truss rod adjustment

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by woofdoggy, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. woofdoggy


    Apr 15, 2012
    Would a truss rod adjustment be needed if i recently switched to a lighter string gauge? switched from 45-65-85-105 to 45-65-80-100. I don't think i see any bend in the fretboard, but i dont have the best eyes for that kind of stuff.
  2. Uncle K

    Uncle K Formally Monster Truck Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    If the action is OK, and you don't have any fret buzz then leave it alone. IMHO truss rod adjustment is to adjust the playability of the instrument.

    Just my 2 cents
  3. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    .. the affect of going to lighter guage strings (less string tension) would 'flatten out' a neck, not cause an increase in the 'bend' (relief) ... if anything you would loosen the truss nut to return it to the previous amount of relief if that is what was desired ... its probably not likely (at least immediately) with that slight change, but keep an eye on it and see how it settles in as it sometimes takes a while for the neck 'memory' to relax ...
  4. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Take new strings and bass to a good tech. Truss Rod adjustment is for the qualified. I'm sure someone here will debate this. That's okay.:)
  5. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Most manufacturers provide a tool for truss adjustment. Just follow mfg directions and only adjust a quarter turn (or less) at a time. Allow time for the neck to settle as was suggested.
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.

    Basses need adjusting .... Different string and different seasons and changes in humidity are all reasons why bass necks need to be tweaked. Learn to do your own setups and adjustments. Many times a bass will need to be setup and adjusted twice a year.
  7. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
  8. The intonation of the instrument is probably more impacted than the bowing of the neck. If you know you are going to stick with that gauge and brand of string for a long time (even the same gauge strings from different brands using different cores and winding techniques can require a tweak), it is probably worth paying the $35 or whatever and having the intonation set and truss rod adjusted.

    Also, if you decide to mess around with the truss rod, a VERY little bit goes a long way. I don't think I've ever turned a truss rod more than an 1/8th of a turn to tweak it for different strings or weather. In your case, a slight loosening is probably all you need if you hear any fret buzzing, etc. Of course, adjusting the saddle height for the new strings might also be necessary, which would impact the buzzing, the intonation, and round and round we go:)
  9. almightycrunch


    Apr 21, 2011
    It's hard for me to fathom, that someone would not be able to do a simple truss rod tweak to their own guitar. I understand that there are people who are not mechanically inclined, I really do, but a guitar is not a nuclear reactor.
  10. WhatUpBo


    Feb 14, 2011
    Cheektowaga, NY

  11. agreed. the be scared of your truss rod attitude turns so many people off of setting up their own instruments its almost sad. in fact until I said "eff it" and decided to give a full setup a go on my old beater P bass last week I was one of those that was scared. get on the internet, find some directions, follow them.
  12. This was me as well. "Oh man, I don't want to mess it up!" Then I did the same thing and worked on my old MIM Jazz 4-string just to see if I could do it. I'm not "professional grade" yet, but I'm definitely getting better. :bassist:

  13. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I shouldn't respond, but.....

    Don't be scared do what you want it's your bass.
    I know people and they aren't going to do 1/8 a turn and wait.....

    I'm blessed with a great tech who used to work on the Jefferson Airplane's gear. He came personally recommended by Sadowski. He does magic. He knows far more than I do. I've been playing bass since 1966. He's been fixing instruments longer. So I run over there he might or might not tweak my bass. Then when I need some serious work I pay him.

    His restoration of my G&L L1000 is on the club thread.

    To each his own.
  14. Hmmm....where to start...

    1)Shoot, I've been doing unlicensed trussrod adjustments for years!!!

    2)Well if they wouldn't have shut down that Trussrod Adjuster Magnet school last year I'd have my degree in Trussrod Management by now...

    I'm being facetious and sarcastic of course, but seriously, you don't have to be "qualified" to make a 1/8 or 1/4 turn on a truss rod. Basses and guitars are tougher than that, and if a problem did arise from such a small adjustment, then the neck and/or trussrod had something inherently wrong with it in the first place. So long as you don't make any severe adjustments in one go, you'll be fine.
  15. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I've done good adjustments myself.
    I've had two supposedly reputable techs not realize that a truss rod was broken and keep turning.
    Just sometimes your problem isn't what you think it is.
    Again to each, his own.
    My stuff has to work at practice and the gig. I'm not saying take your baby just anywhere for service.
    My guy worked on the instruments of Charlie Byrd & Joe Byrd. He built Jim Thackery's guitar and does Gary Grainger's work.

    To each,
    his own.
  16. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Unfortunately the OP has not chimed back in along the way, nor filled out a profile with more info (as to gear, etc), so we don't know if we are dealing with a $100 headstock adjust truss rod bass or a $1000 heel adjust bass without sufficient routing to have access without removing the neck ...

    ... in any case, this is why I am a major proponent of people starting out (or even getting along the way if they have been at it a while) an inexpensive 'beater' type bass that they are not afraid to do all these things, to learn the mechancs of the instrument as well as the use of it ...

    .. I encourage people not to be afraid of the mechanics. As mentioned there is a LOT of explanatory info available on just about any procedure these days ... but if in doubt, maybe pay to have it done for you ... but, only under the condition that you are able to watch and have it explained ...

    ... I am of the opinion that to improve the playability of an instrument, it can also improve the ability of the player ... and in order for that to happen, the mechanics of the instrument need to understood ... you dont NEED to do it yourself if you can afford to have it done for you, but you do NEED to understand what needs to be (and is being) done .. JMHO
  17. emdsd

    emdsd Mongo only pawn in game of music!

    Feb 25, 2010
    Boyne City, Michigan
  18. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Notice how Carl doesn't get his panties in a bunch about cranking the rod and waiting a day? That's because it's BS. Same thing about loosening strings. BS.