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Fender Classic 50s Precision - Truss Rod Access

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by theevilplankton, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Managed to snare one of these used for a good price. Wanted a backup for my MIA P, and really like the look of these.

    However - I've read you need to remove the neck to adjust the truss rod? Being used, there's a good chance I'll need to give a good set-up.

    Is there an easier way? It's coming tomorrow, so I'm getting ready before I dive in......!
  2. CPplaysBASS


    Mar 17, 2007
    I don't think there's another option really, but it is really super easy to remove the neck and put back on. If you're like me and used to doing your own set ups, hopefully you have a good idea of just how much you need to tweak the relief since it would be a pain in the arse to get it all strung up again and then realize it's still not quite right.

    If making just a small adjustment (say 1/8th of a turn), you will be able to get at enough of the adjustment screw if you remove the pickguard. However, you will mark the top of the body a little bit. I no longer have my 50's Classic but my '86 Japanese Fender PJ has to be adjusted the same way and I'm missing a tiny bit of finish on the top for that very reason (and with that model, there's no pickguard to help cover it).
  3. Spend the $45 do get someone to a setup. I have one and struggled for years to get it to play just right. Once you do it will give that American P a run for its money.
  4. Great stuff, thanks guys.

    Should hopefully only need a tweak, so maybe can adjust with just a pickguard removal.

    BTW, can I use the standard MIA tool?
  5. CPplaysBASS


    Mar 17, 2007
    Nope ... You'll need a standard everyday slot screwdriver :) What you'll see is a big screw head with an X.
  6. randyg


    Jul 10, 2010
    Creedmoor N.C.
    You don't have to remove the neck. Just loosen the strings until they are good and floppy and then loosen the neck screws until you can raise the neck out of the body just enough to get to the truss rod. Takes about ten minutes once you get the hang of it.
  7. CPplaysBASS


    Mar 17, 2007
  8. That's really helpful, many thanks.
  9. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I managed a guitar store from '77-'88, was a Fender dealer, and I've seldom had to take a neck off to get to the truss rod at the heel of the neck. It depends on how deep the neck sits on the body. My VS '62 is easily accessed without removing anything. Of course over the decades I've had it the pickguard has been scratched a bit at the access point, but it's nothing that bothers me. I really think folks make much too big an issue of this.

    My Sting (reproduction of a '54 P) does need to have the pickguard removed but I don't have to take off the neck. My Classic Series '60s Strat can be accessed without neck or pickguard removal. My old Jazzmaster needed to have the neck removed, but that may have been more due to the Mighty Mite replacement neck it had with an extra fret extension than because of the access point.

  10. I do mine like randyg is referring to. Capo the first fret, after loosening the strings, and back the neck screws out and tilt the neck out of the pocket enough to access the TR screw, and then thread the screws back in, by letting them drop in the holes and then gingerly backing them out by hand until you feel them drop into the threads; then tighten them down. It really is no big deal once you've done it once. You'll very quickly get an idea of how much tweaking the rod needs, and from then on you'll get any adjustments it needs done in one try. Good luck.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Some balk but here goes...

    Rout a "U" shaped access channel in the body with a Dremel drum sander. You can even cut the pickguard to match or use it to hide the modification. Either way, you can introduce a FH screwdriver and adjust with the strings to tension and without having to remove / tilt the neck. Some have complained that this will corrupt the authenticity of the re-issue. If the above doesn't float your boat...

    Loosen the strings as suggested but anchor by placing a capo midway up the neck. Loosen the neck screws, tilt, and adjust as required.

  12. Thanks for all the replies.

    I managed to to do a quick adjustment without taking off the neck - just a well-angled screwdriver, and she's just right.

    Luckily it didn't need much, any more would have needed more drastic measures....!
  13. TGLbass


    Aug 20, 2010
    I have a Classic 50's and a Roadworn- if I'm not mistaken (I could be thinking of another one of my basses) you can take off the P guard and it's routed so you don't have to take the neck off. I've never had to adjust either one of mine- so I could be wrong- maybe I'm thinking of my Sting.

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