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truss rod problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by XUSMC1775x, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. XUSMC1775x


    Dec 8, 2012
    the neck on my Bass is concave (i think called back bow, where the action is too high) so i loosen the strings and then adjust the truss rod. well the neck straightens up, but when i re tune the strings the neck is back to being concave. is this a problem with the truss rod or a problem with me? haha any inout will be appreciate it, thanks.
  2. Don't loosen the strings. It makes is harder.

    If the action is high you have to much relief. You need to TIGHTEN the truss rod. This will straighten the neck. Do 1/8 of a turn.

    If the neck back bowing you'll get buzz or it'll fret out in the middle of the neck. You'll need to LOOSEN the rod in the same 1/8 th turn.

    You'll know pretty quick if you're going the correct direction, 1/4 turn or so.

    If you get to 3/4 to a full turn and are not seeing any change STOP TURNING.

    BE CAREFUL. It's possible to crack a neck with the truss rod.

    Also note that there is more to high action than just the neck. It also has to do with the saddles. You may benefit from a full set up.
  3. XUSMC1775x


    Dec 8, 2012
    thank you for your answer, the saddles are fine. its difficult for me to adjust it when i loosen the strings, is there a specific way to do it without the strings loosened?
  4. nope. Just use the correct tool and the correct size.

    Check your tuning after each adjustment and look done the board from either end. You should see the movement.

    Most bass players like a slight bit of relief. Fret the 1st and 12th fret on the same string. Look for a slight gap between the frets and the string. This is how I set it.

    Truss rod adjustments affect between the nut and the 12th fret ONLY.

    Lefty loosey, rightsy tightsy.
  5. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    PM sent to OP
  6. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    That's when yer lookin' from the headstock down the neck toward the body.

    If it's way outta line from where you want it, don't try to do it all at once. Do a little bit at a time and come back the next day.

    And for the record, I always loosen my strings first, tweak the truss rod, then tune 'em back up to see where the neck is at. Being good at tuning your instrument quickly is a good thing.
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    It's difficult for EVERYONE to adjust the truss rod when the strings are on and tuned! You just have to try to do the best you can. People who build basses never seem to think about adjusting it later! At worst, you can just loosen a couple center strings where the truss rod access is located if nothing else works.

    The truss rod sets the BOW in the neck. You test the bow by fretting a center string at both the first fret and last fret and looking at the gap under THAT string at the center of the neck. That bow should never be more than the thickness of a couple of credit cards (and that is a BIG gap for people with high action) Usual is more like one card thickness.

    The reason you adjust the neck with strings on and tuned is that if you take all tension off the neck, when you put it back on after an adjustment it takes a while (can be days) for the neck to settle back in. This can make a truss rod adjustment REALLY take a while. Even with tension on the neck there will be a certain stabilizing time. This where the 1/8 turn and wait rule comes from.

    One you get the bow in the neck correct, THEN you use the saddles to set the string height at the highest frets. That's it. Really pretty simple except for the hassle of trying to adjust the truss rod with strings on and under tension.
  8. Regarding above.

    If you're tightening the truss rod it will be hard turn without loosening the strings because you're pulling against the tension of the strings.

    Loosening is easy cause the strings are helping pull.

    I don't loosen the strings.

    If it's way off you may need to make a small adjustment in a day or two, but I've never had to. My basses hold really well and since I use all maple i get to do this about twice a year.