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Anyone here play a bass with a broken truss rod?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Uncle K, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    So the truss rod broke on my Squier MusicMaster. I got sick of looking all disassembled so I put it back together and re-strung it. The neck has still has some relief with heavy strings, and it plays good, but for how long?

    Does anyone here have a bass with a broken truss rod that they can still play year round with no issues.
  2. stefandisgust


    May 28, 2006
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Spector Basses-New Artist
    I played a bass with a stripped rod for quite a while. hmmm
  3. I once played a bass with a pick.......
  4. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Over time thats going to get worse and worse. The rods themselves may add some stiffness but before you know it that neck will be a movie prop for robin hoods bow. Play it while you can. I had a warwick with a gooched truss rod and not only did it bow but it twisted
  5. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Sounds like the exorcist, hope no green stuff came out of it...:(
  6. Don't most Warwicks have a removable rod?
  7. Hi.

    It may live forever or it may be unplayable pretty soon, no way to tell for sure.

    The thicker the neck, the more chances You have it performing adequately.

    Also, the cooler - the better, if the FB/neck glue joint softens while the strings are under tension, it's goodbye time.

    Changing the strings to lower tension ones will help tremendously as well.

    Contrary to the common misconception, the adjustable TR is there to provide adjustability, not just to counteract the string pull.
    While it's entirely possible to fabricate a neck without an adjustable TR or even without a TR at all, let's just say that "been there, done that, never again" though.

    True, some companies use necks so thin that the neck looks like something out of Robin Hood if the TR breaks, but quite a few P style necks have had the TR so loose that it's a real problem.

  8. BassAgent

    BassAgent Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2003
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Official Artist: Eich Amplification
    I do that. My Yamaha's truss rod is not literally broken, but it's unadjustable. However, it settled itself in a perfect position. I've had the strings of for a night a while ago, and it was still perfect. For a $400 bass, that's not bad :ninja:
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Not any more. I think they stopped making those a while back.
  10. Keep watching Ebay (and TB classifieds) and you can probably find a cheapo replacement neck one of these days. FWIW, I've got a very nice Squier P in my closet with a stripped TR. Replacement necks can be found for under $50 on a good day. I just haven't pulled the string yet. Also FWIW, how much does it generally run to have a new TR installed, as I really love the feel of this specific neck...
  11. wednesdayagain


    Sep 28, 2012
    Sounds like my sx :D
  12. fenderbassman40


    Apr 7, 2011
    What is the best broken truss rod for metal?
  13. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I was reading that Nathan Daniel thought the adjustable truss rod was a design compromise . His guitars had dual non adjustable rods . Steel reinforced necks .

    And you rarely find one with neck issues .
  14. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Measure the relief and if it increases, use lower tension strings or change the ones that are on it- as strings age and are tuned, the core stretches and loses elasticity, leading to higher tension. The added tension pulls on the neck more and causes the bow to increase. Once the core reaches the end of its elasticity, it's not usually a long time before it breaks because it will no longer stretch as easily.

    If the relief becomes excessive, it becomes harder to play and can lead to hand problems. This is one of the reasons I stopped playing my SD Curlee- the intonation was so far off in the middle and it was very tiring/annoying. I had also played a Yamaha with a bad truss rod and developed tendonitis in my left thumb. If it stays in this position and the relief remains low, keep playing it until you decide to do something about it. I would look for a used neck or a good replacement (Warmoth, etc) for a good price if you generally like the instrument. If it sounds really good, it's a good case for making it whole again.
  15. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    I had a guitar for 15 years with a broken truss rod. When relief started getting sketchy I would put thicker strings on it. If it went the other way I would switch to lighter strings.
    The neck on the MusicMaster is pretty chunky so I would not be surprised if it lasted a number of years before needing adjustment. Just keep an eye on it.
    The neck is toast anyway, so it's not like you're going to damage it by playing it. Ultimately if it goes you can just buy a used Bronco, throw the neck on your MM and probably sell the Bronco body to get back most of the money you spent.
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Sorry to hear about that Squier MM such a great bass. Play it and see like another said its a pretty chunky neck so it might be ok for quite awhile. I would try lighter gauge strings also to help keep forward pressure off the neck.
  17. BAce


    Jul 31, 2012
    I think Stewmac has a truss rod repair kit. You counterbore the wood in the neck where the truss nut is, re-thread the broken rod with the supplied die and install a new longer barreled nut. This is of course assuming the rod broke at the threads, not somewhere in the middle or at the anchor.
    Another approach--If the neck has a rosewood board you may be able to remove it and replace the truss rod. You would have to drill a small hole in the back side of the neck and use a steam needle to soften the glue holding the board to the neck and then slowly pry off the board with a putty knife. If it's a maple neck with no board (a lot of skunk stripe necks are like this) this method will not work. However there are quite a few skunk stripe necks that also have a maple board glued on as well. The steam needle will work on these too.
  18. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Warwicks before 96 do. From then on they are set in the necks with big anchors
  19. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    That Squier is a $120 bass. I wouldn't put 10 minutes of effort or aggravation into that. Sell it for parts on ebay and buy another one.

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