My luthier made a huge truss rod turn

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pulse, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany
    Hi there

    I recently took my new bass to my local luthier to figure out which strings to replace its stock ones with

    I mentioned that I had read I should adjust the truss rod a little when switching strings. He took a look at the neck and said you need to do it anyway. And it's true since the bass had no set up since I bought it new.

    So I asked him if he could do the truss rod adjustment for me (thinking it was a minor tweak) he turned it like 1 and a half full turns in one pop. And I heard a pop sound!!

    I mean this guy is one of my cities best Luthiers and repairs and sets up expensive / vintage guitars for a lot of famous musicians. But every where I read you should only make a quarter turn a day.

    I asked him about it and he said to me ... "thats ********"!

    So is it safe to make such radical turns? or should it only be done by experts, I was pretty freaked out by the sound it made

    If anyone can put me out of my paranoia I would be grateful. :meh:
  2. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Is there anything wrong with the instrument?
  3. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Luthiers don't get a reputation like you described by making neck-ruining rookie mistakes. I'd trust him on that one.
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Frankly, I've been known to "speed dial" a trussrod or two over the last 40 years. Never had a problem.

    If I overshoot I back it off, which is how I prefer to adjust the rod anyway, that is make it a bit too shallow then back it off to the right relief.
  5. Step


    Feb 20, 2008
  6. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany
    it has an extremely straight neck now.

    and I will probably need to add more relief in the next days. how long should I wait before making any more adjustments?
  7. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    sometimes truss rods make noise, i wouldent worry.

    your instrument probably needed a huge adjustment, and he was able to see that. unless a problem arises i'd be at ease.
  8. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany
    I know, he made a free adjustment and he is obviously a master of his work.

    I just wanted to hear it from a few more of you guys that this quarter turn a day rule is BS.

    But your point is taken
  9. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany
    thanks man I needed those words!!!!

    I just read so many different opinions on the matter.

    All of these answers have put me at ease.
  10. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson!

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    I've only ever heard the 1/4 turn idea on sites like this one. The few luthiers I've spoken to have basically laughed at the idea. I'd much rather put my trust in someone who has been working on instruments for a living, personally.
  11. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany

    They obviously know when to stop if they need too, I suppose the 1/4 turn thing is to stop people like myself who are completely new to it from ruining the neck.
  12. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Perhaps, this advice is intended for those who have no experience with adjusting truss rods. I guess if you are inexperienced, there is a chance you could over-tighten the rod and possibly strip the nut or break the rod. Since your luthier made the adjustment, I'm sure there is nothing to worry about.

    I have never had a problem with turning the truss rod more than 1/4 turn at a time. Also, think about all the new basses being assembled at the factories. Do you think they limit truss rod adjustments to 1/4 turn per day?

  13. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    I've never limited myself to 1/4 turn a day.
  14. PSPookie

    PSPookie Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
    I usually will do a 1/4 turn at a time with no more than 1/2 turn a day but my necks don't usually need huge adjustments. I do notice a bit of a difference if I let the adjustment settle in over night, especially if I'm loosening the truss rod.

    I think it could also be like when you write a paper and you let it sit over night before proof reading it. When you come at it fresh the next day you aren't as in-love with the work you just did and are more likely to judge things objectively.
  15. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    That's me too. Get it set up, and seasonal adjustments usually fall within this range as a rule....ime, anyway.

    And yes, dependent on the style of trussrod, it can certainly make noise. You can surely discern a CRACK from a mild pop. That is usually just a byproduct of the mechanism. What kind of truss rod is it? If it is a newer, never-adjusted instrument, it could simply be a little built-up glue creep giving way on the only amplifies as such because it's in a relatively "hollow" channel.
  16. +10000 I have ruined a neck once for not stopping myself ...
  17. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    The 1/4 turn/day thing is not a bad rule to use when adjusting a compression rod. The reason it's usually recommended is that most people don't know whether they have a compression rod or a two piece rod and it's better to play it safe.
  18. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    The 1/4 turn rule is also good to settle in on those final, minor adjustments where the wood and truss rod have not settled in.

    As long as you are coaxing the wood while turning the truss rod (ie, using some force to bend it so that the truss rod isn't bearing the bulk of the work), huge turns like that are very little risk.
  19. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    I live on the edge and adjust the rod until it's right. Never had a problem. I have heard about the "take it slow" rule and lived in fear at first.

    I noticed that the Stewart-MacDonald site often talks about taking the nut right off and cleaning threads as a standard part of adjustment. They just unscrew it unless they set aside a couple months for the job!

    Also, how much would you have to bend a neck to hurt it? We aren't talking about 1/4" relief changes here.

    I also hear people say LaBella 760M "Jamerson" strings will snap necks and have never had a problem (even on a $120 bass).

    Setting up a bass is easy and I think a lot of these stories are to keep people from servicing their own instruments.
  20. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    More than once someone has brought a brand new bass to me for a setup and I've found the trussrod had been backed right off for shipping and it had not been set up before the buyer received it. On both of those I turned the trussrod nuts at least three full turns before they started to tighten. Yours may have been loose for shipping...
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 24, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.