play. . . then something started to happen.
As the year mark approached, I noticed my action had changed. OK - thats normal. Humidity, different climate/environment. No problem. make some adjustments. Improved the playing but seemed not quite like before.
This cycle played out 4-5 times - the playability grew worse - I would make tweaks to action & truss rod, every time playability slightly improved but overall further from factory original.
Sighting the neck, I was suspicious that it could be warped. I wasnt sure as I have never actually seen this before. A local guitar tech here in Northern VA confirmed my worst fear.
I called the MM Factory Tech Hot Line. Talked to Billy Imperial. He told me to send it in & they would look at it. At this point, the instrument was out of Factory Warranty 4 months.
A couple of weeks later, Billy told me the MM Factory Tech confirmed that indeed, the neck was warped. Luckily for me, Ernie Ball Music Man would warranty the bass & replace the neck. This however, would take some time as the neck would have to be built. Heck , Im easy to please & dont mind waiting for a factory new neck.
It has been over 3 months now & I have yet to receive my Bongo back. The first neck that was built was over-sanded, I was told. The second neck was given a second due date of this Thursday to be completed; Friday to ship. I'm not holding my breath.
I am very grateful that EBMM is standing behind their work & building me a replacement neck. I have just become very frustrated it is taking so long.
Has anyone else experience anything similar to this with EBMM or a Rosewood neck ??
February 4, 2011 @03:34pm
Guitarplayer

Actually, 3 months to custom manufacture a new neck really isn't that bad - and they did step up and honor the warranty even though they weren't legally obligated to do so. Pretty cool in my book.
I know someone who has been waiting almost 9 months for warranty neck work to be completed on a guitar from another manufacturer (who shall remain nameless) and still doesn't have the guitar back. Now THAT'S frustrating!
April 18, 2011 @08:20pm
Honz

Honz here again. After having my Bongo back for 18 mos., I started having neck issues again. Yep, you guessed it and local Vegas guitar luthier Niel Smith confirmed for me... The neck is warped!
UGH!!!'
Sent it to EBMM, thankfully they will warranty neck #2 and build neck #3 for me.
I can't help but think about selling it once I get it back.
Maybe Rosewood is not good neck material?
Maybe the wood used was not properly aged?
Ughhhhhhh very frustrated. Considering a new instrument.
Honz
August 11, 2012 @02:43am
arachattack

Honz here again. After having my Bongo back for 18 mos., I started having neck issues again. Yep, you guessed it and local Vegas guitar luthier Niel Smith confirmed for me... The neck is warped!
UGH!!!'
Sent it to EBMM, thankfully they will warranty neck #2 and build neck #3 for me.
I can't help but think about selling it once I get it back.
Maybe Rosewood is not good neck material?
Maybe the wood used was not properly aged?
Ughhhhhhh very frustrated. Considering a new instrument.
Honz

I purchased an Albert Lee with a solid rosewood neck and it warped at about 4 months (store had it for about 4 months before i purchased it as well)
They currently have a JPX Ball family reserve that the neck is twisted as well as an axis that has the same issue.
I love how the EB guitars feel but i cant bring myself to buy one again. I have had a PRS Custom 24 with a solid rosewood neck for 3 years with no issues. I seldom even have to adjust it.
I would like to add that most of the stingray basses on the wall have had no issues (though all are maple necks)
February 1, 2013 @10:41pm
Kevin Holmes

I purchased an Albert Lee with a solid rosewood neck and it warped at about 4 months (store had it for about 4 months before i purchased it as well)
They currently have a JPX Ball family reserve that the neck is twisted as well as an axis that has the same issue.
I love how the EB guitars feel but i cant bring myself to buy one again. I have had a PRS Custom 24 with a solid rosewood neck for 3 years with no issues. I seldom even have to adjust it.
I would like to add that most of the stingray basses on the wall have had no issues (though all are maple necks)

And I think that the stingrays are way less expensive, too, arent they?
It sucks
May 28, 2013 @10:41pm
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January 30, 2016 @08:55am