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Thread: question regarding action and truss rod adjustment

  1. #1

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    Question question regarding action and truss rod adjustment

    Hi,

    I have a JP7 with a roasted maple neck (Pao Ferro fretboard). I got the guitar about 8 months ago, and to my liking the action was a bit too low, and the neck was too straight, so I adjusted the truss rod a bit to get a little more bow in it and that also resulted in a higher action which I liked more.
    Now, maybe 3 or 4 months after that adjustment, I noticed the action got even higher, and also the neck seems to have gotten more bow in it by itself.
    Is this maybe weather related? It's getting colder here and the heater's on in my house, I am not sure if that would have an effect on the neck.
    Also: the neck is a roasted maple neck, which is said to be more stable than a non-roasted neck.

    So, I am wondering what causes the action to become higher by itself?
    And another question: is it ok to re-adjust the truss rod every once in a while, like once in 2 months or so? Or would that be bad for the neck to re-adjust it that often if needed?

    Thanks,
    Lars
    Last edited by Santuzzo; 12-06-2014 at 12:04 PM.
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  2. #2

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    My Gibsons usually require a winter and summer truss rod adjustment. The mahogany neck seem more reactive to temperature and humidity changes. I live in northern indiana if that factors into the equation, or not. My maple neck guitars seem much more stable. It seems as if after acclimating the guitar to my location and environment, after a year or so the maple neck settles in and I hardly ever have to tweak them. I say give it a tweak and don't fret (worry) especially if it's a minor adjustment.

    P.S. It never hurts to check the tightness of the screws that attach the neck to the body also.
    Last edited by Outta_hand; 12-06-2014 at 02:10 PM.

  3. #3

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    Hello Lars. Seasonal neck adjustment are normal and will not hurt the neck. I usually go 1/4 turn and let it settle in, play it for a bit, then another 1/4 turn if necessary.

    I'm doing that today to a couple of mine. I like my action nice and low but any buzzing annoys me, so I do tweak my rod as often as needed. Good luck.

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  4. #4

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    Thanks guys! I appreciate the input.
    I noticed that the neck had more bow in it, so that's what I thought needed re-adjustment.
    And since I got the guitar the only adjustment apart form the truss rod I made was raising the saddle of the low B (it was buzzing way too much), so I never changed anything about the bridge or saddle height (apart from the low B), so I figured the neck would be the only thing that could change with weather.
    my website - free licks - some of my music

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Santuzzo View Post
    so I figured the neck would be the only thing that could change with weather.
    Yes, absolutely correct. Your powers of logic are impressive, young jedi.

    As you correctly surmised, there is no need to touch the saddles or bridge as they don't move on their own. Truss rod is the thing to do. Tighten in this case, to reduce the neck relief and lower the action back to where you had it. If you over do it, you 'll get buzzing on the lower frets, so you'll know to go a little back the other way. Easier than making a bacon sandwich.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Yes, absolutely correct. Your powers of logic are impressive, young jedi.
    LOL...Thank you huge Star Wars fan here, by the way )

    As you correctly surmised, there is no need to touch the saddles or bridge as they don't move on their own. Truss rod is the thing to do. Tighten in this case, to reduce the neck relief and lower the action back to where you had it. If you over do it, you 'll get buzzing on the lower frets, so you'll know to go a little back the other way. Easier than making a bacon sandwich.
    Yup, makes perfect sense. Thanks again.
    So far I think I did two 1/8 turns (that was yesterday), but it seems I could still tighten it a bit more, but I will wait another few days of playing the guitar and letting the neck settle and then check again, and if necessary tighten the truss rod a bit more.
    Last edited by Santuzzo; 12-06-2014 at 05:52 PM.
    my website - free licks - some of my music

    I offer online guitar lessons on Skype in different styles. Send me a PM if interested.

    my 1st EP 'Sonic Sketches' is out now (instrumental prog metal)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Easier than making a bacon sandwich.
    That really should be the official description for EBMM/SBMM truss rod adjustment... lol
    Last edited by Another Noob; 12-06-2014 at 08:43 PM.
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  8. #8

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    Lars, I've recently bought this kit from US STEWMAC.COM - Basic Setup Kit - Metric
    It's worth all the money , anyone who bought it can confirm that ...though I thought first it is a bit expensive...
    It has even the basic setup instructions printed in the pack and those tools allow very very precise setup.
    I love it and have already setup all my guitars and "re-setup" them just to try lower/higher string action, neck relief etc

  9. #9

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    I love the string height gauge and radius gauges. Very useful and I highly recommend them. Just beware of cheap string height gauges that you might buy elsewhere, I've seen one or two that do not have a straight edge and read inaccurately. I've never seen the Stew Mac ones but I assume they are good quality.

