Sport Archery » Archery » Adjusting the truss rod question

Adjusting the truss rod question

Question:

> Presuming the bass was set up right at one time, the most common causes of > too much relief are a variation in climactic conditions, in which case it > won’t buzz at the high frets, or if the player put heavier strings on, same > deal.

Absolutely.  You and I agree on that.  However, the original poster was experiencing buzz at the high frets.

Response:

> Presuming the bass was set up right at one time, the most common causes of > too much relief are a variation in climactic conditions, in which case it > won’t buzz at the high frets, or if the player put heavier strings on, > same > deal. > Absolutely.  You and I agree on that.  However, the original poster was > experiencing buzz at the high frets.

Exactly.

Response:

> "When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication that your > neck has too much bow (relief).  You need to tighten the truss rod some." > and I thought Frank ought to try raising the saddles instead. > Raising the saddles when the relief is too great may eliminate the buzz, but > at the expense of making the action so high as to be unplayable.

Presuming the bass was set up right at one time, the most common causes of too much relief are a variation in climactic conditions, in which case it won’t buzz at the high frets, or if the player put heavier strings on, same deal.

Response:

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> > If neck has too much relief and strings are too low, buzz will appear > high > > on the neck. > Which is what always happens, as I said above. > "When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication that your > neck has too much bow (relief).  You need to tighten the truss rod some." > and I thought Frank ought to try raising the saddles instead.

Not usually. If one part of the neck buzzes and another doesn’t, that is an idication the truss rod isn’t adusted properly. True, raising the action would probably minimize this, but it will have the effect that when you play harder, the high frets will buzz, and the bottom frets won’t. Also, rasing the action might be a problem for someone who is used to the action being lower.

Response:

> "When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication that your > neck has too much bow (relief).  You need to tighten the truss rod some." > and I thought Frank ought to try raising the saddles instead.

Raising the saddles when the relief is too great may eliminate the buzz, but at the expense of making the action so high as to be unplayable.  Over the years, this has been one of the most common situations described in this forum.  When there’s too much relief, it causes the action to be too high in the middle of the neck, but right at the end of the neck, it’s low again, because the side view of the neck is like an archery bow.  To get the action low enough at the middle of the neck, you have to lower the saddles to the point where they are almost touching the neck at the tail end.  If the player complains of fret buzz at the tail end of the neck, and you ask if the saddles are almost bottomed out, the answer is almost always, "Yes". Vice-versa, if the player complains that the saddles are bottomed out but the action’s still too high:  "Do you get fret buzz at the tail end of the neck?"  "Yes."  Never seems to fail.  Basses always come from the factory with too much relief, and a lot of players don’t even know that it can be adjusted, they only think of raising the saddles.  A lot of players are just plain afraid to touch the truss rod, so they raise the saddles.  So, you get the archery effect.  Correcting action and playability problems has to start with proper neck relief, you always do that first.

Response:

>>>What does "um" mean, anyway? >It means he’s not trying to jump in your face like some 1/2 wit. >Cautiously addressing something… > Awwright, look, you — just because we’ve already got one guy named Dr. > Smartass in this group doesn’t mean I can’t be one, too.  As a matter of > fact, I’ll be a half-wit smartass.

That was actually a reference to a different "true half-wit" poster who pretends to post to worng news groups.  🙂 —    O< (.) (.) /()    ^^

Response:

> Call MusicMakers on South Lamar and ask for Ohlee (O-Lee). > I have a vintage bass and I noticed a buzz on the higher frets.  When > I sight down the neck I notice that it is bowed.  It looks to me like > I need to adjust the truss rod.  My question is… do I do this with > the strings on and tensioned or with the strings off? > Also does anyone have the name/phone number of a good bass guitar > technician in Austin, TX?  I may want to have someone else give the > bass a going over to get it set up properly. > Thanks for any advice. > Frank

Thanks for everyone’s advice.  I guess we’ve all been here before… Frank

Response:

> > What does "um" mean, anyway? > It means he’s not trying to jump in your face like some 1/2 wit. > Cautiously addressing something…

Awwright, look, you — just because we’ve already got one guy named Dr. Smartass in this group doesn’t mean I can’t be one, too.  As a matter of fact, I’ll be a half-wit smartass.

Response:

Okay, no ums this time. > If neck has too much relief and strings are too high, there will be no buzz > anywhere.

But, this never happens, because the player will not tolerate the extremely high action this creates.  The player will instinctively lower the saddles to lower the action.  If there’s too much relief, the player can never get the saddles low enough to get the action he wants — but, the end result will be that there will be fret buzz, and it will come from the highest end of the neck.  This happens all the time, as demonstrated by the common posts here — "I’ve got my saddles bottomed all the way out against the bridge, but my action’s still too high."  Too much neck relief. > If neck has too much relief and strings are too low, buzz will appear high > on the neck.

Which is what always happens, as I said above. > If neck has correct relief and strings are too low, buzz will appear high on > the neck.

No, the buzz will be all over the neck. > If neck has insufficient relief and strings are too high, buzz appears

low. No, if there’s too little relief, the buzz will be at the lower frets, even if the strings are at the correct height. > If neck has insufficient relief and strings are too low, notes totally choke > out.

This is what happens here in Wisconsin every spring, as the humidity rises after the dry winter.  You take out a bass after it’s been sitting a while, and all the strings are plastered flat against the frets.

Response:

> If neck has too much relief and strings are too low, buzz will appear high > on the neck. > Which is what always happens, as I said above.

"When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication that your neck has too much bow (relief).  You need to tighten the truss rod some." and I thought Frank ought to try raising the saddles instead.

