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  #1  
Old 10-02-2014, 07:11 PM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Default Yamaha FG700s truss rod adjustment

Obvious noob here. I got my Yamaha FG700s a few weeks ago and have been practicing and learning. I keep hearing about getting a setup done or adjusting the truss rod yourself. So, I am pretty sure I can be very careful. I'm a noob at guitars but not an idiot.

I think the truss rod can be accessed through the sound hole. However, I took my Allen wrench set and went through every size I could think of but could not get one to seat in there so I could turn the rod.

What am I doing wrong?

In case you want to know, I am trying to straighten the neck. I took a straight edge and could see that the higher frets dip down. I don't play them a lot as I am a total novice and barely learning notes on the first three strings and a bunch of chords. Nonetheless I am a nerd and a DIY sort of guy and thought that if I make small adjustments, giving the neck time to settle, I could maybe get my neck straight.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:06 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Metric.....
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:16 PM
dhalbert dhalbert is offline
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You need a 5mm: http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/...tars/798/4068/ (and I measured my own as well: it's 5mm).

You don't want to make the neck flat; you want a tiny bit of relief (slight dip in center).
Yamaha's instructions:
http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/...tars/798/4068/

General discussion, with pictures:
http://frets.com/FretsPages/Musician...Adj/tradj.html
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2014, 08:17 PM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Metric.....
Right, well, see, being that Yamaha is a Japanese company and the guitars are made in a Chinese factory, I knew it had to be metric. So, that's what I used. I started at 4mm and worked my way up to 8mm. I did it twice, just to be sure.

So, it's not that I was using the wrong type of wrench. Thank you for trying to help.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:31 PM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhalbert View Post
You need a 5mm: http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/...tars/798/4068/ (and I measured my own as well: it's 5mm).

You don't want to make the neck flat; you want a tiny bit of relief (slight dip in center).
Yamaha's instructions:
http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/...tars/798/4068/

General discussion, with pictures:
http://frets.com/FretsPages/Musician...Adj/tradj.html
Ah, thank you! I don't know how I didn't find that Yamaha page. I'm reading through all this stuff now. Thank you!
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:34 PM
Ben-Had Ben-Had is offline
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Here's another GREAT resource to learn about guitar setup:

http://www.charlestauber.com/luthier/Resources.html

Oh BTW, it was written by that poster that told you it was a "metric" wrench.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:36 PM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben-Had View Post
Here's another GREAT resource to learn about guitar setup:

http://www.charlestauber.com/luthier/Resources.html

Oh BTW, it was written by that poster that told you it was a "metric" wrench.
Lol, well that's why I refrained from the usual sarcasm you find in most of the Internet. I really was sincere in thanking him. As an American, it's not totally improbable that I would try to use SAE.
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:53 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennonrp View Post
So, it's not that I was using the wrong type of wrench. Thank you for trying to help.
Last week I adjusted the rod on an inexpensive Fender acoustic. I tried several sets of both imperial and metric, none of which seemed to fit as snuggly as I would have expected. Eventually used an imperial size that was the best fit. Turned out that the end of the nut's socket was probably flared slightly so that when the key was fully inserted, it was sufficiently snug.

Some inexpensive Allen keys are not accurately sized or have burrs on their ends that prevent them from fitting into the intended size of socket.


Sorry for the incorrect assumption regarding metric vs. imperial. But, that's a common one. Especially for me.
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Old 10-03-2014, 05:48 AM
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bnjp bnjp is offline
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I may be forgetting a few, but here's the list of sizes I find myself commonly using for truss rods. 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 1/8", 9/64" 5/32" and 3/16"
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:00 AM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Last week I adjusted the rod on an inexpensive Fender acoustic. I tried several sets of both imperial and metric, none of which seemed to fit as snuggly as I would have expected. Eventually used an imperial size that was the best fit. Turned out that the end of the nut's socket was probably flared slightly so that when the key was fully inserted, it was sufficiently snug.

Some inexpensive Allen keys are not accurately sized or have burrs on their ends that prevent them from fitting into the intended size of socket.


Sorry for the incorrect assumption regarding metric vs. imperial. But, that's a common one. Especially for me.
No apology needed. I began reading your article last night (there's a lot to digest there!) and I can imagine how many times you've answered that question!

It may be moot because my neck may have the proper relief after all. Looking at the specs called for by Yamaha, I can see the neck is not supposed to be perfectly flat. I'm getting some feeler gauges on Saturday so I can check it out.

I have a nice set of Bondhus Allens, but I was using my Husky wrenches because that set has both SAE and metric in one holder so it was faster. I will try the 5mm in my Bondhus set next time IF I find the rod needs adjusting.

If my action is too high, I'm probably just going to take it to a shop because I don't have the tools or experience to adjust the nut slots.

Thanks for writing that article and for your replies!
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:55 AM
arie arie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennonrp View Post

I have a nice set of Bondhus Allens, but I was using my Husky wrenches because that set has both SAE and metric in one holder so it was faster. I will try the 5mm in my Bondhus set next time IF I find the rod needs adjusting.
a surprising number of truss rods have horribly made hex pockets, or they were mangled by previous "adjusters". often the material used is really soft and gets damaged easily. the ball end of the bonhus tools seems to work where other styles fail imo.
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:22 PM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arie View Post
a surprising number of truss rods have horribly made hex pockets, or they were mangled by previous "adjusters". often the material used is really soft and gets damaged easily. the ball end of the bonhus tools seems to work where other styles fail imo.
I certainly don't have enough knowledge to argue with you on this. So, please don't take this as denying what you have said. So, I was going to say that it would actually surprise me if Yamaha damaged the truss rod in this guitar. Everything on this guitar appears to be very well constructed and shows an attention to craftsmanship. What I see makes me think that the worker who set up my guitar at the factory was trained and knew what they were doing. Nonetheless, I am going to measure the string heights as per the document linked above and if I need to adjust the truss rod, I'll be using my Bondhus this time.

I have found that many of my Husky tools are okay, generally, but not good for critical work. I once almost stripped the hex bolts on my bike's disk brakes before I got my Bondhus wrenches. I should have chosen them in the first place.

As a side note, I took my guitar to a friend who has been playing for decades and has even worked as a guitar tech for touring bands, he played it, checked the intonation, and said the action was pretty good, if a little high on the higher frets. But, he thought the neck looked right.

It's not so much that I think anything is wrong with my guitar. It's more that I just like playing with it. And I obsess over stuff, too.
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2014, 12:54 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Do not use a ball end hex wrench unless you cannot get a regular wrench on the axis of the nut.
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:39 AM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
Do not use a ball end hex wrench unless you cannot get a regular wrench on the axis of the nut.
10-4 you're right. I had the impression that the suggestion was to use the ball end if the nut had been mangled by the factory worker. Thanks for being clear, though!
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2014, 07:49 PM
glennonrp glennonrp is offline
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Follow up, in case you're interested. I got a feeler gauge and caliper. I used the starting points that Yamaha specifies that dhalbert posted above. My guitar is pretty much right at those specs. I think that Yamaha says those are a little high, at least at the nut. I think I will not adjust the truss rod because it looks darn near exactly where Yamaha recommends. I'm going to keep playing it for now this way and maybe one of these days visit a guitar shop to have someone experienced either lower the nut or/and saddle height. But, it is certainly playable.

Thanks for all of the advice and help, folks!
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