snap, crack noise while adjusting truss

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Gintaras, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Gintaras

    Gintaras Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I just got a Grendel 5 a month ago and went to adjust the neck. At first it is very tight and when I give it extra pressure, the rod gives a little but almost with a little snap and a pop or crack noise. I have done this twice and moved it just slightly each time.

    The reason for adjustment was that I was trying to lower the strings and got a buzz from around the 10th to 12th fret. Looking at the Gary Willis setup, this type of buzz should be cured by tightening then rod (Clockwise)

    Would like to get an opininion from all of your wonderful members on Talkbass.

    Thanks...Gus :help:
  2. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Partner, I hate to be the one to tell you this but it sounds like you may have broken the truss rod.

    Did the nut get easier to turn after the pop?
  3. Gintaras

    Gintaras Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    It is still tight. This happened twice. and both times the truss rod turned slightly
  4. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    If it was my bass I would take the nut off the TR and lube the threads. While the nut is off make sure the nut is not tightening against raw wood. There should be a washer for the nut to set against.

    Maybe you got lucky. Cracking and popping is not normal on any bass.

    It relieves a lot of strain on the TR nut to loosen the strings before adjusting the TR.
  5. I'd second this advice. But please.. NEVER TIGHTEN A TRUSS ROD WITH STRING TENSION ON IT.".. I can't stress that strongly enough. That neck and truss is under quite a bit of tension. Trying to tighten it like that is just asking for a broken truss, stripped nut. I usually even remove most string tension before loosening trusses as well..
    Also, I usually "gently" pull back on the neck as I'm tightening the truss. This also allow the truss nut to do its job with as little stress as possible.
    If you're lucky, you didn't break anything, but I'd most definately have it checked out.

  6. Gintaras

    Gintaras Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I loosened the strings and then the maneuver outlined in the Gary Willis setup manual to push on the neck. I then tried to tighten the truss and could not move it. I could back it about one quarter of a turn and then it seemed to stick there. i am afraid to put too much force on the rod in fear of breaking it.

    It was mentioned that I should take off the nut and lubricate the threads. What I see is an allen type device at the bottom of the neck. Is this truss all one piece or is that some kind of nut that I can remove?

    Any suggestions?? Maybe I need to find a reputable luthier to look at it?

    Thanks for all of the info. I see this midlife newbie has a lot to learn :help: :help:
  7. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Interesting, I've always heard that you need to adjust the truss rod with the guitar in the tuning that you play in.
  8. my carvin AC40 TR turns easily even under tension...its much easier for me to do this one in tune...i find that I adjust this one the most frequently...

    my p-bass copy has to have the neck off to adjust it (I didn't design it very well :( ) obviously, no tension there...

    my Yamaha....its cheap, so I do it under tension...albeit carefully...(I haven't had any issues)...i do a little at a time...

    my wishbass...well it's always PERFECT...(no trussrod...hehe)...actually, I've never missed it on the bass, either...
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Did this snap sound like it was metal grinding against metal, or did it sound like the rod rubbing against the wood? Because if it was metal on wood, then it might have been the wood creaking when the rod spun against it. Most of my basses creak like that when I do the truss rod. But just to add a year back onto your life, I'd get it looked at. If there's nothing wrong with it, he probably won't charge you more than $5 to look at it. And if there's something wrong with it, it's worth it to get it fixed right.
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    From the Ernie Ball website's basses F.A.Q.:

    Q: do I need to loosen all of the strings before making a neck relief adjustment?
    A: You should make all adjustments with the strings where you would normally play them. Do not loosen the strings to adjust the truss rod.

    Anyway, I just loosen the strings a little bit if I'm going to tighten the truss rod, just anticipating the pitch increase.
  11. Gintaras

    Gintaras Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    The sound is almost wood like. As if it the rod is stuck and then it gives a little. I am going to take it to a local setup, repair and vintage restorer in the area. He has 30 yrs of experience and a great reputation.
  12. Sounds like it could be a bad thread in the truss nut. It's possible that the pop sound you heard could have been the nut jumping a thread. In any case, the nut not wanting to loosen is a warning. Good idea to take it to your luthier and have it looked at.

