Struggling with Setup on Toby IV..

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mrcbass, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    HI All,

    I've recently put my Toby IV back in rotation. I primarily use fretless, but my fusion project has a few songs that I'm going to apply some slap on, and this works better on frets.

    I pulled out my Toby IV (which has been pretty dormant for about a year) and am finding that I have a lot of fret buzz. I was able to set it up previously so that this wasn't a problem, but this time around, I find I need the action to be very high to get rid of it. I'm not talking about "technique" buzz - I have my share of that but, I'm talking about buzz form the fret ahead of the fretted tone.

    Initially the buzz was worse at the nut end of the neck and instructions I have indicate that the truss rod tension should be lowered to effect buzz at that end. So I did the bit with a capo on fret one, pinning the string on the 24th fret and measuring frets 7-9 looking for 3mm. I found that when I got to about 2mm, the truss rod nut started spooling fairly freely (no tension). After about a turn of this, I encounter, resistance again, which I am assuming is something like lock-tite to keep the nut from falling off. I backed it a couple of more turns, but there was no further relief and I'm afraid to have the nut com all the ay off. So right now, I believe I have basically no tension on the truss rod.

    2mm at fret 7-9 seems to be the best I'm going to get which barely clears the neck frets from buzz. After I did this, I found that I had fret buzz up by the neck and the only way to fix that was to raise the bridge. I now have very high action starting at about fret 12 which is just not real comfortable for me.

    As it sits next to my other basses (with fairly low action) I can see that the neck has a lot of bow in it - it reminds me of an old cheap acoustic guitar. I'm no master luthier, but have done set up on all my basses and can typically get them where I want with a little fiddling - after my third pass at this, I'm kind of at a loss as to why this is being so difficult to set up.

    History of this bass:
    -The bass was new in Aug 2015.
    -A few months later, I set it up to handle a DGCF tuning.
    - About a year ago, I briefly (2-3 hours) put BEAD strings on it as an experiment. Didn't want to have to replace or alter the nut, so I set it back to handle the EADG tuning, and for the most part put it away in it's case, in my house (no extreme environment change).
    - It hasn't been played a great deal - maybe a couple hundred hours.
    - Multiple types of strings have been on this bass (Steels, Flats, Half rounds, Nickel back to steels)

    Is it possible that the neck is warped?

    Is it possible that the frets need to be dressed?

    Is it possible that the nut has worn down?

    If yes to any or all of the above, how can I determine this on my own? Keep in mind this is a low end instrument and don't really want to invest a bunch of money to get rid of fret buzz. This is a great sounding bass and my band makes me use it on a few songs. But the way it is set up now, it's very difficult to play up around fret 12 and above.

  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Epiphone’s site says it’s a “fully adjustable” trussrod. The real Tobias had a dual trussrod.
    Single truss rods are definitely not fully adjustable: they only adjust one way.

    I have an Epi Jack Casady with a single action rod and the same website describes it only as “adjustable”. So fully adjustable further indicates a dual rod.

    Since you get tension on the nut again as you continue turning counter clock, it seems it likely is dual and continuing would bend the neck back. If not the nut will come off. Don’t be afraid if that, if it does just put it back on. It’s just a nut on a threaded rod. It won’t go into runaway fission or anything.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018