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Double check me, I think I know how... (truss rod)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Dec 26, 2005.


  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I'm trying to help out a kid here - his dad bought him a bass for X-mas and I'd like to make it playable for him. It buzzes horribly below the 6th fret. I held down a string at the first and last fret and the string was laying on all the frets. Seems to me that we need more relief. String height seems about right. So I'm sure he needs a truss rod adjustment.

    It also seems that I was a bit confused about how truss rods work - I've been reading up and I think I'm strait now. (so, apparently bass necks are made with an excessive amount of relief and the truss rod pulls it strait to dial in the desired amount of relief - before today I had this backwards in my mind - do I have it right now?)

    I plan to loosen the truss rod a 1/4 turn (counter clockwise) to add more relief to the neck. I shouldn't have to "push" the neck. IF that has little or no effect, I'll try another 1/4 about 12 to 24 hours later.

    When I get the neck adjusted and the fret buzz goes away in the low frets, or if it starts to buzz evenly across all frets then I'll set up the string height with the bridge saddles. I'll set that the strings just a bit higher than I would for myself (I like it low) and intonate.

    Does this all sound about right?
     
  2. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Yup, you've got it right. Just make sure to let the bass sit for atleast 24 hours after making the adjustment before you make any further truss rod adjustments.
     
  3. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thanks for the reply. I'll take your advice and let the truss rod adjustment settle in for 24 hrs before making any further adjustments.
     
  4. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    why should you let it sit for 24 hours?
     
  5. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Because the neck needs time to adjust. Some basses the adjustment will be automatically apparent, and some the wood in the neck won't move fast enough for you to notice the adjustment right away, so it's best to make the adjustment a 1/4 turn at a time, wait 24 hours and then do it again if needed.
     
  6. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    Oh ok thanks
     
  7. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    This is really important with compression rods. You probably see less than half of the effect of the adjustment right away because it takes time for the wood in the back of the neck to compress or expand with the adjustment. And you may end up going back and forth a couple times before you get it perfect. In my experience the more "modern" double action rods don't have this delayed response to anywhere near the same degree. But if you don't know what kind of rod it is, it's always best to wait a day between adjustments.
     
  8. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I just did a truss rod adjustment yesterday and it didn't budge over 24+ hours. I needed to straighten the neck and I've never done so while the strings were at tension. Today I loosened the tension and tried again and the result was immediate, so that may have to be taken into consideration as well.