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Neck set up

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by NickInMesa, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Okaaay, this may sound noobish but I don't care, I just need to get this right.

    To straighten the neck on a J bass, I would have to turn clockwise, am I right?

    If I start hearing cracking sounds, should I keep turning, and when do I know the neck is straight enough.

    I tried to set up mine and I am still not happy. The action is still high and yet the saddles are pretty low.

    Obviously the neck is not set right.

    The Sadowski PDF says that he is looking for a neck that is straight, with just a little bit of curvature. I suppose he knows and he has the science in him, but for me it is everything but scientific.

    What do I need to look for and how to measure this slight amount of curvature?

  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    DO NOT continue to crank on the rod, especially if you hear cracking sounds! You are on the verge of ruining your neck! Do yourself a favor and do a search under set-ups, truss rod adjustments, neck straightening etc. etc. etc here and you will find TONS of helpful information and cites to other sites for help. :cool:
  3. I stopped once I heard the cracking noises and decided to post here.

    Yes, I have done multiple searches and read lots of docs, but even with the neck set at that point, still having a hard time setting up the action.

    Also in none of these docs does it tell you something essential but not obvious: do you turn CW or CCW to straighten the neck.

    Unless I missed it :)
  4. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    Have it set up by a pro. Can't get it more right than that.
  5. Yeah but that's cheating. I'd like to learn to do it myself.
  6. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I suggest you take it to a pro and ask that pro to explain what they're doing. That way you'll learn.

    As you're currently progressing you're going to ruin a neck in order to learn, and you'll still not understand 'why' and 'how' of it.

  7. Nick-
    Here's how I adjust the neck on a standard Fender with the truss rod accessible at the top of the neck.
    Either way could straighten you neck depending on how the neck is currently bending. If it looks like there's a 'dip' or 'bow' in the center of the neck, you'll usually turn Clockwise 1/8 TURN AT A TIME to start to 'straighten' the neck.
    But PLEASE get the set up information, take the necessary measurements before you get started and take your time with this. Do a little adjusting at a time. Steward McDonald also has some great information.
    If you've got an expensive or botique bass, better seek a professional.
  8. The neck will creek a little, all 3 of my fenders had a little creek to them. What you should not feel is a ton of resistance, if it feels like you are working very hard against the neck, you are indeed about to ruin an investment.

    You always turn to the right to straighten the neck, and turn to the left to loosen. Righty tighty, lefty loosey. It doesn't matter if your truss rod is at the heel or at the headstock, you still need to turn to the right.

    Another thing of note is to see where you are having trouble in certain spots, take it to a pro and let him show you how they fix it.
  9. Band Dad

    Band Dad

    Dec 5, 2006
    San Mateo, CA
    I agree that a professional's help would be useful here, and as stflbn suggested, you'd learn a valuable lesson in the process. I've learned from fellow TBers that an eighth to a quarter turn PER DAY is about right. Allow time overnight for the neck to settle in between adjustments.
    Others will chime in, I'm sure. Mention will be made of other aspects to action setup, i.e., shimming, Stewmac measuring tools, etc. Good luck.

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