    For basic setups a straight edge is not so useful and most people don't need it. I would rather have a set of feeler gauges and a capo and accurately measure the neck relief (capo on 1st fret, press down at the body fret, use feeler gauges to measure gap between bottom of string and top of 8th fret). This work so well because the strings themselves at tension make an excellent straight edge. For basic setups, there is nothing that a straight edge can tell you that your strings can't.

    For years I did all my setups with a 6" engineers rule, feeler gauges, and a set of radius gauges made at home from stiff card. Buying a kit is not necessary (though string height gauge and that style of radius gauges do make life easier).

    And by the way, when measuring neck relief and string height, make sure your guitar is in playing position, not lying on its back with it's neck supported on a block or stand (i.e. NOT like that video in PauloGilberto's link). Gravity is not a myth and it will affect neck relief and action measurements. If you have a floating bridge gravity will change the bridge position enough that your tuner will register the difference in tuning/string tension and your action measurement may change slightly too. The fewer the trem springs you have the more pronounced this will be.
    Last edited by DrKev; 12-08-2014 at 07:40 AM.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Gravity is not a myth
    Perhaps my favourite DrKev quote of all time.

  11. #11

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    Def not a myth!

    If ever i need to go sharp slightly, I lean way back.

    Gotta do all adjustments in playing position.
    -Spike
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Gravity is not a myth
    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Perhaps my favourite DrKev quote of all time.
    haha +1 It sounds like the good doctor has attended the Leonard Nemoy school of logic.



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    2019 Albert Lee - BFR - Electric Shimmer
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  13. #13

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    I don't think this is necessarily seasonal.

    For all you know the wood was resting without the help of the truss rod in the higher action position 8 months ago, so you could loosen the rod a bit too much, but it didn't do anything since the wood held. Now the wood had 8 months to give in to the pull and your neck is resting against the rod again. Just tighten it back up.

    That happens quite a bit, it isn't that rare that some bass or guitar doesn't rest on the truss rod. If you are unlucky you can have a negative bow you can't make go away.

  14. #14

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    of course the straight edge is not a must but the whole setup kit is based on the idea to have all you need in one place
    first I wanted to buy separately the string action gauge and radius gauge, but after making the calculation it was worth buying the full kit.

    I haven't watch the video in the link ))) but on the instructions included they state that you should do all adjustment in playing position because of gravity

    And I love how accurately I can now measure and setup my guitars
    I have now what many would call an ultra low setup on my JP7 )) 1 mm measured at 12th fret for the Low B and 1 mm for the high E

    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    I love the string height gauge and radius gauges. .............

    For basic setups a straight edge is not so useful and most people don't need it. I would rather have a set of feeler gauges and a capo and accurately measure the neck relief (capo on 1st fret, press down at the body fret, use feeler gauges to measure gap between bottom of string and top of 8th fret)..
    .............................
    .....................

    And by the way, when measuring neck relief and string height, make sure your guitar is in playing position, not lying on its back with it's neck supported on a block or stand (i.e. NOT like that video in PauloGilberto's link). Gravity is not a myth and it will affect neck relief and action measurements. If you have a floating bridge gravity will change the bridge position enough that your tuner will register the difference in tuning/string tension and your action measurement may change slightly too. The fewer the trem springs you have the more pronounced this will be.
    Last edited by PaoloGilberto; 12-09-2014 at 02:30 AM.

  15. #15

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    1mm? Good grief! If I tried going that low, people in Romania would hear my strings buzzing all the way from Paris! But there ya go - no two people play the same and what they like in setups changes as much as their taste in possible colours and finishes on a majesty.
    Last edited by DrKev; 12-09-2014 at 05:22 AM.
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