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First time adjusting truss rod

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassanddrums, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. bassanddrums


    Nov 28, 2008
    My strings are to high, what should i do?
  2. tighter=more bow
    looser=less bow=lower action=what you want
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    There should be a sticky :rolleyes: ... adjusting the tension rod is for one thing, and one thing only ... to add or remove neck relief. If the neck is straight, or only slightly relieved LEAVE IT ALONE.

    In this order:

    • Set neck relief with the tension rod
    • Check neck angle and shim if it's a bolt-on
    • Adjust saddle height at the bridge
    • Check nut slots and file if needed
  4. wow- ya- thats pretty bad advice on my part- thanks for stepping in there.
  5. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
  6. Neck relief, and action height are two entirely different, but related adjustments.

    1st - set the relief where you want it - some people like it flat - I like mine about the clearance of a credit card (8th) on the lowest string (the highest string will be a tad more do to the higher tension). I can't stand buzz on my lower (which I get if it's any less).

    2nd - set the action height [saddles] - I use a Stew-Mac string action gauge (a most valuable measuring tool) roughly setting it at the 17th - then fine tuning at the 24th ... perfection.

    3rd - set intonation - check the 12th fret note with the 12th fret harmonic - use a tuner.

    Like ^ said ... READ >> http://www.tunemybass.com/bass_setup/
  7. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Uh...you have that backwards. Tighten takes out relief ...loose adds relief. It is important to know which is the right and wrong way to turn the rod. Loosen takes pressure off the rod allowing the strings to bow the neck up (relief) Tighten puts pressure on the rod pulling the neck away from the strings (backbow).
  8. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    And make sure that you make truss adjustments a little at a time. For example, tighten it about 1/8 of a turn and then let it sit overnight and see what effect it's had, before you tighten any more. I'm not a luthier or repair guy, but I know that basic guideline.
  9. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    You might also consider cleaning and lubricating the truss rod nut and threads (if the nut is removeable).

    Make sure to mark where the nut started (you can use a fine-tipped felt pen) and count the number of turns as you take off the nut for cleaning so that you can return to your starting position when you're finished.

    Once you've cleaned the nut and rod threads with rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits etc. (while being careful to keep those compounds off of the wood and finish) you can use some dry graphite, teflon lube, or light machine oil to lube the rod.

    Many times, cleaning and lubing the rod will help it work more effectively.

    dougjwray is absolutely right...go slow when turning your truss rod. Small adjustments can make a big difference. Also never force the rod. If you are unsure about what you are doing you might want to take the instrument to a repair tech or luthier.

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