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whats a truss rod?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by reveille_509, Oct 5, 2000.

  1. reveille_509


    Aug 17, 2000
    I know most people problably think im an idiot not knowing what this is but I see a bunch of threads about truss rods but I dont know what one is? can anyone tell me what it is and where it is found on the bass?
  2. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Please dont feel stupid. this forum is exactly the right place for you to ask such questions.

    The truss rod is a long steel bar wich goes through the neck of the bass. It keeps the wood from getting warped or bowing from the pressure of 4+ strings tightened on it. Some high-end basses have two truss rods in the neck. It (they) can be adjusted with an allen wrench, usually where the neck and the body meet.
  3. reveille_509


    Aug 17, 2000
    When and why would I need to adjust it?
  4. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    When the neck of your bass is "bowed" out(i.e. warping), then it may be time to adjust the rod. I am sure this isn't a complete answer though.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You need the truss rod to adjust the relief in the neck. Zero relief means that your neck is pefectly flat - adding relief can help to remove fret buzzing and can be used in conjunction with the bridge saddles to get the right setup to suit your playing style.

    The relief will also affect the tension on the strings to a certain extent and the overall feel. I have been told by the pro set up technician at the Bass Centre in London, that having very little relief means that the strings feel tighter higher up the neck (closer to the bridge) but easier to play closer to the nut and that the opposite is true for setups with more relief.

    I'm not entirely convinced by this and find that on most basses I prefer zero relief and low action as advocated by Anthony Jackson on the Bass Player website.

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