Warwick Truss Rod Direction

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by cbyrd2200, May 31, 2012.


  1. cbyrd2200

    cbyrd2200

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    Hi all,
    Trying to straighten out the neck on an extremely cantankerous 2002 Warwick Thumb BO 5 in Ovangkol.

    When I bought the bass it had just a slim gap of relief which I was fine with at the time. That was in October; roll into winter, and the neck gets more relief. So I open up the truss rod cavity and put the wrench in, give it some gradually increasing force to the point where I wasn't comfortable pushing that hard: doesn't move.

    So I take it to my nearest tech, he rants about how much he hates over-his-head, innovative German engineering, turns until we hear a massive creak (all the strings loosened I might add) and stops. Then he says the same comment you see on every Warwick related thread, "I think sometime back Warwick used a reverse truss-rod, but I don't know quite when." Gives it a turn the other direction, it begins to move until it gradually slows down and makes another creak. We quit after that. I didn't see any difference in the neck after all this, and by now it already had a huge amount of relief.

    A few months go by and I decide I absolutely hate playing this bowed neck so I must do something about it. I start climate tempering it like an acoustic, leaving it in warm, humid weather with the strings off. During this process I learned that my truss rod had been maxed out in the clockwise direction and so I would turn it in the counter-clockwise direction until it would freeze up, then I'd let it sit overnight, and the next day it would keep turning until it froze up again (I assume this is the neck settling into place before the truss rod can freely move again).

    So now that I worked out plenty of workspace in the truss rod, I have the bass in clamps with a 2x6 block on the 6th-14th fret wires. Question is, after all the truss rod turning I've been through with this bass, the neck has had such HUGE relief, and the strings have been off so frequently, I honestly still can't tell if the truss rod is normal or reverse.

    If anyone has any information on this, or any similar experiences they would share, I would greatly appreciate it.
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    NY & MA
  3. Turxile

    Turxile

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    I believe it's been the two way rod since 98 (at least that was the end of the removable rod), but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
    Coincidentally, I just starting doing the same thing last night. How long did your climate tempering take? If you can post an update here with the results, once the clamps are off, it would be great.
  4. JonKim

    JonKim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    You're only suppose to turn a quarter turn and let it settle for a night. Next day turn another quarter. Can't stress your neck by turning it full until it stops.
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  6. cbyrd2200

    cbyrd2200

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    Turxile: My climate tempering wasn't too successful. It probably lasted 2 weeks before I could say there was any difference, so then I went for the clamps. I took the clamps off, let it sit overnight and then restrung it and I've still got bow. :rollno: So it's back to the drawing board for me I guess.

    JonKim: It wouldn't even turn a 1/4 turn before freezing. It made it roughly an 1/8th when it did. Still does it.
  7. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    NY & MA
    You should check out the link to the Warwick site, browse around a bit, there's another video under the support section that'll show you exactly what truss rod type you have... they've offered several over the years... some of them are easily replaceable.

    Bottom line... a truss rod nut should turn freely in either direction. Turning a truss rod & hearing a bad sound is not good.
  8. Blankandson

    Blankandson

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    Branson, Missouri
    Slowgypsy is correct. Warwick has people who will walk you through the process at no charge. One thing they do recommend is not turning more than 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn in a 24 hour period. My Fortress One took about a week before I saw much difference but it was worth the patience. I haven't had to touch it now in almost 3 years. Go to their website and then to their forum.
  9. JonKim

    JonKim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    I would try pulling to truss rod out and lubricate it with some silicone or white lithium grease
  10. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Central Pa.
    I have had similar issues with a couple truss rods in my Warwicks. First thing I do with all my basses is take the truss rod cover off and shoot some WD40 down the shaft is keeps the truss rod lubricated and if it need adjusting you can move it with relative ease. The 2002 models have a standard 2 way truss rod as previously mentioned (lefty loosey righty tighty) just like any other standard truss rod. Before 86 they had removable truss rods and they did turn the opposite way. Yours is normal.

    I have tried the clamps with blocks of wood and steel rod for a few weeks when I had a similar issue it didn’t work. The sad truth may be your truss rod is maxed and will snap if pushed further than when it just sort of stops and freezes. There is a cure however it’s not easy and if you take a shop with the right tools to fix it can be done easily. If it’s a bolt on that’s great but they can do a neck through as well. This happens with some old Fenders and Warmoth necks too it’s not isolated to Warwicks. The neck needs to be under a heated silicone matt and clamped and bent back into place. Without the super heating overnight it will never make a permanent fix. Even then there is a chance over a few years it could work its way back again.
    I have a neck through Warwick fretless Thumb from 93 that was total bannanaville man looked like a bow and arrow. I bought it that way and took a chance.

    I actually sent my bass to Gary Brawer in San Francisco and he did the heated matt and clamp treatment but also using a PLEK machine took a little meat off the fretboard on both ends to help as well. He did an incredible job and it’s been over 8 months and it as flat as a piece of glass and there is still more in the truss rod left if I need to take more relief out if needed. All of this besides shipping was a couple hundred bucks and to me completely worth it. The custom Shop in NYC can do it for you as well and most likely you won’t even need and shaving of the fretboard. The top guy for repairs at the shop is named Tyler and he can fix it for you correctly. Just my 2 cents.
  11. cbyrd2200

    cbyrd2200

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    I am making progress! In a weird way too. Technically the Warwick tailpiece isn't designed to hold a non tapered string. When I first changed the strings (the originals were non-tapered as well), my low B wouldn't fit, so I shoved it in until it wouldn't come out. Had a little rat-tail coming out of my bridge for a good month or so. Eventually I pull off the outermost wire enough to taper the end of the string and make it fit in the tailpiece. Well up until now, it hasn't been tapered over the saddle. My B saddle has always been bottomed out so I couldn't lower it. Well last night I pulled off more wire from the string, tapered it past the saddle, lowered the string height and sure enough, today, the neck is just as straight as when I bought it (still not straight enough). When Warwick says their bridge is designed for tapered B strings only, they mean it. It affected my entire bass (when in combination with the neck clamping and rod tightening at least). I tightened the truss Rod another 1/8th of a turn and we'll see what happens tomorrow.

    Means2nEnd, I talked to Tyler in NYC on the phone once and he said the heat press treatment you're talking about would cost $500. I bought the bass for $1000 used, so that wasn't worth it to me. Definitely will shoot in some WD40 though!

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