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Geddy Lee neck relief

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by pyrohr, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I own a Geddy Lee jazz strung with 100, 80, 60, 40's. I'm having a problem with neck relief but it's the opposite than normal problem. My neck is straight but when I dig in a little I get fret buzz, I tried backing off the truss rod but now it seems the screw slot is loose from the truss rod. when I turn the slot back clockwise it will tighten back up and choke the notes on the neck if I attempt to turn it too much. I have raised the bridge saddles to almost maximum height which I feel is not a good way to deal with this problem though it will kill 80-90% of the buzz. This is happening basically the length of the neck on all notes! Further more I using a regular stamped Fender bridge instead of a badassII. Ive owned this bass for a few years and now starting to have this problem. Btw I don't want to change string gauge and the truss rod has not been turned a full turn either way since new. :help:
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    OK, so what you're saying is that if you fret the E string at the 1st and last fret, even with the nut loose all the way, the neck has no or very little clearance between the bottom of the E sting and the top of the 7th fret? That's a good easy way to check relief. If that's the case, then the neck needs more tension on it to pull a little relief into it.

    Adjusting the bridge and the neck, while related aren't really diferent solutions to the same problem. If you can't get the neck where you want it with the strings you want, then you're most likely looking at a new neck. But even with strings as light as you're using you should still be able to get some acceptable relief in that neck. Do the E string check for correct relief (I like to see just a little clearance at the 7th fret). Once you get the relief correct, then start adjusting the string saddles for action.

    You may also want to seriously consider your right-hand technique. If you want light strings, low action, and little relief, your attack has to be pretty light as well. Now if the saddles are pretty high, but the action at the neck and relief is right, don't worry about what the bridge looks like.

  3. alexgeddy

    alexgeddy Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2007
    I have a geddy l bass, and have neck issues.....if you are going with lighter gauge strings ( i use 40 to 95 on mine) you might have to "help the neck" That is lay it on your lap and push it a little in the way you want it to go. Years ago they used to call this neck cracking and charged insurance for it.

    In my experience the geddy neck is real flexible and can be made to move to where you can adjust it. Some basses are stubborn.

    If you need any more help feel free to PM me

    good luck
  4. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Hey JTE, This is a problem that just started, like I said I've had this bass for a few years with the same gauge strings (which are OEM gauge) and never had a problem. the bass is playable but I first noticed the problem at rehearsal where I was getting fret click while I was playing. I came home changed the strings and noticed fret choke the length of the neck. I tried to back off the neck to add relief and the nut started to spin freely! The only way to get rid of the fret choke was to raise the saddles. The saddle screws are real close to maxed out and I'm moving the strings away from the pups. I don't want to glue the slotted screw to the truss rod, there must be a better way. I would like to get just 1/8 a turn on the truss and I would be happy.

    Hey Alex I kinda know about the lap thing and moving necks, I own a Marcus Miller with an extremely tight truss rod! Thank God that neck stays put!. Thanks for your input fellas.
  5. Perhaps a shim in the neck/body cavity to force relief ?
  6. I think your actual truss rod nut is loose
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that makes no sense at all. if the nut is loose, it's loose, and your truss rod is no longer exerting any force on the neck.
    that won't affect anything either. shims don't affect relief, they just change the neck angle relative to the body.

    right. it's a curved rod threaded at the end, and the nut just screws onto the end, pulling the rod tight and forcing the neck towards backbow.

    sometimes you can loosen the nut all the way, push the neck into an extreme upbow, and maybe get just a tiny bit more bow out of it.

    sometimes you can clamp the (loosened) neck into a severe upbow and slowly apply heat to it to get a little change in its shape. this is risky to the finish, especially for a maple neck.

    if the bass was bought new, this sounds like a warranty issue.
  8. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    That's what I've been saying here!
  9. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    At this time my neck is actually very straight!, straight as an arrow (just looked at it) but when I try to add a tad of relief the nut loosens from the truss rod and just spins. If I turn the nut clockwise the nut will tighten up on the truss rod and back bow the neck. BTW the bass was purchased new!
  10. foderaman


