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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PUNK&DONUTS, Jan 8, 2001.

  1. I want to lower my strings how do I go about it? I have played with the bridge and gone as close as possible but i'm still miles away, do I have to adjust the truss rod if so how and which way do I turn it? I'ts and older IBANEZ but I like the feel hence want to get the action right.
  2. interesting problem. hmm. Down all the way...

    I guess it could be the truss rod. It might be too loose if the action is too high towards the 12th fret.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    If there is a large amount of back bow on the neck, then this would have the effect of causing a high action and would need to be corrected by tightening the truss rod. In most basses this would mean turning the truss rod clockwise - but don't do this by more than a quarter turn and then wait at least overnight to see if it had the desired effect.
  4. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.

    PD: It should be pretty easy to determine what's causing the high action. Fixing the problem may or may not be simple.

    Knowing the last few months of the bass's history can help a lot with diagnosing the problem(s). If the bass has always been plagued with high action, then setup adjustments will probably solve the problem. If the action was OK at first and has been getting progressively higher over a period of time, a different approach is called for.

    I cannot emphasize strongly enough that the truss rod should never be arbitrarily adjusted just to see if that will correct the problem. The truss rod does only one thing. It allows the proper amount of relief to be introduced into the neck. That's all. Period :)

    You don't need to change anything in order to check the truss rod adjustment. Hold down the string at the first or second fret with your fretting hand. Use your elbow or forearm to hold the string at the 12 fret or higher. The string is now being used as a straightedge. It may be simpler to just get someone to hold the string down at the proper places while you make the following check. Tap the string down towards the fingerboard near the middle. You should be able to hear a click as the string contacts the fret. That click tells you that the neck has at least some relief. If there is no relief (no click), then a truss rod adjustment is probably in order. Don't make the adjustment untill you check the neck angle. The last thing that you want to do is compound the problem by introducing a second problem by miadjusting the wrong thing at this point.

    A bolt on neck must be set into the pocket very accurately. To check the neck "tilt" or angle to the body just look at the bridge rollers. Assuming that the neck has the proper amount of relief, if the rollers are bottomed out against the bridge plate but the action is still too high, then the neck will have to be shimmed to correct the angle. I would advise you to have a good repair person do the actual shimming because this is the hardest adjustment on the bass to get exactly right. After the neck is properly set, you should be able, with a little practice, to do the rest of the adjustments as they are needed for routine maintenance. There isn't much to be gained by me describing the step by step setup procedure since it has been covered on this board many times.Check out the Fender website for a good tutorial, but I don't believe they address the neck tilt adjustment.

    I would definitely get the problem corrected as soon as possible because a neck that is misaligned in the direction that causes high action will cause the neck to warp due to the pull angle on the neck by the strings. It might even be a good idea to lower the string tension each time you put it away till the problem is corrected.

    If you tie a rope to the top of a tree and stand right at the base of the tree and pull on the rope, the tree will be hard to bend. Now step away from the tree a few feet and pull the rope and the tree will bend pretty easily. Kind of a silly anology but the same physics apply to a bass neck.

    Hope this helps.


    BTW, Bruce, I'm sure it was a typo but "backbow" tends to make the action lower, not higher. :) Backbow and relief are opposites.

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