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  #16  
Old 08-16-2013, 01:50 PM
SOR SOR is offline
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Adjusting the truss rod under tension is standard practice at every manufacturer I'm aware of and I've done it that way for decades. In fact I can't think of a single reason for doing it any other way.
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  #17  
Old 08-16-2013, 04:01 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by SOR View Post
In fact I can't think of a single reason for doing it any other way.
1. Because you can't access the truss rod nut with the strings in the way. It happens sometimes.
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2013, 04:05 PM
GuitarLight GuitarLight is offline
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Guitar neck relief changes must be made under full normal string tension. Always.
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  #19  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
1. Because you can't access the truss rod nut with the strings in the way. It happens sometimes.
The toughest one to access that I can think of is Collings, but I still do mine without loosening the strings, although I agree it is a pain (a slight slackening of the D and G strings does make the job easier). Of course the fact remains that the correct way to do the adjustment is under tension.
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  #20  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:03 PM
harmonics101 harmonics101 is offline
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Mr. Tauber took the thoughts right out of my mind.

From my limited technical experience, I'd be wondering, ' how the heck does someone get a truss rod wrench inside and turn WITHOUT removing the strings '

I guess I learned quite a bit in this thread.

That its possible to turn the truss rod WITH the strings on.

I'd think you'd always have to take the strings of, or at least loosen them to get your gigantic man hands inside the sound hole

Harmonics
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  #21  
Old 08-16-2013, 05:17 PM
Fire&Rain Fire&Rain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonics101 View Post
Mr. Tauber took the thoughts right out of my mind.

From my limited technical experience, I'd be wondering, ' how the heck does someone get a truss rod wrench inside and turn WITHOUT removing the strings '

I guess I learned quite a bit in this thread.

That its possible to turn the truss rod WITH the strings on.

I'd think you'd always have to take the strings of, or at least loosen them to get your gigantic man hands inside the sound hole

Harmonics
Most hex wrenches are L-shaped, allowing the shorter end to be inserted into the sound hole between two strings and into the truss rod nut. As already mentioned you only turn it about 1/4 turn at a time. You then recheck the relief and reset your hex wrench for another adjustment if needed.
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2013, 07:47 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLight View Post
Guitar neck relief changes must be made under full normal string tension. Always.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOR View Post
The toughest one to access that I can think of is Collings... Of course the fact remains that the correct way to do the adjustment is under tension.
Ever tried adjusting one of these with the strings on and at full tension?



What matters is the end result. There are numerous ways of obtaining that result. Do what works.
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2013, 08:38 PM
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I'd never buy an electric with the truss rod accessibility like that, it's stupid.

Back to the OP... I'm of the belief that a 1/4 turn is too much, an 1/8th is enough then let is settle and do another 1/8th if it needs it. Less is more in the case of a truss rod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Ever tried adjusting one of these with the strings on and at full tension?


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  #24  
Old 08-16-2013, 09:46 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by billybillly View Post
I'd never buy an electric with the truss rod accessibility like that, it's stupid.
Then there must be a lot of stupid people out there - manufacturers and consumers. There are a lot of Fender and Fender-clones just like this out there. Somebody made them. Somebody bought them.

Quote:
Back to the OP... I'm of the belief that a 1/4 turn is too much, an 1/8th is enough then let is settle and do another 1/8th if it needs it. Less is more in the case of a truss rod.
"More" and "less" have nothing to do with it. Turn the thing until you have the desired relief. If it takes three turns of the nut, it takes three turns of the nut. It isn't magic or Voodoo. It's a threaded nut on a threaded rod embedded in a piece of wood.

Different rod designs and installation arrangements have varying levels of effectiveness and require a different amount of tightening or loosening for the same result. And, of course, different neck designs and construction react differently. Most common designs and installations require less than one full revolution of the nut on the rod to achieve the desired neck relief. Some require more, some require less. Tighten or loosen the nut until you get what you want. If you over-tighten it by an 1/8 of a turn or - gad, even 1/4 of a turn - the guitar isn't going to explode: un-tighten it by 1/8 (or 1/4) of a turn. And use common sense: if it takes two feet to brace the guitar and two hands on the wrench to turn the nut, something is amiss.

Do you guys stay up late at night trying to figure out ways to make this more complicated than it needs to be? Really.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 08-16-2013 at 09:52 PM.
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2013, 09:55 PM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger Knox View Post
First, the assertation that adjusting under tension doesn't do damage is incorrect. Virtually all rod failures are from adjusting under tension. In the context of the OP, adjusting under tension is bad advice.
Jamie Kinscherff (I know some of you are weary of my mentioning him, but he builds very nice guitars and last time I checked, his base price was $5500. So, some folks agree that he knows what he's doing and he's been doing it for a while.) always checks and adjusts the truss rod on my guitar while it is tuned to pitch.

