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Action increasing by itself... Weird...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Evil Undead, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I noticed the other day that the action on my squier cv has increased by around 1mm. I haven't adjusted the saddles, and they appear to be in the same place so I don't think they've moved by themselves. And I've checked the relief, that still seems to be ok.

    I've set it back how I want it again but of course now the saddles are lower than before, and there's not much adjustment room left.

    Any ideas what caused this?
  2. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    that happened to my American Standard P bass after i switched from nickel rounds to steel flats. the flats have a much greater tension than the nickel rounds i had on it. the action got higher and higher for a couple weeks after the switch.

    unless you've recently put on higher tension strings, i've not the foggiest what would cause that.
  3. Villanova


    Nov 5, 2011
    Temperature/humidity changes?
    Are your neck screws fully tightened? How about the bridge?
    Maybe something is stripped somewhere? Height adjustment screws in the saddles?

  4. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Is it one of those Plastic Ergodyne basses? Otherwise your truss Rod nut is/was loose.
  5. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Change in the humidity of the wood? It happens.
  6. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Yeah, it's a neck and/or a bridge thing: the neck is becoming more bowed and/or the bridge is lifting from the body. Saddle screws sometimes turn by themselves, but never in the direction that will raise the action.
  7. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Either the saddles have moved or the relief has changed. The relief is most likely.
  8. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I thought it must be the relief, but checked the relief at the 12th and it's exactly the same.

    Unless the relief has changed at another point in the neck... I always check at the 12th... Hmm
  9. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    How do you check, exactly? Do you fret the string at the 1st fret and at some higher point (I like the 14th) and see how much space there is between the strings and the frets in the middle?
  10. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Yeah, I fret the first and last, and check the relief at the 12th.
  11. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Sounds right. How much relief is there, and do you have measurements to compare it to what it was before? Have you tried adjusting it? It doesn't take a very big change in relief to get a pretty big change in feel, to me...
  12. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    A week ago, the relief was 0.1mm, and it was just about 0.2 last night. Would 0.1mm really make a difference of 1mm to the action?
  13. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Oh, I meant to say, I tightened the rod by 1/8 turn last night to see if that would help. But it was too much so I backed it off again about 3/4 of what I'd just done.
  14. Has it been living indoors all the time?

    With this ludicrous 'spring' weather we've been having, taking it from a nice cosy flat out into the damp chilliness & then back again after a couple of hours could be enough to unsettle it.

    Mate of mine had an aluminium-necked Kramer back in the day, & that was a complete 'mare in winter if it had to go out.

  15. mickster2


    Mar 14, 2012
    As others have said, could be weather / humidity / nexk settling after recent setup.

    One thing i'd mention is that you're better setting neck relief by measuring at the 8th fret as per Fenders setup guide (http://www.fender.com/en-GB/support/articles/bass-guitar-setup-guide/). This is because the truss rod does not act equally all along the neck; it pretty much does nowt from the 16th fret onwards, because of the neck heel. By measuring at the 12th fret your taking a reading from one end of the truss's action rather than in the middle - a tiny change at an end can translate into a big difference in the middle. So, fret at 1st and last frets and give it 0.3mm at the 8th fret. Then leave it awhile and see if it stays stable.

  16. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    Thanks Mickster. I noticed that the relief at the 6th and 8th is a little more than at the 12th, so I think I will measure from there instead.

    I've got it back to being perfect now, but I admit I'm a little worried that it might happen again... it's a Squier CV so there aren't any support rods in the neck and I don't want the neck to just keep on shifting until there's no adjustment left in the truss.

    Is this a common thing?
  17. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, pretty common. It's weather, and some necks are more susceptible than others.
    You may find that within a few years the neck becomes more stable, but there's no guarantee of that.
    Don't stress about it too much. The truss rod is adjustable for a reason.

    ...and yes, a small change in relief can make a big difference in the action.
  18. mickster2


    Mar 14, 2012
    I find my 2012 Am Std P can take a week or so to really settle down after a new setup. Doesn't change massively after first 24hrs or so, but can shift a little after that. Always seems to be an increase in relief too, rather than a decrease. If new strings, give em a good stretch, and be sure to bend them down over the saddles to set a witness point, then they & the neck should settle in a couple of days.
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Agreed with all of the above - IMO, one of the benefits of buying an instrument that's a few years old is that everything is usually pretty settled by then...

    - georgestrings
  20. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I gave the neck a good eyeballing earlier, with the e string fretted at the first and last fret.

    There's definitely the most relief between frets 5-8. Is this normal? I always expected the most to be at about the 12th, halfway down.

    Is the general consensus that my neck (I mean my basses neck) is ok and that it's nothing to worry about?

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