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Can you do damage by performing minor truss rod ajustments?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by seratone, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. seratone


    Feb 27, 2004
    I have been doing my own setups for years wuth varrying degrees of success , mostly I have had early Musicman's, (Musicmen?) 70's P's and Jazz's and the action has gone up and down with the climate. Occaisionally I' end up taking them to the luthier or guitar shop, also with mixed results - sometimes the guys there didn't do as good a job as I could.... my question is it advisable to 'experiment' with the truus rod of these basses, or could I incur permanent damage?
  2. dTune


    Feb 28, 2004
    What I've heard is that truss rod should only be adjusted about 1/4 rounds per day. Common sense tells me that if you crank it too much, even over a longer period of time, it'll bend the neck permanently, or at least mess the tensions in the neck. :meh:

    Hope someone can tell you better..probably will. :)
  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    "my question is it advisable to 'experiment' with the truus rod of these basses"

    In my opinion, no.

    It is advisable to adjust the truss rod if you need more or less relief in the neck. Do you know how to check the relief?
  4. seratone


    Feb 27, 2004
    No, I think I reached my recent good setup completely by accident.

    How do you do it? Is that the thing you use the metal ruler for?

  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I 2nd not jacking with the rod unless necessary - which happens too often as it is. I have several at the moment that I'm waiting to see how they maintain their current status - 17" of snow one week ago today, 78 degrees yesterday. I'm suprised I'm not pretzeled up.

    As for the luck, it's possible that you may know more than you think.
  6. the easiest way to check relief is to fret a string at the first and last fret, and check how high it is in the middle. i'm not sure how much space there should be....it's different for everyone. somewhere around the thickness of a credit card at the highest point, generally, i think. you may need or want more or less, depending on your style.

    if you're turning only 1/4 turn per day, letting it settle overnight, and you stop turning if the resistance suddenly increases large amounts, i think you're fairly unlikely to do any damage. and if your truss rod won't tighten any further and your neck still has too much relief, you've got bigger problems that probably need a luthier's help.

    i say experiment. the wood's pretty resilient, and truss rod adjustments are reversible.
  7. Broken truss rods aren't easily reversible. I also know of a Ric 4001 that the fingerboard popped off because of the previous owners' penchance for tinkering...
  8. which is why you should be careful and not overtighten. i mentioned all that. a truss rod shouldn't break anywhere in it's useful range.

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