    I don't want to get into an argument about tightening trusses with string tension on. I have a Spector manual that cautions to never do this. I do suppose that if a person were pulling back on the neck (with strings tight) and then tightened the nut, it would be safer, but I would not do it. When tightening truss under serious tension, remember that you are pulling against both neck wood and string tension with that one nut. That's alot of tension. It would be much easier for the threads to fail under that tension. What's to gain by not loosening strings? To see immediate results? You still have to retune anyway. It only takes a few moments to loosen strings, tighten the truss, then retune to pitch. No offense... I am no expert..

  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If you have someone to help you, or can do it with the bass between your knees, try springing the neck before you tension the rod.

    With one palm of the hand on the face of the neck at the nut, and the opposite knee bracing the neck at about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way to the body, put enough pressure on the neck to "pre-spring" the neck before you tighten the rod. This will relieve much of the tension on the rod and make it easier to tighten.

    It doesn't take a ton of pressure, just a bit. I always do rods like this just to keep the stress off the threads and the anchored end of the truss rod.
  14. Rich600


    Nov 22, 2004
    I'd imagine you make any adjustment whilst in your tuning, what would be the point otherwise?
  15. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Years ago in Lawrence, Kansas, there was a music store called Richardson's, and the proprietor was a wonderful man called Richard (aka Stomper), may he rest in peace.

    On Fender and Fender-style basses, when he adjusted truss rods, he would bend the neck by hand first. He told me that sometimes glue and/or lacquer would get into the truss rod tunnel during manufacture and needed to be cracked loose before turning the truss rod.

    As long as the truss rod still works, I wouldn't worry...
  16. labgnat

    labgnat Banned

    Oct 29, 2005
    outta this world

    doesn't make much difference if your in tune, cause once u bend or straighten the neck it's gonna throw u out of tune a bit anyway. truss rod adjusting is pretty much trial and error as far as how much you need to turn the bolt. plus u dont' want to turn that thing too much at one time anyway, turn it a bit and that wood needs time to conform to that new position. hence i end up having turn it, retune see if its where i want it and try again, 3 or 4 times usually
  17. I knew Richard!
    Since his passing, several friends and I have helped keep the shop alive. Since I don't live there anymore, I really miss going to the store and playing Stomper's old Guild Starfire bass! Jeff Jackson has been the manager for several years now. We played in several bands together. He's a smokin' electric and steel guitar player! I'll be back again for the holidays so I'm sure I'll get a chance to pop in and pay my respects.
    Thanks for mentioning that, Curry!
  18. Back on topic,
    As a rule, I always loosen before tightening anything. Usually the instrument will dictate whether I adjust with the strings up to pitch or not. All of my modern basses seem to be quite comfortable having the rod adjusted under normal string tension. My Hofner on the other hand, is a touchy little b**** so I adjust without tension. I hardly ever make more than a half-turn adjustment on an instrument anyway. Normally, it's more like a quarter turn or less. After the neck settles, that amounts to a relatively small adjustment in actual neck relief, which is usually all I need.

    Also remember that after adjustments are made, the neck will take some time to settle. It may not be readily apparent that the relief has changed so give it some time before you start crankin' away again.

    Lastly, when you're reading the neck, make sure you're doing it with the guitar in the playing position and without anything touching the neck. One of my heroes, Dan Erlewine regards this to be one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of proper setup. Gravity is just one of the implications involved. I see people make this mistake all the time. They want to see how straight the neck is so they lay it on a bench face up and bring the headstock up to viewing level with one of their hands. Or they'll lean the guitar against themselves to look down the neck (towards the floor). Even when the guitar is lying on a bench with a neck block, the neck will read differently than when it's in the actual playing position. Keep this in mind. ;)

    On a side note, Dan has invented this ingenious neck jig to solve this and many other dilemmas. He can replicate exact string tension on the neck and even rotate the jig vertical so that it's in the proper position for getting a true reading on the neck. :cool:
  19. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    I don't know Jeff Jackson. Are you sure you aren't thinking about Lynn Piller? D'you know Carol Spears [Latham]? I played with the Billy Spears Band from 75-78 and then again from 80-81...
  20. specplyrz

    specplyrz Banned

    Nov 11, 2005
    Rickenbacker, which has TWO truss rods, also states to adjust "under normal string tension". I have adjusted every bass I have owned, over 20, and never striped a bolt/nut....I am however, analy carefull when I adjust the necks...most have been Rics which have to be EVENLY adjusted. I have also heard the "snap" sound. It was the truss rod striking against the wood. Sometimes the trussrods are very tightly sandwiched in the neck.