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Thread: Music Man Axis Sport - Truss Rod Won't Loosen

  1. #1

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    Music Man Axis Sport - Truss Rod Won't Loosen

    Greetings,

    I regret that my first post in this forum is about a technical issue with a MM guitar I just acquired. It is a 2002 Music Man Axis Sport. I took it to my local shop for a condition check and they found out that the truss rod won't loosen, meaning I can't further relieve the neck.

    It's strung with 9's and the action isn't too high so it's not the worst thing, but I was planning on trading it for another MM and I can't in good conscience deal the guitar in such condition. So I'm wondering whether there's a way to fix the truss rod issue.

    I've already contacted customer service, but I'm not sure how long they'll take to reply - so in the meanwhile if someone knowledgeable in this forum has a second opinion I'd appreciate it. I included a picture of the spoke wheel truss rod nut with the neck humbucker removed.






    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Wucan; 03-24-2021 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #2

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    Do you mean tighten? From what I can see, it's all the way loose. It looks like there is space between the nut and the end of the neck.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
    2021 Stingray RS Pacific Blue Sparkle / Maple FB

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Do you mean tighten? From what I can see, it's all the way loose. It looks like there is space between the nut and the end of the neck.
    I did mean loosen. It can still be tightened.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wucan View Post
    I did mean loosen. It can still be tightened.
    It's not a two way truss rod. You've loosened it as much as it will go. I can see space between the nut and the end of the neck.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
    2021 Stingray RS Pacific Blue Sparkle / Maple FB

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    It's not a two way truss rod. You've loosened it as much as it will go. I can see space between the nut and the end of the neck.
    Interesting. The action gets a bit high by the end of the fretboard so maybe it's the bridge that is raised too much? Let me snap a picture.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wucan View Post
    Interesting. The action gets a bit high by the end of the fretboard so maybe it's the bridge that is raised too much? Let me snap a picture.
    If the action is too high, you would want to tighten the truss rod. Not loosen it. Have you checked the relief on the neck? It sounds like you have a misunderstanding of how to properly adjust a truss rod.

    I would also recommend never taking your guitar to the "local shop" again, as they apparently don't know how a truss rod works.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
    2021 Stingray RS Pacific Blue Sparkle / Maple FB

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    If the action is too high, you would want to tighten the truss rod. Not loosen it. Have you checked the relief on the neck? It sounds like you have a misunderstanding of how to properly adjust a truss rod.

    I would also recommend never taking your guitar to the "local shop" again, as they apparently don't know how a truss rod works.
    When I brought the guitar to the shop I didn't have much of an issue with the action, it was moreso a check to see whether the truss rod was functional. I didn't think about it until I started looking for possible explanations.

    Maybe this picture helps in describing what the action looks like:

    2007 JP6 Stealth Black
    2013 JPX-7 Barolo

  8. #8

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    You've really got to check the relief on the guitar. Hold down the 1st and 12th fret, and see how much space there is between the string and the 5th fret. That neck looks like it has too much relief.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
    2021 Stingray RS Pacific Blue Sparkle / Maple FB

  9. #9

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    Welcome to the forum, Wucan!

    No, we can't tell anything from a photo. Not even gonna try. Low resolution, image distortion, etc.

    Do you have an engineers rule? Can you measure the string height over the 12th fret?

    Also, this may be useful...

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  10. #10

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    ^^At the 6th string, I measured about 2mm from the fretboard at the 1st, just under 2.5mm at the 5th fret and just under 4mm at the 12th fret.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    You've really got to check the relief on the guitar. Hold down the 1st and 12th fret, and see how much space there is between the string and the 5th fret. That neck looks like it has too much relief.
    No space, strings are touching the fret wires.
    Last edited by Wucan; 03-25-2021 at 09:50 AM.
    2007 JP6 Stealth Black
    2013 JPX-7 Barolo

  11. #11

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    OK, it sounds like you have a problem. If the truss rod is all the way loose, you should have neck relief, (ideally more than necessary so tightening will allow you reduce it as required). And those action numbers are very high.

    A starting point for string action is around 1.75 mm - 2 mm over the 12th fret for the open strings. Note: that is measuring from the bottom of the string to the top of the fret, NOT to the fretboard.

    A good guitar tech or luthier needs so see this. If the guitar store you went to can't help you more, try asking other guitar stores or local established guitar teachers who they recommend for this kind of work.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    OK, it sounds like you have a problem. If the truss rod is all the way loose, you should have neck relief, (ideally more than necessary so tightening will allow you reduce it as required). And those action numbers are very high.

    A starting point for string action is around 1.75 mm - 2 mm over the 12th fret for the open strings. Note: that is measuring from the bottom of the string to the top of the fret, NOT to the fretboard.

    A good guitar tech or luthier needs so see this. If the guitar store you went to can't help you more, try asking other guitar stores or local established guitar teachers who they recommend for this kind of work.
    I need to remeasure then since those numbers were taken from the fretboard to the string.

    /e After remeasuring, take off a mm from these numbers. 1mm/1.5mm/3mm
    2007 JP6 Stealth Black
    2013 JPX-7 Barolo

  13. #13

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    3mm over the 12th fret is still very high an electric guitar. (If you prefer it that way, then that's cool). The string action can be adjusted by lowering the bridge saddles. But I am worried the neck may have a back bow and the previous owner raised the saddles to try avoid fret buzz because the could not correctly adjust the neck relief. This guitar should have expert eyes see what can be done.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
    Irish/American in Paris

    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Click here for my Music Man photo albums


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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    3mm over the 12th fret is still very high an electric guitar. (If you prefer it that way, then that's cool). The string action can be adjusted by lowering the bridge saddles. But I am worried the neck may have a back bow and the previous owner raised the saddles to try avoid fret buzz because the could not correctly adjust the neck relief. This guitar should have expert eyes see what can be done.
    Thanks for the input. I'll see if customer service has anything to add before taking the guitar elsewhere.
    2007 JP6 Stealth Black
    2013 JPX-7 Barolo

  15. #15

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    Make the neck as straight as possible. Then either raise the bridge/saddles to lift action, or add a shim in the neck pocket to lower the action. This might be useful:

    QUICK TALK : Setting up an electric guitar, demoed on a Music Man Cutlass - YouTube
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