    Jun 14, 2005
    Have you changed brands of strings?Some brands have more or less tension to them and can change relief.Also hex core strings have more tension than round cores.Also have you done anything to the nut?Too low an nut will cause your problem also.I don't believe but not sure if your truss rod is dual acting but some manufacture use them.
  11. When you back off the truss rod nut, and it goes slack, leave it 1/4 turn into "slack" overnight. Sometimes it takes a bit of time for the neck to shift it's position - I've got one that doesn't finally settle for about 24 hours. You may just have a stiff neck, which will take time to shift, but, unless you've changed to lighter guage strings it does seem odd that this has suddenly happened. Sometimes humid air conditions can do it - the f/board absords water, expands, and you get back bow, or a tendency towards it, but if you've had it a long time you will probably have been through those conditions before.
    Try just leaving it with th truss rod not slack overnight, and see if the neck develops some relief with time.
  12. gregwatts2008

    gregwatts2008 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Jupiter, Florida
    May I suggest that you take your bass to a good Luthier? That bass is a production line bass and probably has not been looked at by a qualified tech.
  13. I had a really similar issue........not on a Geddy.....but really similar....

    Light taps up and downt he back of the neck with a rubber mallet helped.

    If it is beyond that...consider going up a string guage - maybe even with a relaxed tension set (not sure which ones are less tension - but I know I have seen threads on it) or take it to a fix-it guy as mentioned.
  14. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Warranty--take it back.
  15. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I have had very small issues int he past with this bass during season changes. From what I can remember the neck always front bowed or if it did do what it's doing now the small adjustment worked fine. This is not a case of the truss rod not working or the neck being stiff but a truss rod nut that loosens up turning counter clockwise not allowing to add anymore relief to the neck! This bass has always worn the same gauge strings and has had no real problems until now. The good news is I just picked up the bass the run a few scales and most if not all fret noise is gone! Even played acoustically. I guess this bass has become temperamental!
  16. cbanker


    Jul 6, 2007
    I have the same bass and the same issues. My truss rod is as tight as it will go (I can't turn it without putting SERIOUS torque on it, so I am going no further with that. Anyway, I did finally manage to fix it all by using 105 - 45 gauge strings (ernie ball hybrid slinkys) and shimming the neck with 3 different buisiness cards, all cut to different lengths and then covering the whole thing with aluminum foil. The shimming really worked well. My saddles were almost all completely lowered to the bridge but now they are up about halfway, giving me the ability to move the action up or down if I need to. I originally took the bass to a local luthier and I have to say, he took the thing from unplayable to just barely playable. That is when I decided to take the guitar apart and figure it out for myself. I am happy to report that my Geddy is truly awesome now, neck perfect, great tone, everything you could want from this model. I get comments every night about the great bass sound! So just keep working on it and try the shimming and maybe change strings to get a bit more tension. Good luck!
  17. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    This sounds like the neck is behaving the way it should. Unless it is a bi-flex rod (which yours is not) then turning it more that way will not add more relief. When the truss rod is backed off the whole way (as yours is) the neck should be perfectly straight or possibly even a little backbowed but generally straight. Then the strings tension creates an amount of relief that you use the truss rod to counteract if necessary. What is strange is that the strings seem to be not putting enough tension on the neck to create an relief.

    Necks can play great perfectly straight so my next step would be to take the buzz out of the neck with string height which is what you did. If you can get the neck buzz free this way but the string height is too high then shim the neck to bring the action down a bit.
  18. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    This is the opposite problem as he is having. his truss rod is backed off all the way and yours is at it's max point.
  19. agreed i got a marcus miller jazz...and went cheap got ghs boomers same105 -45 gauge i always use tried forever to get it setup....hated it...went to my DR;s and its fine now cept for the dead fret but ah well its a mij soo
  20. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Thank you! This is someone who totally understands the problem I'm having!!! This is why I kept posting I figured someone would get it!
    Yes Johnny that is what's got me, the string tension in it self didn't pull the neck into more relief. In my 38 years of playing bass I have never completely relaxed a truss rod and had a neck do this! I have 9 other Fenders that I still own and none of them has ever had a truss rod turned one rotation in their lives! They always have been adjusted no more than 1/8 to 1/4 the most at any time in either direction, Then I will wait how ever long it takes to see how the adjustment takes. It seems like every once in a while I have only been backing off my Geddy until this happened. Like I posted before raising the saddles higher moves the string away from the pup, I don't want to lift pups to compensate.

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