When buying a used bass don't forget this......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thumper, Dec 12, 2000.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    For all of us novices, I just wanted to relate something that happened to me in the hope someone will benefit from it.

    I have learned a whole lot on this forum, but have never been warned about checking the truss rod adjuster on a bass (this could even apply to a new one).

    I bought an absolutely mint bass from a trusted dealer, I swear this thing looked like it had never even been picked up. The action was a little higher than I liked, but it was still a very good playing bass. I did notice I would get a little sloppy during the 3rd or 4th set, but figured it was endurance.

    Eventually, I decided to decrease the relief, but found out I would need a special tool. Since by then I had a Lakland, I put off getting the tool for quite a long time. Long story short, the end of the truss rod was stripped. At worst, this could require a rod replacement.

    My advice is to always take off the truss rod cover, ask for the truss rod tool, and give it a little turn to make sure all is right. It could save you a lot of grief.
  2. hoesley


    Feb 3, 2000
    That's too bad that the dealer didn't tell you about such an big defect. I actually kinda did the same thing to my bass, and was wondering what a repair would entail. It's still adjustable, but obviously will need replacement at some point.
    I've heard that you can just get a new nut for the end of the trussrod. Does anyone know what this would cost, what doing the repair yourself would entail, or what a tech would typically charge? How about for a complete truss rod replacement?
  3. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Provided the truss rod nut can be removed, replacing it would be very simple. Optaining a replacement nut from the manufacturer or other supplier shouldn't be difficult either provided you get the correct info from the manufacturer of the bass.
  4. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    In fairness to the dealer, I don't believe he knew, he took 3 basses in on consignment from a regular customer. I spoke to Mike Pedulla, and he said it could get expensive, because he might have to remove the fretboard, but if I sent it in, he might be able to try a few other things. If it comes to that, I may have him convert it to fretless while he's at it, then I can find out what all fretless mystic is all about. Might as well make lemonade if you have lemons!
  5. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Here's another test to do when trying out a new or used bass.

    Place the bass with the body resting on one chair and the machinehead on another with about 18 inches between the chairs. Now, step back about six paces, get a good running start and jump on the neck with both feet...


    Seriously, Thumper raises a good point about a hidden problem that can cause a lot of heartache (and walletache!). Always a good idea to put a bass through its paces -- pull the covers off to check the electronics(to see if someones been messin' around in there and buggered something up), turn the pots all the way up and down (with the bass plugged in) to check for noise, check the tuners for full rotation (to make sure none are bent), etc.

    It's easy to fall in love with a bass at first play, so give it a cold, objective look. And maybe bring a bass-playing friend along to give you a second opinion.