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  1. #1
    Good Enough Kevin Dodds's Avatar
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    09.15.17 @ 08:03 AM
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    Default Truss rod adjustment

    Sometimes I wonder if I'm missing something altogether. In over 30 years of playing guitar and owning many different guitars, I have never found it necessary to ever adjust my truss rod.

    I just have never, ever had a neck bow to the point of needing adjustment. Maybe it's because I've only lived in two cities in Texas? I really have no idea. I have had to adjust pretty much everything else over time. Just never a truss rod.

    Do you guys adjust your truss rods on a regular basis? Or have you only done it like five times in your entire life? If you did, what was your success ratio like?

    I have two guitars that might maybe possibly slightly benefit from some very slight adjustment, but for the most part my gut tells me to never go there.

    Curious.

    KBD3

  2. #2
    Top Of The World WDFA5150's Avatar
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    10.29.15 @ 04:06 PM
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    Default

    I've done a few but yeah- about 5 times in a life time seems right. I'm not too keen adjusting the wolf necks though- seems to me that if they've got dual graphite rods (or whatever they are) in them then you'd be over stressing the neck?
    I used to be 'sean112' but lost all my details!

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  4. #3
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 09:22 AM
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    Default

    When I did my Black and White Frankie build with my old Squier I ended up having to do an adjustment, but that's the only time I've ever done it in my life. However, that guitar had been through multiple moves to and from college, to an apartment, to a house, seasonal changes over 2 decades, etc. Plus it got worse when I disassembled the guitar for the painting, so had I not done that it may still be playable in its original condition.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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  6. #4
    Little Dreamer
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    12.15.15 @ 02:20 PM
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    Default

    Don't be afraid. Truss rod adjustments are not that big of a deal. My advise would be to educate yourself so you can properly diagnose the issue you are looking to correct. Sometimes the issue is with the frets or the nut for example. If anything just remember to only turn the rod in small intervals.

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  8. #5
    Eruption CalFB's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 01:26 AM
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    Default

    I adjust truss rods once or twice per year. Where I live there's large temperature and humidity variation. It's only about 1/4 to 1/2 turn to keep the neck how I like it, which on a compound radius neck is almost completely flat.

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  10. #6
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    Default

    I took my EVH USA Wolf to Danny D in Webster for a yearly check up and they did a quarter turn. Hell, I didn't even know it needed it. Since then I have bought a straight edge to check it out myself. Other than that, I have never had one adjusted in close to 35 years.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

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  12. #7
    Eruption AFU's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:00 AM
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    Default

    28 years of playing. Did two truss rod adjustments. When my EBMM Axis arrived at me door(straight from the factory) it needed and adjustment. And my EVH Stripe Series suddenly got crazy and needed two 1/4 turns. One then a couple days later a second one to loosen the truss rod. I was freaked out at first. I've owned and played Wolfgangs since they came out in 1998(1997 if you were lucky/quick) and never had that problem. I own 10 guitars and built three. Only time I had truss rod issues. Oh, I live in Southern New England. Dry in the winter in my house a humid here in the summer. No issues until now.

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  14. #8
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    I got my Peavey Wolfgang in 2003. I've never adjusted the truss rod.

    If your in an area with super drastic climate changes it may be necessary, but as others mentioned, I've only ever used it during initial set up.

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  16. #9
    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 09:46 PM
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    Default

    I find it depends on the guitar. With my Gibsons, I never have to adjust the truss-rod as I can raise or lower action with the Tune-o-matic bridge. With my Strat & Floyd-equipped guitars, I usually have to adjust the truss-rod to get the action to my liking.....huge pain on my '50's Player Strat as I have to remove the neck!
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

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  18. #10
    Hot For Teacher
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    08.27.17 @ 03:51 PM
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    Default

    In almost 30 years of playing I've rarely had to do it, but am dealing with some buzzing right now on my new Wolfie and am hoping some truss rod tweaks fix it.
    I used to be scared to death of it, lol, but its no big deal. IMPORTANT!- If you are going to tighten it, loosen it a 1/4 turn first! And a little goes a long way. Wait a couple days for it to settle before adjusting again.
    Hope this helps someone.

