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Confusion when setting action/truss rod.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by keiser8339, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. I just bought a Peavey 4 AC BXP, and I love it. The sound is perfect, the neck is comfortable - I love this bass. I play lots of metal music, so I like to have a clean, fat sound, so I strung it when Ernie Ball Power Slinky bass strings (55-75-90-110). The problem I'm having here is, from frets 1 to 6 the strings are rattling very badly, even the open the D and G strings. When playing a Bb the other day, I slightly bent the neck back just a hair, and all the strings were hugging the frets, and absolutely no notes were produced at all. I have the neck as straight as I can possibly get, but still from frets 12 to 19, the action is very noticeably high. I've done some research and I can't find anything that will help me get rid of this problem. Anything on this would be great, thanks.
  2. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    That's part of your problem; you need some relief in that neck.

    If the action on the higher frets is too high, you've probably got a "ski jump" at the end of the fingerboard. Try this: capo at the first fret, and hold down your low E at the 12th fret with your right index finger, and eyeball the relief at the 7th fret. Then, move your finger to the 15th fret, see if there's a noticeable difference. Then, fret the last fret on the fingerboard. If you see significantly increasing relief when you do this, you have a ski jump, aka "fenderitis", amongst us geezer types. Depending on how little or much you have, you can have the high frets milled down, if you're lucky, or the neck
    replaned/refretted, if you're not.
  3. sleepytime


    Nov 10, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Try tightening the truss rod to put some relief in the neck. Then lower the saddles.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    No. You LOOSEN the trussrod to add some relief, not tighten it.
  5. sleepytime


    Nov 10, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    That's right, sorry about that.
  6. Why loosen it when I already have the neck as straight as can be?
  7. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    You changed string brands (& gauge?) & should expect to need a set up, perhaps with intonation. When the neck is arrow straight the bridge has to be adjusted higher to prevent fret buzz. Surprise, a straight neck does not produce the lowest action & is actually harder to play. You may be happier with a small amount of relief (0.005-0.008" at fret 8) & the bridge as low as fret buzz will allow. When you set the action low, right on the edge of fret buzz, any change in weather can produce some fret buzz. You will either need to raise the bridge, do a set up or lighten up the touch of your right hand to clean up the sound. Reality check :cool:
  8. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Sounds to me like you need to put a small shim in the heel of the neck pocket ( on the bridge end), and then put a little bit of relief in the neck. (loosen the rod a bit).
  9. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    Loosening the truss rod ADDS relief. Which allows the strings to vibrate more and not rattle at the higher frets.
  10. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Because you don't want it, "as straight as can be", when you have no-relief issues.
  11. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
  12. So when looking at my bass, turning the truss rod to the right tightens it, and left lossens it, and my problem here is my bass needs more relief?
  13. correct. you do not want a perfectly straight neck. you want to loosen that nut some. relief is probably necessary. changing strings and gauges usually results in your bass needing a setup. honestly, take it to a luthier for a setup. should be around 25.00. if you're lucky they'll probably let you watch and you can get a quick lesson.

  14. At this point, I know I'm over analyzing the problem. I have it as straight as I can get. So when I turn it left, about what? And eighth of an inch, then raise the saddles, this will get rid of my problem?
  15. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    I'm not trying to be unpleasant, but you really should take this to someone who knows what they're doing. W/o seeing it, I certainly can't offer any more help. Did you do what I suggested, in an earlier post?
  16. Oh dude in no way do you seem unpleasant, and I thank you and appreciate you taking your time in helping me with this problem. I just figured it would be some newb problem and I could easily fix it myself. I'm considering taking it to my local guitar store and having them adjust it for me. Thanks.
  17. Finally got my bass fixed, it sounds and plays 100% better. Thanks for everyone's time.

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