Truss Rod Adjustment?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Hey all,

    I have a Fender American P Bass that I believe to be in need of a Truss rod adjustment. The action is a fair bit high down near the base of the neck and gets fairly low as it goes up to the nut. Symptoms are that it has more frett buzz than it should especially in the middle of the neck but it's not horrible, just more than it should.

    Here is my question, should I attempt a truss rod adjustment myself havning not done one before? If so, what is the proceedure? Should the strings stay on with full tension? Does turning the allen screw clockwise make it tighter thus giving more outward curviture? Anything else I should know?

    OR should I just take this to a tech? I'm a bit leary on this because I don't know any reputable techs in my area (Baltimore County, MD) and am worried that an inexperiance tech (or one in a rush) might screw it up worse. If anyone here does know a kickbutt tech in the area please let me know and I won't attempt this myself. Otherwise I may try it (pending responses here) because I am mechanically inclined and am rather meticulous and feel that I could and would take the time to do the job right provided I am armed with good information to do the job. Suggestions, etc.....
    :D ;) :p
  2. Whitey


    Jan 8, 2002
    Beckley, WV
    I was too in these same shoes about a month ago. Having never done any type of adjustment on an instrument. I came to the guys here at TalkBass and they gave me the information to get the job done. I also ended up doing a complete setup of my bass.
    1. You should loosen tension on the strings. You will have to retune anyway.
    2. with the bass in your lap pointing in the direction you hold it , if your rod adjustment is at the body as my Fender MIA P BAss is, insert the allen wrench and turn away from you. Only turn about 1/8 of a turn at a time. I mean let it set for a few hours because it will take some time for the neck to adjust. Many reccomends no more than a 1/4 of a turn a day. Be careful, you don't want to do more than this and have to go back and undue it trying to get it right.
    3. Re-tune your bass.
    Good Luck
    Try the setups forum to get specific details on the correct setup of the bass and give it a shot. You will feel great to know that you can adjust your own bass to your feel.
  3. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Thanks Whitey!!:D So what does turning the truss clockwise do to the neck as opposed to counter-clockwise? From your description, it sounds like I will be turning it clockwise. Also, did doing this resolve your issue and was your issue similiar to mine?

    Thanks again!
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It's not necessary to do only 1/8-turns, 1/4-turns are perfectly safe.
  5. Bassstud1

    Bassstud1 Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    LaPorte Indiana USA
    I received a used MM5 from the brown truck. It was almost unplayable. I turned the truss rod about a 1/4 turn nothing appered to happen. I put it in the gig bag, and took it to the local music store (about 3 hours later) to ask about it. When I whipped it out wa-la it was almost like a new neck.
    I know it seems a little scarey at first, but your first time in jail will be too. Have a good day. And good luck.
  6. LunarDave


    Feb 5, 2002
    Leeds, UK
  7. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I gave it a 1/4 turn on the truss last night and viola, she was a new bass this morn!!! Thanks to all of you!!!!
  8. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Gack - I thought turning it clockwise *tightened* it, therefore increasing the back-pull and lowering the action?
  9. that is correct!'re not wrong.

    tightening the truss rod lowers the action and causes the neck to bend upwards.