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truss rod

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by nvilla, Mar 19, 2002.


  1. I know this is a stupid question but what exactly does the truss rod do. I have only been playing the bass for about eight months now and was curious.
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The truss rod acts as a counterforce against the string tension. You use it to increase or decrease the neck bow caused by the strings.
    You adjust it to get optimum action (string height over the fretboard), usually in combination with the bridge setup.
    On most basses you want/need a certain amount of neck bow, usually 1.5-2.5 mm @ 9th fret.
    You can check neck bow (or neck relief) by fretting a string at the 1st and last fret simultaneously and checking the height of the string over the 9th fret.
     
  3. hujo

    hujo

    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Why the ninth fret, specifically? Why not the tenth, or the eight, or whatever?
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    There's no real reason, but it's a little left of the middle of most fretboards. I check there, and not at the 12th fret, cause the bow is strongest there mostly. The neck is usually more stable and straight near the body, so the center of the bow moves a little towards the headstock.

    But any fret in the 9-12 region is good enough for checking.
     
  5. hujo

    hujo

    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    aight, thanks!
     
  6. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    The distance between frets gets shorter as you go up the neck. So halfway is fewer frets from the nut.

    If you measure a 24-fret board, the halfway point between the 1st and 24th frets is around the 8th fret (I don't have my bass here at the office to double check). On a 20- or 21-fret board, the halfway point from the 1st to the last is around the 7th fret.