Setups often?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by adamsmatthewj, Jan 5, 2014.


  1. adamsmatthewj

    adamsmatthewj Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    How often are you guys tweaking your truss rod?

    I know this has probably been covered before, but since we are in the coldest most unpredictable weather season (here in the northeast at least!) I am curious how often you guys feel like you're adjusting your setup?

    To me, I feel like I'm turning my truss rod like once every 8 weeks. Idk, my bridge seems to be set very well, decently low and mostly correct radius, and my neck has graphite reinforcement bars, so I feel like I shouldn't have to mess with it. But lately I've been feeling like the action creeps up slowly on me every month and I have to adjust the truss rod down just a bit.

    Thoughts? Ideas?

    I'm NOT a setup expert, I understand the basics well, but any pros out there have some input?
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    I find that I usually have to adjust my basses at least twice a year due to seasonal humidity changes. Usually spring and fall. If you take your bass out and expose it to a lot of humidity changes and change the strings often then you may have to adjust more. A touring band will have a bass tech who will change string and check the setup of the bass and modify it as needed.
  3. deeptubes

    deeptubes

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Tidewater
    I do mine twice a year as well.
  4. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I check mine every time I change strings which is about every 4 weeks. It usually doesn't need an adjustment unless there is a drastic change in humidity.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    I never adjust a truss rod unless the relief in the neck is off. Maybe twice a year. I only adjust saddle height to change the action, not the TR.
  7. adamsmatthewj

    adamsmatthewj Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Yeah I live in upstate NY and right now my basses are going:

    from a heated indoor practice room
    to a car in below-freezing temps
    to a heated auditorium
    that then gets too hot cause of all the people so they turn on the air
    back into a car in below-freezing temps
    Home to the heated practice room

    I don't think it's moving THAT much but it def feels like it is moving.
  8. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    It varies from bass to bass and from one situation/environment to another. I check it every few weeks. I have one bass that tends to need adjustment maybe three to four times a year. I have another that gets tweaked every five or six years.
  9. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Location:
    Brewster, NY
    I also have the seasonal/humidity issue to deal with, here in the Lower Hudson Valley of NYS! Even though I try to keep all my basses in their cases (no rhyme intended!), the dry heat in my home is brutal. Just had my P-Bass adjusted, now the Jack Casady has such a bow in it - all of a sudden too! I played it three days ago, and left it on the stand; came back to it and it was like the gremlins were out with allen wrenches that night! So it's going in ASAP!
  10. adamsmatthewj

    adamsmatthewj Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Yeah I've heard those Casady's have notoriously unstable necks. Also heard they're one of the coolest axes around when the neck is right!
  11. MrRubi04

    MrRubi04

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Location:
    Brewster, NY
    Thank you, you're right! I have had this bass since the spring, purchased from a TB member who had modded it just as I would have, and was selling at a price I could not walk away from! Did not need anything at all, played it constantly since then. But I believe the lack of humidity in my home and the northeast winter finally caught up to it! Neck adjusted now, and it it as good as new!:bassist:
  12. Steve

    Steve

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    I don't use a "how low can you go" set up, just a plain ol' bass action.

    The only time I have to move a truss rod is once a year maybe just to make sure it still moves.
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Depends, my Fender's usually only get touched every six months, my Carvin a little more frequently maybe 4 months, and my EBMM is tweaked every week or two in the winter.
  14. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Everytime it needs it which in my case could be every few days, it depends on temperature/humidity changes.
  15. electracoyote

    electracoyote

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Purple Mountain Majesties
    I have certain specs that I keep an eye on. When they alter (usually from external influences like humidity, temperature, exposure, string changes, etc.), I tweak them back. Some basses are fairly predictable, others not so much. I have basses that stay stable for years no matter what, and then one day, who knows why, they have shifted slightly.

    Having a short list of specs that you do a quick measure on and check from time to time is a good idea IME.
  16. southpaw723

    southpaw723

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I'm afraid of truss rods.....
  17. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I definitely agree, for me, it's been the key to consistency.
  18. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I generally do twice a year (Spring and Fall), but also whenever it happens to need it. I recently had to readjust the trust rod due to a shift from extreme cold to warmer weather and back to sorta cold over the course of 2 weeks. The weather wreaked havoc on my basses, so twice a year is the average, but in between minor tweakes may be neccessary.
  19. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    For me (like others have said), it depends on the weather and humidity changes. There have been years where I didn't touch the trussrod at all, and other years where I made up to 8 adjustments. When I do have to adjust it that often, it always seems to alternating (loosen the trussrod with one adjustment, but then I have to tighten it a bit a month and a half later). I have a Precision bass that I've had for years that I've only adjusted once when I got it, and it has stayed that way for all that time! It really depends on the weather and the instrument I guess.
  20. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I've only ever adjusted the TR on my 3 basses when I change gauges or brands. But the real winner in my stable is my 2006 Ibanez SR500. I bought it new in August 06 and have only ever adjusted the TR once, when I changed from lights to heavy strings. and I do use a pretty low action. My guess is the the neck woods which is a wenge/bubinga 5 piece sandwich. Its rock solid and never moved on me.
  21. Junk420

    Junk420

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    Cornwall, Ontario
    After reading this I feel like I have neglected Gerry the Conqueror. I had it set up when I bought it 3 years ago, then had it adjusted for lower action when I had the battery wiring replaced about a year ago. Bass never leaves my house, but just in the last week it has swung from -38 degrees and today it is 6. (Celsius of course)

    I wanted to head over to a pawn shop and pick up a beater just so I can learn to adjust a bass on my own. I'm too nervous to try on my only axe right now. This is a good kick in the ass to get learning.

Share This Page