Cannot get Neck to relax to flat position

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Frankjohnson, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. I have a Precision (Roger Waters Model) I purchased used. It plays nice enough, but I cannot get the neck to relax to "flat" position. I know I had read a post or two about this in the past, but could not locate them.

    I had also seen a Dan Erlewine video addressing this issue - but could not locate that either.

    Is this something I can address easily with a clamp and a couple of blocks of wood? For some reason - I recall that and the term "Helping" the truss rod.

    It isn't a tremendous problem, but the relief with the truss rod loosened is slightly more than I like.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    did you put the bass on a lounge chair by the pool with a beer? that works for people

    what have you to to try the relax the neck?

    did you de/tune, destring, adjust the trussrod and let it settle and then resstring/retune?

    how much did you turn the trussrod adjustment?
  3. Tightening the truss rod should reduce relief, or am I not quite awake yet..?
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Get a massage. It'll change your life. Carry on.
  5. ejmy


    Nov 30, 2008
    Absolutly, there is confusion here, Of course, I meant that tightening the truss rod reduces the relief.
  6. It has sat with the strings released, and truss rod loosened - I have set up a few other guitars and basses - this one is the only one I have encountered this situation with.

    It was like this when I purchased it. On most of the others, when you loosen the strings, the neck will backbow slightly - not on this one. It still has bow. I think that the rod is maxed out -
  7. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    That is what the trussrod is for.
    "Front bow" = "Relief" - use/tighten the truss rod to remove relief.
    If you cannot tighten the truss rod, you can get into the "helping" the trussrod by applying pressure to get the neck where you want and then tight the truss rod to hold it there.
    You would have a problem if you had too much back bow. I had a neck like that. I sent it to Erik at It is perfect now.
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I wouldn't be concerned about a forward bow as long as there is no twist in the neck. Straighten it out with the truss rod, and tune the strings up to pitch. If your relief is to high tighten the truss rod until the relief is good.
  9. I think I described this wrong
    tuned to pitch, it will not allow the neck to be adjusted flat. the best I can adjust (tighening the truss - I earlier said loosening - sorry) is with relief. I added a thin washer to the truss (located at heel - a cross type) and it still didn't help. Perhaps a second or thicker washer. I will re-check this over the weekend - I won't have time (playing tonight - friday and sat). I bought this as a good P bass to have - since most of my basses are Jazz. If I can get it right - I will probably start using it. I like the simplicity of a P bass - but this neck is a little disheartening.

    BTW -
    I think this was what I was looking for.....
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    That makes more sense. Even if the neck turns out to be shot, you can always throw an Allparts, MM or another licensed by Fender neck on it and still have a great bass.
  11. I have seen these issues recovered. I am hoping this is one of them. Sorry for the confusion - I hadn't played it for a little while and kind of remembered it wrong I think. Maybe a second washer and some careful "extra" pressure and I can get it back in line?
  12. OK - got home, took the neck off - added a washer - TIGHTENED the truss (Caps to avoid previous confusion from my description) and really snugged it up.

    After tuning to pitch it still has more relief than I would like. I will probably have to go to plan B this weekend - try clamping to "help" it back bow, and then snug the truss rod up.

    I think anyway........
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    That makes more sense; the thread title is misleading, because you're not "relaxing" the neck but in fact tightening it.

    Be sure to lube up the truss rod nut with some wax and even a tiny bit of oil on the threads and on the flat bearing surface; that might be enough to let it tighten sufficiently to straighten the neck.

    Also, what are you using to tighten it? A straight screwdriver won't have much torque or control, what you need is an offset screwdriver.

    edit: one of these; you'll get some actual strength and precision in how much you turn the nut, just like with a regular truss rod wrench.

  14. I am confused - does the rod not want to turn anymore or is turning it further doing nothing?
  15. You guys were on with my language in the title - I am not a complete idiot - parts of me are missing!

    the Neck wouldn't straighten - (couldn't tighten it to correct tension to make it straight).

    Walterw - YOU .....nailed it. I had been using a straight screwdriver, and had never run into one that I couldn't get right that way. I used one of the lever type screwdrivers - and it went right where it needed to be.

    I actually gigged last night - and had a busy morning this morning but squeezed this in with the morning coffee!