-Raf
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  #26  
Old 08-16-2013, 10:04 PM
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Adjusting the truss rod is completely overthought, just like guitar humidity. It's really a simple adjustment that accomplishes a simple task and is dirt easy, when done with a little care. Maybe I'm just old and it's lost its perplexity, but it's just a part of owning a guitar and is not that big a deal. Like changing the oil on your car, the first couple of times you try it may be intimidating, but then it becomes second nature.
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  #27  
Old 08-16-2013, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Then there must be a lot of stupid people out there - manufacturers and consumers. There are a lot of Fender and Fender-clones just like this out there. Somebody made them. Somebody bought them.



"More" and "less" have nothing to do with it. Turn the thing until you have the desired relief. If it takes three turns of the nut, it takes three turns of the nut. It isn't magic or Voodoo. It's a threaded nut on a threaded rod embedded in a piece of wood.
First of all, there are a lot of stupid people out there, who embrace tradition even when something has been vastly improved upon. I'm a forward thinker, if I see something has been improved upon and it's an option, I use it. Do you like taking your neck off for a simple truss rod adjustment? Dumb.

Secondly, I've seen people strip truss rods by wrenching on them so easy does it. I work carefully and precisely and my customers appreciate this.

I have now spoken the truth for you to embrace or not.

Billy von Billy the 17th
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  #28  
Old 08-16-2013, 11:29 PM
scottishrogue scottishrogue is offline
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Cool Truss Rod Adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Stone View Post
Adjusting the truss rod is completely overthought, just like guitar humidity.
While I totally agree, some people need some instruction if they have never done it before. I prefer to loosen the 3rd & 4th strings, for a little easier access, but bring the strings back up to pitch before checking the relief. So, either way will work. Just a 1/4 turn will make a difference, so take your time. It sometimes takes a few hours for any adjustment to take full effect, so it's a good idea to double-check the relief the following day, just to insure it hasn't changed too much. If you're getting fret buzz the next day, you'll know you tightened it too much.

Glen
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  #29  
Old 08-16-2013, 11:31 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybillly View Post
Back to the OP... I'm of the belief that a 1/4 turn is too much, an 1/8th is enough then let is settle and do another 1/8th if it needs it.
Just so that I'm clear on The Truth...

So, suppose for discussion sake, a truss rod needs one full turn of the truss rod to achieve the desired neck relief. You state, that one should turn the nut 1/8 of a turn and then "let it settle". For how long does it need to settle? An hour, a day, a week? Let's take the middle value, a day. So, on day two I then turn the nut another 1/8, then let it settle for another day? On the third day, I then turn it another 1/8? To get to the required full one turn, will, by your scheme, take 7 days. Instead, let's let it settle for an hour between 1/8 turns. It then takes 7 hours to adjust the truss rod?

Now, your reasoning, uh, sorry, "truth", is that if one turns it the full one turn all at once, it increases the chances of the rod breaking? So, again, for discussion sake, I turn the rod 7/8 of a turn at which point it suddenly breaks without warning. If we use your "truth", of turning only 1/8 at a time, what happens when we get to the 7/8 of a turn, arriving there after 6 consecutive days of 1/8 turns at a time? Will having tightened the nut to the same tension over 6 days prevent that failure? Is there going to be some warning at 6/8 + 1/32 turns that one more 32nd of a turn and it will break? Or is it going to break at the same point, without warning, as it did doing it as a single adjustment?

Last edited by charles Tauber; 08-16-2013 at 11:38 PM.
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  #30  
Old 08-17-2013, 01:49 AM
stardot stardot is offline
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Default Truss rod

Wow.
Great topic for late night viewing.
Maybe my common sense leads me astray sometimes....

The guitars I'm working on are usually my own. I think I can tell now by checking relief that sometimes its "this one needs a lot" or "this neck is pretty good". Lots of times I'm taking off crappy strings and adjusting the truss rod with only a D or G string on, adjust the rod, tune to pitch and check the relief.

Yes, KNOWING that when I put the strings on I need to verify the relief at tension. Most times for me, I need to get my hand down inside the guitar to adjust the truss rod.

One habit I picked up from reading posts from experienced luthier/techs is to always LOOSEN the truss rod a good 1/8 to 1/4 first (knowing I'm going right back to tight) just in case it's already been cranked tight to the breaking point. Someone said "how's it going to feel to turn it a fraction of an inch and have it break?"

I appreciate the advice that experience brings to this forum.
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