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could my truss rod be broken?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rabies, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. hey guys, i recently acquired a nice 1988-89 yamaha rbx800a through a trade, but something doesn't seem right..
    when i first got it, it was tuned to standard, but there was quite a bit of fret buzz, and since my band plays in drop B (B/F#/B/E just so we're on the same page here) i bought a .050-.070-.090-.110 set of dean markley nickelsteels and brought the bass in to a local shop to get a set-up.

    i got the bass back a few days later on wednesday april 7th. there was a bit of fret buzz, but nothing really to complain about. i played it for a few days and then over the weekend, then i left it in its case for about a week. when i brought it out on around april 18-20th, there was a ridiculous amount of fret buzz. i couldn't even get a solid note out of the first 5 frets on the high B and E strings, just pure buzz..

    so, i pulled out the user manual and the first thing it says is to check out the truss rod situation by putting a capo on the 1st fret, depressing the top string at the last fret, and using a feeler gauge to check the distance between fret and string at the 7th fret. when doing this, the string hit the 7th fret before i was even close to depressing the 24th fret all the way! so, i loosened the truss rod a quarter turn and let it sit for a few hours, then re-checked and did it again, then i let it sit overnight.. during the past week i've been loosening it a 1/4 turn at lunchtime, and then again at night, and now the string touches the 7th fret at about the same time as i depress the 24th, but i'm about 2 full turns looser than where it was when i recieved it. the fret buzz has definitely decreased, but i'm wondering if i should keep going? or should i stop and take it in to a different shop? is it possible that this guy over-tightened the truss rod and now the neck is ruined?

    i did the same procedure to check my fender P bass out, and the distance was .40mm at the 7th fret, my yamaha manual says anywhere between .40mm and .55mm
  2. Hi.

    2 full turns after a setup sounds like a lot.

    However I don't think that the TR or the neck is broken, since the neck still reacts to the adjusting.

    I'd keep on going.

  3. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    It's buzzing because you dropped the tuning two and a half steps, thereby radically decreasing the string tension on the neck. It sounds like the previous owner may have tightened it some to get the action low in standard. Not uncommon. It probably took a couple of days to bow backwards after you dropped it from standard. But it sounds like the rod is working fine. Keep adjusting the rod a little bit at a time as you have been, until it feels right for your playing style.
  4. Hi.

    And if I read the op correctly, rabies had the bass set up by a shop after changing the strings, and the set-up was decent, but not perfect.

    Unless a neck is made of unstable woods, 2 full turns after a pro (?) setup is a lot. Almost too much if You ask me. I have mostly low quality instruments and a half a turn is plenty what ever the situation.

    A seasonal change is out of the equation as the shop setup would've taken that into account.

  5. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Pretty hard to know. 2 1/2 steps down.....if the bass has been tuned standard for most of it's life, the neck will need time to re adjust to the new lower tension. A second trip to the luthier for more adjustments wouldn't be unusual in this situation. I'd suggest that the OP take some time in that case, to be sure the luthier is aware of the set up needs of his personal playing style. :)
  6. thanks guys, i guess i'll keep going
    as for the setup, i dont know how knowledgeable this guy is, he wrapped the strings around the tuner posts as if he was stringing up a 6-string, and the bass wasn't even in tune when i got it back. im thinking he didn't really know what he was doing, and i'm not going to be taking my bass back to him.

    as far as tuning down goes, yes it is quite a bit lower, but i have MUCH heavier strings on it, so shouldn't the tension stay pretty similar? i think he probably tightened the truss rod because of the down-tuning, but didn't take into consideration that the new strings would create more tension?
  7. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    No, the tension isn't similar.

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