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Changing string gauge, dropping tuning, how about the truss rod?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by daasbraad, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. daasbraad


    May 13, 2005
    The Netherlands
    So I just bought a new bass. It's perfectly set up. So far, so good ;). There's two things I plan to alter on this bass. The strings and the tuning. It's sporting .100's now, and is tuned to E (standard).
    I wish to change the strings to .105's, and dropping the tuning one step (D#G#C#F#). What should I do the truss rod to compensate for this? Thank you in advance,

  2. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    You won't know what, if anything, you need to do until after you string it up and play it. Dropping a half step may or may not compensate for heavier strings. And you may or may not be putting higher (or possibly even lower) tension strings on. You can't predict this kind of thing in advance.

    If, after restringing/retuning, there's to much or too little neck relief, then tighten or loosen the truss rod accordingly. If the strings are too high or too low, adjust the bridge saddles accordingly. The one thing you will definitely need to do is check and adjust the intonation.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    RSBBass and Zooberwerx like this.
  3. If you like the set up now, take measurements of relief, string height, nut height, etc. When you install the new strings check everything again and try to get as close as you can to where it was then adjust from there, if needed. As ahc said, it’s hard to guess what will move or what direction.
  4. daasbraad


    May 13, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Thanks to both of you for the quick reply. I guess I was looking for standard fixes, as I don't have the nerve to decide by myself what should be done to the truss rod or other potentially devastating actions. I'll swing by a guitar shop.
  5. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Its not that hard and you have a good start if you measure how it is since you like it that way. Read the stikeys.
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Devastating actions? From a truss rod adjustment?!?
    It's a big bolt. Turn it. If the relief gets worse you turned it the wrong way. Turn it back.
    202dy and sissy kathy like this.
  7. daasbraad


    May 13, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Haha, I guess I've been brainwashed into thinking that messing with the truss rod ends up with snapped necks and nuclear strikes. I think I should start with ordering one of those guitar tool kits, so I can actually take certain measurements. Thanks so far for the encouraging words.
  8. There are setup guides to tell you how to do it, Fender's is pretty good.

    However, some things are best left to a pro, like getting the nut slots right.

    I do my own setups for years, but draw the line at fret leveling & anything more than rudimentary nut filing.

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