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A couple of Bass guitar mechanics questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 8va, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. 8va


    Jul 16, 2004
    Would appreciate some advice on a few bass guitar queries.

    I've been looking at basses for sale (on ebay!) and found a question there,

    buyer: "Is the neck straight?"
    Seller: yes!

    Well ok if the neck is obviously warped it's easy to see - but "straight". How does he know, other than just by looking at it? Is there a better way to check.

    buyer: "Truss rod adjustable at the body".

    me: Why is the truss rod adjustable? What is the usual reason/procedure for doing such an adjustment (other than a replacement neck)? I thought the truss rod was to lock the body to the neck and that was that - do they work loose over time?

    Thanks, and sorry if these are stupid questions.
  2. Warwick player

    Warwick player

    Dec 31, 2002
    Bucks, UK
    The truss rod on a g****r and a bass are there to put relief into the neck. This helps to prevent that annoying rattle when play
    first fret. This along with a decent setup at the bridge it should give you a better sound (as in no rattle).

    Cheers and Beers
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    1. To check for excessive bow or warp, hold the bass up flat at eye level, with the butt of the instrument close to your nose. Sight down the length of the strings. Whatever bend or warp there is in the neck should be readily apparent.

    2. The truss rod *better* be adjustable. Its purpose is not to hold the body to the neck, but to adjust the amount of bow in the neck. Truss rods seem to be a greatest source of mechanical confusion on this site. Here's a great primer on how truss rods work:


    As for the "adjustable from the body" part, some truss rods have their adjustable end at the headstock end, and some have them at the body end. I don't perceive a mechanical advantage to either arrangement.
  4. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Keep in mind that a neck can also have a "twist" in it as well as a hump or duck-tail. That, as I understand it, can be a problem in some earlier Jazz necks.