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set up fiasco

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mind Eroded, May 22, 2005.


  1. Mind Eroded

    Mind Eroded Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Brooklyn/Buffalo, NY
    In the course of trusting myself to set up my bass, i think i may have potentially messed up badly. I think i loosened the truss rod way too much to a point were i turned the allen key relatively easily without any significant force. this scared me so i left the bass alone and a few days later i tightened the truss rod again after a full turn of the allen key. I then tuned the strings to find that there was fret buzz everywhere unless i set the saddles extremely high. i know my only option now is to bring it to a professional. Im a relatively handy guy and i guess that was something i was too stubborn to do in the begining. I just want to know if it is possible that i may have snapped the truss rod, given my current situation. I attempted to do a search but could not find anything specific enough to help me. I'd appreciate any feedback.
     
  2. It is actually quite common to snap a rod while thinking you are loosening it, as long as it is a double action truss rod! Double action rods are becoming more common. A double action rod is two rods, usually welded together. Turning the nut clockwise reduces bow like a normal single action rod. Turning the nut counterclockwise relieves the tension on that rod, then arrives at a slack stage where the nut feels loose, then starts to tension in the other direction, which increases the bow(relief) in the neck. You can feel the tension beginning to increase again as you "loosen" the nut, but if you don't expect a double action rod or are encountering your first one, your brain tells you it can't be happening. If you don't notice that the neck is bowing forward like mad, you keep "loosening" until you break it. One of our local full-time storefront repairmen has snapped at least one Warwick truss rod.

    The good news is, if you had snapped yours, you would probably know it. I've never done it, but judging by the size of the components, I would suspect you'd get a pretty good "CRACK!" if it happened. If you shake the neck back and forth, you can usually hear a broken rod rattle around in its channel, but if yours is fully slack (and not necessarily broken) you might be able to shake a rattle out of it anyway, adding to your angst.

    Do you know how to measure relief? Most folks don't, so don't feel bad if you don't. I wouldn't expect a fellow or girl who isn't familiar with truss rod adjustment to be familiar with measuring relief, and it is O.K. This is a really quick job for a pro (or semi-pro). My advice is to pay someone to get you back on the right track, then go buy or borrow a copy of The Guitar Player Repair Guide, or one of the similiar manuals, and read it before you try to wrench your instrument again. You're not the first player that this has happened to. The trick is to learn from the experience. As Dirty Harry Callahan said, "A man's got to know his limitations." Get a book, educate yourself, problem solved.
     
  3. Mind Eroded

    Mind Eroded Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2003
    Brooklyn/Buffalo, NY
    thanks for the advice. ive contacted a guitar luthier in my area and i'll bring my bass to him for a full set up. Maybe i can even take some pointers and do the job right next time myself. I guess im not as handy as i thought, but considering i knew basically nothing about instrument set up before joining talkbass, i still think ive come a long way.