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Possible Truss Rod Adjustment?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DreadyDiggs, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. I've been playing and gigging my Steinberger Spirit XZ-25 pretty much as-is ever since I bought it off of Ebay. Came from FL, was previously owned by a Jamaican dancehall reggae bass player, pretty big time dude.

    The bass came with some saddle height adjustment screws missing, of which I've replaced all the ones missing and I've set the string height to my liking. Pretty much as low as I can get it without fret buzz.

    Then I took off the deadest rounds you could ever leave on a bass. Didn't realize how dead they were till I ordered new strings. I installed Status Graphite Hotwire Flats.

    Ever since I've had the flats on I get a little fret buzz at first fret of the B and E strings. Raise the string height a little, still there. Or it'll be gone for a while and as I continue to pull the strings in tune it returns.

    I've never messed with a truss rod, but I'm not foreign with fine tune adjustments, just wanted opinions before I messed with it. All else fails I can drop it off as I do have backup basses.

    I found the guy that owned it on Facebook, and was gonna ask him why he sold it, but it appears he sold it to start playing an XT-25. The bass came with the bridge pickup not working, but I fixed that pretty easily as well, so I'm hoping this isn't the sign of a "major" issue.
  2. SV777


    Jun 29, 2014
    New York
    I think a quarter turn countrclockwise on truss rod will fix it right up
    Callused Finger likes this.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    How much relief are you seeing when tuned to pitch? BTW, I'm in Portsmouth at least once weekly and can take a look if you'd like a second opinion.

    JustForSport likes this.
  4. Don't just go adjusting the truss rod willy nilly. Measure the neck relief first, or at least make sure there is relief. It could be back-bowed a little, but doubtful. Usually the higher tension flats will bring the neck forward more.

    This might help:

    S T E I N B E R G E R . C O M
    DreadyDiggs likes this.
  5. vaesto


    Jun 21, 2010
    Does it buzz at first fret when you play open strings? Or it only buzzes when you play at 1st fret only?
    First would indicate the nut being cut too deep. Second - high 2nd fret. Either of a problem wouldn't be fixed by truss rod.
  6. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Since you changed to different strings, the neck relief is the first thing that you'd check and adjust if necessary. This sticky in this forum has plenty of info to take you step by step through a complete setup, which is what you need to do if you change to different strings. It sounds like the new strings may be lower tension than the old ones, since two of them are barely kissing the first fret, from your description.
  7. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    okcrum - Agreed. Any string change would merit a recheck of the neck straightness. That's always the first thing to do. Once that's done, then adjust saddles for taste and fret rattle. May be a nut adjustment needed as well, but don't mess with that unless you sure. Hard to add on once you've filed it down. Other items on guitar can cause fret buzz. Loose screws, tension on the string at the neck, bridge string placement etc. If you still have problems, then probably a fret(s) issue.
  8. I'm definitely a do-it-yourself kind of guy but I think for this particular bass I will get it's first setup done under my ownership by a professional. Having gone to the Steinberger page I already learned one thing about the bridge that I myself did not know when I was fiddling around with it. I want this bass to play as well as it can play. The previous owner, while I know he enjoyed the bass, didn't care for it. I scraped enough gunk off the neck to put on a couple Ritz crackers haha.

    It only buzzes when I play the first fret, not open.

    Thanks everyone for the info. I'm filing it away as it comes.
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Easy. You want to loosen the rod. Quarter turn at a time. Recheck. Anyone can setup their own instruments. Take your time
    DreadyDiggs likes this.
  10. vaesto


    Jun 21, 2010
    Pro setup is highly recommended on used instruments. I'd also suggest fret leveling and re-crown as part of the setup.
    DreadyDiggs likes this.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    walterw @ Alpha Music will fix you right up. I understand the guy at GC is pretty respectable, as well, but I've had no work done there.

    DreadyDiggs likes this.
  12. Well, I decided to drop the bass off in GC yesterday. Got there, and the tech was gone till Thursday, which meant my bass wouldn't get done this week cause there is a line.

    So I mingled, ended up talking to a few folks, one guy looked at it and said he wouldn't last a one hour set with my bass lol. I just played it 4 hours straight at a house party Sunday.

    Anyways, went home and decided to go at it again. Read a bunch online, and really learned how to eye my problems.

    Severe backbow. The turns I had made before didn't do nearly enough. I lowered the action back to where I wanted it, retuned, then loosened the truss until I saw what I thought would be decent relief. Retuned, and she plays better than ever.

    If you don't understand exactly what a truss rod does, read until you do. I understand now.
    Scatabrain likes this.
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Are you talking about TB's walterw?

    OP if he is in your area, don't take your bass to anyone else, Walter is a true pro and knows what he is doing.
  14. I will find out and contact him. I might have already met the dude haha. I have been to Alpha before.
  15. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    truss rod tale of terror - was getting a little neck twist on my 94 LB100 and sure enough i tightened the truss rod and snapped the darn thing, now i won't even look at the truss rod anymore, i'm strictly a bridge saddle and take it in for a setup guy, thank goodness g&l was so cool and they fabricated me a new three bolt neck
  16. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    One and the same.


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