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Old 08-13-2021, 01:25 PM
SwedeChariot SwedeChariot is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 8
Default Twisted Bourgeois Neck

Hi AGF. I have a Bourgeois Banjo Killer with a funny little problem. It came with high action (these bluegrassers, RIGHT?) and when I took it to the shop's luthier for a setup we discovered a little twist in the neck, making the action high on the bass side only. The shop offered to take it back and order a new one, but here's the thing: I'm the first owner, but the guitar has been hanging in the shop since 2007. And the Sitka top has the sweetest naturally aged tone you've ever heard. So instead we decided to slant the saddle and nut to compensate and see how it played. Problem solved!

And that was fine for many months, although the intonation is a little off when I capo up, which means I have to retune a lot. No big deal in my living room, but I'm starting to perform at open mics and increasingly feeling like maybe I ought to make a warranty claim and get the neck fixed or replaced. (Which seems like an inevitability anyway because I'll run out of saddle sooner or later and need a neck reset).

So I've been mulling this over, and in the meantime, something else has gone wrong with the neck. A patch of varnish (or is it poly?) has worn of the neck. I baby this guitar and it hasn't come within six blocks of alcohol or deet, and the luthier has pointed out that it seems to want to flake off when you prod the margin with a fingernail. So I'm wondering if Bourgeois was experimenting with some kind of base coat in 2007 that didn't work out, or...? (I play the guitar a couple of hours a day, but I still feel like I ought to get more than 8 months out of a neck finish).

So anyway, the finish repair seems straightforward enough, but I want to ask for some forum wisdom on the twist. Does that seem like something a manufacturer might want a do-over on? Is there a repair we should try so that we're not throwing away a salvageable neck? The shop is still offering to take the guitar back, but I've just really fallen in love with this exact guitar.

I'm including a photo of the neck. The nut is taped off because it has already been filed to compensate for the twist. You can see that relative to the binding on the top, the bass side of the neck is higher than the treble side.

Twisted Bourgeois Neck Photo

Last edited by Kerbie; 08-13-2021 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Embedded image.
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