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  20. #11
    Romeo Delight BenB5152's Avatar
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    11.30.17 @ 07:39 AM
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    Default

    I've only had to do minor adjustments when I first purchased my Peavey Wolfgang and my Sterling AX40 and I've haven't had to touch them again since. My Music Man was perfect out of the box and my Ibanez needed a slight adjustment since the weather warmed up this Spring. I also live in Texas so I've done 3 adjustments in 23 years of playing.

    Ben

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  22. #12
    5150
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    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
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    Default

    When I get a new guitar, I always adjust the neck as part of the initial setup. I might do it a few times over a week or two as the guitar settles in and I find its sweet spot. Then if I change string gauge or tuning, I might need to do it again. I keep a close eye on the relief in my necks, so out of my 20-odd guitars, one or two will need a nudge now and again.

    I live in a temperate climate, and my attic office can swing from chilly to boiling hot through the year, so that is obviously going to be a factor. Just this winter, a knee problem meant I couldn't get up the steep stairs to my office without a lot of difficulty, so it didn't get heated as regularly as it normally would. I found that the necks straightened on all of my guitars, meaning a lot of them started choking on the lower frets - the worst affected was a 5150 copy I bought on eBay a while back - the two piece maple neck actually split, with the fingerboard coming away from the rest of the neck. It wasn't a great neck to start with. Also, my fairly new EVH Striped guitar became completely unplayable. I wound up having to put an electric heater on a timer just to take the chill out of the room, and all the guitars' necks (except the 5150) righted themselves within a few days.

    Anyway, the moral of the story is, if I'm having playability issues with buzzes or choking, or the guitar not feeling right, I'll look at the neck relief before I look at the bridge. Nine times out of ten, that's where the problem lies.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

    Summer 2017 UK & North America

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  24. #13
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Default

    I chalk it up to the central Illinois climate, but I have to adjust my truss rod about 4 or 5 times a year. Usually at the beginning of winter, when the humidity goes down, and in the spring and summer as the humidity fluctuates. Usually no more than a quarter turn , either way. No big deal when it goes to too much relief, it's just a little harder to play around the middle of the neck. When it goes the other way though, it's completely unplayable. Buzzing frets and fretting out all the way up the neck. I remember one outdoor gig I played in late July, it was like 97 degrees and humid as hell. Guitar was set up perfect for the gig, and played fine. I put in the case and took it home, and about 2 days later, I took it out to play it, and it was completely out of tune, and the strings were all fretting out.It really impacts the unfinished neck guitars much more than painted neck guitars. Was rarely a problem with my PRS or LPs.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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  26. #14
    Romeo Delight erasetheprocess's Avatar
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    Default

    I've personally never done it, though I may need to soon - the frets on my 5150 replica are beginning to buzz like noone's business.

    I agree with the statement about not worrying about it so much with my Wolfgang. Quartersawn and graphite reinforcement seem like that thing would stay exactly where it is supposed to be.

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  28. #15
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Default

    It totally depends on the guitar and your location.
    my location sees huge swings in humidity levels, and some guitars are more resistant to the effects of this than others.
    for example:
    My 68 maple neck Strat. Twice in the 27 years I've owned it.
    2008 SG. Probably 10 to 15 adjustments Since I've owned it.
    Denelectro DC59. Never
    78 Attila maple/rosewood never
    1991 Dobro once in 91.
    My maple 85 Kramer Pacer neck on my frank. Once 20 years ago.
    my 89 Pedulla bass never more than twice.
    2009 maple Jazz bass about 3 times a year On a good year.

    Thats some of them. So it all depends on how resistant the wood is. Sometimes it's just a bit green and needs to settle. Others have necks with long fibers that are more elastic and pliable and depending on their porosity can be stable some of the year and go wonky the rest.
    the trick is finding the balance in the truss rod adjustment that allows for a little movement in heavy changes, but not so much that the neck has no relief, or develops a backbow.
    my Jazz Bass is great, and I love it when it's set up right. It's getting better...less adjustments needed than it used to, but I still have to chase it a bit. I don't case it, just as I don't case any of my guits...so it WILL eventually lose some of that pliability as the resins toughen up deep in the grain.

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