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force exterted on neck

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jakelock, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. jakelock


    Jan 14, 2006
    hi, i need a rough idea of the force that is exerted on a standard bass neck/truss rod, (21 frett, 4 string) any clue would help a lot, cheers
  2. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Hi Jake, welcome to TalkBass.

    Force on the neck would depend on a few factors, such as string type & gauge, and standard or drop tuning.

    Assuming rounds and EADG tuning, my D'Addario rounds have the following tension.....

    E - 36.5 lbs
    A - 42.0 lbs
    D - 51.3 lbs
    G - 42.8 lbs

    Now I'm not sure if you would simply add all four #'s together to get the total force exerted on the neck, or if you average the #'s, or what.

  3. For this, you would add the figures for the total.
  4. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    Umm, sorta.
    Doing this is difficult because the force exerted is not at a right angle to the neck, but almost parallel to it. So it isn't as simple as just adding the totals.
    I guess for simple discussions it would work.
  5. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I would imagine it is somewhat less than the sum. But it would be a question more suited for an engineer. As was said above, the force is the string pulling from the bridge to the nut, not the force pulling the neck sideways. The amount of tension on the truss rod is small, since the vast majority of the string tension is absorbed lengthwise as compression on the neck, or compressing about two feet of pretty hard wood. Only a slight amount is applied sideways to the neck because the strings are not pulling through the center of the neck. This is why you can press or pull on the back of the neck slightly for a tremolo type effect. I bet you are applying no more than five or ten pounds of pressure, certainly nowhere near the two-hundredish pounds of string tension.

    So, in answer to your question, not much force on the truss rod at all.