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Adjustments Truss Rod. If the frets are too uneven to read with a straightedge, a notched straightedge sits over the frets, letting you read the wood of the fingerboard. Tune the guitar to pitch and hold the guitar in the playing position (not laying on its back), then use an 18" precision straightedge to see if the neck’s straight. This might not apply in your case: not all truss rod nuts are removable. The necessary truss-rod adjustment depends on which way the neck bows: Sight the neck to see what condition it’s in. Insert the Allen wrench into the slot in the truss rod. For those players, a bit of relief is a good idea. You can adjust the truss rod with a nut located at one end. With a properly functioning truss rod, you probably won’t need more than 1/8-turn in either direction to get what you’re after. DON'T MISS A BEAT, sign up for StewMac news, Cyber Monday Sale! At this point, I like to loosen and remove the truss rod nut to clean and lubricate the threads before making any adjustments. And there’s a great tip for clamping the neck to take tension off the truss rod on page 18 of The Guitar Player Repair Guide. Dan Erlewine's Maintenance & Setup for Electric Guitars and Basses, Dan Erlewine's Maintenance & Setup for Steel-string Acoustic Guitars. Press the string down firmly at two points: the first fret and the 17th fret. Now you’re ready to reinstall the nut and return it to its original position using your alignment marks. In a pinch you can use a string as a straightedge. Find the right Truss Rod Wrench size needed in a database of over 75 guitar and bass brands including Fender, PRS, Gibson, Martin, Ibanez, Taylor, Jackson, Takamine, Schecter, Yamaha, Breedlove and … Find the proper fret position with the official Stewart-MacDonald Fret Calculator, Stewart-MacDonald is PCI compliant and validated for secure e-commerce. Learn About Truss Rod Installation + Repair. The trick is knowing when you’ve got the neck the way you want it. Adjust the truss rod another 1/8 turn or less if necessary. Keep the grease off of the exposed wood. If it’s in a back-bow, loosen the nut until the straightedge lays flat on the frets. How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great! Is your neck up-bowed or back-bowed? You might also want to check out the setup specs of famous players in the last chapter of How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great! Players: it's no big deal! (Using muscle without first getting the feel of it is how some people manage to shear off their adjusting nut!). Even when you don’t have a removable adjusting nut, always start by loosening it first. This is where I went wrong. Loosen the nut if the neck is back-bowed. A little truss rod adjustment goes a long way, as you can see by measuring your string height before and after with a string action gauge. Fender's most popular pick shape in different materials. If it rises with some relief, tighten the nut until the straightedge lays as flat as possible on the frets. Doing this sometimes also reveals loose or uneven frets that need attention. Mark the adjusting nut to indicate your starting point, and to show how far the nut gets turned. Keep the grease off of the exposed wood. Mark the adjusting nut to indicate your starting point, and to show how far the nut gets turned. But a change in string gauges, climate (especially a change in humidity), or simply the player’s taste may require an adjustment, even on a new guitar. As always, I started with the Truss Rod. Threading both ends allows the truss rod to either increase or decrease neck relief before running out of adjustment. Hi Id be really grateful for some practical advice please. Whichever setup you prefer, a straight neck is a good starting point. If it’s in a back-bow, loosen the nut until the straightedge lays flat on the frets. When everything’s clean, add a little bit of lubricant like Guitar Grease or petroleum jelly. This way, you’ll know how smoothly the nut will turn, and you’ll have a better feel for it when you do your adjustments. And there’s a great tip for clamping the neck to take tension off the truss rod on page 18 of The Guitar Player Repair Guide. In a pinch you can use a string as a straightedge. Mark the adjusting nut to indicate your starting point, and to show how far the nut gets turned. If the frets are too uneven to read with a straightedge, a notched straightedge sits over the frets, letting you read the wood of the fingerboard. The types of forces that act on a truss rod are compression, tension, and torque. This also means you’re less likely to overtighten the nut by cranking away on it if it’s already used up all the available threads. Some are soldered on. Adjusting a guitar truss rod is a key part of maintaining optimal playability. However, if your measurements showed that you still don't have the relief that you want, you still have room to make a second adjustment to get it closer to right. Players: it's no big deal! When adjusting a truss rod, in either direction, you are changing the force applied to the rod. Here’s how to evaluate and adjust your electric or acoustic neck with a minimum of tools. If it rises with some relief, tighten the nut until the straightedge lays as flat as possible on the frets. (Using muscle without first getting the feel of it is how some people manage to shear off their adjusting nut!) The neck of most guitars has what’s known as a truss rod, which is a one- or two-piece adjustable metal rod that goes down the inside of the center of the neck. Guitar Truss Rod Adjustment Guide This article provides a top-level view of how a truss rod works and how to adjust a truss rod. Tip BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING TO YOUR TRUSS ROD you need to have a reasonably good understanding of truss rods. With the nut removed, use a sharp scribe or small brush to remove any built-up debris from the threads and parts. Tune the guitar to pitch and hold the guitar in the playing position (not laying on its back), then use an 18" precision straightedge to see if the neck’s straight. Look for a gap under the string to see if you have an up-bow. The truss rods on Epiphone acoustic guitars are accessible through the sound hole where the neck joins the body of the guitar. The improved version of the classic Fender Strat Bridge, The most consistent, top quality Strat® replacement body on the market today. (You can play during the adjustment time.) Doing this sometimes also reveals loose or uneven frets that need attention. The truss rods on Epiphone acoustic guitars are accessible through the sound hole where the neck joins the body of the guitar. To adjust the truss rod, you’ll need to turn the nut a quarter turn at a time, enabling the neck to adjust after each turn. You might also want to check out the setup specs of famous players in the last chapter of How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great! Adjusting the threads on the end of a truss rod counteracts the strings tension and will either increase or decrease the distance between the … Tighten the truss rod adjusting nut to straighten a neck that has an up-bow. Insert the Allen wrench into the slot in the truss rod. Turn the truss rod to the right to tighten it and straighten the neck. This might not apply in your case: not all truss rod nuts are removable. At this point, I like to loosen and remove the truss rod nut to clean and lubricate the threads before making any adjustments. Follow these steps and you’ll have your axe playing sweet! Some players (like me) prefer a perfectly straight neck, but a dead-straight neck may not work for someone who really plays hard but still wants to have very low string action. Loosen the nut if the neck is back-bowed. “Relief” refers to a very slight, intentional up-bow that lifts the strings a little higher than they’d be on a perfectly straight neck. At this point, I like to loosen and remove the truss rod nut to clean and lubricate the threads before making any adjustments. Don't be nervous about adjusting that truss rod! By Dan Erlewine. Also look for humps, low spots, uneven frets or other problems. Also look for humps, low spots, uneven frets or other problems. Tighten the truss rod adjusting nut to straighten a neck that has an up-bow. With the guitar on its side, look down the fingerboard to check it for straightness. This’ll give you a good idea of the neck’s current state. Now you’re ready to reinstall the nut and return it to its original position using your alignment marks. A little truss rod adjustment goes a long way, as you can see by measuring your string height before and after with a string action gauge. Understanding Your Truss Rod. The trick is knowing when you’ve got the neck the way you want it. Some are soldered on. Sight the neck to see what condition it’s in. Look for a gap under the string to see if you have an up-bow. Build the pedal that redefined overdrive. Turn the truss rod to the right to tighten it and straighten the neck. Here’s how to evaluate and adjust your electric or acoustic neck with a minimum of tools. When everything’s clean, add a little bit of lubricant like Guitar Grease or petroleum jelly. Save on Over 900 Items. Loosening a truss rod (turning counter-clockwise) adds relief to (decreases tension on) the neck which results in increased (higher) string action height. How To Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great! When a quality guitar leaves the factory, the truss rod is adjusted according to the maker’s taste in setup specs. After adjusting the rod I’ll usually let the instrument “settle” into the adjustment for a few hours and then I’ll evaluate it again and tweak it if necessary. Some are soldered on. Follow these steps and you’ll have your axe playing sweet! Whichever setup you prefer, a straight neck is a good starting point. With the nut removed, use a sharp scribe or small brush to remove any built-up debris from the threads and parts. This might not apply in your case: not all truss rod nuts are removable. For those players, a bit of relief is a good idea. Let's talk about relief Press the string down firmly at two points: the first fret and the 17th fret. “Relief” refers to a very slight, intentional up-bow that lifts the strings a little higher than they’d be on a perfectly straight neck. Ive got the Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II Electric Guitar. This also means you’re less likely to overtighten the nut by cranking away on it if it’s already used up all the available threads. Some players (like me) prefer a perfectly straight neck, but a dead-straight neck may not work for someone who really plays hard but still wants to have very low string action. Don't make a new nut just to fix a low slot—fill it! With a properly functioning truss rod, you probably won’t need more than 1/8-turn in either direction to get what you’re after. Guitar truss rod: single and double action . Adjust the truss rod with an 1/8 inch Allen wrench. This way, you’ll know how smoothly the nut will turn, and you’ll have a better feel for it when you do your adjustments. Strait out of the box, the EB-0 only needed a quarter of a turn (or so I thought). With the guitar on its side, look down the fingerboard to check it for straightness. This’ll give you a good idea of the neck’s current state. 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