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Dead spot & check neck relief

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by i2k, Oct 31, 2000.

  1. i2k


    Oct 31, 2000
    Hi all...
    I'm a new member here. My bass is an older Status Eclipse 4, 3 piece maple neck with graphite trussrod & insert. Few weeks ago, I found that the D note on G string had a shorter sustain compared to other notes on my bass. It is called dead spot, isn't it ? How can I solve this problem ? It's not really a big problem, but it disturb me.
    Question no.2 : how can I check if the neck already has correct relief ? Can we measure it our eyes, without additional tools ?
    Please help me guys, a nearest luthier that can help me is one island away....:-(

  2. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    This is the the easiest way I've found to check the relief. With the bass in playing position, hold the lowest string to the fret at the first and 15th frets. Using the string as a straight edge, view the gap between the top of the 6th fret and the bottom of the string. That gap is the relief.

    NOTE: Always check the relief with the bass in the playing position.

    I've never worked on a Status instrument so I don't know how or even if the relief is adjustable.

    Assuming that it is...

    If there is no gap (the frets touch the string) it's time to add some by loosening the trussrod adjustment about an eighth to a quarter turn (usually counter-clockwise). Re-check the relief.

    If there is too much gap (I usually use the thickness of a heavy pick as a starting point) tighten the trussrod adjustment (usually clockwise). Repeat as necessary, tightening or loosening the adjustment until the gap is where you want it. It may change a bit until it settles in so wait overnight and check it again, adjusting and waiting as necessary. But don't drive yourself crazy with it.

    The relief doesn't have to be an specific amount. It's a very personal adjustment. It's what you are comfortable with for your action height and whether the strings rattle against the frets with your touch.

    If you have a capo and a heavy pick you can capo the strings at the first fret, hold string down at the 15th fret and use the pick as a guage (a heavy rubber band and a dowel can be substituted for a capo, a folded and taped business card subs for the pick). When the pick will just slip though the gap between the top of the 6th fret and the bottom of the string without moving the string, that's where I keep it. I then adjust as necessary an eighth of a turn one way or the other until it feels and sounds right.

    Relief usually changes with climatic conditions, so you may need to adjust it if the weather gets humid or very dry. I usually have to adjust it in the Winter and again in the Summer.

    [Edited by Rumblin' Man on 11-11-2000 at 07:52 PM]

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