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Thread: Neck/truss rod not stable on Axis

  1. #1

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    Question Neck/truss rod not stable on Axis

    Hi all,

    On my Axis, I have an issue where the truss rod seems to need constant adjustment up and down between two points.

    I'll get the guitar set up nicely with action where I like it (basically factory spec of 1.6mm or so at the 12th fret). It will be fine for a few days - perhaps a week or two, and then it'll go high - perhaps up to 2 to 2.5mm. Seems to be fairly quick - one day I'll pick it up and it'll be fine, the next day, bam, it's way higher. I then adjust the truss rod to bring it back to where I like it (probably no more than 1/4 turn). It's then fine again for a few days until, bam, the action is now down at 1mm or so and I have to adjust it back again in the other direction! I've been back and forth like that for the last couple of months. Sometimes it will be fine for a few days, sometimes a couple of weeks, but the ping pong doesn't seem to be stopping!

    I recently got it out of the case after not playing it for ages and it seems to have been like it since then. Perhaps it was like it ever since I got it though as it was second hand and I didn't play it that much until now. When I got it out of the case after not playing it for ages it needed a new nut anyway, so when I fitted that I took the time to give it a really good set up, so it's a shame it keeps ping ponging back and forth now! All the while the neck stays stable it plays great now.

    Any advice greatly appreciated!


  2. #2

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    Do you live in an area with fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels?
    EBMM Axis Super Sport (Pacific Blue Burst)
    EBMM L3 HH (Olive Gold)
    EBMM L3 HSS Roasted (Bodhi Blue)
    EBMM Silo Special (Blue Dawn)
    EBMM Albert Lee SSS (Sky Blue)
    EBMM Cutlass (Vintage Turquoise)
    EBMM L3 BFR (Blueberry Burst)
    EBMM Cutlass HSS (Firemist Silver)

  3. #3

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    Stringster's issue sound quite like my Cutlass.

    Right, well, I've been around this block with a few clients guitars and one of my own and here is my two cents based on my knowledge and experience.

    A piece of wood is unique. We cannot know when making a guitar how "stable" any one piece of wood will be, and that's OK. As an examples, my Silhouette Special (with oil/wax neck) is more stable than my thicker and heavily varnished strat neck. My Cutlass roasted maple neck should *in theory* be more stable than either my silo or my strat neck but it actually moves the most. Just like stringster's. Perfect setup, plays great for a few weeks/months, then one morning it seems like it suddenly moved and the action is higher than classical players like.

    Here's the thing - if it can be corrected with a truss rod adjustment it's not a problem. manufactirers will not replace a neck under warranty unless it is impossible to correctly adjust with a truss rod adjustment. And this sort of issue is in fact the reason we have adjustable truss rods - guitar necks change shape with changing humidity and temperature, and some more than others. This is also why we love the Music Man truss rod design (which actually dates back to the 60s but few other manufacturers have adopted it). I just stick my No.1 precision screwdriver in there and in less than a minute I'm good to go again.

    Remember, as a very wise man once said to me, "adjusting your truss rod is safer and easier than making a bacon sandwich". Contrary to what much of the internet has said for decades, you can do it as often as you need or want. You cannot damage your guitar neck by adjusting the truss rod unless you use considerable, deliberate force. And yes, i am the truss rod myth buster guy...

    Truth About Truss Rods – Part 2 – Myth Busting! –

    So, yes, I sympathize, Stringster. I've been there and it annoyed me in the beginning and I contacted Music Man for advice and what they told me, is pretty much what I said above which is what I already knew.

    tl;dr It's a such a quick, safe, and convenient adjustment, I no longer worry about it at all.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
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  4. #4

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    I think it has more to do with humidity than anything else. I live in the desert where 0% humidity is the norm and none of my guitars budge ever.

    When I lived in NYC, I would adjust them regularly and thankfully, the EBMM trussrod design is easier to access than . . . well . . . any guitar ever made.

    Where do you live? If it isnít a weather thing, I wonder if it is set up in some way that could cause that? I donít know

    The artist formerly known as "radrock"
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