2014 Gibson Thunderbird: Truss Rod Adjustment Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bylar13, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. bylar13

    bylar13 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    I have a 2014 Gibson Thunderbird that has been in my possession for about a year now. I bought the bass used and have no history prior to my owning it.

    When I received it (via mail) it had virtually no tension on the the truss rod. I could easily move the truss rod nut with my fingers and the neck had a significant forward bow.

    Using a 34" straight edge, notched for frets, I have just again applied more tension. I use a feeler gauge @ .015 at the 7th fret to establish relief that if comfortable for me.

    That said, this is the 5th time I have had to adjust the truss rod back to those specs in the almost year time frame. Changes in weather seem to be the culprit but the relief will increase dramatically and quickly. I use Ernie Ball 105-55 stainless strings and always store the bass in its case.

    Am I missing something or is this just a sensitive bass?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Mostly Builders here.

    You probably want the setup and repair pages.
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Wow, I wouldn't expect that much sensitivity from a laminated neck. Are you constantly tightening the truss rod or is it back and forth?
  4. bylar13

    bylar13 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    I have tightened it primarily. Once or twice I had to back it off a bit because of fret buzz (over-tightening) on the first few frets.
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    It sounds like a normal tighten, loosen cycle to me: T L T L T. It doesn't sound like you have a bad neck, just a sensitive one.

    I don't know how paranoid I am being, but if I was in your position I would get a washer under that truss rod nut to isolate the twisting movement of the nut from the wood.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    96tbird and Lownote38 like this.
  6. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Call up Henry at Gibson. I'm sure he'd be glad to help you. It's best if you yell at him, too. Actually, I'm joking (hopefully obviously so). Henry would yell back at you even louder, and you'd probably have permanent hearing damage.

    I agree with sissy kathy in that you probably have a sensitive neck. Maybe Henry yelled at it, and made it overly sensitive. Anyway, I've had a few Fender necks like that, and I always just made sure I had the adjustment tools I needed wherever I went just in case the neck moved.
    96tbird likes this.
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Gibson truss rods should ( used to) have a bearing plate under the nut. The nuts are small diameter so it’s required but adding a washer isn’t a wrong idea unless it moves the nut out past the end of the rod.