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Adjust truss rod now or wait for weather to change?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by secretdonkey, May 1, 2018.


  1. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Hey all, I've only recently become confident in adjusting a truss rod, and, naturally, become more attuned to paying attention to neck relief. Noticed today that a bass was buzzing and had lost some relief (I just got it about 3 weeks ago). The past week and the coming one have been/will be typical springtime weather - wet and changing. So, I'm debating whether to loosen the rod now a bit or wait a week or two until the weather settles down. I don't need the bass for anything important during that time, and I'm a couple weeks away from wanting to change strings and tweak things anyway. I suppose it's pretty reasonable to think that the bass might settle back to where it was, but I figured I'd go ahead and ask the internet... thoughts?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  2. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    You can safely adjust the rod as often as you want. Why not have a great playing bass every day?
     
  3. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Good point, but it's also fun to play a little "low and dirty" when you don't need to sound clean, yes?
     
  4. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    I adjust truss rods often here in the NorthEast.
    Weather constanly changing.
     
  5. shawshank72

    shawshank72

    Mar 22, 2009
    Canada
    Absolutely!
     
  6. TuneSalad666

    TuneSalad666 Banned

    Mar 1, 2018
    Denmark
    Why the neck has less relief than when you bought it might be due to it finally having adjusted to it's new home.

    Also you might as well set the proper relief now, it might not change significantly when the weather change after all, or it might, but if so all you need to do is make another adjustment, really not that complicated a procedure.

    Some necks will be more stable than others, and it has little to do with weather the bass is a budget bass or a high end bass, even if I'd say budget basses would probably be more prone to being equipped with more unstable necks, due to lesser quality control.

    Though I got a really cheap budget bass that has a really stable neck that I almost never have to adjust, so guess I have been lucky there.

    No reason to get upset if the neck on your bass is not that stable, it's perfectly normal, and adjusting it is no big deal really.

    It's wood, different pieces of wood just acts differently and it can be hard to predict how a specific piece of wood will react on the long term.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    ELynx, MattZilla and secretdonkey like this.
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    There is a reason they are adjustable. It is so they can always be in proper adjustment regardless of the weather. There is absolutely no reason not to adjust now and readjust when need be.
     
  8. BOOG

    BOOG Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Just go slow. I do 1/8-1/2(at most) of a turn and then check it again after a few hours. Usually, it takes a couple of days for the wood to settle on major adjustments.
     
    Alik likes this.
  9. Stilltryin

    Stilltryin

    Mar 23, 2018
    It's there to be used, just like tuning pegs. All it takes is a slight turn to compensate for weather. It's not like you have to crank the rod every time.
     
    walterw and MattZilla like this.
  10. Badwater

    Badwater

    Jan 12, 2017
    I adjust only if it needs it. In the dry Desert air, that's not too often.
     
    BOOG likes this.
  11. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    to almost every post above:
    p l u s
    o n e
     
    BOOG likes this.
  12. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    If the strings haven't changed, the adjustment should be a pretty minor one - 1/4 turn or so will usually do it.
     
    BOOG likes this.
  13. It's a hunk of wood with a steel rod through it. It is NOT fragile in any way. Adjust to your hearts content.
     
    ELynx and Stilltryin like this.
  14. mbasile

    mbasile Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    I adjust when the seasons change. Here in Texas, when we have a spell of a few consecutive nights at or below freezing the air obviously gets very dry and has a big impact on my basses. However, I don’t adjust for those as I know the impact will pass in a week, if not sooner. If I need to, I’ll adjust one bass if I need a gigable bass during that period.
     
    BOOG likes this.
  15. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Also south Texas, indoor and outdoor shows, all sorts of temperature changes.
    The only time I adjust is if I have major fret buzz or too much relief. If it happens without warning at a gig, I'll adjust the saddle(s) to eliminate buzz OR just deal with it(too much relief). A sheet of paper rides in every bass case and I'll make a note the date and "issue". Fix it on break or later at home. Normally 2 or more basses go to gigs so it's not a big problem.

    The worst one was taking a small private jet(1 bass only due to space) to Mexico to a gig and finding the next had picked up a LOT of relief due to climate and pressure(?) changes. Found out during soundcheck the day before the gig so it got about 1/2 turn on the truss rod in the hotel room that night to fix things. That experience also prompted me to change from "standard gauge" Rotosounds to very light gauge strings on basses with thin necks(it was a Greco LP clone). The next time we did such a trip, an old Peavey with light strings and a VERY stable neck went. Like the one below except with a maple fretboard.
    RBonPF.JPG
     
    BOOG likes this.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    it would have taken less time to adjust the neck than it took to write that post.

    if it needs adjustment again in two weeks, adjust it in two weeks.

    really not a big thing
     
    mesaplayer83 likes this.
  17. I leave mine like they are until the weather rolls back around. Less than two months to go now for Summer.

    <that was sarcasm>:smug:
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    ELynx, Stilltryin and Spidey2112 like this.
  18. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Kramer 450B bass. Yeah, I'll second this. Here in Vegas, this isn't something I do much at all - barring a radical string change. But, if you're somewhere with actual seasons - and humidity? Yeah, that's what the truss rod's for. At least, you'll always know it works. Come to think of it; I wonder if all my truss rod nuts still move...? However, if truss rod tweaking becomes a PITA? you could always get one of these...:cool:
     
    Badwater likes this.
  19. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    You ever play one of those? I have. Heavier than a small car and that neck gets cold. Hot too I have been told but only played one a couple of times in colder weather.
     
  20. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017

    I would just tweak the truss rod as needed, regardless of the situation - before I'd adjust the saddles... I have tweaked a truss rod at a gig before - it was no big deal...
     

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