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Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bampilot06, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. bampilot06


    Jan 10, 2013
    Took my vm jag bass recently to get the action fixed. (dont have one to practice on and dont want to mess it up) when i got it back the action was perfect and i had no fret buzz. Within a week fret buzz appeared on the 2nd fret of both a and d strings. Fast forward and its buzzing now all the way to the 9 th. I dont leave my bass out in the cold and stays in its case. Is this common?
  2. Sounds like the truss rod is slipping, or there are HUGE temperature variations in your home?

    It's also possible that your strings are breaking in & not applying as much tension as they used to, thus having the neck bending back more.
  3. How does it do that then?

    OP already said he keeps the temperature fluctuations to a minimum.

    Please explain the mechanics of this, I am always keen to learn something new.
  4. BritFunk


    Jan 8, 2009

    It could easily be the truss rod is too tight - before the neck fully responded and settled into position it played fine, but as the neck continued to flex under truss rod tension it pulled the neck back too far. I had this happen to a couple of my basses, usually when I get in a hurry...

    Relaxing the truss rod a quarter-turn might well fix the problem?

  5. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    It's winter time. Less moisture in the air means your wooden-necked bass is pulling back. This is normal.
  6. That's what I was thinking but I was keen to learn how truss rods slip and how strings exert less pull when they have broken in.
  7. It usually goes the other way. Dry air=fingerboard shrinks=relief increases.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Every setup settles, it is the nature of the beast.

    There are other factors at work, climate change and the temperature and humidity in your home. Cheaper instruments tend to react more to weather in my experience, my Squier's were all far from stable.

    Where I live it can go from -40 C to 5 C in a day, your instruments notice.

    You should really learn to do your own setups, as long as you take your time and proper measurements using the proper tools for the first few times you won't damage anything. I can personally attest to the amount of abuse a bass can take and still recover from. The setups I used to do on my Fender were nothing short of embarrassing, it can still be setup for a nice fast low action to this day.
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    No, I wouldn't say "slipping" Truss rods generally don't "slip". But this just show the problem with not being able to do your own setups. Wood necks bend with the weather and even if you take your bass to have it setup, truss rods, strings etc. all take a while to "settle in". So even if the tech gets it perfect in a few days it could be out again. And this can go on for a couple weeks depending on how new the bass is, how big an adjustment was done on the truss rod, now new the strings are, and how much the weather has changed, etc.

    I had my Conklin become completely unplayable just sitting stored in the back room. Of course it only took a couple 1/8 turns on the rods and I was back in business. Which is the point that if I didn't know how to do this myself and had to haul that bass off for adjustment it would have been a FAR bigger problem.

    The bottom line is that if you aren't at the level where you can afford your own bass tech who constantly looks after your setup, not knowing how to make simple setup adjustements is going to cost you and waste a bunch of your time. Not that there's anything wrong with taking your bass and getting a pro setup to get a feel for where everything "belongs", but one really needs to be able to get that setup back to where it was once the bass "settles in" or changes with the weather, which is not the same level as doing a complete setup from scratch.

    The only other answer is a grapite neck and that's the end of setup problems forever.
  10. bampilot06


    Jan 10, 2013
    Thanks for advice. Was worried i could ruin my bass doing it myself. Ill do some research and play around with it.
  11. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    fingerboard shrinkage?:meh: i remember my grandfather making jokes about a board stretcher?

    i'm not a luthier or a pro carpenter but i do know know, fairly certain anyways, that wood length changes very very little in comparison to width. or did i forget something?
  12. The two main things to remember are:-

    Get a wrench that fits perfectly, if there is any play/slackness you stand a good chance of stripping the hexagon - not good. Find out what the size is for your bass and buy a good one, preferable one designed for the job (Stumac?). They come in Imperial (SAE - USA?) and Metric sizes and can be quite close in size, but not close enough. Same applies to the saddle screws if they are hex.

    Only turn it a maximum of 1/4 turn at a time and allow ample time to settle. Something that the tech who set yours up probably did not do. As already mentioned !/4 turn is probably all it needs (anti-clockwise).

    If in doubt come back here and ask. Lots of guys here do their own setups and are very willing to help anyone learn.

    (Sorry that's 3 things.)