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Truss Rod adjustment- Gap at eighth fret

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by twisty4678, Mar 7, 2014.


  1. twisty4678

    twisty4678

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Western New York, USA
    Hey everyone- I'm trying to figure out the best way to setup my basses. I know that many of you advocate for just feeling it out, but I really like going in with a precise plan. I have read the guides posted in the FAQ, but I'm still having issues.

    I really like the way that fender recommends setting up the truss rod- using a capo and fretting at the last fret, and measuring the gap between the 8th fret and the string with a feeler gauge. However, I have a couple of questions. I should preface by stating my goal is to get the lowest action I can get with only slight buzz.

    1. Fender recommends the following gap measurements for this gap: Neck Radius
    7.25" .014" (0.35 mm)
    9.5" to 12" .012" (0.3 mm)
    15" to 17" .010" (0.25 mm)

    For those of you who also prefer to be more precise, what size gap do you use on your basses? Are these a recommendations a pretty good starting point?

    2. I have a bass with a compound radius, which of the above recommended measurements would I use?

    3. For those of you who think that I should just feel it out, what are the signs that you have gone past the sweet spot, and now need to add relief?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Location:
    22 ft below sea level
    The neck relief is not all that important. 0.3 mm should do. I always set relief somewhere between 0.25 and 0.4 mm. More important for getting a low action, is the hight of the saddles. That's the adjustment that matters. Don't forget to check intonation after adjusting the hight.
     
  3. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I use a slightly different measuring point:
    Capo the first fret, fret at the thirteenth fret and measure between the string and fret 6. With that system, I shoot for between 4 and 6 thousandths of an inch, depending on the bass.

    You know you've gone too far if the strings start to buzz too much at the higher frets.

    Try the lowest setting first and back it off a bit if you need to.
     
  4. MrTaff

    MrTaff

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    I like an almost flat neck & low action, with a 15" radius I aim for around 0.15mm relief.
     
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  6. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Location:
    22 ft below sea level
  7. twisty4678

    twisty4678

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Western New York, USA
    Thanks for the advice guys. It's nice to know some of you measure it out as well. I will report back when my new strings arrive and I am able to set some time aside to setup :)
     
  8. Troels Schmidt

    Troels Schmidt

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Rickenbacker recommends a perfectly straight neck... no relief.
     

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