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Bad neck?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 5string5fingers, Mar 11, 2016.


  1. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    If this is in the wrong place please move.

    Got an ibanez sr305 a while back and the neck was slightly back bowed when I received it but couldn't return it at the time as I had gigs I needed to use this bass on, couldn't go without it and had no back up.

    I can turn the truss rod to the left slightly to loosen it but after about half a turn it gets really loose,no tension turning it at all. Keeping it at this state pretty much puts the bass at 0 relief and I still have the saddles at what I would consider slightly high level to keep buzz to a tolerable level.

    The truss rod will tighten after a few turns the tension comes back but obviously tightening will worsen the problem. So my question is am I pretty much screwed? Just buy some heavy gauge strings to get more relief?
     
  2. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    You could try removing the neck and clamping it to create a forward bow with truss rod loose. You may have to leave it like this over a period of several days adjusting as nec. When and if you get a satisfactory result you can add washers to the truss rod to extend it's adjustability, worth a shot.
     
  3. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    Any resources or more in depth explanation on doing this? Don't normally do these sorts of things so I am not exactly sure how to go about correctly clamping and how to add washers to the truss rod.
     
  4. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    I had the opposite problem (too MUCH relief) with an SX bass awhile back. The thread linked to below documents my attempt to correct it, which met with very minimal success. You may have better luck.

    You, of course, would need to clamp your neck in the other direction. You would need two clamping cauls curved to cradle each end of the neck profile and one flat one matching the fretboard radius with which to apply the clamping pressure. If you look at my PICs in the linked thread, this last comment will make more sense.

    Essex SX truss rod?

    The linked thread also contains a link to D. Erlewine's methods regarding such issues.

    Adding washers will only help correct too much relief, not back-bow (since the washers allow the truss rod to remove more relief). In any case, adding washers can only be done with a single action truss rod (removable nut), not with a double-action one. I don't know which type Ibanez uses.

    Heavier strings might help. Using the lightest strings I could find help mine a tiny bit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
    96tbird and JustForSport like this.
  5. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    5string5fingers. Stewmac ( Stewart Mc Donald) has a great video library full of such trickery from tech guru Dan Earlewine.
     
  6. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    The only thing I can seem to find on stew mac is about the opposite problem.
     
  7. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    Ok so this is weird, went back to mess with the truss rod for the heck of it, and just kept turning it after it felt loose...well it started applying tension again after a few turns and now giving relief...anyone ever heard of this? Of all the basses I have ever own (probably 20 or so) I have never had a truss rod on a bass do this.
     
  8. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    Dual action truss rod...adjusts both ways.
     
    96tbird likes this.
  9. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    I understand that part but I have never felt almost like a dead zone between tension and relief where you reach a neutral spot and it takes a turn or two before you start going the opposite way
     
  10. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I had a slight back bow on the SR400 i bought, it didnt seem to have had enough string tension on it for a good part of the last decade. Initially the truss rod behaved similarly to yours and I panicked slightly, thinking this must be why the bass was so cheap. There was even a little buzzing from within the neck that seemed to be indicative of a truss rod under no tension and the adjustment nut only spun freely as one might infer if the rod was all the way unthreaded.

    In my case the fix was easy/lucky/successful. What I did was leave the truss rod loose then tune the whole bass up one and a half steps (E up to G, etc etc) and left it overnight. The next morning I then snugged the truss rod to where it no longer seemed to turn freely, returned the bass to normal pitch, and then procedded to adjust the truss rod normally.

    For me on this particular Ibanez this seems to have reset the truss rod functionality. I have since moved the bass back and forth between .045-.105 strings and .040-.095 strings and was able to do a proper adjustment each time. I hope you have similar luck!

    EDIT: I don't think mine has a dual-action truss rod, the diagnosis, repair, and subsequent adjustment are all what I would expect from a single way rod.
     
  11. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    Well I seem to have fixed it..whatever it was. Still odd thing, but at the point I'm not sure I care I am just glad I was able to get some relief on the neck and it plays awesome now.
     
    JustForSport and FourBanger like this.
  12. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    All's well that ends well.
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    That is exactly how they work. When the rod is straight, all tension on the rod is relaxed. What strings and gauge do you use? A step up to a bigger gauge or higher tension string may solve your issue with out having to do any surgery to the neck itself.
     
  14. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    But then, it may be in the middle/no tension zone and create a rattle.
     

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