Response:

I have a vintage bass and I noticed a buzz on the higher frets.  When I sight down the neck I notice that it is bowed.  It looks to me like I need to adjust the truss rod.  My question is… do I do this with the strings on and tensioned or with the strings off? Also does anyone have the name/phone number of a good bass guitar technician in Austin, TX?  I may want to have someone else give the bass a going over to get it set up properly. Thanks for any advice. Frank

Response:

>I have a vintage bass and I noticed a buzz on the higher frets.  When >I sight down the neck I notice that it is bowed.  It looks to me like >I need to adjust the truss rod.  My question is… do I do this with >the strings on and tensioned or with the strings off? >Also does anyone have the name/phone number of a good bass guitar >technician in Austin, TX?  I may want to have someone else give the >bass a going over to get it set up properly. >Thanks for any advice. >Frank

Keith and Robert at The Custom Shop, right around the corner from Ray Hennig’s, do good work. They handle basses and guitars, but they’re bassists first from what I hear. Most of the stores around town have someone who can do this, but the Custom Shop’s been around for awhile. Check ‘em out here: http://bassland.home.texas.net Since it’s vintage (and likely worth alot), I’d give strong consideration to having a pro do this, ESPECIALLY if you’ve never done it before.

Response:

> I have a vintage bass and I noticed a buzz on the higher frets.  When > I sight down the neck I notice that it is bowed.  It looks to me like > I need to adjust the truss rod.  My question is… do I do this with > the strings on and tensioned or with the strings off?

Depends.  With some vintage basses, you have to remove the neck to adjust the truss rod, so… With basses where you can access the truss rod without removing the body, you usually leave the tension on.  If you are flattening the neck, and the nut is pretty stiff, you should loosen the strings to see if it helps.  If it’s a vintage Rickenbacker, I believe you move the neck by external (hand) pressure, then tighten the nut when you have the preferred bow achieved. For more info: http://www.altguitarbass.com/faq.asp#Setup http://members.rogers.com/dbl-bass/setups.htm http://archive.bassplayer.com/gear/specs.shtml http://www.mrgearhead.net/faq/basssetup.html http://garywillis.com/pages/bass/bassmanual/setupmanual.html http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/6203/page33.html http://www.harmony-central.com/Bass/setups.txt http://sadowsky.com/media/pdf/technical/bp0999_bass_setup.pdf http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/ElectricGuitarRepair.htm If you’re unsure, find a pro. —    O> /()    ^^

Response:

I always release the string pressure and adjust about a quarter turn at a time.  It is not hard to overadjust and put a back bow in the neck.  A back bow is sometimes impossible to get out without removing or sliding the fretboard, a real bummer and expensive.  I only remove the neck if there is no other way to get at the trussrod. Kirk

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> I have a vintage bass and I noticed a buzz on the higher frets.  When > I sight down the neck I notice that it is bowed.  It looks to me like > I need to adjust the truss rod.  My question is… do I do this with > the strings on and tensioned or with the strings off? > Also does anyone have the name/phone number of a good bass guitar > technician in Austin, TX?  I may want to have someone else give the > bass a going over to get it set up properly. > Thanks for any advice. > Frank

Response:

> I have a vintage bass and I noticed a buzz on the higher frets.  When > I sight down the neck I notice that it is bowed.  It looks to me like > I need to adjust the truss rod.  My question is… do I do this with > the strings on and tensioned or with the strings off?

When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication that your neck has too much bow (relief).  You need to tighten the truss rod some. Makes no difference if you do it with the strings on and tensioned or not (in my experience), but if you make the adjustment with the strings tensioned, be sure to re-tune the bass before checking the relief again. Make your adjustments in quarter-turn increments, and check after each adjustment.

Response:

> When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication > that your neck has too much bow (relief).

Um, actually I think it means your saddles are too low.

Response:

> > When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication > that your neck has too much bow (relief). > Um, actually I think it means your saddles are too low.

Um, when you have the correct relief in your neck, if the saddles are too low, you will get fret buzz uniformly across the entire neck.  Um, if the relief is too little, or is even negative, then you get buzz at the head end of the neck.  Um, if the relief is too great, you will have to lower your saddles way down, sometimes bottomed all the way out.  Um, if your saddles are all the way down, and your action is still too high, it means you have too much neck relief.  Um, if that is the case, and you adjust your neck relief properly, you will have to raise your saddles, because the strings will be lying flat on the neck. What does "um" mean, anyway?

Response:

Call MusicMakers on South Lamar and ask for Ohlee (O-Lee).

– Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -> I have a vintage bass and I noticed a buzz on the higher frets.  When > I sight down the neck I notice that it is bowed.  It looks to me like > I need to adjust the truss rod.  My question is… do I do this with > the strings on and tensioned or with the strings off? > Also does anyone have the name/phone number of a good bass guitar > technician in Austin, TX?  I may want to have someone else give the > bass a going over to get it set up properly. > Thanks for any advice. > Frank

Response:

> > When you get fret buzz at the high frets, that’s an indication > > that your neck has too much bow (relief). > Um, actually I think it means your saddles are too low. > Um, when you have the correct relief in your neck, if the saddles are too > low, you will get fret buzz uniformly across the entire neck.

No. If everything is set right when playing harder than normal, buzz is uniform. If neck has too much relief and strings are too high, there will be no buzz anywhere. If neck has too much relief and strings are too low, buzz will appear high on the neck. If neck has correct relief and strings are too low, buzz will appear high on the neck. If neck has insufficient relief and strings are too high, buzz appears low. If neck has insufficient relief and strings are too low, notes totally choke out.

Response:

> What does "um" mean, anyway?

It means he’s not trying to jump in your face like some 1/2 wit. Cautiously addressing something… —    O> /()    ^^

Response:

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