Who tweaks their own truss rod?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassanddrums, Feb 10, 2009.


  1. I tweak

    212 vote(s)
    90.6%
  2. I have someone else tweak for me

    7 vote(s)
    3.0%
  3. It depends

    15 vote(s)
    6.4%
  1. SOMETIMES... but only when the wife is really uncomfortable or out shopping... and I ALWAYS think of her when I do.

    :bag:
     
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI

    I got caught in the shower the other day..........:eek:
     
  3. Ozonbass

    Ozonbass Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Chicago
    I do my own, however, I don't seem to need to do it nearly as often as some I've seen here on TB...it sounds like some of you need (feel the need) to adjust it every time you play...course I have strings on a couple basses that I haven't changed since the 90's. :)
     
  4. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I agree with the general sentiment being expressed here. A few things, however ...

    1) If a bass you value needs an adjustment you don't feel comfortable making for any reason, take it to a tech. Sometimes peace of mind is worth a small fee. If it's something small like a truss rod tweak, a good tech may even give you a demonstration so you'll feel comfortable doing it yourself next time.

    2) On older basses, it's not uncommon to encounter a truss rod nut that's stiff and doesn't want to turn easily. I can be hard to tell sometimes if the rod is maxed out or if the nut just needs some lubrication. This is often a good time to consult a tech, especially if you don't have a lot of experience.

    3) Minor adjustments aside, nobody should discount the value of periodically taking your bass to someone who really knows guitar maintenance and repair. If you've ever had your bass set up by someone who's done thousands of them and just has that "magic touch" you know what I mean.

    4) Last but not least, when you feel like you just can't seem to get the relief right -- when it buzzes or frets out no matter how you tweak the truss or adjust the saddles -- consult a tech. Don't get frustrated. A tech will be able to spot and correct any other problems (uneven frets, poorly cut nut) that might be causing you headaches, after which you should be able to take care of the basic adjustments on your own.
     
  5. This is getting funnier and funnier... :p
     
  6. Oh, man, I'm dyin' here... Come on. I CAN'T be the only one who thinks this is hysterical...
     
  7. dave_p

    dave_p

    Dec 20, 2005
    CT
    i tweak my trussrod all the time, its normal and natural. dont let anyone tell you otherwise.

    usually about twice a year, once in winter (just did this last night as a matter of fact, and oiled my fingerboard as well) because the dryness throws off the relief a bit. and i usually adjust after spring when it starts to get humid again. just go easy and let it sit a day between adjustments if you have the time. i usually go 1/8 turn at a time until i am where i want.
     
  8. jsuttjackson

    jsuttjackson

    Feb 10, 2009
    Here's a story for you.Once I had some pickups I wanted put in a guitar.I called a shop on a Monday morning asked if they could do it,they said sure.I asked when it would be ready,they said we'll have it for you on Wednesday.I called on Wednesday they said it's not ready yet maybe tomorrow,the next day,it's not ready yet maybe tomorrow.This goes on for almost 2 weeks.I go in to the shop one day and say I want my guitar NOW!!!They get on the phone to the owner of the store and my guitar is locked in her car.***!!!I then stand there in the store for 2 hours waiting till it came.Although there was no charge,at that point I decided to learn to do EVERY THING myself.As mentioned before with a little research and knowledge,anyone can learn to do these things themselves.
     
  9. wellshuxley

    wellshuxley Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    I learned my lesson after paying someone $40 at a reputable local guitar shop to set up my Jazz bass in 9th grade... hated it. I've been doing my own ever since!
     
  10. Surly

    Surly

    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    After paying for a setup, which was supposed to be "perfect" from a known tech, I learned to do my own.

    I do the best setups EVER.
     
  11. gotta second the opinion that you should try it on a cheapo bass if you are worried about it. Once you have are comfortable with it you will do it all the time. I was scared to mess with my Ric since it has two truss rods, but found that all the same principles apply, and now I officially fear no truss rod. just like anything in the bass world, if you do it carefully you should have no problems. Since you are talking about a garage sale find, you might as well try it yourself. not like you are out much of you bust it, and its a good reason to get a new neck if you do.
     
  12. I believe it is an absolute necessity to be able to work on your bass...
    what if you're on the road and something goes wacky?
    climate and altitude can greatly affect the neck.

    here's a cool resource
    http://www.stewmac.com/tradesecrets...m_medium=email&utm_campaign=ts0033&clk=123296

    I also think that knowing how to fix your car and house is a must as well.
    as a matter of fact, being "self reliant" is king...

    cheers
     
  13. Madcity Fats

    Madcity Fats Supporting Member

    May 28, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    If there weren't caveats to truss adjustments, there wouldn't be so many damn guitars showing up in repair shops with stripped nuts, etc.

    But I'm glad I could provide a laugh. All I was basically saying is that if you value your instrument and you're not comfortable doing something to it, take it to someone who is. Sounds like common sense to me, but I guess some people are easily amused.

    Do you make snarky comments about people who pay to have their oil changed to?
     
  14. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    +1

    Sometimes you have to accept what you are and what you aren't. Hypothetically, it only takes one or two turns to break the rod which causes costly and sometimes irreversible damage. It's not worth it when a tech could do this job for you quickly and often for free.

    That said I do components of my setup work that I know I am able to do (and that includes the t.r.). Otherwise, I leave it to someone who knows better.
     
  15. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    That's where trussrod problems come from.

    99% of the users (and almost as many "pros") I know do it wrong.

    I don't think I ever ran across another tech who did it the way I did until I ran across Dan Erlewine, though I do nothing that shouldn't be common sense.

    Loosen first, backload the neck at the first sign of binding up. NEVER struggle to tighten a stubborn trussrod.
     
  16. Jo6Pak

    Jo6Pak

    May 2, 2007
    Good points. All I meant was "Don't tighten it until it breaks".
     
  17. HelloJerk

    HelloJerk

    Dec 28, 2008
    La Jolla, CA
    I would not recommend that anyone do their own adjustments. Also, I would not recommend letting friends do adjustments for you. Take it to a shop where they have some sort of guarantee.

    That said, unless it has involved something really messed up, I have done most of my own adjustments.

    That said, I have a beater bass that hasn't worked for almost a decade.
     
  18. NKUSigEp

    NKUSigEp

    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I couldn't disagree with this more. You'll never learn if you don't do it, and if you don't do it, you'll be wasting all kinds of money paying someone to do one of the most simple tasks regarding instruments in general.

    I wouldn't let your first guinea pig be a nice vintage Fender or something that's hard to replace. And if you are just absolutely mechanically challenged, as in you can't tell a screwdriver from a wrench, then you might wanna take it to somebody else. But to be honest, it takes a lot of time and patience but that's about it.
     
  19. To be fair, I recommend a lot of my beginner students to get the shop to do them. I'd do them myself and show them how (and have), but considering they probably change strings once a year or longer it's just a waste of their lesson time.
     
  20. Truss rod adjustment is very 'doable'. I've adjusted the truss rods on all my basses/guitars several times with the exception of the vintage Les Paul. It's actually kinda fun to "tweak" on the axe of your choice. But it gets even better once ya learn to do your own fret releveling..
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 25, 2021

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