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Thread: How Come Truss Rod Adjustment Fixed My Tuning Stability?

  1. #1

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    How Come Truss Rod Adjustment Fixed My Tuning Stability?

    Sorry for the newb question, but I own a Majesty Monarchy. I recently changed the strings myself (I used the same exact Slinky 10's that have always been on it), and when I was finished, the action was higher, the strings horribly tight and the guitar would go out of tune if I looked at it wrong.

    So I did a quick, extremely small clockwise truss adjustment, and the action was butter! Low, and no string buzz. I didn't think it'd be that quick and easy.

    The thing that I didn't expect, though, is that the guitar now stays in tune extremely well, like it did when I first bought it.

    I am wondering if I somehow got "lucky", or if a truss adjustment can indeed fix tuning stability issues.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    If the truss rod helps to stabilize the neck. If there is no tension on it, that can actually cause the neck to be a bit more flexible, which can make the tuning less stable. That's been my experience anyway.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    If the truss rod helps to stabilize the neck. If there is no tension on it, that can actually cause the neck to be a bit more flexible, which can make the tuning less stable. That's been my experience anyway.
    I see, that makes sense. I was really surprised that 1/8th of a turn of the truss rod literally fixed all of my issues, so it's great to know that I can count on this in the future should I ever run into tuning issues again

  4. #4

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    Your instinct is correct in that a small truss rod adjustment cannot on its own solve a tuning issue. It's possible the strings just needed to settle/stretch in a little. That probably happened coincident to the truss rod adjustment. Remember, assuming the strings are new, correctly installed, and stretched in, tuning issue are usually due only to friction somewhere.
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  5. #5

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    Hey bellaswail!

    That is a very interesting observation. My explanation is that we have several forces pulling and pushing the neck. We have different materials of the neck. Therefore, temperatur dependent expansion but also shrinking of materials of the neck is very divergent resulting in very complex deformations of the neck which is compensated by the truss rod. However, the characteristics of the tross rod itself are temperatur dependend. That being said, a stable guitar just has everything in a perfect equilibrium like a very precise mechanical scale in balance. If you change strings and remove them all at the same time the whole system will deform. If you put new streched strings on the scale will get in balance. This process however, can go very slowly but evantually reach an equilibrium. I think what you described is an acceleration of this process by overcompensating and turning a little bit on the truss rod. This might lead to a quicker settlement of the equilibirum. You might need to turn it back a little at some point. In my experiance the first majesty guitars were very susceptible for imbalances. I had to readjust the truss rod pn my majesties allmost every day. That was the case for the original majesty and the artisan. The monarchy was much more stable. The tiger eye und the purple nubula are extremly stable. So EBMM did a great job on improving the series over time. However, the older majesty got extremly and comparalby stable over the time, too. But they weren't initially. But those are only my thoughts on the issue, hope they are helpful to anyone. Have a good evening! Regards, J
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  6. #6

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    How did you change the strings...one at a time or all off? If one at a time, this reduces neck stress changes. If all off, that will change the stress state of the neck a lot, and then when you reapply tension (all strings on) the neck may not have gone back to the original stress state, so a slight adjustment of the truss rod may have put it back. There also may have been some lash in the nut to truss rod in the threads and the slight adjustment removed it. As a rule of thumb when moving the tuning machines to tune or turning the nut on the truss rod the final movement should always be in the tightening direction to remove any lash. If the opposite is done, final movement in the loosening direction, then the mechanism may get "help up" ever so slightly from friction. So, the interface (threads) may settle in ever so slightly over time (i.e., close the lash).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace13 View Post
    How did you change the strings...one at a time or all off? If one at a time, this reduces neck stress changes...
    No. This is a very common myth.

    Truth About Truss Rods – Part 2 – Myth Busting! – DrKevGuitar.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Mace13 View Post
    As a rule of thumb when moving the tuning machines to tune or turning the nut on the truss rod the final movement should always be in the tightening direction to remove any lash.
    Oddly enough, for as long as I can remember (going back to the early 90s), manufacturers of locking tuners have recommend exactly the opposite, tune down to pitch rather than up. I have no idea why and I have never had a good answer from anyone about it!
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  8. #8

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    Gosh! It seems I’m 0 for 2 then.

    Actually for statement 1, there was no mention of damage, just that removing all strings will change the stress state in the neck (and truss rod) more than removing one string. When it comes to stability that may be a factor.

    Concerning point 2: Worth a try! I’m curious about that. Seems counterintuitive.
    Last edited by Mace13; 09-12-2020 at 05:59 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace13 View Post
    Concerning point 2: Worth a try! I’m curious about that. Seems counterintuitive.
    It does seem counterintuitive and I know plenty of people of who disagree. Me, I learned "tune up to pitch" and never changed when I got locking tuners, and I'm happy. I suspect that may be the case for lots of people. Of course that might not mean tune down is wrong, only that tuning up with locking tuner is still better than anything with non-locking tuners!
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  10. #10

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    Regarding point 2:
    In my practical experiance this is pretty clear. I have better results when tuning up to pitch. The reason is rather simple. The string tension can be different on one string on the two sides of the nut depending on the friction off the nut. If you tune up to pitch. In case of higher tension of the strings behind the nut a bend won't do your tuning any harm. If you tune down to pitch a bend might harm your tuning. I do not use the whammy bar a lot though...... However, this is just what works for me. It might be differet for other guitar players.
    Greetings J
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