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Thread: truss-rod adjustment questions

  1. #1
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    Question truss-rod adjustment questions

    Hi,

    I was lowering the action on my EBMM JP7, and I tightened the truss rod to get less bow in the neck.
    I applied about two quarter turns (re-checking after the first quarter turn) and I liked the neck the way it turned out, maybe a bit too straight, but to me it played nicely.
    The only problem is that now I got a lot of string buzz on the low B-string, mostly on the lower frets.

    How would I best resolve this: by raising the saddle of the low B-string only or by loosening the neck a bit to give it a bit more bow (it did seem the be almost straight after the adjustment).
    Is there anything I need to keep in mind when adjusting the truss rod in terms of how often I adjust it? Like after adjusting it one way and then realizing I may have tightened the truss rod a bit too much, do I need to wait a few weeks before adjusting the truss rod the other way by loosening the truss rod? Or is it ok for the neck and truss rod to keep adjusting back and forth even from one day to the next? I always only do small adjustments at a time either way (so two quarter turns max).

    Another thing I was wondering about: I know humidity changes with the seasons and can have a big influence on a neck, so would it be best to avoid truss rod adjustments during a certain season? I believe I heard or read somewhere that it's recommended to do truss rod adjustments outside of the seasons where the heating system in the house is on? Is there any truth to that?

    Thanks,
    Lars
    Last edited by Santuzzo; 02-26-2018 at 09:05 AM.
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  2. #2
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    How low is the action? A bit of relief is normal for most setups. If you have the action too low, especially on the low B, you're going to get buzz due to how much the string travels.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    How low is the action? A bit of relief is normal for most setups. If you have the action too low, especially on the low B, you're going to get buzz due to how much the string travels.
    Thanks!
    I just measured, and to my surprise the action on the low B is under 1.5mm (I'd say it's about 1.4mm) measured at the 12th fret, which is even lower than the action on the high e-string which is about 1.5mm, also measured at the 12th fret.
    So, I guess that answers my question, and the saddle of the low B needs to be raised?
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  4. #4
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    Why not first just slightly raise the bridge on the B string side only? It might only take a 1/4 turn of the bridge post. Once you start adjusting saddle heights, you risk individual strings being too high or low relative to others and therefore changing playability and/or the tone.

  5. #5
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    Yes, you may have to raise the action a biy.

  6. #6
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    If only the B string is buzzing, I would raise the saddle using quarter turns on each saddle screw until the buzz disappears to you liking.
    I believe every guitar player inherently has something unique about their playing. They just have to identify what makes them different and develop it. EVH

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    This is a good example of why I don't pay attention to much of the advice on set-up vids and other sources regarding bridge saddles following the exact radius or curvature of the finger board. After setting my neck with just a tiny amount of relief, I set my string heights independently based entirely on buzzing and tone. Bigger, fatter strings move more than thinner ones so the bass strings need more room to move, requiring higher saddles; sometimes lower pick up heights too for the same reason. This is especially the case on bass guitars and 7 strings with the low B.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieCrain View Post
    Why not first just slightly raise the bridge on the B string side only? It might only take a 1/4 turn of the bridge post. Once you start adjusting saddle heights, you risk individual strings being too high or low relative to others and therefore changing playability and/or the tone.
    Thanks! I didn't want to try that as I keep the bridge plate fluh with the top of the body. I think I read that somewhere that that's how it should be and all string height adjustments should be made at the individual saddles only. I could be wrong, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdamato View Post
    Yes, you may have to raise the action a biy.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wahoonc View Post
    If only the B string is buzzing, I would raise the saddle using quarter turns on each saddle screw until the buzz disappears to you liking.
    Thank you, yes, that's what I did, and it made a big difference. I think the saddle was too low to begin with as the action of the low B was lower than the action of the high e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick C View Post
    This is a good example of why I don't pay attention to much of the advice on set-up vids and other sources regarding bridge saddles following the exact radius or curvature of the finger board. After setting my neck with just a tiny amount of relief, I set my string heights independently based entirely on buzzing and tone. Bigger, fatter strings move more than thinner ones so the bass strings need more room to move, requiring higher saddles; sometimes lower pick up heights too for the same reason. This is especially the case on bass guitars and 7 strings with the low B.
    Thanks! Yes, I get your point, makes sense.

    To solve this issue I loosened the truss rod by a bit (maybe a quarter of a turn) so it's now in between of where it was before and after my initial adjustment. Then, in addition to that I raised the saddle of the low B-string by a bit and now there's much less string buzz.
    My main concern was whether or not it's ok to keep adjusting the neck frequently of if the neck should be left alone of a few days/weeks in between adjustments.
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  9. #9
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    Sounds like you've got a handle on it, great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Santuzzo View Post
    My main concern was whether or not it's ok to keep adjusting the neck frequently of if the neck should be left alone of a few days/weeks in between adjustments.
    Not really. I usually push or pull the neck after making the tweak, to encourage the neck to settle. Play it for a bit, then tweak again to your liking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Sounds like you've got a handle on it, great.


    Not really. I usually push or pull the neck after making the tweak, to encourage the neck to settle. Play it for a bit, then tweak again to your liking.
    Thank you!
    I think I need to do this more often and experiment with it so I can set up my guitars myself. Little adjustments at a time and common sense applied I don't think I can really mess up much or do anything that can't be reversed.
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  11. #11
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    Exactly. Once you have the hang of it, your guitars will always be at peak performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Exactly. Once you have the hang of it, your guitars will always be at peak performance.
    Yes, thank you!

    I figured it makes a lot of sense to learn how to set up my guitars myself. Sometimes my preference changes, like I used to prefer a higher action on all my guitars, now I want to try a lower action on my JP7, and who knows maybe in a year form now I will want to go back to a higher action. If I can do these adjustments myself, it's easier and quicker.
    Worst case scenario: I don't get the guitar to play the way I want it to, well, in that case I can still go to a tech and have them set it up for me.
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  13. #13
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    I should note that my Majesty (6) has the most sensitive neck of all my guitars. I dropped string gauges soon after buying it and after all the necessary adjustments were made, it probably took a about a month to really settle down. I just kept my tools handy for a while and gave it a number of little tweaks. I'm sure that the tremolo was partially responsible.
    Rick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Santuzzo View Post
    My main concern was whether or not it's ok to keep adjusting the neck frequently of if the neck should be left alone of a few days/weeks in between adjustments.
    Mostly myth in my experience. Adjust as necessary. Play. It's all good.

    See myth number 4 (and the video linked in myth number 3)...

    Truth About Truss Rods – Part 2 – Myth Busting! | DrKevGuitar.com
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Mostly myth in my experience. Adjust as necessary. Play. It's all good.

    See myth number 4 (and the video linked in myth number 3)...

    Truth About Truss Rods – Part 2 – Myth Busting! | DrKevGuitar.com
    Thank you!
    Very cool website, by the way!
    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)

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