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[X-Post] Need New Truss Rod. Seeking Advice.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Eminor3rd, Dec 4, 2018.


  1. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    NYC
    Originally posted this in Hardware/Repair, someone wisely suggested I also post here> Original post:

    *sigh* I'm bummed out.

    Long story short: I had my neck-thru Pedulla Thunderbass set up by a hack from Staten Island (the 'legendary' Mandolin Bros, now recently out of business), and he ruined the truss rod -- maxed it out entirely (the head is sticking out of the neck by over a centimeter, where it wasn't even flush with the opening when I brought it in) and mangled both the end of the rod and the proprietary wrench/key to the point where you can't get any purchase to turn it anyway.

    I brought it to a different local (and also supposedly reputable) tech, who confirmed my fear that I need to replace the truss, and then quoted me what I think (and hope) was an exorbitantly high price ($1500). In working order, the bass is realistically probably worth $1800-2000, so I'm hesitant.

    I was shocked when I heard the price -- I could have sworn I had heard of that work costing $500-800 before. I Google'd around and found a lot of references to roughly that price, but I'm finding that all the local luthiers' websites say stuff like "onsite quote necessary" when talking about truss replacement. I guess that's fair.

    So I've got a few questions:

    1. What should this cost, generally, for a neck-thru instrument?
    2. Do you know of any trustworthy luthiers/repairmen within a hundred or so miles of New York City that you'd recommend for the work?
    3. Is there any sort of alternative solution I just don't know about?

    Thanks guys.

    *sigh*

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, I emailed Pedulla about doing the work -- but he won't touch it. Which I understand -- too many variables for a long-distance project.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  2. I'm certainly not speaking for @Bruce Johnson , but I wonder if this is a job his young intern would be interested in taking on? Seeing the headstock repair he did with Bruce's oversight, I think he has the skill necessary. Of course the bass would have to be shipped there and back, but that's a trivial detail. Just a thought.
     
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  3. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Wow, without seeing it most likely the fingerboard will have to come off. I am expecting the rod snapped probably at the other end. If I guess correct the rod is extending out from the headstock end? Pictures would help but can it be pushed in or pulled out at all? Curious if the end is able to move at all without tightening or loosening the nut.
     
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  4. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    NYC
    I'll take some pictures tonight. Yes, I do assume the fingerboard will need to come off.
     
  5. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Well I will say this, if it turns out the repair is close to a new bass buy a new bass. Then there are a lot of threads here about removing fingerboards, installing truss rods, gluing fingerboards on and finish touchups that you can view, research and prepare yourself to maybe do the repair yourself? That way you will have one to play, not waste gobs of cash and maybe have the satisfaction of fixing it your self and learning enough not to have to rely on others to adjust your instruments in the future saving more cash. Oh the repair guys will hate me.
     
    Eminor3rd likes this.
  6. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    NYC
    It's just frustrating because I thought I was doing the responsible thing by taking it to a "real" tech. I mean I know how to adjust stuff -- I've been making little tweaks here and there on this and my other basses for years -- but I always thought I'd be best "protecting my investment" by spending the money on having a professional keep it tuned up every now and again.

    Thanks for the advice. I have absolutely no ability or tools when it comes to actual woodworking. Hopefully I can find someone who is confident and willing to do the work.
     
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Funny that you mention this, because another Pedulla with a broken truss rod is on its way here to my shop right now. It's going to be repaired by my apprentice Alex, with me supervising and helping making up any needed metal parts. I'm planning to document the job here on TB, for all of your enjoyment and knowledge.

    The owner of this Pedulla also contacted Mike Pedulla and was turned down. He's semi-retired now and only does limited types of work on his basses.

    I've estimated the cost of that job at $300-$500 plus shipping, depending on whether the fingerboard can be removed cleanly and reused. But it is a fretless one. If a fretted Pedulla needs to be fully refretted, that will add some extra.

    The reason why most repair shops won't touch a Pedulla is that they have an unusual custom truss rod, and it can be tricky to try to retrofit some commercially available rod into that neck. I have my own machine shop, and I specialize in making up custom truss rods. So, I can make up a replica of whatever Mike put in there.

    Eminor3rd, if you are willing to ship your Pedulla out here to us in California, maybe we could do them both at the same time. You can PM me to talk specifics.
     
  8. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I like Bruce's offer. Worth considering.
     
    Inara and Eminor3rd like this.
  9. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    NYC
    Bruce -- that sounds great, I'll PM you when I get home from work tonight. Thanks everyone! You are all The Best(tm).
     
  10. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    NYC
    PM'd
     
    Beej likes this.
  11. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Whoop! Maybe we get to see Two Bruceified Pedulla truss rod repairs in one shot! I'm in. I'm a geek, this stuff fascinates me. I met Mike Pedulla around thirty years ago when he had his shop in Rockland Mass. I walked in cold off the street with a Warmoth fretless Jazz neck, they finished the board in the same "diamondkote" polyester they used on the Buzz basses, and satin poly on the back and headstock, I think it was less than $100 all together. Nice guy, he let me peek into the shop for a minute too, Buzz basses all over the place. Their website lists a range of services, but It looks like "don't bother us" pricing.
     
  12. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    NYC
    Well, I sent the bass to Bruce this weekend. Let's hope for the best! Thanks again to everyone that chipped in. Hopefully Bruce will treat everyone to progress pics.
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  13. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yes, the first Pedulla arrived last week, and yours will be showing up this week. Alex is eager to get going on both of them. We'll probably do them both at the same time, and I'll document the repair process here on TB. Another episode of Scary Bass Repairs: Alex Opens Up A Pair Of Pedullas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    Gilmourisgod, Joshua, Inara and 2 others like this.
  14. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    I'm publicly outing myself as the owner of the other Pedulla, a 1986 Buzz that a previous owner completely de-finished, including destroying the logo. It's ugly, but that helped me afford it, and it played like a dream. I'm going to enjoy following the dual-Pedulla thread. I'm very grateful that Bruce agreed to guide Alex in this work, as I would hate to lose this bass. As I said to Bruce, I'm also happy that Alex is getting experience with these basses, since Mr. Pedulla won't do these sorts of repairs any longer due to his (well deserved!) semi-retirement.
     

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